Best PhDs In Sports Management

Are you an aspiring academic with a passion for research and sports? Jumpstart your career with one of the best PhDs in sports management.

Best PhDs In Sports Management

Are you ready to find your fit?

Are you an aspiring academic with a passion for research and sports? Jumpstart your career with one of the best PhDs in sports management.

The rapidly developing sports industry has grown into a booming $200 billion business. As a result, there’s a high demand for sports business-trained professionals and innovative academic research. For aspiring academics with a passion for sports, opportunities abound.

Earning a Doctor of Philosophy in Sports Management can launch your career as a professor or sports management executive. You’ll expand your skills and knowledge, develop your critical thinking skills, and gain hands-on research experience.

To simplify this process, we’ve put together a list of the ten best PhD in Sports Management programs in the nation. Earning a degree from any one of these programs will prepare you to be an efficient, effective leader in the emerging field of sports management.

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What kind of PhD in Sports Management should you get?

Depending on your career goals, you may want to choose a PhD in Sports Management that allows you to declare a specialization. Either way, you should have an idea of what type of research you’d like to pursue. Most programs expect you to have an area of interest that drives your research and shapes the elective courses you take. These may include marketing, legal issues, social issues, finance, and so on.

Although the majority of PhD programs are on campus, it’s possible to find programs online too. Online programs offer the advantage of flexibility, allowing you to learn any time from anywhere. Another option, unless your goal is to become a professor, is to earn your master’s degree. If you’re interested in earning a master’s in Sports Management, check out our list of the Best Online Master’s in Sports Management.

How much money do people make with a PhD in Sports Management?

As with any degree, the salary you earn will depend on what career you choose to pursue. Here are potential careers and their median salaries, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Sports Agent $64,940
  • Postsecondary Teacher: $76,000
  • Marketing Director: $129,380

For each of these jobs, you can earn a much higher salary with years of experience and a track record of success. Some college professors, for instance, earn over $130,000 a year. In addition, each of the careers listed above are growing much faster than average, just like the sports industry itself.

What can you do with a PhD in Sports Management?

With a PhD in Sports Management you can become a professor, manage a team, manage individual athletes, or become a marketing director for an amateur or professional team.

For many of these sports management positions, a master’s degree will suffice. However, earning a PhD can potentially help you secure executive positions and may result in a better salary. If your goal is to be a college professor in the sports management field, a doctorate will be required.

What are the requirements for a PhD in Sports Management?

To earn a PhD in Sports Management, a master’s degree may or may not be required. In many programs, you will earn your master’s en route to the PhD. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree. You will need to submit test scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume, and often a personal statement or letter of interest.

The length of time it will take to complete the programs on this list varies. Expect to spend at least three years earning your doctorate. You will take courses related to sports management, research, and statistics. You will likely also take courses in a chosen area of interest. In addition, you will complete a dissertation. Other potential requirements include a comprehensive examination and a portfolio.

What are the best PhDs in Sports Management?

The ten programs listed below are the best PhDs in Sports Management. To compile this list, we’ve evaluated school reputation, accreditation, tuition costs, and return on investment. Our data comes from trusted sources, including:

  • PayScale
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • U.S. News and World Report
  • Princeton Review
  • Official college and university websites and course catalogs

Pursuing a doctorate degree is a substantial investment. By choosing one of the ten programs on this list, you’ll invest your time and money wisely.

Best PhDs in Sport Management

See our rankings methodology page.

#1

Florida State University

School Information
Location Tallahassee, Florida
Admission Rate 36%
Graduation Rate 83%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students seeking a doctorate can enroll in the Ph.D. in sport management program at Florida State University. At the public university, degree-seekers choose from 65 doctoral programs. Many of the doctoral programs include online course options to maximize flexibility.

Candidates take doctoral classes, conduct research, and pass comprehensive examinations. Throughout the program, learners meet with faculty advisors to work on an original research project that contributes to the sports management field. Doctoral students may present their research at academic conferences and gain teaching experience. These opportunities lead to academic and research career paths.

While academically rigorous, the program also prioritizes a flexible learning environment. Candidates have a great deal of autonomy in pursuing research and professional opportunities. Career workshops and experiential learning opportunities also prepare students for careers outside of academia. To learn more about the Ph.D. in sport management, interested applicants should contact the admissions office.

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#2

Indiana University Bloomington

School Information
Location Bloomington, Indiana
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 79%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 19% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The Ph.D. in sport management program at Indiana University Bloomington prioritizes flexibility in its advanced curriculum. At the public university, degree-seekers choose from 83 doctoral programs. Many of the doctoral programs provide flexible enrollment options.

The sport management program includes doctoral classes, comprehensive exams, and research components. Learners demonstrate their expertise in sport management by writing a dissertation that contributes original research to the field. Doctoral students pursue independent research and present their findings at academic conferences. Graduates take on academic and research roles with a doctorate from the university.

While academically rigorous, the program also offers a flexible learning environment. Candidates strengthen their research and career training independently. The degree also offers flexibility to in-person enrollees, allowing for customization so students can prepare for careers outside of academia. Prospective applicants can contact the school to learn more about application deadlines and start dates.

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#3

Louisiana State University

School Information
Location Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 68%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Louisiana State University offers a specialized, flexible route to a doctorate in its Ph.D. in kinesiology program. With 56 doctoral programs, the public university stands out for its graduate options. Many of the doctoral programs enroll students in on-campus and online classes.

Candidates take doctoral classes, conduct research, and pass comprehensive examinations. As a culminating project, learners conduct original research and defend a dissertation to demonstrate mastery in the field. The program encourages doctoral students to present their research at academic conferences. These opportunities prepare graduates for career paths in research and academia.

While academically rigorous, the program also promotes flexibility for degree-seekers. Doctoral candidates receive professional and research support. The program's experiential learning components prepare students for careers outside of academia. To learn more about the kinesiology program, reach out to the school.

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#4

Ohio State University

School Information
Location Columbus, Ohio
Admission Rate 54%
Graduation Rate 86%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Ohio State University offers a Ph.D. in kinesiology degree that builds advanced knowledge in sport management. At the public university, graduate learners enroll in 100 doctoral programs. Many of the doctoral programs enable both in-person and online study.

Candidates in the sport management program gain research experience while also taking doctoral courses. As a culminating project, learners write and defend a dissertation that contributes to the field. The program supports doctoral students as they present research at academic conferences. This preparation leads to career paths in academia and research.

During the program, degree-seekers make progress in a flexible environment. The sport management program encourages candidates to pursue career and professional opportunities. The program's interdisciplinary aspects encourage students to customize their degree and prepare for a variety of career opportunities. Contact the program for more information about the curriculum and application process.

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#5

Troy University

School Information
Location Troy, Alabama
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 47%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students can earn their doctorate from the Ph.D. in sport management program at Troy University. Doctoral learners earn degrees in two subject areas at the public institution. Many of the doctoral programs offer flexible enrollment options, including online classes.

The sports management program incorporates doctoral classes, comprehensive exams, and research training. As a culminating project, learners conduct original research and defend a dissertation to demonstrate mastery in the sports management field. Many doctoral students conduct independent research, which they present at scholarly conferences. This training leads to career opportunities in academia and research.

During the program, degree-seekers select courses and research options that fit their schedule. The program provides career and professional support for doctoral candidates. The program's experiential learning components prepare students for careers outside of academia. Contact the program for more information about admission requirements and the timeline to earn a doctorate.

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