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The sports industry is huge and ever-relevant. It involves more than star players, team members, and coaches. The success of every major league team is made possible by a team of business professionals who work together to support the players and sports teams.
This billion-dollar industry offers a wealth of opportunities to a range of professions. Those who want to make it big and competitive in this field may want to earn an online master’s in sports management program.
Gaining an advanced education in sports industry management will help interested students strengthen their careers and boost their earning potential. Most master’s in sports management degree programs involve working in finance, marketing sports teams, coaching a team, representing professional athletes as sports agents, coordinating events, and many more.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that entertainment and sports occupations will grow by 9% between 2022 and 2032.
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A great number of higher learning institutions in the country offer online master’s in sports management programs. Many of these sports management degree programs prepare working professionals to take on challenges in the world of sports, including sports event marketing, personnel management, athletic administration, sports administration, and facility and event management, among others.
If you are planning to pursue a sports management career, then earning an online master’s in sports management degree program is an ideal step.
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True to the competitive nature of sports, careers in the field of sport management are also highly dynamic and competitive. Students looking to enter into this field or seek career advancement would do well to choose the best education and preparation they can find, to better ensure their chances of success.
We can help you with that choice! We’ve put together a list of graduate schools that offer online master’s in sports management programs, chosen based on the following characteristics:
- Offers their program entirely online, giving students flexible options to continue working and learning at the same time,
- Features courses that cover the advanced concepts of sports business as well as industry-relevant topics,
- Prepares students for a variety of management, administration, and other leadership-oriented careers within the sport industry,
- Taught by faculty who are industry experts with extensive experience in the sport industry,
- Offers financial aid options, as well as other means that let students manage the cost of their tuition,
- Holds the appropriate program accreditation credentials.
Visit our Methodology page and learn more about our master’s program ranking process.
Best Online Master’s in Sports Management Programs
Considered the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the country, Georgetown University has been offering innovative educational experiences since 1789 to help prepare the next generation. Its School of Continuing Studies showcases a wide range of academic programs and applied learning experiences for students and professionals.
Most of these programs are a combination of theory and practice through a rigorous curriculum rooted in ethical values.
- Offered both online and on-campus, Georgetown University’s Master of Professional Studies – Sports Industry Management program is led by an experienced faculty of professionals who are also leaders in the sports industry, including the U.S. Olympic Committee and the NFL Players Association.
- The online program has an emphasis on career mentoring and networking opportunities, equipping students with knowledge, insights, and experience to advance in the sports industry.
- This sports management program features a robust curriculum that allows students to gain a balanced and practical perspective of the theories and practices that shape sports business globally.
- Online students are expected to develop a solid foundation from the required online courses, covering topics such as Sports Marketing and Media, Strategic Planning and Management, Project Management and Implementation, Industry Trends, Sports Leadership and Management, and more.
Standout Features of Georgetown University’s Online Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management Program:
As part of the program requirement, students are required to complete a capstone project, guided by sports industry professionals and program faculty. In this project, students will be able to jump-start their sports management careers right after they graduate.
Did You Know?
Georgetown University has accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The Graduate School at Georgetown has also approved all the graduate programs, including the Master’s in Sports Industry Management. This assures students of the online program’s quality and competence.
University of Florida
Ranked among the country’s best public universities, the University of Florida enrolled around 55,781 students across hundreds of degree programs. As a community of collaborators, the university made transformational investments in faculty and inspired record public and private support.
Students at the University of Florida are encouraged to embrace a diversity of experiences and ideas.
- The University of Florida’s Master of Science in Sport Management equips students with specialized skills to support sports organizations all over the world along with administrative proficiency, and leadership ability.
- Online students are expected to gain a better understanding of the concept of planning, organizing, leading, and evaluating organizational goals in sports organizations.
- They will also learn how to develop financial strategies and evaluate budgets and sources of revenues and expenses in sports management.
- To earn the online master’s program, students must complete a total of 36 credits, 21 of which consist of core courses and 15 are allocated for elective courses.
Standout Features of the University of Florida’s Online Master of Science in Sport Management Program:
The program offers four specialization options for students who want to satisfy their elective credits and tailor their learning according to their career goals. This includes Athlete Development, High-Performance Coaching, Director of Racquet Sports, and Sports Law.
Interested students can also take advantage of the optional graduate certificate. They can choose between Sport Event Management and Social Media.
Did You Know?
The University of Florida houses Institutional Planning and Research, which provides evidence-based analyses and reports. These are integral in informing and shaping institutional planning at the university. The office is responsible for providing timely, accurate, and consistent information about the university, peer institutions, and higher education.
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA
Louisiana State University is another top research university and Louisiana’s flagship institution. It is only one out of 24 universities in the country that hold land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant designations. Currently, Louisiana State University is home to more than 35,000 students. The university also brought $470 million in federal funding to the state.
- The MS in Sport Management degree is designed to prepare current and aspiring sports professionals to take up leadership positions in the athletic landscape.
- This online master’s degree in sports management program features a comprehensive curriculum that tackles key sport management topics, including governance, facilities management, policy development, organizational and behavior development in sport, finance, and sport law.
- To get admitted into the program, students must have a bachelor’s from a regionally accredited college or equivalent foreign institution.
Standout Features of Louisiana State University’s Online Master of Science in Sport Management Program:
The program’s flexible online learning format means students can complete the degree requirements at their own pace. The online MS in Sport Management offered at Louisiana State University is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).
Did You Know?
As part of the Louisiana State University’s family of institutions, the LSU Online and Continuing Education made it its mission to help students advance their career goals by offering them flexible and affordable online certificate and degree programs. It provides students with a one-of-a-kind online learning experience, designed with working professionals in mind.
University of Kansas
Master of Science in Education – Health, Sport Management, and Exercise Science – Emphasis in Sport Management
Founded in 1866, the University of Kansas has since flourished into the state’s flagship institution. It is a premier research university that houses nearly 30,000 enrolled students across five campuses. Kansas University has 16 schools and departments, including Education and Human Sciences, Engineering, Business, Health Professions, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Nursing, among others.
- Known for its athletic tradition, the University of Kansas offers an affordable online master’s in sport management program to help prepare students for a variety of roles within sport management, event management, sport marketing, and player personnel and team management.
- Students are expected to learn how to apply the front-office management techniques and business theory they acquired.
- The program curriculum is composed of 36 credits, requiring students to complete a portfolio that aligns with the competencies set by the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM).
Standout Features of the University of Kansas’ Online MSE in Health, Sport Management, & Exercise Science – Sport Management Program:
Students have the opportunity to acquire supervised real-world experience in various athletic settings that they prefer, including professional, intercollegiate, high school, and nonprofit sectors. As part of the online sports management master’s program, students have the chance to be paired with a dedicated Jayhawk Alumni Mentor who will guide and help them throughout their journey.
Did You Know?
Kansas University is considered a major research institution. In fact, it is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities with a distinguished record of innovation. The university has more than 180 invention disclosures and 45 active startups created from KU research.
Graduates from Kansas University are armed with the knowledge and skills to elevate the region’s workforce and drive a prosperous future for Kansas.
West Virginia University
West Virginia University is among the top-ranked universities when it comes to prestigious scholarships. The Morgantown colleges and schools have 13 colleges and schools that offer around 355 majors across a variety of disciplines. This includes agriculture, applied and human sciences, business and economics, and medicine.
- West Virginia University’s Master of Science in Sport Management program explores the contemporary issues in sports management, covering topics such as legal issues, profitability, ethics, and changing markets in sports.
- The 30-credit fully online program requires students to learn all about the latest research methods, industry trends, and best practices around sports management.
- The curriculum also includes foundational content in marketing, finance, facilities, organizational leadership and management, fundraising and development, and governance in sport.
- To get admitted into the sports management online program, students must hold a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative 2.75 GPA.
Standout Features of West Virginia University’s Online Master of Science in Sport Management Program:
Students who want to customize their learning to better meet their career needs and goals may be able to do so by choosing a two-course area of emphasis. This includes specializations in Comprehensive Sport Industry Management and Interscholastic Sport Administration.
Did You Know?
In 2021, West Virginia University received $203 million in external funding for research and other programs. The National Institutes of Health and the United States Department of Agriculture are the top two federal funding agencies.
University of Texas at Austin
A world leader in tackling the challenges in education and health, the University of Texas at Austin has more than 51,000 students and 3,000 faculty members. It is considered one of the nation’s biggest public universities in the vibrant capital of Texas.
- The University of Texas at Austin offers a Master’s of Education (M.Ed.) with a concentration in Sport Management under the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education.
- The program equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage sports organizations, people, facilities, events, and marketing strategies.
- To earn the online degree with a sport management concentration, students must complete a total of 30 credits, covering topics such as Legal Issues in Sport, Ethics in Sport, Facility & Event Management, Sport Finance, Sport Marketing, Human Resource Management in Sport Organizations, and Organizational Behavior in Sport, among others.
- The online learning format means students have the flexibility to complete the program anytime and anywhere.
Standout Features of the University of Texas at Austin’s Online Master’s of Education (M.Ed.), with a concentration in Sport Management Program:
The sports management program welcomes students from all academic backgrounds. The degree can be completed in as little as two years, allowing students to continue their professional careers while completing the course schedule.
Did You Know?
The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education has consistently ranked among the top colleges of education in the country, according to the U.S. News and World Report. The college has remained committed to improving education access among the underrepresented student population.
This is done by preparing future educators, leaders, and researchers to tackle impactful issues that are faced by today’s students.
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO
Making its home in Fort Collins, Colorado State University is considered one of the country’s top public research universities. It is currently home to over 33,400 students, enrolled across undergraduate, graduate, and online program offerings.
- The Master of Sport Management offered at Colorado State University allows students to build the leadership skills they need to pursue a fast-paced career in the sports industry.
- Students can expect to gain in-depth knowledge in sports management that they can readily apply to jobs in professional, recreational, and intercollegiate sports.
- The program curriculum features a targeted and interdisciplinary approach, allowing students to explore the different aspects of sports management, from business development, sales, and marketing, to event coordination, community outreach, and facilities management.
- Students will also cover the ethics, policies, and laws that shape the modern landscape of the sports industry along with data-driven strategic sport analysis methods that inform strategic decision-making processes.
Standout Features of Colorado State University’s Online Master of Sport Management Program:
Students are allowed a customized learning experience by choosing among four learning tracks. The program concentrations include Business Foundation, Marketing, Sports Media and Communication, and Generalist. This lets them focus their learning and build knowledge and skills integral to their career.
Did You Know?
In 2023, Colorado State University demonstrated its commitment to sustainable higher education by being one of the recipients of the Platinum rating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, & Rating System (STARS), earning its fourth consecutive rating.
This also makes them the first in the world to be 4-time Platinum-rated. Colorado State University is also designated as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the APLU.
Western Carolina University
Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina is a member institution of the University of North Carolina system. From its beginnings in 1889 as a semi-public secondary school, it became a university in 1967. Today the university is composed of six colleges, hosting a student population of over 11,000.
- Western Carolina University’s Master of Science in Sport Management is designed to deepen students’ understanding of sport as a business, whether they are already working in the industry or are seeing to enter it.
- The program is 100% online and contains a total of 30 credit hours. Students can complete the program on either a full- or part-time enrollment.
- The program’s curriculum covers program administration, management strategies for people and organizations, and project planning, initiation, & management.
- With a part-time enrollment, the program can be completed in two years, or within one year on a full-time enrollment.
- The program does not have minimum course load requirements; however, students must complete the program within the 6-year limit.
Standout Features of Western Carolina University’s Online Master of Science in Sport Management Program:
The online master’s in sports management coursework does not have any prerequisites, and the program includes an embedded Certificate in Project Management. Likewise, students are taught by distinguished faculty who all have terminal degrees in the field and are also experienced practitioners in the field.
Did You Know?
In its early days, Western Carolina University was the first publicly funded normal school (an institution dedicated to teacher training) in the state. Presently, WCU holds around 21 program accreditations and is part of around 30 state and national organizations related to its professional degree program offerings.
University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, known affectionately as Southern Miss, is a public research university in the city of Hattiesburg. It was first established in 1910 as the Mississippi Normal College, dedicated to training teachers.
It became a university in 1962 and currently has over 14,000 students, enrolled across over 180 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs. Southern Miss is also classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.
- The Master of Science in Sport Management offered by the University of Southern Mississippi is designed to deepen students’ knowledge of all aspects of the field of Sport Management, equipping them with the skills needed to break into the sport industry.
- The MS in Sport Management program contains 24 credit hours of core courses, which include Policy & Governance, Sport Venue & Event Management, Financial Management, Applied Research Methods and more. The program also has room for up to 9 credit hours of electives.
- The program is also offered 100% online, and there are no GRE requirements to apply.
Standout Features of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Master of Science in Sport Management Program:
This program is designed with an emphasis on Sports Event Management, the first of its kind in the country to do so. Southern Miss also offers a range of scholarship opportunities, including the Online Student Scholarship, which gives first-time, fully online students an opportunity for $500 towards their first semester.
Did You Know?
The University of Southern Mississippi is Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College-recognized. Its MS in Sport Management is Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-approved.
Wayne State University
Wayne State University is a public research university in Detroit, Michigan, the third largest university in the state, after The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor and Michigan State University in Lansing. It was founded in 1868 as the Detroit Medical College, gradually merging with other schools and adding more academic programs, eventually becoming Wayne State University in 1956.
Presently, Wayne State offers over 300 degree programs and has a student population of almost 24,000.
- Wayne State University’s Master of Arts in Sports Administration program is a practical, high-quality program that equips students with crucial management skills that they can bring to careers in the sports industry.
- The program is offered fully online and contains a total of 30 credit hours, comprising 24 core coursework and 6 elective credit hours.
- The MA in Sport Management program contains coursework that is focused on key areas of sports administration, finance, sports marketing, and risk management.
- Wayne State University is Higher Learning Commission-accredited.
Standout Features of Wayne State University’s Master of Arts in Sports Administration Program:
Wayne State University students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management to avail of the Accelerated Graduate Enrollment (AGRADE) program option, which lets them begin taking master’s level coursework, while they complete their bachelor’s degree. Students must demonstrate strong academic performance to be considered.
Did You Know?
Wayne State University’s history of growth came in gradual steps. The College of Education, which hosts the master’s in sports administration program, was established as a teacher’s college back in 1881.
Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Southeastern Oklahoma State University is a public university, based in the city of Durant, Oklahoma. Southeastern was first established as a normal school in 1909, like many other universities on this list, eventually growing to become a university in 1974. Today, Southeastern Oklahoma State University is composed of three academic schools and has a student population of around 5,000.
- Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Master of Science in Sports Administration —General program is a specialized online program that prepares students for management or administrative careers in professional sports, collegiate/scholastic spots, as sports agents or in management agencies, and in sports facilities.
- The program is 30 credit hours long and can be completed in as little as 12 months.
- The curriculum covers fundamentals in sport science and sport administration, together with specialized courses that focus on athlete development: nutritional strategies, development of strength training programs, maximizing athletic performance, and advanced coaching techniques.
Standout Features of Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Master of Science in Sports Administration – General Program:
Aside from the specialized focus of the curriculum design, this program follows an accelerated format, hence the 12-month completion timeframe. The admissions process is also made easier with the lack of a GRE requirement, and up to 9 credit hours can be transferred in.
Did You Know?
Aside from the General Track, Southeastern Oklahoma State University also offers the Master of Science in Sports Administration with the following tracks: Business, Educational Leadership, and Native American Leadership.
Utah State University
Utah State University is a public, land-grant, research university in the city of Logan, Utah. Also commonly called USU or Utah State, USU began in 1888 as the Agricultural College of Utah and was granted university status in 1957. Utah State is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.
- The MS in Sport Management program offered by Utah State University prepares students for careers in the sport industry by developing their management and sports leadership skills.
- This is a 100% online program, which contains a total of 33 credit hours.
- The program’s coursework covers skills in financial planning, and revenue development, as well as knowledge of the industry’s legal aspects. The curriculum includes 6 industry-relevant courses.
- The program has 3 yearly start dates, and being a state university comes with competitive and affordable tuition rates.
Standout Features of Utah State University’s Master of Science in Sport Management Program:
Utah State University’s program faculty consists of professionals with a vast array of industry experience and connections in the sports industry. They also work closely with students to help tailor their coursework to suit their backgrounds. The program itself is suited for a variety of careers including facility management, revenue generation, sports marketing, and more.
Did You Know?
Utah State University is the state’s largest public residential campus, with almost 20,000 of the university’s almost 27,000-strong student population living on or near campus.
University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL
The University of Miami, a private, not-for-profit school, is based in the city of Coral Gables, Florida. A research university classified among “Doctoral Universities: Very High Research Activity”, the University of Miami was founded back in 1925, and at present has over 140 master’s degree programs among its offerings. The university currently has a student population of around 19,000.
- The university offers a Master of Science in Education in Sport Administration, a program designed to develop students’ core skills that they can bring to management or administrative careers in the industry, whether in collegiate or professional sports teams.
- The program consists of 10 courses, with each course having a 7-week length. The program takes around 20 months to complete.
- On top of key fundamentals, the program covers a wide range of contemporary sports issues in its curriculum, and also heavily relies on hands-on instruction.
- The curriculum also covers sport communication/sport media, legal aspects of sports and exercise science, fiscal management, sport development, and more.
Standout Features of the University of Miami’s MS in Education in Sport Administration Program:
This program draws on the insights gained from the University of Miami’s tradition of excellence in collegiate sports, and its deep-rooted relationships and connections to a range of top sports franchises.
Aside from a solid skills foundation, this translates to reputation and access for graduates of the program. The program’s material also continually undergoes constant development by the university’s industry expert professors to constantly stay current.
Did You Know?
As a research university, the University of Miami is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU).
Based in the city of Athens, Ohio University is a public research university, chartered by the Congress of the Confederation back in 1787, first opening its doors for students in 1809. At present, the university has 9 campuses and offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees.
The university’s Athens campus has over 18,500 students, with the university’s total student population across all campuses at around 28,000. Ohio University is also classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.
- The Master of Sports Administration program offered by Ohio University prepares students with sport business knowledge and soft skills crucial for a range of careers in the industry including sport media, college athletics, and professional sports.
- The program contains a total of 36 credit hours and spans 5 semesters. Courses are offered 100% online.
- The program’s curriculum covers a wide range of topics, including revenue generation, analytics, sports law, and more.
Standout Features of Ohio University’s Master of Sports Administration Program:
Ohio University’s Master of Sports Administration degree is Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA)-accredited. It is also a top-ranked sports management program and consistently makes the top spots in many independent rankings.
Did You Know?
The first university to be chartered by an Act of Congress, and the first university to be chartered in Ohio. One of the oldest public universities in the country, and the oldest in the state.
Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University is a public research university in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The university is relatively young, opening its doors in 1909 as the First District Agricultural School, becoming a state college in 1933, and eventually earning its state university status in 1967.
Arkansas State University, or A-State, is the flagship campus of the Arkansas State University System, and is classified among “R2: Doctoral Universities – High Research Activity”. At present, A-State has a student population of around 14,000.
- The Arkansas State University online MS in Sport Administration produces students who are fit for leadership roles in sports, recreation, and leisure.
- The program features accelerated coursework, which adds up to a total of 36 credit hours. Students can finish the program in as little as 12 months.
- The program’s curriculum includes courses in sport law, sports marketing, sports leadership, sport finance, sport governance, and more.
Standout Features of Arkansas State University’s Master of Science in Sport Administration Program
Students in the program get quality instruction from expert faculty, who are sports management professionals themselves, as well as A-State’s wide range of networking and internship opportunities. Likewise, A-State implements a pay-by-the-course tuition model, on top of competitive and affordable tuition rates.
Did You Know?
A-State’s Master of Science in Sport Administration and their Bachelor of Science in Sport Administration are accredited by COSMA, or the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the admission requirements for master’s in sports management degree programs?
Online master’s degree in Sports Management students must have earned a bachelor’s from a regionally accredited institution.
Some universities and colleges may require them to meet a certain GPA and take a GRE or GMAT. Other requirements may include an updated resume, letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and personal statement, among others.
How long does it take to complete an online master’s degree in sports management?
Generally, master’s in sports management online degree programs require the completion of 36 credit hours. This can take them between 20 to 24 months to earn the degree program. This can also be influenced by a host of other factors.
For example, students who are enrolled full-time will be able to finish the degree faster than part-time students. A university’s transfer credit policy can also affect the program duration.
Is there financial aid available for sports management degree programs?
Most sports management online programs have available federal financial aid options for graduate students. Some have grants and scholarships that can benefit eligible graduates. Other assistance extended to interested students includes veteran education benefits and credit for prior learning.
What are some of the careers that graduates of sports management programs can enter?
Master’s in Sport Management degree programs are typically designed as preparation for leadership positions, and these can involve a wide range of settings within the industry, such as managing stadiums and arenas, involvement in scholastic/collegiate-level or professional sports teams, in professional sports organizations, and managing other leisure & recreation facilities like parks and fitness health clubs.
Graduates of sports management programs can enter careers that may involve working directly with athletes, developing sports programs, acting as agents or managers, overseeing marketing & sales of sports events, or involvement in administrative and fiscal management functions.
- Master’s in Sport Management emphasizes student readiness range of leadership-oriented careers in the sport industry, including roles that have them work directly with professional athletes and sports teams, in organization-level administrative roles, in sport marketing-related careers, or working with sports facilities and venues, to name a few.
- Master’s in Sport Management program curriculums typically include courses on business & management fundamentals, as well as sport law, athletic development, contemporary industry issues & trends, sport science, and more.
- Many Sports Management programs are more or less 30 credit hours in length and may take a minimum of 12 months to complete. Students on a part-time enrollment basis can, of course, expect to take longer to finish.