Best Sports Management Degrees

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Whether it’s the thrill of a Sunday afternoon football game or the hard-hitting impacts of sports marketing on local and national economies, there’s no doubt about it – athletics of all kinds are important in our society.

Whether you’ve always been a star on the field or you have a knack for business management, or perhaps both, a degree in sports management will provide you with the training you need to reach your goals. With one of these degrees, you could work in a variety of settings, including as a team manager, sports marketer, or even as a coach.

It takes a lot more than athletic ability to get by in this fast-paced, competitive world – a world that’s even more competitive than your favorite sporting event. If you’re ready to find out what it takes to be a successful sports manager, you’re in the right place.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about earning one of these best sports management degrees.

Top 10 Best Sports Management Degrees

Rank School Location
1 University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, KY
2 University of Colorado Denver - Anschutz Medical Campus Denver, CO
3 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
4 Concordia University - Chicago River Forest, IL
5 University of South Florida Tampa, FL
6 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
7 Carlos Albizu University Miami, FL
8 Brandman University Irvine, CA
9 University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL
10 Lamar University Beaumont, TX
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What kind of sports management degree should you get?

Being a sports manager isn’t as easy as it looks. You need to have talent, sure, but you also need a degree that will provide you with the training you need in management, marketing, and other vital skills.

Once you start researching the thousands of schools out there that offer programs in sports management, you might feel overwhelmed. That’s to be expected: there are so many schools to choose from!

But instead of spending all your time researching schools, you should start by identifying your ultimate career goals. The best sports management degree will be one that offers exceptional instruction with plenty of support services. In addition, you might want to look for a degree offered by a university that has a renowned athletics program of its own. After all, there will be no better way to gain hands-on experience!

However, you should also keep in mind that some of the best experiences don’t have to be found on campus. There are plenty of excellent online sports management degrees for you to consider, too. Make sure you have a look at our holistic ranking of the Best Online Colleges and Universities.

How much money do people make with a degree in sports management?

After you earn a degree in sports management, you will be prepared for a wide variety of careers. Not only can you work in sports promotion and marketing, but you can also work as a coach. As a result, average salaries and job availability are too diverse to pin down. However, most professionals with these degrees will go on to some facet of sports management.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, advertising, promotions, and marketing managers are in high demand. These jobs are expected to grow by about 8% by 2028, a rate that is much faster than the national average for all occupations. In addition, marketing managers earn high starting salaries: the top 10% bring in well over $134,000 each year!

What are the requirements for a degree in sports management?

To become a sports manager, you will need to begin with a basic bachelor’s degree in sports management. In most cases, you won’t be required to earn a graduate degree, but further education can certainly enhance your career prospects.

At a minimum, however, you will need a bachelor’s degree. To apply for such a program, you may be required to submit SAT or ACT test scores along with letters of recommendation and, in some cases, a resume. Once enrolled, you will take hands-on classes in topics such as marketing, business, finance, mathematics, and more. You may also choose a specialty in your chosen field of sports management, with emphasis areas like Outdoor Recreation and Youth Sports often available.


What are the best degrees in sports management?

Once you obtain a sports management degree, you will have the skills you need to succeed in a variety of careers. You will be in high demand not just on the soccer pitch but in the corporate world, too.

The best degrees are those taught by talented faculty who are attentive to their students’ needs and educational progress. These faculty have connections to industry professionals, including those who work directly in athletics as well as in events and facilities management.

Look for a program that will provide you with the opportunity to complete a variety of hands-on experiences in the industry, especially those that require internship hours. These internships will give you the professional networks and connections you need to be successful.

At College Choice, we try to make the college search easier by bringing you a list of all the top programs in sports management. By doing the heavy lifting for you, we free up your schedule so that you can spend more time working on your applications and enrolling in the program of your dreams.

Not sure where to start? Have a look at our detailed methodology page to learn more about what goes into a ranking. Then sit back and get your pencil ready – you’ve got applications to work on!

Think you have what it takes to be a sports manager? Then continue reading to learn all about the 25 Best Sport Management Degrees of 2019!

  1. University of the Cumberlands

    Williamsburg, KY

    The University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky, offers several convenient and flexible online teaching master's programs. The school offers programs for current teachers who want to advance their careers and for professionals in other fields seeking a career change.

    The school offers an online master of arts in education with concentrations in literacy, school counseling, and teacher as a leader — as well as a master of teaching that leads to initial teacher licensure. Both programs require a student-teaching residency and 30-45 credits. Online classes span eight weeks and meet weekly at designated times, allowing students and faculty to take part in discussions.

    Cumberland accepts up to nine transfer credits toward the degree. Students planning to teach in states other than Kentucky should check with their state's department of education for degree reciprocity.

  2. University of Colorado Denver - Anschutz Medical Campus

    Denver, CO

    The University of Colorado Denver allows licensed teachers to advance their careers and improve their skills with five fully online teaching master's programs. Each degree requires 30 credits and a capstone practicum or thesis.

    Students can choose from master's degrees in learning design and technology, literacy education with reading and writing endorsements, research and evaluation methods, early childhood education, and STEM education. STEM education students can further personalize their studies through interdisciplinary concentrations in areas such as math or science.

    These degrees do not meet the requirements for initial teacher licensure. Some programs require a valid teaching license to enroll. Students take asynchronous classes through Canvas. Students work closely with an enrollment navigator that connects them to support services, such as a 24/7 librarian, an online writing center, and a student tech guide.

  3. Wilmington University

    New Castle, DE

    Located in New Castle, Delaware, Wilmington University allows students to earn a master of education online, on campus, or in a blended format. Learners can choose from specializations in school leadership, skilled and technical sciences, and elementary and secondary education.

    The program requires 30-33 credits, with most students graduating in 2-3 years while they continue to work. The core curriculum covers topics like learning theory, educational psychology, and child development. Electives include personnel administration, technology and the school environment, and classroom and school culture. Courses span eight weeks.

    Students can transfer up to 12 transfer credits toward the degree. All students take part in a noncredit electronic folio course that helps students save and track their progress toward degree competencies. Applicants must submit transcripts. Some programs may require work experience and a valid teaching license.

  4. Concordia University - Chicago

    River Forest, IL

    Established in 1864, Concordia University Chicago is a private university that offers more than 22 education master's programs, including degrees for licensed teachers advancing their careers and students seeking initial teaching licensure. 

    The master's programs feature a cohort model, meaning students take courses with the same group of peers throughout the program. Most programs require 30 credits and take 1-2 years to complete. Though courses are asynchronous, students enjoy frequent interaction with faculty and classmates.

    Students can pursue specializations in curriculum and instruction, differential instruction, educational technology, or educational administration. Most of these degrees require a valid teaching license and classroom experience. The school also offers programs that lead to initial teaching licensure. Each program requires a capstone experience, such as a thesis or a similar professional project. Applicants must hold a minimum 2.85 GPA and submit an essay.

  5. University of South Florida

    Tampa, FL

    The University of South Florida offers a variety of online teaching master's programs that help teachers advance their careers. The 33-credit programs include concentrations in autism spectrum disorder, teaching English as a second language, exceptional student education, and gifted education.

    Students can also choose from master's degrees in learning design and technology, physical education, and reading education. The programs feature synchronous courses delivered through Oasis. Class discussions, group projects, and multimedia presentations enhance the learning process. Distance students complete field assignments in their current schools. Each student must pass a comprehensive exam to graduate.

    Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also submit GRE scores, a statement of purpose, a current resume, and letters of recommendation.

  6. Nova Southeastern University

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University, offered its first distance education program in 1971. Today, the school offers a variety of online undergraduate and graduate programs, including more than 10 online education master's programs.

    The degrees comprise 30-36 credits and include concentrations in educational leadership, elementary education, exceptional student education, English as a second language, curriculum, instruction, and technology. Some programs require a 150-hour internship and completion of a leadership portfolio.

    Online courses feature an asynchronous format and include collaborative projects and simulation learning. Students can transfer up to six graduate credits toward the degree.

  7. Carlos Albizu University

    Miami, FL

    Based in Miami, Florida, Carlos Albizu University hosts about 2,000 distance learners through its online learning platform launched in 2013. The school offers an online master's degree in teaching English for speakers of other languages with an optional concentration in exceptional student education.

    Learners study topics like cultural diversity and exceptional student behavior. Faculty bring real-world experience in teaching language acquisition. Faculty also complete training in online teaching.

    Distance students can purchase books and access library resources online. Admission requires a bachelor's degree. Online learners can take advantage of a variety of financial aid opportunities.

  8. Brandman University

    Irvine, CA

    Based in Irvine, California, Brandman University offers an online master of education with concentrations in curriculum and instruction; educational leadership; educational administration; instructional technology; leadership in early childhood education; and education, teaching, and learning.

    Online courses feature asynchronous formats. The eight-week terms offer six start dates each year. In addition to fully online programs, students can pursue a hybrid education master's program. Hybrid classes meet online and in the evening at more than 25 locations in California and Washington.

    Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA. However, the school considers applicants with a lower GPA and evidence of academic ability measured by the GRE, Miller Analogies Test, or California Subject Exams for Teachers. Most programs require teaching certification.

  9. University of Alabama at Birmingham

    Birmingham, AL

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers online teaching master's programs for current educators and aspiring teachers. The public university offers online master of arts in education degrees with concentrations in elementary education, reading, early childhood education, special education, instructional design and development, and kinesiology. Students can also pursue concentrations in school psychometry and community health.

    The programs require 30-49 credits. Students seeking initial teaching licensure must complete a residency program as part of the curriculum. Classes span seven weeks, with two class sessions each semester. Learners must complete a digital portfolio and pass a comprehensive exam.

    Rolling admissions allow applicants to start their educational journey when it's most convenient. Admission requirements vary by program. Some programs require a valid teaching license.

  10. Lamar University

    Beaumont, TX

    Based in Beaumont, Texas, Lamar University offers online teaching master's degrees in educational administration, teacher leadership, educational technology leadership, digital learning and leading, and special education.

    The programs require 30-36 credits, with some offering specializations and credentials in areas like educational diagnostician, gifted and talented education, and English as a second language. Online learners must complete a practicum in their local community.

    Admission requirements vary by program, but all applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA in their final 60 credits of coursework. Students who do not meet this requirement can submit GRE scores to bolster their application. Most of the programs also require a valid teaching license, and the educational administration program requires at least two years of teaching experience.

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