Sports is a vast, multibillion-dollar industry with incredible potential for those ready to compete. But getting into the game takes more than you might think. Love of sports is essential, but you’ll also need excellent analytical thinking and communication skills, as well as business savvy.
Enter the Bachelor’s in Sports Management. This is a solid step to a position of leadership in the field of sports management. A good program— with a combination of liberal arts, business, and sports management, will deliver the skills you need to take your career to the next level.
What kind of Sports Management degree should you get?
Generally, the thought of “going to college” brings to mind images of traditional, brick-and-mortar campuses. In the past, this was an accurate portrait—and those who couldn’t afford to quit their jobs to fit their lives into the traditional academic schedule were kind of out of luck.
But the world of education has changed a lot in the last couple decades. And online degrees, which used to have second-class status, are now as respected as their campus-based counterparts. The diploma you receive, in fact, makes no distinction. And there are many accredited, high-quality programs that offer flexibility and affordability that campus-based programs can’t.
For more information on online colleges, check out ranking of the Most Affordable Online Colleges and Universities.
How much money do people make with a Sports Management degree?
The sports industry is in growth mode. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, multi-billion dollar profits are fueling expansion for the foreseeable future. This means that there will continue to be job openings for trained, business-minded people at all levels.
Education and experience always factor into the amount of money you might make in a given job. And there are many, many job possibilities in the world of sports. But here are a few average salaries from the BLS:
- Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Managers: $90,050
- Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes: $86,560
- Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations: $58,390
- Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary: $67, 870
What can you do with a degree in Sports Management?
There are countless possibilities for sports career minded individuals with training in business and leadership. Graduates from Sports Management programs pursue successful careers in a variety of organizations—like professional sport franchises, intercollegiate athletics, sports media, municipal recreation, and amateur sports to name a few. Here are some other job titles:
- Athletic Director
- Commercial Sports Facility Manager
- Director of Stadium Operations
- Professional Sports Scout
- Sports Agent
- Ticket Operations Manager
- University Athletics Administrator
What are the requirements for a degree in Sports Management?
First, you’ll need to be admitted to the school of your choice. This means completing application forms and sending in transcripts from any other post-secondary institutions you’ve attended. Some schools on our ranking have open admissions— this means that there is no minimum GPA for admission.
You’ll also notice that some schools offer completion programs—for these programs, you may need to complete a set of prerequisite courses before beginning the major. Some completion programs require all General Education courses to be completed before students are admitted. Others are more lenient in what they require. Admissions officers can help you figure out what you need.
What are the most affordable Sports Management degrees?
At College Choice, we take numbers seriously. We’ve scoured the internet for online Sports Management programs and ranked them according to their net price. The net price takes into consideration extra fees on top of the per-credit tuition rate, so you can feel confident that these truly are the most affordable degrees available.
We hope our ranking helps you find a great—and affordable—Sports Management program!
See our rankings methodology page.
Net Price: $6,349
Located in city of Bellevue on the eastern border of Nebraska, Bellevue University is a private, regionally accredited institution which has focused on providing quality, affordable education for working adults since its opening in 1966. The university has over 10,000 students enrolled in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs and their online Bachelor’s programs rank among the top 100 nationally (U.S. News and World Report).
Bellevue University offers an affordable, online Bachelor of Arts in Sports Management which mixes business and management principles with sports and recreation. Students will gain essential skills in critical thinking, communication, management, problem-solving, and leadership. You’ll also gain a solid foundation in finance, public relations and marketing, and legal considerations. Courses include:
- Sport Ethics
- Contemporary Issues in Sport
- Sport Public Relations and Communication
Bellevue’s online BA in Sports Management is comprised of 36 credits of required courses in the major (as part of a 127 credit degree program). All Bellevue Sports Management students participate in an internship with a sports organization in order to gain real-world experience. The University also encourages students to pursue a Business Administration minor, which enhances the Sport Management major.
Columbia Southern University
Net Price: $10,287
Headquartered in Orange Beach, Alabama, Columbia Southern University is a for-profit, online college that specializes in career-oriented programs. The school emphasizes both flexibility and affordability, providing 26 degree programs—including Sports Management—from the associate through master’s level.
Columbia Southern University offers an affordable, online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Sport Management. The program equips students with a foundational knowledge of business and management procedures while promoting skills in decision-making, problem-solving, and leadership. Graduates are ready to assume positions of leadership in the field of Sport Management. Courses include:
- Sport Marketing
- Sociology of Sport
- Sport Administration
Columbia Southern University’s online BSBA in Sport Management is a 120-credit degree program with 36 credits in the Business Administration major and 12 credits in the Sport Management concentration. For added flexibility, Columbia Southern offers multiple start dates throughout the year, and students have the option of choosing a self-paced schedule, or a term-based schedule with a more structured framework.
American Public University
Net Price: $11,470
Headquartered in Charles Town, West Virginia, American Public University is a private (despite its name), regionally accredited, for-profit university. The University provides online degrees at the undergraduate and master’s level—and while not officially affiliated with the U.S. Military, many of their students have served on active duty. APU’s online Bachelor’s programs rank among the top 100 nationally (U.S. News and World Report).
American Public University offers an affordable, online Bachelor of Science in Sports Management. The degree is designed for those interested in sports management, coaching, and administration in collegiate, community, or high school sports. Students will become familiar with the fundamentals of sports administration, coaching theory and strategy, as well as business skills. Courses include:
- Sports Law, Risk, and Regulation
- Contemporary and Social Issues in Sport
- Sports Management Foundations
American Public University’s online BS in Sports Management is a 120-credit degree program with 36 credits of required courses in the SM major. APU offers the flexibility of monthly course starts and students can finish the entire degree program in four years of full-time study. This is a great program if you want to pursue a career as an interscholastic or intercollegiate coach, sports manager, or front-office manager.
University of Florida - Gainesville
Net Price: $11,976
Located a couple miles from downtown Gainesville, the University of Florida is a prominent public research university and a member of both the State University of Florida and the prestigious Association of American Universities. The University is home to a robust online system – and their online Bachelor’s programs rank in the top 20 nationally (U.S. News and World Report).
The College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida offers an affordable, online Bachelor of Science in Sport Management. The program provides the tools to apply principles of management, marketing, finance, and law to sports organizations—in the context of one of the top collegiate athletic programs in the country. Courses include:
- Sport and Society
- Administration of Sport and Physical Activity
- Ethical Issues and Sport
The University of Florida’s online BS in Sport Management is a completion degree. This means that students need to have completed 60 or more college credits from an accredited institution before being admitted to the program. Students need 120 credits total to graduate. And to ensure job-readiness on graduation, UF requires all Sport Management majors to complete a 12-credit, full-time internship experience.
Florida International University
Net Price: $12,966
Located in Miami, Florida, Florida International University (FIU) is a nationally-ranked, public research university. Founded in 1972, the school currently has a student population of almost 50,000 students ranging from freshmen to doctoral candidates. FIU has also invested heavily in their online programs, with their online Bachelor’s program ranking at #52 nationally.
Florida International University offers an affordable, online Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Sports Management Therapy with a concentration in Recreational Therapy. This unique program trains students to help people with disabilities, injuries or illnesses engage with the world again through structured recreational activities such as art, music, and sports. Courses include:
- Leisure and Recreation in America
- Exercise Physiology
- Recreational Therapy Facilitation Technique
FIU’s online BS in Recreation and Sports Management is a completion program so you’ll need to have 60 credits of transferable credits to begin the Sports Management major. This is a highly affordable and much-lauded program— FIU Recreational Therapy Program was the 2011 recipient of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association Education Excellence Award.
University of Minnesota Crookston
Net Price: $13,396
Located in the Northern Minnesota town of Crookston, the University of Minnesota Crookston is a public university and one of five campuses in the acclaimed University of Minnesota system. The school has a career-oriented, technology-driven focus and ranks among the top 35 regional universities in the Midwest—with a nationally ranked online Bachelor’s program (U.S. News and World Report).
The University of Minnesota Crookston offers an affordable, online Bachelor of Science in Sport and Recreation Management that will prepare you for a career in professional, collegiate, and community sport organizations. Students benefit from small class sizes and experiential learning projects. And the program can be coupled with a Coaching minor for added relevancy. Courses include:
- Psychology of Sport
- Sport Marketing and Communication
- Sport Ethics and Leadership
The University of Minnesota Crookston’s BS in Sport and Recreation Management is a hands-on, 120-credit program. Students gain valuable knowledge and experience by examining case studies and engaging in experiential learning projects—as well as through internship, job shadowing, studying abroad, and networking opportunities. There are two start dates per calendar year, in spring and fall.
Colorado Mesa University
Net Price: $13,529
Located in Grand Junction, Colorado, Colorado Mesa University is a public institution that ranks among the top 10 public regional universities in the West (U.S. News and World Report). The school provides diverse professional and technical degree programs at the undergraduate and master’s level. The school is committed to making higher education accessible—through high quality, affordable online programs.
Colorado Mesa University offers an affordable, online Bachelor of Science in Sport Management that prepares students to enter the world of sports business or pursue a graduate degree. As a student, you’ll learn the history and role of sports in society and cover topics such as leadership and ethics, governance and communication, and legal considerations in sports operations. Courses include:
- Sport Operations
- Leadership and Ethics in Sport
- Sport Law & Risk Management
Colorado Mesa University’s online BS in Sport Management is a 120-credit program with 52 credits of required courses in the Sport Management major. In addition to essential theoretical knowledge, students complete an internship in which they apply their classroom knowledge to a real-world situation. And online students benefit from a collaborative educational experience—both with faculty and other students.
Net Price: $14,471
Located in the town of New Castle, Delaware, Wilmington University if a private research university. The school offers more than 150 career-oriented degree and certificate programs in person—on its main campus and educational centers throughout the state—and through a robust online system. The school is also home to an IACBE-accredited College of Business.
Wilmington University’s College of Business offers an online, IACBE-accredited Bachelor of Science in Sports Management. The program prepares students to compete in in the fast-paced sporting world with a broad-based, personalized education in sports management. Students will gain both the theoretical business knowledge and practical experience to work in a number of business and sports organizations. Courses include:
- Sociology of Sport
- Sport Media Relations
- Seminar in Sports Analytics
Wilmington University’s BS in Sports Management can be completed either completely online or as a completion degree (for those with an AA or AS degree). All students complete an internship. Upon completion of Bachelor’s courses, Wilmington offers National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) approved courses for the Certified Athletic Administrator exam and certification.
University of Northwestern Ohio
Net Price: $15,396
Located in the town of Lima, Ohio, the University of Northwestern Ohio is an entrepreneurial, private, not-for-profit institution founded in 1920. The school offers career-oriented bachelor’s and master’s degrees through its five colleges and has a commitment to small class sizes and personalized education. Students in both online and campus-based courses receive an accessible, high-quality, and relevant education.
The University of Northwestern Ohio offers an affordable, online Bachelor of Science in Sport Marketing Management. As a student, you’ll combine marketing and management fundamentals with the sport and recreation industry. This program seeks to maximize student contact with industry professionals while preparing students with the knowledge to become well-trained business professionals. Courses include:
- Principles of Sport Management
- Facility and Event Management
- Sport Law
The University Northwestern Ohio’s online BS in Sport Marketing and Management is a 180-credit program with 93 credits in the Sports Marketing and Management major. Courses cover both general business principles and those specific to SMM. The program also includes the opportunity to gain experience through internships in the sport industry with local and national sporting organizations.
Net Price: $16,742
Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but with campuses throughout the state, Davenport University is a private, non-profit university that specializes in business, technology and health professions. The school is committed to making higher education innovative, practical, and affordable and ranks at #125 among regional universities in the Midwest (U.S. News and World Report).
Davenport University offers an online, IACBE-accredited Bachelor of Business Administration in Sport Management that provides the theoretical knowledge and applied experience for a career in the sports industry. Davenport is one of only 24 universities globally that are accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA). Students receive a strong foundation in business essentials as well as all aspects of running a sports venue. Courses include:
- Sport Management Foundations
- Sport Governance and Regulation
- Global Sport Industry
Davenport University’s online BBA in Sport Management is a 120-credit program with 46 credits in the Major. A unique aspect of Davenport’s program is the extensive internship experiences—students earn six credits in internship courses, resulting in 300 hours of work experience by graduation. Students have interned and gained employment in organizations like the Detroit Lions, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Vikings, and Ford Field.
Net Price: $17,447
Located in the city of Rome, Georgia—in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains—Shorter University is a private, Christian liberal arts university. In U.S. News and World Report’s 2018 ranking, Shorter University ranks at #33 among regional universities in the South. The school is also home to a robust online program and is a member of NCAA Division II.
Shorter University offers an affordable, online Bachelor of Business Administration in Sport Management which will make you a competitive candidate for positions of leadership in the field of sports. Students are given a blend of essential communication, leadership, and managerial skills that they can apply to an array of positions in the sports industry. Courses include:
- Legal Aspects of Sport
- Leadership in Sport
- Ethics in Sport
Shorter University’s online BBA in Sport Management is a 120-credit program with 31 credits in Business Foundations and 36 credits in the Sport Management Major. Students also have opportunities for internships (previous students have worked with Atlanta Falcons and Rome Braves). And if you’re interested in pursuing an MBA, Shorter also offers an online MBA in Sport Management that you can complete in one year.
California University of Pennsylvania
Net Price: $17,819
Located in the Pittsburgh suburb of California, Pennsylvania, California University of Pennsylvania is a small, public university and a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The school is home to one of the top ten online Bachelor’s programs in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report, and has a strong focus on applied education.
California University of Pennsylvania (or Cal U) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Sport Management: Wellness and Fitness. The program has less of a business focus than other programs. Graduates are prepared to work in Wellness and Fitness settings—including gyms, fitness clubs, spas, corporate fitness, strength coaching, high school and collegiate athletics. Courses include:
- Physiology of Exercise
- Wellness and Fitness for the Aging Population
- Leadership Concepts and Actions in Wellness and Fitness
Cal U’s online Sport Management program is offered 100% online in cohort format (which means you move through the program with a set class of students). The program is designed to be manageable for working students and there are three start dates throughout the year. Upon completion, you’ll be ready to sit for a certification (Certified Personal Training Certification) offered by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).
University of the Southwest
Net Price: $18,063
Located in the town of Hobbs, New Mexico, the University of the Southwest is a private, interdenominational Christian university. Founded in 1962, the University offers accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees, taught from a Christian perspective, both on-campus and through their robust online programs.
The University of the Southwest offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in Sports Management that prepares students for a variety of positions in the domestic and international sports industry. Students gain a foundation in economics, management, sociology, project planning and law with an emphasis on relevant, hands-on learning specific to the sports industry. Courses include:
- Socio-Cultural Dimensions of Sport
- Topics in Management
- Sport Consumer Behavior
The University of the Southwest’s online BBA in Sport Management is a 120-credit program with 33 credits in the Business Administration major and 30 credits in the Sport Management emphasis. Graduates will be ready to take on roles in a variety of capacities—including general manager of a professional sports team, recreational directors for public, private and not-for-profit organizations and directors of sports arenas and sports agents.
Net Price: $18,235
Headquartered in San Diego, California, Ashford University is an online, for-profit university with regional accreditation (WASC). Offering a variety of programs at the undergraduate and master’s level through its four colleges, Ashford strives to make education affordable and accessible for nontraditional students.
Ashford University offers an online, IACBE-accredited Bachelor of Arts in Sports and Recreation Management that prepares students for managerial positions in the sports and recreation industry. The curriculum covers multiple aspects of the world of sports and recreation while enhancing students’ business knowledge and technical skills. Students can also choose from one of five specializations, including:
Ashford University’s online BA in Sports and Recreation Management is a 120-credit program with 45 credits in the major. Ashford University’s courses are delivered in accelerated five week courses (with students taking one course at a time). This format allows students to work through the program material as quickly as possible. And Ashford allows students to transfer up to 90 credits into the program.
Toccoa Falls College
Net Price: $19,026
Located in the town of Toccoa, Georgia—in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains—Toccoa Falls College is a regionally accredited, Christian liberal arts college. The School is affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and is ranked in the top 25 regional universities in the South (U.S. News and World Report). Their online Bachelor’s programs have also garnered national acclaim.
Toccoa Falls College offers an affordable, online Bachelor of Science in Sport Management that will prepare you for a leadership role within the ever-growing world of sport. The program is taught from a Biblical perspective and integrates knowledge of the best current practices in business and sports management. Students develop business competencies, while developing biblical character to become Christian business leaders.
- Event & Facility Management
- Policies & Issues in Sport Mgt
- Sport Marketing
Toccoa Falls’ BS in Sport Management is a 126-credit program which includes 42 credits in the major. Among the General Education electives, students must have 18 hours of credits in Bible and Theology before being admitted to the major. At Toccoa Falls College, online courses are delivered in an accelerated format, with students taking two courses every eight weeks.