Why This Matters


    With an hourly mean wage of $45.55, sports managers and agents make more than two times the mean annual wage of all other U.S. occupations.


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


    The popularity of team sports is expected to continue over the next decade, and professionals are needed to identify, nurture, and develop athletic talent at the high school, college, and professional levels.

Our Research

This list covers undergraduate and graduate programs in sports management. Students learn how to apply advanced concepts in organizational leadership and business management to the sports industry. Degrees offered include Bachelor of Science in Sport Management, Master of Science in Sport Management, and Master of Science in Sports Administration. All programs are delivered online.

Accreditation is given at the national and regional levels to higher education programs that meet specific academic standards. The programs on this list are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA), Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best Sports Management Degree program are affordable, respected, and flexible. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 70 hours to write this article
  • 161 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 257 education programs we compared

The Top 52 Sports Management Degree Programs

Best Sports Management Degree Programs
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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.