Why This Matters


    Thanks to rapid urbanization and emerging markets growth around the world, the global sports industry is expected to grow by 5.9% within the next few years, creating an opportunity-rich field for new graduates.


    Within the U.S., job growth in the sports industry is rising at a faster than average pace. Jobs with the highest percentage of job growth include coaches and scouts, marketing managers, and event planners.


    Among all occupational groups tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management occupations have the highest median annual wage. Individuals with a master’s degree can expect to earn over $100,000 per year.

Our Research

We reviewed multiple types of sports management degrees, including Master of Science (MS), Master of Arts (MA), Master of Education (MEd), and Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degrees. Each type of degree has a different approach, but all programs will prepare you for a career in sports management.

Our list only includes programs that have regional accreditation. Some programs may also be accredited through the Commission on Sports Management Accreditation (COSMA), which offers an additional assurance of excellence in sports management education.

The programs featured on this list are offered on-campus, online, and in hybrid format. Once we narrowed our list of programs, we evaluated each of them based on flexibility, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated an Intelligent Score for each program on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 73 hours to write this article
  • 137 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 332 education programs we compared

The Top 56 Master’s in Sports Management Programs

Best Online Master's in Sports Management Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

Students pursuing an advanced degree in sports management have the option of obtaining an MS or MA in sports management or an MBA with a concentration in sports management. For those who want business skills that are applicable in fields beyond sports management, the MBA may be the better option, as it teaches a broader range of business and leadership skills. An MS or MA degree will teach those same skills, but specifically geared towards sports management.

For some career paths, earning a master’s degree will complete your education. However, for jobs such as sports lawyer, you will need to earn a law degree if you do not already have one. Individuals who have a bachelor’s degree in sports management can go directly to law school and prepare for a career as a sports lawyer that way.

Individuals who work as agents will need to obtain licensure from the professional sports league whose players they represent. Each league sets up its own rules for agent licensure. Additionally, some states have their own regulations for licensing sports agents.

Although not all programs require an internship, it’s beneficial to participate in a practical learning experience if possible. Beyond applying the knowledge you learn in class in a real-world setting, this will allow you to make connections that could lead to employment post-graduation.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Master’s in Sports Management programs:

  • Does this program offer the specialization that I want? As sports management is such a broad field, many programs offer students the option to specialize in an area such as communications, analytics, coaching, or marketing. Consider whether you want to concentrate on a specific area of sports management, and choose a program that will allow you to do so.
  • Am I eligible for this program? Some programs may require students to have an undergraduate degree or coursework in sports management or a related field. If you do not meet these qualifications, you may be able to complete prerequisites prior to enrolling in the program.

As you research programs, review their application requirements and deadlines. Knowing what materials you need to apply and when to submit them will help make your admissions process easy and stress-free. You can find out this information online, or you can contact the school’s admissions department directly.

Also consider how you will finance your degree. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers any tuition benefits. You should also research scholarships, assistantships, and loans.