Online Sports Management Degree Programs Directory

You have reached SportsManagementDegree.com, a comprehensive online resource specifically created for students pursuing a degree in sports management. From information on selecting the right degree program, to tips on advancing your career, we have all the research based information that you need to know as you move forward in your education and career in sports management.

Using the Directory

Use our interactive database to research more than 700 programs at over 500 schools and find a program in sports management that fits your interests and career goals. From associate's degrees to doctorate's, online to traditional, we have found programs that fit every lifestyle. Then read our guide to sports management degrees to find out everything you need to know to make informed decisions about your education and career in sports management.

Guide to Sports Management Degree Programs

Resources on this page

Learn How You Can Study Sports Management

Building contacts within the industry is an important benefit of attending a traditional on campus program.

Find Out How to Earn a Sports Management Degree

See what courses and specialties you can choose from as you pursue your degree in sports management.

Discover The Sports Management Degree Levels Schools Offer

Consider your career goals when deciding how far to take your education in sports management.

Discover the Job Landscape for Sports Management Professionals

Read what Forbes magazine says about starting your career in sports management.

Learn How You Can Study Sports management

You can study sports management at any collegiate level, from associate’s to doctoral degrees. A number of programs are available at both brick-and-mortar and online schools.

Brick-and-Mortar Sports management Programs

Pursuing a career in sports management is about much more than the degree program you choose. Future employers want to see that you have experience in the field. Choosing a brick-and-mortar school near the headquarters of a major sports team can result in an internship that will launch your career in the sports world. The right degree program will also put you in contact with industry leaders and give you a chance to create a professional network that will serve you throughout your career.

Online Sports Management Programs

While online degree programs are still in the process of earning acceptance in the business world, there are some excellent online sports management programs available.

An online sports management program can provide you with all the knowledge you need, but it will generally not provide you with the same industry contacts and internships that you get from a traditional school. Students who are already working in field and looking to advance their careers, who already have industry contacts through other means, or who have been working in business management and are looking to make the transition to sports can benefit the most from an online program.

Decide if Sports Management is a Good Fit

Remember that a degree in sports management is primarily about the management. Enjoying sports is not enough to have job satisfaction as a sports manager. Many recent graduates are disappointed to find this field is more about finances and management than about the games they love. Understand that you will be approaching sports from a business perspective in this degree program, so if you are uncomfortable in leadership roles or find planning and scheduling tedious, consider other avenues of education.

However, if you can combine your love of sports with a head for business, an ability to make informed and unbiased management decisions, and the ability to provide leadership and assess talent, you are on the right track. To be successful in this career, you should enjoy working with logistics, budgeting and sales, and have an interest in talent evaluation. It is also helpful to have strong leadership abilities and an eye for details. A willingness to travel and work odd hours will also serve you well, especially if you find employment with a professional or college team. Being well-spoken is a great asset in this field, since many graduates go on to work in customer service, media relations, and sales.

Find Out How to Earn a Sports management Degree

There are a variety of jobs that sports managers can choose from, and college coursework reflects this breadth of options. A solid background in math and economics is essential to many programs, to help prepare you for the rigors of budgeting and managing the economics of a major sports team or arena. Most programs require work in public speaking and writing to prepare for media relations. You can also expect a heavy dose of business classes, with both a general focus and specifically directed towards sports issues.

See What Sports Management Courses You Will Take

The following courses are common in sports management programs.

This course addresses supply and demand analysis, competition and monopoly, and theories of corporate and individual behavior. You will also learn problem solving and how to form and adjust economic policies.
This class will address data analysis, probability, correlation, and hypothesis testing. You will lean how to develop and test a theory, and critically examine data gathered by others.
Here you will learn how to examine financial statements for accuracy and usefulness, determine the economic health of an organization, and make economic policy decisions based on these findings. You will also learn how to keep accurate financial records and determine the accuracy of existing records.
This course teaches speech composition and delivery, the ability to answer questions in a public setting, and effective verbal communication. You will learn how to communicate in a clear and confident manner.
This class addresses the history and development of sports management and current practices in the field. You will learn management practices for sports teams and get an overview of the career opportunities available to graduates.
This course addresses organizational planning and design, conflict management, interpersonal communication, motivational approaches, and staffing and supervision. You will learn to lead a team, achieve goals, and maintain interpersonal relationships.
In this class, you will study consumer research, branding, pricing, product development, organization, and solving. You will learn how to develop a solid marketing strategy and critically examine those of others.
Here, you will address ethical concerns and legal actions in the sports industry. You will learn how to think critically about ethical concerns and avoid future problems in your own career.
Many sports management programs require a thesis, practicum, or internship to obtain a degree. A hands-on practicum or internship is a great way to launch your career. Since the field places a high premium on experience as well as education, the longer and more prestigious your internship, the more likely you are to land your ideal job. This is also a great way to narrow down your focus into a specialization that you find interesting and get career advice from successful industry professionals.

Consider Your Specialization

Sports management is a broad area of study, and there are a number of specialization options depending on your interests in the field.

This specialization will give you the knowledge and tools to organize special events, conferences, and fundraisers. It will also give you an overview of sports tourism. Students who pursue this specialization find careers in managing large special events rather than everyday sporting events.
This concentration is for students interested in the daily workings of a sports team. If you are hoping to manage your own team, this is the specialization for you. It can also be helpful for students who want to manage a stadium or other facility.
A specialization in sport law will prepare you for negotiating athlete and venue contracts, examining abuses of franchise or governing rules, and collective bargaining. This is especially useful to lawyers looking to make the switch into the realm of sports.
This specialization will prepare you for a career in maintaining the public image of sports organizations, advertising for events, creating press releases, and licensing and merchandise creation. This is also a good avenue for students interested in sports journalism.
Pursuing a concentration in Finance will prepare you for managing a team or facility’s financial records. Graduates will help steer the economic course of an organization.

Discover the Sports Management Degree Levels Schools Offer

Degrees in Sports management are available at the following levels.

This is a good degree to get your feet wet in the world of sports management. It will take two years to complete and will prepare you for an entry-level position in the field. Graduates at this level work in jobs such as sales and public relations.
This is for students who are more certain that they want to pursue sports management. It is a four-year program and can lead to careers in coaching, scouting, public relations, sales, and management.
This degree is typically for professionals who have worked in the field for some time and want to increase their skills and education or develop a more specific area of specialization. It can take as little as two years, but may be longer depending on course load and thesis completion. At the master’s level, many graduates go on to careers in marketing, team or stadium management, or special events management.
This degree is for professionals in the field who want to obtain the highest possible level of education. It can be completed in anywhere from four to eight years. This is a route that many lawyers take to break into sports law. Graduates may also choose a career in research, teaching, or high-level management.

Find Out What You Need to Know About Accreditation

The Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA) is the organization recognized by both the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. North American Society for Sport Management for determining excellence in sports management education. While the programs accredited by this organization are excellent, there are other valuable degree programs that are also worthwhile. At this time, only 11 universities are recognized by the COSMA. If you choose to attend a school that is not COSMA-accredited, be sure to check for national and regional accreditation.

Discover the Job Landscape for Sports Management Professionals

Graduates from a sports management program can look forward to a number of different employment options. According to Forbes, some of the best entry-level positions are in sales, public relations, or customer service. They urge graduates to enter the job market right away and earn the experience that will land them more glamorous jobs down the road.

There are a number of growing job markets in business management. If you are interested in public relations, you can expect a salary around $53,190, while business managers for athletes make an average of $64,790. The general manager of a sports team makes an average of $95,150 per year, while a marketing director can look forward to an average of $116,010 per year.

You should strongly consider location when you are looking at a career in sports management. If you are near a professional team, a notable university, or some other sports hub, you will have a much better chance of getting a meaningful internship or the ideal job you’ve been working towards.