Are you passionate about leading the team on and off the field? Can you envision yourself developing exciting marketing or financial plans that secure the futures of talented athletes? Are you fascinated by the cultural, sociological, and ethical dimensions of sports?
Then an advanced degree in sports management is just for you.
What kind of Master’s in Sports Management degree should you get?
No sports management degree is the same. While some emphasize the financial and marketing components of sports administration, others value a broader curriculum that focuses on leadership formation.
However you intend to specialize, you can be assured that all of the programs here will provide a sturdy foundation in sports management fundamentals.
And all of these degrees can be completed fully online. Online education is not only a flexible way to advance your education, and thus your career, but it’s affordable too.
Most programs offer lower tuition rates to those studying primarily from a distance. For that reason, be sure to check out College Choice’s Best Online Colleges and Universities.
How much money do people make with a Master’s in Sports Management degree?
A Master’s in Sports Management degree will set you up for a career in a variety of settings. As such, the average salaries for those with this degree also varies. However, rest assured knowing that the industry is a lucrative one.
While in the early years of your career you’ll make on average $45,000 annually (almost $10,000 more per year than those with just a BS degree), once you’ve put in ten years that number jumps up in a big way: you’ll make on average $73,000 annually.
Demand varies depending on how you specialize. For example, it’s projected the need for coaches will rise another 13 percent in the next few years. But for sports analysts, the need will rise another 27 percent.
What are the requirements for a Master’s in Sports Management degree?
Most of the programs here require at least 30 credits hours to complete the master’s degree, if not more. Those credit hours are allocated in numerous ways.
While some programs will have you take a business core, others will give you the opportunity to fill credit hours through internships. And still others will offer a range of electives.
Still, you can expect to take the standard sports management core classes, which cover marketing, public relations, finance, economics, management, ethics, and legal issues.
These two-year programs can all be completed fully online, from the comfort of your own home. And many offer a number of concentrations, in such areas as:
- Financial Analysis
- Marketing and Communications
- Outdoor Adventure Sport
- Coaching and Athletic Administration
- And more
What are the best Master’s in Sports Management degrees?
While some of these programs specialize in leadership formation and others in marketing, they all share one thing one common: they are the best online MS in Sports Management programs in the country.
To determine the best Sports Management programs we started first with the academic reputation of each school nationwide that offers the degree online. We then critically examined retention rates—a sign of student satisfaction—affordability, and the early salaries of graduates.
After our extensive research, we found those programs that are the country’s absolute best at training leaders in sports management. Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.
See our rankings methodology page.
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $21,237
Temple University is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is home to nearly 40,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who are enrolled in one of Temple’s 400 academic programs. It is also one of the world’s largest universities that specialize in professional education.
At Temple University you can earn a MS in Sports Management degree that is fully online. In addition to classes covering everything from sports analytics to legal issues in sports, you will also take a number of business classes. These include HR Management Strategies, Global Business Strategy, and Marketing Management, among others. Temple’s core curriculum, however, includes:
- The Sport Workplace
- Sport Financial and Economic Systems
- Understanding Sport Consumers
- Sport for Development
Temple University is one of the nation’s top public schools. It is consistently ranked among the top 100. Likewise, many of Temple’s individual programs and departments are well-ranked by U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review, and the National Science Foundation.
University of Florida
College Choice Score: 99.29
Average Net Price: $14,761
One of the largest and most renowned universities in the state of Florida, the University of Florida (UF) is located in Gainesville. It is a leading member in the greater State University System of Florida. Nearly 50,000 students attend UF, enrolled in one of the university’s 16 colleges.
UF also offers a fully online MS in Sport Management degree. Through this program you will gain all the latest sport industry skills you’ll need to be competitive in the work force. Covering administrative functions to athletic management, UF’s program includes classes such as:
- Finance for Sport Organizations
- Sociological Principles of Sport
- Risk Management and Legal Issues Relating to Sport
- Research and Evaluation Methods
A member of the illustrious Association of American Universities, UF is known for its active research centers, of which there are over 150. It was also recently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the among the top 10 best public universities in the nation.
College Choice Score: 98.00
Average Net Price: $20,767
Canisius College is located in Buffalo, New York. It was founded by the Society of Jesus and is one of 28 Jesuit institutions in the U.S. Canisius proffers almost 200 combined undergraduate and graduate degrees to its 4k students.
Considered one of the top sports programs in the world, Canisius’ online MS in Sport Administration program gives both theoretical and hands-on learning experiences. In addition to fundamental sports and business classes (see below), through the Canisius program you can partner with an elite firm through the internship program.
- Leadership in Sport
- Strategic Sport Marketing
- Intercollegiate Athletics
- Sport Finance and Business
Canisius is regionally well-ranked by U.S. News & World Report. It also receives consistent praise for its affordability and for the care and quality education it provides veterans. In fact, Canisius received a “Military Friendly School” designation from the Guide to Military Friendly Schools.
Texas A & M University
College Choice Score: 97.41
Average Net Price: $15,455
Sprawling Texas A&M University (TAMU) is located in College Station, Texas. TAMU is not only one of the largest schools in the state of Texas, but one of the largest in the nation. It is home to nearly 70,000 students. TAMU is organized into over a dozen colleges and schools.
This 36 credit-hour MS in Sport Management degree from TAMU can be fully completed online. This is an ideal program for those specifically interested in fiscal management, personnel management, athletics administration, or sports marketing and sales. Graduates from TAMU have gone on to work in an array of sports settings, including:
- Health and fitness clubs
- Collegiate athletic departments
- Community sports organizations (such as YMCAs)
- Professional sports organizations
TAMU is a known research mecca. It has strong relationships with organizations such as NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and much more. It is also a member of the elite Association of American Universities. TAMU is ranked 68th among all national universities by U.S. News & World Report.
University of Texas
College Choice Score: 94.69
Average Net Price: $16,010
The University of Texas in Austin is the leading member in the greater UT System. It has over 50,000 combined undergraduate and graduate students. UT Austin is considered a “Public Ivy,” meaning it offers the same elite education as traditional Ivy League universities. It is also considered one of the nation’s most active and endowed research universities.
UT Austin’s online MS in Sport Management program stresses the importance of leadership formation. Students gain leadership skills that will allow them to manage organizations, people, facilities, events, and much more. Students take a diverse range of classes too, which cover ethics, business, and law in addition to leadership. Some of those classes are:
- Organizational Behavior in Sport
- Human Resource Management in Sports Organizations
- Sport Marketing
- Facility and Event Management
A flagship university and a member of the Association of American Universities, UT Austin’s faculty have won Nobel Prizes, Pulitzer Prizes, Turing Awards, and more. Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly each include UT Austin among the top 100 best universities in the nation.
College Choice Score: 87.73
Average Net Price: $24,794
Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University is a conservative Christian university. In fact, it is the world’s largest evangelical school of higher education. More than 15,000 students attend with another 100,000 enrolled online.
Liberty University’s MS in Sport Management degree is a 100 percent online program. It provides both a comprehensive introduction to the sport management industry as well as concentrated study in PR, ethics, marketing, and economics. Plus, at Liberty there are a bunch of ways to specialize, in:
- Outdoor Adventure Sport
- Coaching and Athletic Administration
- Sport Administration
Liberty University is known for being founded by Jerry Falwell, Southern Baptist minister and televangelist, in the early 1970s. In addition, Liberty’s online programming has earned a solid reputation, with rankings from U.S. News & World Report. Liberty was also ranked among the top 10 most conservative colleges in the U.S. by Young America’s Foundation.
College Choice Score: 86.10
Average Net Price: $33,586
Gonzaga University is located in Spokane, Washington. It is a private, Roman Catholic school and a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. With around 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in one of Gonzaga’s seven colleges, this is a mid-sized university.
Unique to Gonzaga is the MA in Sport and Athletic Administration degree. This program gives students a broad curriculum through which they can expand their skills in one of many areas, from coaching to professional sports management. Courses focuses on:
- Media Relations
- Team Building
- Financial Analysis
- Marketing and Communications
- Title IX Competency
Gonzaga is consistently ranked among the best regional universities in the west by U.S. News and World Report. Gonzaga has been educating students online since 2004, offering a rigorous curriculum designed for working professionals.
College Choice Score: 85.16
Average Net Price: $39,021
Drexel University is a private, research school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was originally founded as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry and still very much maintains that focus. But today Drexel offers nearly 200 academic degree programs to its 26k students.
At Drexel you will gain exposure to franchises in all four major league sports organizations as well as local and international organizations too. This online MS in Sport Management program introduces you to the financial, analytical, marketing, and leadership tenets of sports management. As a Drexel student you can expect to take classes such as:
- Sports Industry Management
- Sport Law
- Sport Media & Technology
- Sports Economics
Drexel is ranked among the top 100 best universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. It is also considered one of the country’s “Most Innovative Schools (also U.S. News). And recently Bloomberg Businessweek praised Drexel for its quality business programs.
College Choice Score: 84.32
Average Net Price: $16,804
Mississippi College is located in Clinton, Mississippi, just outside of the state’s capital, Jackson. It is a Christian University, the second-oldest Baptist college in the U.S., and the oldest college in the state. Over 5,000 students attend Mississippi College.
At Mississippi College earning an online master’s degree in Athletic Administration means you can either concentrate in Interscholastic or Intercollegiate sports management. The former allows you to study broadly in leadership, finance, management, and legal issues, while the latter gives you a foundation in higher education principles. Whichever route you take, expect classes such as:
- Issues and Concepts of Personnel Management
- Legal Structures and Legal Issues
- Basics of Effective Leadership
- And More
Being that Mississippi College is the state’s oldest (and largest) private university, campus is marked by its long history. The college was founded in 1826, saw students through the Civil War and two world wars, and then went on to become the first coeducational college in the U.S. to grant a degree to a woman.
College Choice Score: 82.73
Average Net Price: $28,095
Located in Garden City, New York, Adelphi University also has locations in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley, and Suffolk County. It is organized into eight schools and colleges, through which it offers dozens of degree programs. Adelphi is also home to a number of joint degree initiatives and international programs.
Not only can you earn a MS in Sports Management degree fully online from Adelphi University, but you can specialize in one of two unique areas: sport marketing or collegiate athletic administration. Though both offer different curriculums and learning experiences, at Adelphi you will gain a solid foundation in sports management and leadership. Adelphi graduates have gone on to work in:
- Sports Journalism and Media
- Community-based Sport
- Sports Marketing
- Intercollegiate and/or Professional Sports
For over a decade Adelphi has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s “Best Buys.” In addition to being affordable, Adelphi also has a reputation for being regionally well-ranked by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review.