Best Sports Management Degrees 2022

Find the best undergrad degree for sports management. Schools on our list span from large research universities and others from small liberal arts schools.

Updated August 30, 2022

Best Sports Management Degrees 2022

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Discover the Field of Sports Management

A report published by the Business Research Company projects global sports market revenues to grow from $388.3 to about $600 billion from 2020-2025. This acceleration indicates growing opportunities for individuals planning careers in sports and recreation. Colleges have responded to the industry's strong growth by offering sports management degrees.

The best sports management programs provide educational opportunities to prepare learners for rewarding careers in the sector. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a faster-than-average employment growth rate of 6% in facilities management and marketing management careers from 2019-2029.

Concentration | Tuition | FAQs | Top Sports Management Programs

What Is Sports Management?

Sports management personnel fill behind-the-scenes positions in sports and recreation at the amateur and professional levels. These professionals commonly work in:

  • Athlete and team management
  • Facilities management
  • Sports finance
  • Fan engagement and marketing
  • Individuals who aspire to careers in sports law and policy can prepare themselves with undergraduate degrees in sports management. Prospective sports researchers and journalists can also benefit from educational backgrounds in the field.

    Sports management degrees play an increasingly important role in the sports and recreation field, given the industry's high economic value and fast growth. However, the appeal of high-level amateur and pro sports attracts more candidates than there are available jobs. While sports management careers are competitive, applicants with relevant degrees may have an advantage over their counterparts.

    A sports management bachelor's degree opens the door to entry-level positions with advancement potential. With the right educational background, resilient job-seekers can pursue opportunities to prove their worth in this exciting industry.

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    Why Get a Bachelor's Degree in Sports Management?

    Sports management degrees indicate a job candidate's commitment to the field. These programs also offer many other advantages, including obtaining professional contacts, specialized knowledge, and versatile skills.

    Networking Opportunities
    In highly competitive job markets like sports management, networking can make a difference. Specialized programs offer field placements and work-study programs to help learners increase their professional connections.
    Relevant Learning
    Candidates who differentiate themselves through targeted education often outperform individuals with generalized credentials when competing for entry-level sports management jobs. Sports management programs thoroughly prepare enrollees to meet industry-specific challenges.
    Career Flexibility
    Sports management degrees cover many aspects of the industry. Learners emerge ready to pursue diverse roles and advance in the field as they gain experience.

    What to Expect From Sports Management Colleges

    Sports management programs usually comprise 120 credits and require four years of full-time enrollment. Learners with previous college coursework can often expedite their completion timelines. Some programs allow students to transfer up to three-quarters of their credit requirements.

    The best sports management programs usually offer experiential learning opportunities with excellent networking opportunities.

    Tuition rates align with average costs charged by four-year institutions. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average tuition fees reached 9,349 for public institutions and $32,769 for private schools in 2019-2020.

    The best sports management programs usually offer experiential learning opportunities with excellent networking opportunities. Field placements supplement the core courses and capstone projects that form the backbone of most programs.

    Admission Requirements

    Admission standards vary among institutions, but many colleges require a minimum GPA of 2.0 (on the 4.0 scale) and SAT or ACT scores. Recommendation letters and personal statements often carry considerable weight for admission.

    Some sports management colleges maintain separate admission standards for transfer students. Specific requirements vary, but learners often benefit from previous college-level coursework in statistics, macroeconomics, accounting, marketing, and general psychology.

    Learn more about the application process:

    Concentration Options

    Specializations within sports management programs typically appear at the graduate level. However, bachelor's programs with concentrations usually focus on foundational general education before switching to specialized topics in junior and senior years.

    When available, sports management concentration options may include:

    • Sports law
    • Sports media and communications
    • Event management
    • Sports marketing
    • Sports project management

    Learners with specific career objectives can also consider bachelor's degrees in marketing, finance, or business administration, which may feature specializations in sports management.

    Popular Sports Management Courses

    Sports management programs may differ considerably in core focus areas. Some programs emphasize business and finance, while others concentrate more on the industry's human side. Always consider how well a particular program matches your personal interests and career objectives when weighing your options.

    Curriculums include core classes, specialized electives, internships and field placements, and culminating experiences through capstone and thesis projects. Common courses include:

    Introduction to Sports Management

    Students usually complete this required course during their first year. Enrollees receive a broad overview of sports organizational management, including player personnel, marketing, media relations, fan engagement, and finance.

    Sports Marketing

    Sports marketing courses examine industry-specific promotional techniques that build fan bases, draw in spectators, and generate higher revenues. Coursework incorporates case studies to help students extract insights from real-world examples.

    Sports Media Relations

    Some schools configure this upper-level elective as a public relations course. Learners evaluate the role and impact of media coverage in the sports industry. Degree-seekers explore interdisciplinary strategies for building positive media relationships and public images.

    How Much Will a Sports Management Degree Cost?

    Sports management degree costs compare favorably with institutional averages. However, many factors affect tuition rates. For instance, out-of-state learners typically pay more to attend public institutions, while other schools offer reduced costs for their online programs.

    Prestige also affects pricing, especially among private institutions. Schools with excellent reputations among employers and programs with high-profile, accomplished faculty members often charge higher tuition rates.

    The cost of undergraduate education in the United States continues to trend upward, and many learners need help covering their expenses. Students should first explore sources of aid that do not require repayment, including scholarships, bursaries, grants, and fellowships. After pursuing these options, degree-seekers can consider federal or private loans.

    Choosing the Right Sports Management Undergraduate Program

    Degree-seekers should only consider institutions with national or regional accreditation. Candidates can also look for optional programmatic endorsements from the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation, which signal strong educational value.

    In addition to choosing an accredited school, prospective students should also consider the program's location along with their future career plans and interests.

    Program Location
    Students aspiring to careers in professional sports can benefit from programs based in major urban areas that host clubs competing in multiple leagues.
    Practical Learning
    Sports management degrees build wider appeal by offering desirable internship opportunities, allowing students to gain valuable work experience.
    Concentration Options
    Learners interested in particular specializations often need to expand their research beyond rankings, as these lists usually concentrate on general programs.

    Should You Get Your Degree Online?

    Online learning continues to emerge as a practical and advantageous alternative to on-campus instruction. Remote learners benefit from added scheduling flexibility. Many find it easier to balance online education with employment, which can help students manage overall college costs.

    Candidates considering online sports management degrees should remember that many programs feature internships, practicums, field placements, and work-study opportunities. These experiences offer strong networking value. Students generally complete these components in person, even if program delivery is entirely remote.

    Degree-seekers should also consider their learning styles and educational needs. Online learning offers many advantages but also demands that students maintain self-discipline and high levels of independence. If you do not match this profile or simply prefer the interactive nature of the traditional classroom, campus-based learning might offer a better option.

    Students Top Questions About Sports Management

    What should I major in to become a sports manager?

    Aspiring professionals can pursue sports management degrees. These programs teach essential aspects of athlete management, sports finance and marketing, and many other critical areas. Other relevant program options include marketing or business.

    Is getting a sports management degree worth it?

    Given the popularity and high profile of sports, the industry attracts many applicants for a limited number of openings. Holding a specialized degree in sports management offers a distinct advantage in the job market.

    How long are sports management programs?

    Sports management colleges usually structure their bachelor's degrees to follow standard four-year schedules. A learner with eligible transfer credits can shorten their completion timelines, depending on the program and the number of credits they can apply towards their degree.

    What can I do with a bachelor's degree in sports management?

    Sports management degrees prepare learners for many behind-the-scenes roles. Some graduates become player agents and managers, while others join sports organizations in business, management, or marketing. Others go on to careers in event and facilities management.

    Is a sports manager a good career?

    Global sports industry revenues continue to grow and reach about $600 billion by 2025. Passionate and committed learners can build sports management careers with exciting job profiles and high earning potential.

    Best Sports Management Programs

    Best Sports Management Degrees 2022

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    • Chapel Hill, NC
    • 4 years
    • Online + Campus

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a total of 62 bachelor's programs, including an undergraduate sport administration program. The degree builds the knowledge and skills required for a variety of entry-level and mid-level careers. After completing a bachelor's degree, graduates can continue their education in master's programs.

    The bachelor's in sport administration curriculum covers foundational and advanced topics. Undergraduates also complete general education courses, gaining widely applicable skills such as writing, communication, and critical thinking. Students can complement their degree with a minor or second major.

    The school's student services help incoming degree candidates make connections on campus and thrive in their program. For example, financial aid counselors meet with students to identify their financial need and suggest funding sources.

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at a Glance:

    Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

    Type of School: Public

    Admission Rate: 23%

    Undergrad Tuition In State: $7,019

    Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $34,198

    Average Tuition
    In-state
    $7,019
    Out-of-state
    $34,198
    Retention Rate
    96%
    Admission Rate
    23%
    Students Enrolled
    29,877
    Institution Type
    Public
    Percent Online Enrollment
    12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
    Accreditation
    Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

    Best Sports Management Degrees 2022

    Indiana University Bloomington

    • Bloomington, IN
    • 4 years
    • Online + Campus

    Indiana University Bloomington offers a total of 94 bachelor's programs, including a bachelor of science in sport marketing and management. This sports management degree encourages the knowledge and skills required for diverse career paths. After earning a bachelor's degree, graduates can continue their education by applying to master's or doctoral programs.

    The bachelor's curriculum introduces major principles and practices in sports management. General education courses emphasize in-demand skills like communication, writing, and critical thinking. Students can complement their degree with a minor or second major.

    Incoming degree candidates can expect strong support services when they enroll at the school. For example, career counselors connect students with job fairs and internship opportunities.

    Indiana University Bloomington at a Glance:

    Location: Bloomington, Indiana

    Type of School: Public

    Admission Rate: 78%

    Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

    Undergrad Tuition In State: $9,575

    Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $35,140

    Average Tuition
    In-state
    $9,575
    Out-of-state
    $35,140
    Retention Rate
    90%
    Admission Rate
    78%
    Students Enrolled
    43,260
    Institution Type
    Public
    Percent Online Enrollment
    19% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
    Accreditation
    Yes Higher Learning Commission

    Best Sports Management Degrees 2022

    University of Florida

    • Gainesville, FL
    • 4 years
    • Online + Campus

    The BS in sport management program at University of Florida, a public institution, stands out for its quality. The school offers online classes and in-person classes located on its Gainesville campus. The school's flexible course options and comprehensive support services appeal to many undergraduates.

    Majors earn a bachelor's degree from the sport management program after taking major and general education courses. Social sciences, STEM, and humanities classes meet the general education graduation requirements. Graduates prepare for the workforce or a further degree by taking advanced courses that cover theoretical and practical topics.

    University of Florida at a Glance:

    Admission Rate: 37%

    Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

    Total Bachelor's Programs: 102

    Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 19

    Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,477

    Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $25,694

    Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $10,673

    Graduation Rate: 88%

    Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $47,700

    Average Tuition
    In-state
    $4,477
    Out-of-state
    $25,694
    Retention Rate
    97%
    Admission Rate
    37%
    Students Enrolled
    52,407
    Institution Type
    Public
    Percent Online Enrollment
    46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
    Accreditation
    Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

    Best Sports Management Degrees 2022

    University of Michigan

    • Ann Arbor, MI
    • 4 years
    • Online + Campus

    The University of Michigan, a public institution, enrolls learners in its top-ranked sport management program. Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the school offers on-campus and online courses. Undergraduates benefit from the school's support services, which include academic and career advising.

    Majors graduate with a bachelor's degree after taking major and general education courses in the BA in sport management program. Social sciences, STEM, and humanities classes meet the general education graduation requirements. Major courses introduce theoretical and practical approaches to the field, preparing program graduates to enter the workforce or pursue further education.

    University of Michigan at a Glance:

    Admission Rate: 23%

    Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1

    Total Bachelor's Programs: 129

    Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

    Undergrad Tuition In State: $16,212

    Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $52,669

    Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $12,854

    Graduation Rate: 93%

    Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $55,900

    Average Tuition
    In-state
    $16,212
    Out-of-state
    $52,669
    Retention Rate
    97%
    Admission Rate
    23%
    Students Enrolled
    48,090
    Institution Type
    Public
    Percent Online Enrollment
    1% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
    Accreditation
    Yes Higher Learning Commission

    Best Sports Management Degrees 2022

    The University of Texas at Austin

    • Austin, TX
    • 4 years
    • Online + Campus

    The University of Texas at Austin offers 110 bachelor's degrees, including its sport management program. With a sport management degree, students pursue entry-level careers in diverse industries. A bachelor's degree also leads to higher education opportunities, including master's and doctoral programs.

    The bachelor's curriculum trains learners in foundational sport management knowledge and practices. Undergraduates also complete general education courses, gaining widely applicable skills such as writing, communication, and critical thinking. Students can explore other interests by choosing a minor or a second major.

    Incoming degree candidates benefit from student services, which provide support for first-year learners. For example, academic advisors work with students to transfer credits into the school and select courses.

    The University of Texas at Austin at a Glance:

    Location: Austin, Texas

    Type of School: Public

    Admission Rate: 32%

    Undergrad Tuition In State: $10,824

    Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $38,326

    Average Tuition
    In-state
    $10,824
    Out-of-state
    $38,326
    Retention Rate
    96%
    Admission Rate
    32%
    Students Enrolled
    51,090
    Institution Type
    Public
    Percent Online Enrollment
    25% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
    Accreditation
    Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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