Why This Matters

  • SPORTS AGENTS AND BUSINESS MANAGERS MAKE $116,410

    With an hourly mean wage of $55.97, sports managers and agents make more than two times the mean annual wage of all U.S. occupations.

  • DEMAND FOR COACHES AND SCOUTS EXPECTED TO INCREASE BY 20%

    Coaches and scouts are needed to teach athletes at the amateur and professional levels the tools and skills necessary for success in their field.

  • COACHES AND SCOUTS CAN EARN UP TO $80,000+

    While the average salary for coaches and scouts is $38,970, the top 10% of workers in this field earn more than $80,720.

Our Research

This list features some of the best 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. The programs on our list are accredited by agencies like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA), all of which are reputable organizations who assess 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 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 Sports Management Degree Programs

Best Sports Management Degree Programs 2023
01
Intelligent Pick
United States Sports Academy
01
Best Research Institute
Columbia University School of Professional Studies
01
Best Liberal Arts Institution
Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies
01
Most Flexible Admissions
Kutztown University
01
Best Faith-Based Institution
Northwestern School of Professional Studies
01
Best in the South
Rice University
01
Best Public Institution
University of Michigan School of Kinesiology
01
Best for Adult Learners
Boston College
01
Best Bachelor's Degree
Columbia College
01
Best for Experiential Learning
University of Minnesota Crookston
01

Thomas College
01

York College of Pennsylvania
01

Slippery Rock University
01

Florida State University College of Education
01

Wichita State University
01

George Washington University
01

Ohio University
01

University of Georgia College of Education
01

Endicott College
01

Nichols College
01

Syracuse University
01

North Carolina State University at Raleigh
01

University of Connecticut
01

Baylor University
01

Troy University
01

Southern Methodist University
01

Davenport University
01

Metropolitan State University of Denver
01

Western New England University
01

Ohio State University
01

University of Tampa
01

University of Central Florida

 

What You Should Know About This Degree

When choosing a career in the sports industry, you should also consider pursuing a degree in sports marketing. Sports marketing programs specialize in teaching marketing strategies that help to activate fans and develop relationships with potential business sponsors. Sports marketing professionals also work with professional athletes to identify partnerships and visibility opportunities that can help to grow their career and personal brand. Sports management programs also focus on marketing, but specialize in the day to day operations of sports teams, arenas, and businesses. Determine if you would like to focus on generating revenue or are more interested in organizational leadership when choosing which major is right for you.

The sports industry is competitive, and certifications can help increase future employment opportunities for sports management graduates. Certifications allow you to gain specialization in targeted areas of sports management. Consider obtaining post-graduate certifications such as the Certificate in Sports Marketing, Certificate in Sports Analytics, Certificate in Sports Law & Risk Management, and Certificate in Facilities & Events Management.

The job outlook for sports management professionals and leaders in the sports industry is much higher than the national average. The popularity of team sports is expected to continue into the next decade. Professionals are needed to manage the careers of athletes as well as the business side of sports for teams, venues, and businesses.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask yourself when researching sports management degree programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Undergraduate programs in sports management accept students from all educational backgrounds who hold a high school diploma or equivalent. Graduate programs require students to have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Four years of full-time study is needed to complete most bachelors in sports management programs. Master degree programs take two years of full-time study to complete. The master’s programs on our list require between 33 and 36 credits to graduate.

Application deadlines and entry requirements are different for each program. Research detailed information about the program to which you are applying by visiting the school’s website or contacting the admissions department.

Determine how you will cover the costs associated with your higher education. You may be eligible for federal student aid as well as scholarships, grants, and work-study programs. Make sure to turn in all financial aid applications on time.