Find Your Degree!

20 Great Small Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management

Sports Management Degree Guide - Best Small Colleges 2015
By SMD Staff

The sports industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in America, according to the North American Society for Sport Management. Sport management is a field of study that focuses on the business aspects of sports and recreation. Colleges with sports management degrees often combine physical education, fitness, and kinesiology with business and finance, providing students with a wide scope of the sport industry.

Degrees from sports management colleges offer students a wide variety of career options. Graduates go on to pursue careers as agents, managers, publicists, and administrators in the sports industry.

Featured Schools

Methodology for Ranking Top Sports Management Colleges

For this ranking, we examined selective small colleges and universities with an undergraduate population of 3,000 students or less that offer a bachelor’s degree in sport management or a related field.

The institutions selected meet the following criteria:

• Schools with a bachelor’s in sports management or related field
• Student population < 3000
• Public, private non-profit, and 4-year schools

From among these, we selected the 20 most selective schools based on percent of students admitted. The 20 finalists are sorted in ascending order of freshman retention rate, as an indicator of student satisfaction.

Note that, as such, the ranking is based on overall undergraduate student body information, and not on information that’s specific to the sports management degree program. All data points are taken from College Navigator.

20. Ecclesia College

Sport Management

Springdale, AR

Website

Ecclesia College - Sport Management

Admission Rate: 31%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 47%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 178
Average Net Price: $18,760

Under the Division of Professional Studies, Ecclesia College offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sport Management. To fulfill the requirements of the degree, students must complete both general education and sport management institutional requirements.

The degree in Sport Management allows students to apply insight on human anatomy, kinesiology, and psychology to the fields of sport and fitness. Students learn management principles and concepts associated with operating sport and recreation facilities. As the student nears their senior year, they are equipped in finding a career in the sport management discipline. Such career options include coaching, health management, fitness administration, and other sport management related positions. Upper level sport management capstone requirements include an internship in health, sport, or recreation.

Ecclesia College receives accreditation from The Association for Biblical Higher Education and has been accredited since 2005. The U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize the institution. June of 2013 marked the school’s 38th anniversary.

For More Information: Ecclesia College

19. Warner University

Sport Management

Lake Wales, FL

Warner University - Sport Management

Admission Rate: 34%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 49%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,043
Average Net Price: $16,109

Warner University’s Sport Management program combines the study of athletics with various areas of business, including management, marketing, finance, and public relations. The degree program is designed for students who wish to pursue a career with recreation and sport-related organizations.

The Sport Management program at Warner offers broad-based curriculum, covering specific areas of business and sports. Marketing and promotion, communications, and law are included in the interdisciplinary major.

Those who earn a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management from Warner University are eligible for careers in the sport management field. Professional sports and intercollegiate athletics are common areas of employment.

The U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Warner #5 among southern universities for ethnic diversity among its student population. Warner has received recognition in rankings for consecutive years since 2006. The institution is affiliated with the Church of God (Anderson) and recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.

For More Information: Warner University

18. Johnson C Smith University

Sport Management

Charlotte, NC

Website

Johnson C. Smith University - Sport Management

Admission Rate: 37%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 56%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,387
Average Net Price: $16,118

The Sport Management program at Johnson C Smith University provides courses that emphasize practical athletic and real world knowledge that can be applied to a career in the field. Classes offer a behind-the-scenes look at sports and sport management. Areas explored in the classroom include sport finance, marketing, law, and professional and collegiate team administration.

Since the sport management program includes a liberal arts education, classes in computer science, communications, English, and science are also required. The most popular courses in the program include Sport Facilities Management, Leadership and Governance in Sport, and Sport Psychology.

The city of Charlotte boasts the prime location to study sport management. Internship and job opportunities are available with professional sports teams in the NFL and NBA, as well as baseball, soccer, and hockey teams.

Johnson C Smith University is a historically black college accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges. It is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.

For More Information: Johnson C Smith University

17. Northwood University

Entertainment, Sport & Promotion Management

Macomb, MI

Website

Northwood University - Sports Management

Admission Rate: 26%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 57%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 648
Average Net Price: $12,547

An Entertainment, Sport & Promotion Management degree from Northwood University is designed to provide the knowledge needed to land an entry-level opportunity in the entertainment or sports fields. Curriculum focuses on sales promotion management, entertainment law, and sports psychology. From day one in the program, students are introduced to the world of sports and entertainment.

Students are required to complete a 400-hour internship and at least one practicum prior to graduation. Past internships have included opportunities with music festivals, professional sports teams, semi-pro teams, and record labels. A hands-on approach to the area of study is provided at Northwood so that students are prepared with experiential knowledge before entering the workplace.

Northwood University is private and was established in 1959.  U.S. News & World Report ranked Northwood #111 in their Best Online Bachelor’s Programs list. Northwood has residential locations in Midland, Michigan and West Palm Beach, Florida. Other campuses for adult and online learning can be found in various other states.

For More Information: Northwood University

16. Alderson Broaddus University

Sport Management

Philippi, WV

Alderson Broaddus University - Sport Management

Admission Rate: 43%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 58%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,052
Average Net Price: $16,551

An interdisciplinary Sport Management degree is offered at Alderson Broaddus University for students with an interest in the business of sport. The program includes studies in finance, law, management, and marketing, and prepares students for a career in intercollegiate athletics and professional sports.

Students participating in the program may earn a BA degree with a concentration in sport management. Faculty aligns the curriculum to focus attention on areas related to sports management. These areas include athletic administration, business strategies and marketing, legal issues, new program planning, and facility management. Students learn how to effectively communicate and lead within the field of sport and athletics.

Affordable Colleges Online identifies Alderson Broaddus University as the #2 ranked university in the state of West Virginia as the Best Lifetime Return on Investment. U.S. News & World Report ranks Alderson #37 among Regional Colleges in the South. The school is a member of the NCAA Division II for athletics.

For More Information: Alderson Broaddus University

15. Coppin State University

Sports Management

Baltimore, MD

Website

Coppin State University - Sports Management

Admission Rate: 36%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 61%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,920
Average Net Price: $9,667

Coppin State University’s Sports Management program prepares undergrads for a career in both the private and public sectors of sports management. Common careers in the field that have been secured by graduates of the program include sports marketing and promotions, ticket sales, public relations, sports information, event and facility management, sport agents, athletic directors, and sport governing bodies such as the NCAA and related athletic conferences.

The Sports Management program at Coppin prepares students for entry-level positions in management and/or to continue education at a graduate school with programs in sports management. The curriculum assists students in gaining insight and understanding of what it takes to organize and manage athletic and sport facilities. Personnel management, behavior and psychology of sports, and supervision are all taught within the program.

Coppin is a historically black college accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

For More Information: Coppin State University

14. Alice Lloyd College

Sports and Fitness Programs Management

Pippa Passes, KY

Website

Alice Lloyd College - Sports and Fitness Programs Management

Admission Rate: 45%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 63%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 631
Average Net Price: $11,036

While not a traditional Sports Management degree, the Alice Lloyd College Social Science Division offers a Bachelor of Arts in Sports and Fitness Programs Management. When a student majors in Sports and Fitness Programs Management they are offered an interdisciplinary course of study in both Business and Physical Education. Students are prepared with management and leadership skills that present opportunities for a career in sports and recreation, management, and administration.

General education requirements include 54 hours of study in a variety of disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics, and institutional. An additional 51 hours are required in the Sports and Fitness Programs Management program. General electives may be taken at any time but are typically taken during the first and second semesters of the senior year.

Alice Lloyd College was ranked #1 among regional colleges in the South for Best Value Schools by U.S. News & World Report. The school was also ranked #29 as the Best Regional College in the South.

For More Information: Alice Lloyd College

13. Cumberland University

Health and Human Performance – Sport Management Emphasis

Lebanon, TN

Website

Cumberland University - Health and Human Performance - Sport Management Emphasis

Admission Rate: 47%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 64%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,269
Average Net Price: $17,147

The sport industry is one of the largest industries in the United States and according to Cumberland University, the industry employs close to five million people. The institution offers a Health and Human Performance degree with an emphasis in Sport Management.

Curriculum for the program is designed to meet the criteria for a sport management programs as detailed by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation. The university adheres to guidelines set forth by the North American Society for Sport Management. Curriculum focuses on the social and psychological component of sports management and is inclusive of sport finance, sport leadership, sport governance, and sport ethics.

Students graduating with a degree in Health and Human Performance with an emphasis in Sport Management have gone on to secure careers in team sports organizations (professional and collegiate), sports media, exercise and fitness organizations, and event management.

The institution is private.

For More Information: Cumberland University

12. Ohio Valley University

Sports Management

Vienna, WV

Website

Ohio-Valley-University-Sports-Management

Admission Rate: 36%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 64%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 410
Average Net Price: $15,226

Ohio Valley University offers a B.S. in Sports Management major as an interdisciplinary program that combines marketing and management principles with sports and wellness curriculum. The track focuses on business and provides graduates with the understanding they need to secure employment in sports management.

Areas of focus for the discipline include human resource management, promotional strategies, sports officiating, principles and coaching, and organizational and administrative skills in sports. Completion of the program requires 56 credit hours of general education courses and 31 credit hours of core business requirements. Major requirements include 30 credit hours.

U.S. News & World Report ranks Ohio Valley University #56 among Regional Colleges in the South, #18 among Best Colleges for Veterans, and #176 among Best Online Graduate Education Programs. The institution is affiliated with Churches of Christ and is a four-year Christian college. The school’s sports teams compete in the Great Mid-West Athletic Conference and the institution is a member of the NCAA’s Division II.

For More Information: Ohio Valley University

11. Sterling College

Sports Management

Sterling, KS

Website

Sterling College - Sports Management

Admission Rate: 44%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 66%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 690
Average Net Price: $17,821

A Sports Management major at Sterling College combines courses from both the business and exercise science departments to prepare students for a career in the sports industry. Four areas of concentration supplement the major and provide options for students to pursue. The concentration is not required, although is recommended.

Areas of concentration and licensure within the Sports Management major include, club, fitness and recreation, coaching and instruction, marketing and promotions, collegiate and professional sport administration. Secondary education licensure is also available. Sample courses within the program include management leadership, psychology of sport, sport law, and sport public relations.

Students participate in class projects and have the opportunity to take part in local volunteer opportunities within the on-campus athletic department and the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.

U.S. News & World Report ranks Sterling College #67 among Regional Midwest Colleges. The Christian liberal arts college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

For More Information: Sterling College

10. Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Sports Management

Waxahachie, TX

Website

Southwestern Assemblies of God University - Sports Management

Admission Rate: 35%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 67%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,700
Average Net Price: $21,407

The Sports Management program at Southwestern Assemblies of God University is designed to prepare students for a career in sports management from a Christian perspective. Students gain a background in sports and fitness, while developing business skills and management focus.

The major studies are comprised of 63 credit hours that combine core studies, management studies, and professional development. General electives combined with the major requirements makes up a total of 126 program hours. Students must include one theology or religion course each semester as required by the institution. Students who graduate with a degree in Sports Management are able to employ the principles learned in the sports industry. Students are prepared to lead, manage, and operate sports and athletics facilities.

The private Christian university is affiliated with the Assembles of God USA and the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits the institution.

For More Information: Southwestern Assemblies of God University

9. Barton College

Sport Management

Wilson, NC

Website

Barton College - Sports Management

Admission Rate: 42%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 69%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,057
Average Net Price: $21,781

The Bachelor of Science in Sport Management from Barton College operates under the auspices of the Physical Education and Sport Studies Department and the institution’s School of Business. The major prepares students for a career in sports and/or governing bodies.

The sport management major blends courses from the Department of Physical Education and Sport Studies and the School of Business in an effort to provide a wide scope of focus. Courses covered under the discipline include accounting, law, ethics, management, marketing, communications, advertising, psychology, and sociology of the sport.

As a sophomore in the program at Barton, field experience is offered. An internship is required after the junior year. Sport management majors have interned at NBC, Disney’s Wide World of Sports, and for the Carolina Hurricanes.

In 2006, the Princeton Review named Barton College as the Best Southeastern College. U.S. News & World Report ranks Barton #25 among Regional Colleges in the South. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits Barton College.

For More Information: Barton College

8. Catawba College

Sport Management

Salisbury, NC

Website

Catawba College - Sports Management

Admission Rate: 41%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 70%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,298
Average Net Price: $20,166

Earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management from Catawba College mean acquiring knowledge in sports management while learning business core principles. The Sport Management curriculum provides opportunity for students to conveniently add a minor in business or double major in Sport Management and Business.

The program emphasizes a practicum and internship. Due to the location of the college many opportunities are located nearby, including work availability at the Hurley Family YMCA, Gold’s Gym, and Salisbury Parks and Recreation. Located within fifty miles of the campus are a variety of professional sports campuses, including NASCAR, NFL, NBA, PGA, WNBA, and both minor and major league baseball.

U.S. News & World Report ranks Catawba #16 among Regional Colleges in the South and #17 in the category of Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the South. The private liberal arts college is affiliated with the United Church of Christ. The Princeton Review has consistently named the school as among the 361 Best Colleges.

For More Information: Catawba University

7. Texas Wesleyan University

Exercise Science

Fort Worth, TX

Website

Texas Wesleyan University - Exercise Science

Admission Rate: 30%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 71%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,724
Average Net Price: $19,321

A Bachelor of Science degree program in Exercise Science from Texas Wesleyan University provides curriculum and content for students who want to pursue a career in sports management that includes exercise science. The goal of the program is to create graduates who understand the work of an exercise specialist and wellness educator.

Related coursework for the program includes components in biology, athletic training, and exercise science. General education requirements are necessary. Curriculum integrates theory, research, and clinical practice that ready students to function as management personnel in the field of exercise and health. Graduates of the degree program go on to work in clinical rehabilitation centers, health and fitness clubs, and corporate health settings.

Texas Wesleyan University is ranked #49 among Regional Universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report. It is also ranked as the 16th Best College for Veterans by U.S. News. The institution’s religious affiliation is the United Methodist Church.

For More Information: Texas Wesleyan University

6. Gardner-Webb University

Sport Management

Boiling Springs, NC

Website

Gardner-Webb University - Sport Management

Admission Rate: 48%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 72%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,587
Average Net Price: $21,661

The Sport Management program at Gardner-Webb presents instruction that covers more than sport management. Operating under the auspices of Physical Education, Wellness, and Sport Studies, a degree in sport management offers instruction in business, communications, ethics, law, governance, and leadership as related to the sport and athletic field.

Course requirements include 42 hours of classes related to the major. These classes include communication in sport, social issues in sports, and legal issues in sports. General education courses are also required. A successful degree in Sport Management from Gardner-Webb helps prepare students for a career in sports information and media, athletic administration, marketing and sales, recreational sports management, and event or facility management.

In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked Gardner-Webb number 34 out of more than 130 schools among southern regional universities. The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits Gardner-Webb to award Associate to Doctorate degrees.

For More Information: Gardner-Webb University

5. University of Saint Mary

Sport Management

Leavenworth, KS

Website

 

university of st mary sports management degree

Admission Rate: 47%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 72%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 890
Average Net Price: $15,611

One of the fastest growing industries in America is the sports industry. But the University of Saint Mary knows that the requirements for success in the industry are steep. The Sport Management program at the institution is based in physical education with a focus on business.

The program emphasizes the link between business and sports. Students master sports accounting and finance, the economics of athletics, and sport marketing. The program focuses attention on managing human assets as well as handling ethical dilemmas in sports. Graduates find internships at a variety of local and regional facilities that range from the PGA Tour to many of Kansas City’s sports franchises.

The Princeton Review named the school a Best Midwestern College in 2005. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredits the university.

For More Information: University of Saint Mary

4. LeTourneau University

Sports Management

Longview, TX

Website

LeTourneau University - Sports Management

Admission Rate: 41%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 77%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,305
Average Net Price: $21,474

The program in Sports Management at LeTourneau University combines kinesiology and business to prepare students to enter the fast-growing field of sports management. The degree prepares students for a career in sports and fitness facility management as well as sports administration.

Some of the classes offered at LeTourneau include the Principles of Management, Sports Marketing and Promotion, and Care and Prevention of Sports Injuries. Students who complete the general and program requirements receive a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a Sports Management Concentration or KSM. Students who have graduated with this degree have gone on to secure positions such as meeting and event coordinators, journalists, intramural administrators, athletic club directors, and athletic administrators for colleges, corporations, and professional sport teams.

U.S. News & World Report ranks LeTourneau University #27 in the category of America’s Best Colleges among Regional Universities in the West. It is also listed #13 on the rankings for Best Value Schools.

For More Information: LeTourneau University

3. Southern Adventist University

Sports Studies Management

Collegedale, TN

Southern Adventist University - Sports Studies Management

Admission Rate: 38%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 77%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,825
Average Net Price: $20,343

A Bachelor of Science in Sports Studies Management is offered at Southern Adventist University. The program focuses on management and offers a sequence of courses that equip students for positions in the fast-growing sports industry. Students take coursework that prepares them with leadership skills, communication abilities, and fitness understanding that is necessary to work in the industry.

Some of the courses required in the program include computational skills, health for life, spiritual development, managerial accounting, organizational behavior, and the psychology and sociology of sports. Students who receive a degree in Sports Studies Management are equipped for a management position in the industry.

U.S. News & World Report ranks Southern Adventist University as among the top-tier schools in the Southern Regional College category. The university is owned and operated by the Southern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and is considered one of the most highly conservative Seventh-day Adventist schools in the U.S. The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits the university.

For More Information: Southern Adventist University

2. Oral Roberts University

Sports Management

Tulsa, OK

Website

Oral Roberts University - Sports Management

Admission Rate: 44%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 81%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,884
Average Net Price: $21,523

The Bachelor of Science degree program in Sports Management from Oral Roberts University prepares students for advanced work in a wide variety of sports industry-related fields. Students receive specific management training with respect to areas of finance, law, marketing, facility management, and sports personnel management.

Career options for students with a degree in Sports Management include the area of professional sports, sports travel and tourism, venue management, and collegiate athletics. Course offerings include the psychology of sports, leadership in sports, legal aspects, and organization and administration of the program. Internship opportunities are available to the student in their senior year and are required in order to complete the program.

U.S. News & World Report ranks Oral Roberts University #46 among Best Regional Universities in the West. The Princeton Review ranks the university as one of the 123 institutions listed in the 2101 Best in the West category. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredits the institution.

For More Information: Oral Roberts University

1. Wilmington College

Sport Management

Wilmington, OH

Website

Wilmington College - Sport Management

Admission Rate: 46%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 82%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,169
Average Net Price: $21,809

The Sport Management program at Wilmington College is a four-year program that prepares students for employment in sports-related enterprises and facilities. Students receive business, marketing, legal, and financial training that prepares them for the world of business and sports.

The major in Sport Management offers two areas of concentration. Both require internship experience. Interns are able to apply what they learned in school to real-life on-the-job situations. Internship opportunities include such organizations as the Cincinnati Bengals, Cincinnati Reds, University of Dayton, Wilmington City Parks, and the Columbus Clippers. Internships provide experience in the workforce and may be stepping-stones to a full time position within a company.

The North Central Association, Higher Learning Commission accredits the institution. U.S. News & World Report ranks Wilmington College #58 among Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest. The school is affiliated with the Religious Society of Friends and is an NCAA Division III member.

For More Information: Wilmington College

For a high resolution version of the award badge to use for your promotion or publication, click here (JPG) or here (PNG).


More Rankings


This concludes our ranking of the best sports management colleges. As you can see, the best colleges for sports management are available in a variety of locations, settings, and access to important sports management career enhancing opportunities such as internships with professional sports teams.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply