The Best Online Master’s in Sport Management 2022

by TBS Staff Writers, N. Susan Emeagwali
• 0 min read
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 Online College in Florida

University of Florida

School Information
Location Gainesville, Florida
Admission Rate 37%
Graduation Rate 88%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Athlete development; high-performance coaching; sport law; director of racquet sports 

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

UF administers a highly customizable online MS in sports management. The curriculum acquaints learners with various aspects of the sports enterprise, including sport sociology, marketing, and finance. 

Enrollees use elective credit for specialized training, such as athlete development or sport law. Alternatively, tennis professionals may prepare for leadership roles by pursuing the director of racquet sports specialization. Students blend theoretical learning with an optional practicum or internship that provides sport industry experience. 

Enrollees interact with instructors weekly through webcam and receive access to recorded sessions. Admission to the online master's in sport management requires a bachelor's degree and minimum 3.0 GPA.

Available Scholarships: Bill Sims Scholarship; McGriff Family Endowed Scholarship; NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Program

#2 Online College in District of Columbia

Georgetown University

School Information
Location Washington, District of Columbia
Admission Rate 14%
Graduation Rate 95%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Accredited By: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Georgetown's master's in sports industry management offers an applied curriculum that includes mentorship and networking opportunities. Students learn from faculty who serve as leaders in prestigious organizations, such as the U.S. Olympic Committee and NFL Players Association.

The 30-credit master's in sport management online explores core issues, such as sports business finance and applied ethics. Enrollees learn the theoretical concepts, techniques, and tools used by effective sports leaders and managers.

Students can use elective credit to learn a specialized skill, such as sports business analytics. A notable elective course develops sports professionals well-versed in global brand management. Enrollees may opt for an internship at a sports organization. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and all school transcripts.

Available Scholarships: Federal Academic Alliance Scholarship

#3 Online College in Texas

Texas A & M University-College Station

School Information
Location College Station, Texas
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 82%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

The MS in sports management at Texas A&M prepares enrollees for various levels of sports leadership. The curriculum may equally appeal to those interested in professional sports, interscholastic athletic departments, or event management.

The 36-credit program blends classroom learning and internships with partnering organizations. The curriculum explores topics, such as sports marketing and financial and personnel management. Students learn how to generate revenue and effectively manage sports organizations. Participants can use elective credit for a practicum or internship in sports management. 

Students choose a thesis or non-thesis option to culminate the online degree in sport management. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and school transcripts.

Available Scholarships: Texas Public Education Grant

#4 Online College in Florida

University of Miami

School Information
Location Coral Gables, Florida
Admission Rate 27%
Graduation Rate 83%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

UM lauds the MS in education sport administration's deep ties to top sporting teams and the college's respected athletic department. Students complete 30 credits entirely online in 20 months. Enrollees learn key skills, such as fiscal management, sports marketing, and ethical decision-making. 

The capstone course addresses contemporary issues in kinesiology and sport sciences. Faculty pair students with internships and volunteer opportunities that match their career goals. Participants grow their network through UM's annual sport industry conference, online events, and a vast system of alumni. 

Students complete each seven-week course one at a time for flexibility. Admission to the online master's in sport management requires a bachelor's degree and school transcripts.

Available Scholarships: UM tuition scholarships

#5 Online College in Georgia

Georgia Southern University

School Information
Location Statesboro, Georgia
Admission Rate 54%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

Students can earn Georgia Southern's MS in sport management in as few as 24 months while they work. Participants receive instruction and personalized guidance from professors with industry experience. The 36-credit degree introduces students to various trends in sport administration.

Participants learn strategies to manage an organization's finances, conduct effective marketing, and generate revenue. A course in the online master's in sport management teaches students how to design and conduct research for sports organizations. Enrollees can use four elective courses to pursue areas of professional interest.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited college and a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Available Scholarships: Niche scholarships

#6 Online College in District of Columbia

American University

School Information
Location Washington, District of Columbia
Admission Rate 36%
Graduation Rate 79%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 20% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Accredited By: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

AU's MS in sports analytics and management goes further than many similar degrees in exploring the use of analytics and evaluative technology. The 30-credit online master's in sport management blends core business skills and professional training for sports leaders.

Students learn how to use descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive data to inform decision-making. Faculty use case studies to teach effective communication and persuasion skills. Elective courses teach skills, such as qualitative research and the use of human resource information systems.

A course focuses on how to lead effective virtual teams. Participants apply their knowledge of data, technology, and emerging trends to develop a sports business plan. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and school transcripts.

Available Scholarships: GIST Sports Media Scholarship

#7 Online College in Oklahoma

East Central University

School Information
Location Ada, Oklahoma
Admission Rate 59%
Graduation Rate 37%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

Located in Oklahoma, ECU offers an M.Ed. in sports administration for educators who want to oversee athletic programs. The degree prepares enrollees for administrative roles, such as head coach or athletics director.

The online degree in sport management requires 33 credits that students can complete in 1-1.5 years. Two required courses explore research techniques and modern educational philosophies. The sports curriculum trains educators skilled in sport finance, facility management, and personnel management.

All enrollees complete at least a 100-hour internship at a sports organization. Students can reduce tuition by transferring up to nine credits into the M.Ed. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and a minimum 2.5-2.75 GPA. 

Available Scholarships: AAUW Career Development Grants

#8 Online College in Oklahoma

Southeastern Oklahoma State University

School Information
Location Durant, Oklahoma
Admission Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 35%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Business; educational leadership; Native American leadership

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

The MS in sports administration at Southeastern prepares sports enthusiasts for careers in professional or intercollegiate sports and other opportunities. The 30-credit degree consists of a general curriculum and three emphasis areas for enrollees seeking specialized training within the program.

All participants learn about the financing and marketing of sports programs. They study coaching techniques and how to develop sports facilities and manage events. Students can opt for a two-course emphasis in business, educational leadership, or Native American leadership.

Enrollees can complete the online degree in sport management in just 12 months. Admission requires a bachelor's degree, a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA, and at least two years of relevant experience.

Available Scholarships: Southeastern tribal scholarships

#9 Online College in New Mexico

University of the Southwest

School Information
Location Hobbs, New Mexico
Admission Rate 45%
Graduation Rate 32%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Sports management and recreation

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

New Mexico-based USW administers an online MBA with a sport management and recreation specialization. The program enrolls students with or without a business degree. Students can complete the 36-credit MBA in just 12 months.

All students learn core managerial skills, such as financial management, marketing, and strategic resource allocation and planning. The emphasis explores how to manage sport and recreational organizations and the law and liability issues managers must consider. The capstone focuses on organizational design and strategy.

Students can earn this degree for about $22,000, including textbooks and technology fees. All students pay the same tuition for the master's in sport management online regardless of residency status. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Available Scholarships: Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA scholarship

#10 Online College in New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University

School Information
Location Manchester, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Accredited By: New England Commission of Higher Education and Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

One of the nation's largest online colleges, SNHU offers an MS in sports management that emphasizes business acumen and leadership skills. Students complete the 36-credit master's in sport management online in 15 months, or at their own pace.

Enrollees study the finance and economics of sports, how to conduct research, and effectively manage sports organizations. Participants learn how to develop effective sport marketing and communications plans. Degree-seekers can enhance their educational experience with an internship.

Students can finish the degree faster by transferring up to 12 graduate credits. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and no GRE or GMAT scores.

Available Scholarships: School of business scholarship fund

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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