Why This Matters

  • GLOBAL SPORTS INDUSTRY WORTH $489 BILLION

    It’s expected that this booming industry will continue to grow over the next decade. By 2022, it’s estimated that sports will bring in $614 billion worldwide, increasing demand for many sports management jobs.

  • CHOOSE FROM OVER 20 POSSIBLE CAREER PATHS

    A sports management degree prepares graduates for a variety of careers related to both participatory and spectator sports. Potential jobs include athletic director, sports lawyer, operations manager, and more.

  • DEMAND FOR SCOUTS TO INCREASE 13% BY 2026

    Increasing participation in high school and college athletic programs is expected to drive the need for more scouts over the next few years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts almost 36,000 new jobs in this field.

Our Research

Students can earn a few different types of degrees in sports management, including Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Business Administration, Master of Science, and Master of Business Administration. Each type of degree has a slightly different orientation, so we included all types to help you find the program that best suits your needs.

All of the programs we reviewed are offered by schools with regional or national accreditation. Many also have programmatic accreditation through a business-oriented body like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or a sports-related agency like the Commission on Sports Management Accreditation (COSMA).

The programs on our list can be completed online; some also offer on-campus or hybrid coursework. We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, reputation, affordability, and course strength. Each program received an Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best online sports management degrees provide quality education at a good value. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 84 hours to write this article
  • 101 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 419 education programs we compared

The Top 101 Online Sports Management Degrees

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What You Should Know About This Degree

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum level of education needed for most sports management jobs. A master’s degree can you advance your career, or enter the sports management field from another professional background.

Sports management degrees like a BBA or MBA r approach the field from a business perspective, while a BS or MS program incorporates a broad range of technical skills. When comparing programs, look at their curricula to determine which better suits your career goals and learning preferences.

Depending on your career aspirations, you may need additional education or licenses to gain employment. For example, if you are interested in becoming a sports lawyer, you will need a law degree in addition to your sports management degree. Sports agents, must be licensed by the leagues whose players they represent. The licensure requirements vary by league; some require a master’s and work experience, while others only require a bachelor’s degree. There are also individual states that grant licenses to sports agents.

Even if all of the coursework for a program can be completed online, some sports management programs have an experiential learning component like an internship. This type of hands-on experience is highly valued in the industry, so if you have the option to work in a real-world setting, it can increase your employability post-graduation.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Sports Management programs:

  • Is there an accelerated bachelor’s-to-master’s track? Schools that offer both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sports management may allow students to begin master’s-level coursework while they are still enrolled in the bachelor’s program. If you are considering getting a master’s degree as well as a bachelor’s, attending a program that offers this accelerated track can save you time and money.
  • Does this program offer the specialization that I want? There are several areas of specialization within sports management, including marketing, leadership, coaching, and athlete development. If you are considering focusing on a particular area, be sure to select a program that offers specific coursework in your area of interest.

You should also review the program’s application requirements and deadlines. Gathering this information early will help make your admissions process go smoothly. This information is usually available on the program’s website, or by contacting the school’s admissions office.

Also, be sure to research your options for financing your education, and be mindful of deadlines for scholarships, assistantships, and loans. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers any tuition assistance benefits.