Best Online Master’s in Sport Management

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by TBS Staff Writers

Updated October 13, 2022

reviewed by TBS Rankings Team
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Sport management careers offer exciting jobs working on the administrative side of collegiate, olympic, and professional athletics.

The sports industry is a constantly changing field that generates a lot of revenue. Employers value candidates with advanced interpersonal skills and a background in management, both of which a master's in sport management provides.

Master's in sport management programs prepare students for lucrative, in-demand careers. For example, graduates can work as athletic agents or business managers, who make a mean annual salary of over $90,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS).

This guide ranks the best online master's in sport management degree programs to help students find the right fit for their goals. This page also covers other important information for prospective students, including common courses and potential careers and salaries for graduates.

Featured Online Schools

The Best Online Master's in Sport Management Programs

#1 Best Online Master’s in Sport Management

The University of Florida

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Gainesville, the University of Florida hosts a top-ranked master's in sports management program. The master of science in sport management builds specialized skills for advanced practice, preparing graduates for leadership positions with increased salary potential. A master's degree can also lead candidates to new career paths.

The master's curriculum emphasizes research methods and analytical skills. Learners often choose a specialized concentration, which can help them stand out in a competitive job market. Applicants without a background in sports management may need to complete prerequisite courses before enrolling in the master's program.

Online enrollees add to their resume by pursuing internship opportunities at approved locations in their local area. Graduate students also participate in networking events to expand their professional connections.

The University of Florida at a Glance:

Type of School: Public

Admission Rate: 37%

Total Online Master's Programs: 42

Program Name: Master of Science in Sport Management

Graduate Tuition In State: $10,770

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $27,335

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,477
Out-of-state
$25,694
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
37%
Students Enrolled
52,407
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Online Master’s in Sport Management

Georgetown University

  • Washington, DC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master's in sports management program at Georgetown University, located in Washington, D.C., offers a flexible online format. The master of professional studies in sports industry management program strengthens specialized skills, preparing graduates for leadership roles with a higher earning potential. A master's degree also helps candidates pursue new career paths.

The master's curriculum examines theoretical and practical perspectives on sports management. Learners specialize their course of study to prepare for the job market. The program encourages applicants to gain experience in sports management before applying to the program.

Online enrollees complete internship programs in their local area to gain hands-on experience. Graduate students expand their professional connections by attending virtual networking events.

Georgetown University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private 

Admission Rate: 14%

Total Online Master's Programs: 7

Program Name: Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management

Graduate Tuition In State: $51,336

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $51,336

Average Tuition
In-state
$55,440
Out-of-state
$55,440
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
14%
Students Enrolled
19,593
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#3 Best Online Master’s in Sport Management

Texas A&M University

  • College Station, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in College Station, Texas A&M University offers an online master's in sports management. The master of science in sport management program helps graduates move into leadership roles and increase their earning potential. A master's degree can also lead candidates to new career paths.

The master's curriculum incorporates theoretical and applied approaches. Learners specialize the program by choosing from a variety of electives. Applicants without a background in sports management may need to complete prerequisite courses before enrolling in the master's program.

Online enrollees participate in internship programs at approved locations in their local area. Graduate students expand their professional network through internships and online events.

Texas A&M University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public

Admission Rate: 58%

Total Online Master's Programs: 38

Program Name: Master of Science in Sport Management

Graduate Tuition In State: $6,677

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $18,700

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,941
Out-of-state
$34,190
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
68,726
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Best Online Master’s in Sport Management

The University of Miami

  • Coral Gables, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Graduate students seeking an online sports management degree can enroll in the master's program at the University of Miami, located in Coral Gables, Florida. The master of science in education in sport administration program encourages career training throughout its curriculum, preparing graduates for leadership positions. A master's degree can also train candidates for roles in new industries.

The master's curriculum examines advanced theories and practices in sports management. Learners focus their training by choosing electives based on their interests and career goals. The program encourages applicants to gain experience in sports management before applying to the program.

Online enrollees gain hands-on experience during professional internships in their local area. Graduate students also participate in networking events to expand their professional connections.

The University of Miami at a Glance:

Type of School: Private 

Admission Rate: 27%

Total Online Master's Programs: 11

Program Name: Master of Science in Education in Sport Administration

Graduate Tuition In State: $37,800

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $37,800

Average Tuition
In-state
$50,400
Out-of-state
$50,400
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
27%
Students Enrolled
17,811
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Best Online Master’s in Sport Management

Georgia Southern University

  • Statesboro, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Statesboro, Georgia Southern University enrolls master's students in its top-ranked online sports management program. The master of science in sport management program strengthens specialized skills, preparing graduates for leadership roles with a higher earning potential. Earning a master's degree helps candidates move into a new career path or advance in their current field.

The master's curriculum explores advanced methodologies and research in sports management. Learners choose electives or a specialization to stand out in a competitive job market. Applicants without a sports management background may need to complete prerequisite courses to enroll in the program.

Online enrollees work with the program to identify internship opportunities at approved sites in their local communities. The program encourages professional development activities, including networking events, so graduate students can expand their professional connections.

Georgia Southern University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public

Admission Rate: 54%

Total Online Master's Programs: 19

Program Name: Master of Science in Sport Management

Graduate Tuition In State: $4,977

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,890

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,371
Out-of-state
$15,425
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
54%
Students Enrolled
26,054
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Best Online Master’s in Sport Management

American University

  • Washington, DC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master's in sports management degree at American University, located in Washington, D.C., uses a flexible distance learning format. The master of science in sports analytics and management program emphasizes specialized skills, preparing graduates for increased responsibilities and a higher earning potential. After completing a master's degree, candidates pursue career advancement in their current field or a new one.

The master's curriculum emphasizes research methods and analytical skills. Learners choose electives and concentrations to prepare for focused career paths. The admission requirements include a background in sports management or a related field.

Online enrollees complete internship programs in their local area to gain hands-on experience. Graduate students expand their professional network through internships and online events.

American University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private 

Admission Rate: 36%

Total Online Master's Programs: 16

Program Name: Master of Science in Sports Analytics and Management

Graduate Tuition In State: $30,351

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $30,351

Average Tuition
In-state
$49,070
Out-of-state
$49,070
Retention Rate
87%
Admission Rate
36%
Students Enrolled
14,318
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
20% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#7 Best Online Master’s in Sport Management

Southeastern Oklahoma State University

  • Durant, OK
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Durant, Southeastern Oklahoma State University enrolls master's students in its top-ranked online sports management program. The master of science in sports administration program helps graduates increase their salary potential and take on more professional responsibilities. A master's degree helps candidates advance in their current field or pursue a new career path.

The master's curriculum covers theoretical and practical approaches to sports management. Learners focus the program with electives or a concentration. Applicants who majored in sports management or a related field for their bachelor's degree typically meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees complete internship requirements at approved sites in their own community. Graduate students also build professional connections by attending networking events.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public

Admission Rate: 74%

Total Online Master's Programs: 11

Program Name: Master of Science in Sports Administration

Graduate Tuition In State: $4,716

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $10,872

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,240
Out-of-state
$14,880
Retention Rate
62%
Admission Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
5,049
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Best Online Master’s in Sport Management

University of the Southwest

  • Hobbs, NM
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master's in sports management program at the University of the Southwest, located in Hobbs, New Mexico, offers a flexible online format. The master of business administration in sports management and recreation program emphasizes advanced practice skills, training graduates for leadership roles and an increased earning potential. After completing a master's degree, candidates advance in their current field or pursue new opportunities.

The master's curriculum blends theory and practice to provide an advanced understanding of sports management. Learners prepare for the job market by choosing a specialty through electives. The master's program recommends a background in sports management before applying to the program.

Online enrollees gain hands-on experience during professional internships in their local area. The program hosts networking events and other professional development activities to help graduate students expand their professional connections.

University of the Southwest at a Glance:

Type of School: Private 

Admission Rate: 45%

Total Online Master's Programs: 19

Program Name: Master of Business Administration in Sports Management and Recreation

Graduate Tuition In State: $22,500

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $22,500

Average Tuition
In-state
$16,000
Out-of-state
$16,000
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
45%
Students Enrolled
875
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 Best Online Master’s in Sport Management

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Manchester, NH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Graduate students interested in a master's in sports management can earn their degree from Southern New Hampshire University, located in Manchester. The master of business administration in sport management program encourages career training throughout its curriculum, preparing graduates for leadership positions. With a master's degree, candidates advance their current career or move into new career paths.

The master's curriculum emphasizes current research in sports management. Learners often choose a specialized concentration, which can help them stand out in a competitive job market. Applicants who majored in sports management or a related field typically meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees participate in internship programs at approved locations in their local area. Graduate students grow their professional connections through internships and virtual networking events.

Southern New Hampshire University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private 

Admission Rate: 88%

Total Online Master's Programs: 22

Program Name: Master of Business Administration in Sport Management

Graduate Tuition In State: $18,810

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $18,810

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,756
Out-of-state
$30,756
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
113,514
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#10 Best Online Master’s in Sport Management

Canisius College

  • Buffalo, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Graduate students interested in a master's in sports management can earn their degree from Canisius College, located in Buffalo, New York. The master of science in sport administration program emphasizes industry-relevant knowledge and skills, preparing graduates for decision-making responsibilities. After completing a master's degree, candidates pursue career advancement in their current field or a new one.

The master's curriculum blends theory and practice to provide an advanced understanding of sports management. Learners choose electives and concentrations to prepare for focused career paths. Applicants without a sports management background may need to complete prerequisite courses to enroll in the program.

Online enrollees can often complete professional internships at approved locations in their own community. Internships and other practicum activities build both hands-on experience and professional connections.

Canisius College at a Glance:

Type of School: Private 

Admission Rate: 83%

Total Online Master's Programs: 15

Program Name: Master of Science in Sport Administration

Graduate Tuition In State: $14,760

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $14,760

Average Tuition
In-state
$27,940
Out-of-state
$27,940
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
3,102
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Best Online Programs

Online Master's in Sport Management Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is an Online Master's in Sport Management Degree?

The best master's in sport management programs focus on developing leadership skills, covering areas like strategic planning, risk management, financial management, and sport marketing. A sport management master's degree also helps students hone soft skills in areas like collaboration and communication.

The ideal applicants for a master's in sport management program holds a bachelor's degree in a related field and has previous professional experience, though some programs may accept students with an unrelated bachelor's degree. Applicants may also need to submit letters of recommendation, standardized test scores, and a resume.

Choosing an Online Program

Online master's in sport management degree programs can come in a variety of formats. For instance, some programs deliver courses asynchronously, meaning students can watch lectures and complete assignments at their convenience within set deadlines. Students seeking more structure may prefer synchronous programs, which have set login times. The link below provides additional information about how to choose an online program.

What Else Can I Expect From a Master's in Sport Management Program?

An online sport management master's degree prepares graduates for jobs at all levels of sports, including professional, amateur, recreational, collegiate, olympic, and interscholastic. The following sections outline common courses found in these programs, common careers and salaries for graduates, and relevant organizations and professional certifications for sport management professionals.

Master's in Sport Management Curriculum

Ethics in Sports

This course reviews ethical issues in sports, such as gender equity, spectator behavior, and performance-enhancing drug use. Students use theoretical frameworks to examine issues of ethics and morality in sports. Common topics include sportsmanship, coaching, youth sports, injury, and health.

Sports Finance

Students in this course explore principles of financial management and learn how to apply them to the finances of sports teams or clubs. Learners study topics like generally accepted accounting principles, cash flow, balance sheets, and supply and demand as it applies in athletics.

Analytics in Sports

This course examines the sporting ecosystem and how data is used to inform strategic decisions. Students explore revenue streams, fan engagement, and the metric challenges posed by fragmentation. Learners may also study market segmentation, consumer behavior, and revenue projection.

Sport Management Certifications and Licenses

  • NBPA Certification: To represent talent in one of the four major U.S. sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL), a sports agent must obtain certification from the players' union. For example, pro basketball agents must apply for an NBPA license, which requires applicants to hold a degree from an accredited college or university and successfully pass a 50-question proctored exam.

  • NIAAA Certification: This voluntary certification is awarded upon completion of a professional development program in interscholastic athletic administration. There are five NIAAA certification levels, each requiring a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Applicants for the certified athletic administrator credential need at least two years of experience as an athletic administrator.

Sport Management Professional Organizations

Sport management students and graduates can take advantage of professional organizations, which offer networking, professional development, and continuing education opportunities. They may also offer job and mentorship opportunities or discounts on professional resources.

North American Society for Sport Management

NASSM furthers sport management research, study, and academic writing. The organization's official research journal, the Journal of Sport Management, focuses on the governance, management, and marketing of sport organizations.

Sport Marketing Association

Founded in 2002, SMA develops and expands the knowledge of sport marketing professionals by providing them with networking opportunities, online forums, and career development opportunities.

National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics

With more than 12,500 members, NACDA is the largest association of collegiate athletic administrators in North America. Members have access to continuing education and networking opportunities.

Careers in Sport Management

Graduates with an online sport management master's degree can pursue careers in areas like public relations, management, and coaching. The following list outlines a few example job opportunities available to sport management graduates.

Sport Managers

Sport managers specialize in the business aspects of sports and recreation. They may manage facilities, orchestrate marketing campaigns and promotions, or oversee events. These professionals may also negotiate contracts and seek player endorsement deals.

Sport managers must be skilled in financial management, public relations, and sports administration. These professionals typically have at least a bachelor's degree, but many employers prefer to hire candidates with a master's degree and relevant experience.

Median Annual Salary

$64,940

Projected Growth Rate

4.7%

Coaches and Scouts

Coaches work with athletes at all levels, helping them develop the skills required to succeed in their respective sports. They lead practice sessions, call plays during games, and direct physical conditioning programs. Scouts help coaches search for new athletic talent, evaluating athletes' skills and potential for future success. They may offer incentives for prospective players, coordinate with coaches, and study athlete performance statistics.

The best candidates for both positions need excellent communication, observational, and strategic management skills. They typically hold a bachelor's degree at minimum and extensive knowledge of the field.

Median Annual Salary

$34,840

Projected Growth Rate

11%

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Public relations managers develop and direct marketing campaigns to influence the public image of their client or organization. They identify target audiences, write press releases, and create promotional programs. Fundraising managers specifically oversee campaigns seeking donations for their companies, which can mean securing donors, applying for grants, or planning events.

These professionals usually need at least a bachelor's degree and relevant experience. While not required, professionals can earn certification through the Public Relations Society of America or the Certified Fund Raising Executive program to demonstrate their expertise to potential employers.

Median Annual Salary

$116,180

Projected Growth Rate

8%

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Do With a Master's in Sport Management?

A master's in sport management can lead to a variety of roles, including coach, athletic or sport agent, and public relations manager.

What Does a Sport Manager Do?

Sport managers work in a variety of environments, including secondary and postsecondary schools managing athletic programs. They can also work for professional sports teams or for individual athletes. Their duties usually include hiring service staff, coordinating resources, and managing player schedules.

What Skills Are Needed for Sport Management?

The best sport management professionals possess excellent critical thinking, decision-making, communication, and active listening skills. They also need basic technology skills to operate calendar and spreadsheet software.

How Do You Become a Sport Manager?

Sport managers typically need at least a bachelor's degree, but many employers prefer candidates with a master's degree and experience in the field.

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