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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.

Top 10 Online Sport Management Programs 2021
#1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
#2 Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, TX
#3 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA
#4 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC
#5 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
#6 Minot State University Minot, ND
#7 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
#8 Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, AL
#9 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
#10 Arkansas State University Jonesboro, AR

Featured Online Schools

The Best Online Master's in Sport Management Programs

University of Florida View School Profile $$ Gainesville, FL 88% 24% The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1866, UF teaches more than 57,000 students from all over the state and the country.

UF offers an online master of science in sports management degree. Students can choose to specialize in athlete development, high-performance coaching, sport law, and director of racquet sports. Sample courses include sport sociology, sport marketing, and issues in sport law.

Students must complete 36 credits and a capstone project to graduate.

Applicants must already have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 earned for the last 60 credits.

Texas A & M University-College Station View School Profile $$$ College Station, TX 82% 32% Texas A&M University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1876, Texas A&M made history as Texas' first public university.

Texas A&M provides an online option for students interested in pursuing a master of science in sports management. Students may pursue either a thesis or non-thesis track. Sample electives include athletics administration, ethics in coaching, and psychology for coaches.

Students must complete 36 credits and an internship to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts showing completion of a bachelor's degree, a resume, a statement of purpose, and three letters of reference.

Georgia Southern University View School Profile $$$ Statesboro, GA 50% 53% Georgia Southern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Offering its first classes in 1908, Georgia Southern currently teaches nearly 27,000 students in about 140 degree programs.

Georgia Southern offers an online master of science in sport management degree program. Students can finish the program in 24 months. Course topics include sport administration, sport facility and event management, and sport law.

Students must complete 36 credits to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts that show completion of a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and a video essay.

Western Carolina University View School Profile $$$ Cullowhee, NC 62% 59% Western Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Established in 1889 as a teacher's college, WCU now offers more than 160 degree programs for students at all levels.

WCU's 100% online master of science in sport management program includes a certificate in project management. Courses include critical issues in sport, project planning and estimating, and financial aspects of sport.

Students must complete 30 credits and an internship to graduate. Full-time students complete the program in just one year.

Applicants must already have a bachelor's degree, ideally with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

University of Miami View School Profile Coral Gables, FL 82% 27% University of Miami is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

A private research institute founded in 1925, UM currently teaches about 17,000 students.

UM offers an online master of education in sport administration degree that students can finish in 20 months. Each course lasts seven weeks and students take one course at a time. Sample courses include globalization in sport, principles of sports marketing, and sport sponsorship.

Students must complete 30 credits to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts and two letters of recommendation. The program may waive GRE scores for applicants with at least three years of work experience.

Minot State University View School Profile $$ Minot, ND 46% 40% Minot State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Located in the Mouse River Valley, MSU offers over 60 degree programs.

MSU allows students to complete a master of science in sports management online. Courses meet in the evenings just once per week and include strategic marketing, sports leadership and administration, and sports media and event planning.

Students typically complete the 29-30 credits program in just four or five semesters.

Applicants must submit transcripts showing completion of a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75. Applicants must also submit a resume and a statement of purpose.

Southern New Hampshire University View School Profile Manchester, NH 54% 68% Southern New Hampshire University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

One of the fastest-growing universities in the US, SNHU teaches more than 135,000 online students.

SNHU offers an online, asynchronous master of science in sport management degree program. The program also requires hands-on internships. Courses include finance and economics of sport, sport and society, and research methods in sport management.

Students must earn 36 credits to graduate and may complete the program in as little as 15 months.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75.

Jacksonville State University View School Profile $$ Jacksonville, AL 42% 64% Jacksonville State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1883, JSU currently offers more than 40 online degree programs.

Students can complete JSU's master of science in sport management degree through 100% online classes. Courses include administration of athletics, human resources management in sport, and sport facility administration and design. Students may also pursue a Class A Teacher Certification concentration.

Students must complete 30-33 credits and an internship to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts showing successful completion of a bachelor's degree.

Liberty University View School Profile Lynchburg, VA 50% 60% Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded on evangelical Christian principles, Liberty teaches over 100,000 students across 700 degree programs.

Students typically finish Liberty's 100% online master in sports management degree program in 18 months. Each asynchronous course lasts eight weeks. Students can pursue a general non-thesis degree or one of four specializations with thesis and non-thesis options: coaching and athletic administration, tourism, sports administration, and outdoor adventure sports.

Students must complete 36 credits to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts showing completion of a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA.

Arkansas State University View School Profile $$ Jonesboro, AR 48% 51% Arkansas State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

A-State traces its history back to 1909, when it opened as an agricultural high school.

A-State offers an online master of science in sport administration program for busy professionals. Sample courses include sport leadership, sport communications, and sport governance and operations.

Students must complete 36 credits and an internship to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts showing completion of a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA. The application process also requires a resume, a statement of goals, and two letters of recommendation.

Missouri Baptist University View School Profile Saint Louis, MO 36% 30% Applicants should already have a bachelor's degree and should expect to submit transcripts and additional supporting documents. Missouri Baptist University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

MBU awarded its first bachelor of arts degrees in 1973, offered its first masters degrees in 2000, and began its first online degree program in 2008.

Students enrolled in MBU's online master of science in sport management program typically finish in 18-24 months. Courses include sport psychology, sport and social media, and sport public relations.

Students must complete 31 credits with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 to graduate.

SUNY Cortland View School Profile $$$ Cortland, NY 71% 68% SUNY Cortland is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Originally known as the Cortland Normal School, SUNY Cortland joined the SUNY system in 1948.

Students can complete SUNY Cortland's master of science in sport management through online courses and in-person internships. Sample courses include sport marketing, sport enterprise, and sport law.

Students must complete 30 credits to graduate, six of which must come from a sports management industry internship.

Applicants must already have a bachelor's degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8. Students with a GPA of at least 3.3 or five years of industry work experience can waive the GRE/GMAT requirement.

Delaware State University View School Profile $$ Dover, DE 40% 66% Delaware State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

One of America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities, DSU currently offers 18 master's degree programs.

DSU offers its master of science in sport administration program in an online format. Students can finish this degree in about 12 months. Courses meet every Monday evening and include topics such as sport in society, financial aspects of sport, and legal issues in sport.

Students must complete 30 credits to graduate.

Applicants must already have a bachelor's degree. The application process requires transcripts, GRE or GMAT test scores, and three letters of recommendation. DSU may waive the test score requirement based on work history.

University of the Southwest View School Profile Hobbs, NM 18% 54% Temple University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Established in 1884 as a night school, Temple now teaches more than 40,000 students.

Temple offers a master of science in sport business through a hybrid program. Students take core courses at the main campus and may choose to take some of the electives online. Specializations include athletics administration, recreation and event management, sport analytics, and sport marketing and promotions.

To graduate, students must complete 36 credits and either an internship, master's project, or master's thesis.

Applicants must submit transcripts showing completion of a bachelor's degree, 2 letters of recommendation, and GRE or GMAT scores. Temple may waive the test score requirement based on an applicant's work history.

Temple University View School Profile $$$$ Philadelphia, PA 71% 61% Southeastern Oklahoma State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Opening in 1909, SOSU's first students trained to become teachers in Oklahoma's public school system.

Students can complete SOSU's online master of science in sports administration program in just 12 months. Optional areas of emphasis include business, educational leadership, or Native American leadership.

Students must complete 30 credits to graduate.

Applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree. GPA requirements depend on the applicant's relevant work experience.

University of South Alabama View School Profile $$ Mobile, AL 44% 55% University of South Alabama is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

USA currently teaches more than 14,000 students across more than 100 degree programs.

USA offers an online master of science in sport management program with thesis and non-thesis options. Courses include sport event marketing, sport event law and risk management, and sport business and finance.

Students must complete 30 credits to graduate. Non-thesis students must complete an internship.

Applicants must submit a personal statement and transcripts showing completion of a bachelor's degree. USA prefers a GPA of 2.5 but considers GRE and GMAT test scores when applicants have low GPAs.

Concordia University-Irvine View School Profile Irvine, CA 63% 60% Concordia University Irvine is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior Colleges and University Commission (WSCUC).

Opening in 1976, CUI maintains a firm foundation in Lutheran beliefs. It serves over 4,000 students annually.

Students can choose to take online or hybrid courses for CUI's master of arts in coaching and athletics administration. Courses include ethics and sport, legal aspect of sport, and principles of coaching and leadership.

Students must complete 36 credits to graduate. The program can be completed in as little as 15 months.

Applicants must submit transcripts showing completion of a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75.

Central Washington University View School Profile $$ Ellensburg, WA 55% 50% Central Washington University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

CWU teaches nearly 16,000 students each year in more than 135 majors.

CWU offers a fully online master of science in sport and athletic administration degree program. Students learn to set up athletic programs, address athletic budgetary problems, and maintain open lines of communication in preparation for athletic director positions.

Students must complete 46 credits to graduate.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree. The application process requires transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and an essay.

Colorado Mesa University View School Profile $$ Grand Junction, CO 36% 49% Colorado Mesa University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1925, CMU currently teaches about 11,000 students. It offers 17 online degree programs.

CMU offers a 100% online master of science in sport management program with thesis and non-thesis options. Non-thesis students must complete a field experience. Courses include facility and equipment management, sport marketing, and sport law and ethics.

Students must complete 30 credits to graduate.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and submit transcripts showing a minimum GPA of 3.0 earned in the last 60 credit hours.

East Central University View School Profile $ Ada, OK 35% 38% East Central University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Originally established as a normal school in 1909, ECU conferred bachelor's degrees ten years later and awarded graduate degrees starting in 1954.

ECU offers a fully online master of education in sport administration program. Each course lasts for eight weeks, and students can finish the program in about 12-18 months. Courses include leadership and personnel management, legal aspects of sport, and sport facility management.

Students must complete 33 credits and a practicum to graduate.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree. GPA requirements vary. Applicants should submit transcripts, a resume, two references, and a personal statement.

Ohio University View School Profile $$$$ Athens, OH 64% 58% Ohio University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Opening in 1808 — just five years after Ohio became a state — OU originally consisted of one professor and three students.

OU offers an online professional master of sports administration program. Students can complete the program in 21 months. Courses include sport governance and policy development, sport law, and analytics in sport.

Students must complete 36 credits and a capstone seminar to graduate.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and at least three years of employment in the sport industry. The application process requires transcripts, a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a professional statement.

Belhaven University View School Profile Jackson, MS 47% 72% Belhaven University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1883, Belhaven teaches its 70 different degree programs from a Christian perspective.

Belhaven offers a 100% online master of sports administration program, which students can complete in about two years. Courses, which take place in a seven-week format, include leading high-performance teams, strategic leadership, and coaching, mentoring, and resolving conflict.

Students must complete 36 credits to graduate.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Belhaven considers lower GPAs with the submission of two letters of recommendation.

Wayne State University View School Profile $$ Detroit, MI 47% 52% Wayne State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Initially established as a medical school in 1868, WSU currently offers over 350 degrees and certificates.

Students can earn a master of arts in sports administration through WSU's online program. Courses include concepts of supervision and management, sports marketing, and equity and access in sport.

Students must complete 30 credits and an internship to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts showing completion of a bachelor's degree with a GPA of at least 2.5, as well as a resume and a personal statement.

Baker University View School Profile Baldwin City, KS 59% 32% Baker University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Chartered in 1858, BU currently teaches about 4,000 students.

BU offers a fully online master of science in sport management degree program. Students typically complete this program in about 18-20 months. Courses include organizational culture and dynamics, marketing strategies in sport, and sponsorship and revenue in sport.

Students must complete 33 credits to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts showing completion of a bachelor's degree.

Concordia University-Saint Paul View School Profile Saint Paul, MN 59% 60% Concordia University, Saint Paul is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded on Lutheran principles and originally operating as a high school, CSP first opened its doors in 1893.

CSP offers an online master of arts in sports management degree program. Courses last seven weeks and explore topics like sport media and technology, sport sales and fundraising, and ethics and sociology in sport management.

Students must complete 33 credits and a capstone to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts showing completion of a bachelor's degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, plus a personal statement.

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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