Why This Matters

  • SPORTS MANAGERS MAKE OVER $50,000 PER YEAR

    According to Payscale, the average worker with a Master’s in Sports Management degree earns an average salary of $56,000.

  • DEMAND FOR FINANCIAL ANALYSTS IS STRONG

    Financial analysts are expected to see a job growth increase of 9% over the next decade. Many of these jobs will be dedicated to analyzing complex fan and performance data in the sports industry.

  • MARKETING MANAGERS FOR SPECTATOR SPORTS EARN AN AVERAGE OF $140,550

    The need for new campaigns that inspire fans and showcase star players requires specialization and expertise that carries a salary much higher than the average for this industry.

Our Research

This list features some of the best master’s in sports management degree programs at top colleges across the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. These programs are accredited by agencies like the Commission on Sports Management (COSMA), which assesses sports management programs for educational excellence and a commitment to quality education.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for on-campus students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of master’s in sports management degree programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The Top 50 Master’s in Sports Management Degree Programs

Best Master’s in Sports Management Degree Programs 2023
01
Intelligent Pick
Lasell University
01
Best for Specialization
Liberty University
01
Best Private Program
Northeastern University College of Professional Studies
01
Best Public Program
Troy University
01
Best Accelerated Program
Endicott College
01
Most Affordable In-State Tuition
Wichita State University
01
Most Affordable Online Degree
University of Southern Indiana
01
Best Internship
Louisiana State University
01
Best for Dual Degrees
University of Florida
01
Best Faculty
University of Michigan School of Kinesiology
01

University of Minnesota at Twin Cities
01

Texas A&M University Kinesiology & Sport Management
01

University of Central Florida
01

UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management
01

St. Cloud State University
01

Columbia University School of Professional Studies
01

Southern Methodist University
01

Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies
01

University of Indianapolis
01

University of Georgia College of Education
01

University of Iowa
01

University of Connecticut

 

What You Should Know About This Degree

When deciding on a sports management career path, consider the differences between a master’s in sports management and a master’s in sports science. While a sports management degree prepares students for leadership roles dealing with the business of sport, a sports science degree deals with helping athletes develop peak performance. Coursework in sports science covers clinical nutrition, the anatomy of human motion, and biomechanics. Conversely, sports management focuses on ethical issues, marketing and public relations, event planning, and facility management. When choosing a degree program, decide if you would prefer to have a hands-on role with athletic professionals or to handle the business, marketing, and logistics of the sporting industry.

Sports management incorporates many occupations, and specialized certifications can help show expertise and qualifications to prospective employers. Certificates in Sports Marketing, Sports Law & Risk Management, Facilities & Special Events Management, Sports Management & Digital Media, and Sports Analytics & Big Data can improve job outlook while also helping students gain advanced skills in the field of sports management.

The need for employees at every level of sports management, from coaches to financial analysts, means the industry can expect continued growth at a rate faster than the national average.

What’s Next?

Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself when researching master’s in sports management degree programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? As a graduate degree program, master’s in sports management programs are open to students who hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Most master’s programs in sports management can be completed in a year with full-time study. It usually takes two years to complete if you choose to study part-time. The programs on our list require students to earn 30 to 48 credits to graduate.

Make sure you’re aware of application deadlines and the materials needed to apply for each degree program that interests you. You can usually find that information on the admissions page of school websites.

It’s also important to consider how you’ll pay for your master’s program. Research financial aid packages and potential scholarships that can help you cover the cost of tuition.