By SMD Staff
A sports management degree online can help you get a job in facility management, sports marketing, sports law, or athletic training. Social people who have an interest in sports and fitness will find sports management a very rewarding career choice. Long hours and hard work can pay off with career advancement. Earning your sports management degree online can allow you the flexibility to complete coursework when it is most convenient, often in the comfort of your own home.
To identify the top 15 best sports management degree online programs, we started with a search on College Navigator to find out which schools offered these programs in an online format. We included both graduate and undergraduate programs in our assessment. We compared student to faculty ratios, graduate tuition and undergraduate net cost, concentration areas, and accreditations. Where there are ties, we favored the school with the lower net undergraduate tuition. From our list, we created a rating system as seen below to select our top 15 programs.
Student to Faculty Ratio
15:1 or less= 2 Points
Greater than 15:1= 1 Point
Net Undergraduate Tuition Cost
Less than $20,000 per year= 2 Points
More than $20,000 per year= 1 Point
Average Graduate Tuition Rate
Less than $10,000 per year= 2 Points
More than $10,000 per year= 1 Point
Schools offering a concentration area= 2 Points
Accreditation through COSMA
Schools with COSMA accreditation= 5 Points
Accreditation through Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International
Schools with AACSBI accreditation= 1 Point
Inclusion in the 2016 SportBusiness International Postgraduate Sports Course Rankings
Schools included= 1 Point
Below are 15 schools that offer the best sports management online degree programs. Students learn the basic skills needed to enter the field in a management position. In addition, most programs also offer certain specializations that narrow your skills to a particular niche in your field.
Ranking the Top Online Degree Programs in Sports Management 2017
#15 – Gonzaga University – Spokane, Washington
Online Master of Art in Sport and Athletic Administration
The online master’s in sport administration degree from Gonzaga University combines the prestige of a Top 10 NCAA school with a faith based education. Students can complete the program in just two years with no required campus visits. The program follows a cohort model, with a new cohort starting each fall. The program teaches students to be leaders in sport related professions, administering programs with high ethical and professional standards. This 31-credit hour program includes an internship opportunity to gain professional work experience, help develop goals, and allow for personal reflection.
For More Information: Gonzaga University
#14 – Virginia Commonwealth University – Richmond, Virginia
Master of Education in Sport Leadership Online
The Center for Sports Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University features an online Master of Education in Sport Leadership with minimum on campus requirements. Students can begin the program in either the fall, spring, or summer semester. Students are required to complete one course on campus, with most distance students electing to complete a one week summer intensive course. Students also have the opportunity to travel to Europe to fulfill their on-campus course requirements by completing the European Model of Sport course. Students travel for about 12 days learning the business of sports with a global perspective. Students can also earn up to three credit hours by completing an externship opportunity to gain professional work experience.
For More Information: Virginia Commonwealth University
#13 – Georgia Southern University – Statesboro, Georgia
Master of Science in Sport Management Online
The 36-credit hour online master’s in sport management from Georgia Southern University is a two-year program designed for the working professional. Students complete eight core courses directly related to sport management and four elective courses that can be related to individual interests. Students can apply the concepts taught in class to their own professional and personal sport industry experience. Graduates have gone on to find employment in a variety of settings such as sport media outlets, sport marketing firms, professional leagues and associations, and fitness centers.
For More Information: Georgia Southern University
#12 – Old Dominion University – Norfolk, Virginia
Master of Science in Education, Emphasis: Sport Management
The Department of Human Movement Sciences at Old Dominion University offers a Master of Science in Education with an emphasis in Sport Management. Students learn how to conduct research, meet organizational objectives, implement marketing strategies, and plan successful sport events. Most courses do not have a set meeting time, allowing students to study when it is most convenient. This 36-credit hour program includes either a capstone field experience or a thesis, depending on a students’ educational goals. Graduates are prepared to work in sport management areas such as professional sports, event operations, intramural sports and recreation, and corporate sport management.
For More Information: Old Dominion University
#11 – Texas A & M University – College Station, Texas
Master of Science in Sport Management Online
The Master of Science in Sport Management from Texas A & M University is offered online and is designed for the working professional. This 36-credit hour program includes core courses in research and sport management with electives available in specific areas of interest. Students can enroll as either a part time or full time student and can complete the program in about two years. There is no thesis required to complete this degree and all courses can be completed online. An internship experience in sport management is one of the highlights of the program, allowing students new to the field to gain professional experience.
For More Information: Texas A&M University
#10 – University of Central Missouri – Warrensburg, Missouri
Online Master of Science in Kinesiology: Sport Management
The University of Central Missouri features a Master of Science in Kinesiology with a focus on Sport Management. Students learn to apply sport management principles to various sport organizations, develop sound financial management plans, analyze case law, and apply public relations strategies. Students can elect to complete an internship or a thesis depending on their professional goals. Coursework covers a wide variety of topics including sport finance, organizational leadership, sport law, statistics in kinesiology, sport and media, and sport consumer behavior.
For More Information: University of Central Missouri
#9 – University of Florida – Gainesville, Florida
Online Master’s Degree in Sport Management
The University of Florida offers an online Master’s Degree in Sport Management with a comprehensive curriculum taught by experienced faculty. This online master’s degree features coursework in finance, risk management, sport marketing, research, and athlete training and development. Students can select a specialization in either Athlete Performance and Development or Sport Law. Students who select the Athlete Performance and Development specialization may be qualified for certification through the Professional Association of Athlete Development Specialists.
For More Information: University of Florida
#8 – University of Southern Mississippi – Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Online Master of Science in Sport Management; Sport Coaching Education Online Master of Science
The University of Southern Mississippi offers two different online master’s degrees in sport management. The Online Master of Science in Sport Management offers a unique specialization in Sport Event Security Management. This 33 credit hour program features coursework in policy and governance, trends and issues, socio-ethical issues, and venue management. A practicum or internship experience is included as part of this degree program. The Sport Coaching Education Online Master of Science is an ideal choice for those who want to enhance their professional coaching and leadership career. Students learn management and leadership skills to successful work with teams and individuals. Students can complete a thesis or practicum experience as part of this program.
For More Information: University of Southern Mississippi
#7 – Ohio University – Athens, Ohio
Master of Sports Administration; Professional Master of Sports Administration (online only); Master of Athletic Administration (MAA)
SportBusiness International named the Master of Sports Administration at Ohio University as the best online postgraduate sports program in the world. This competitive program accepts 25 students per year and is only available to those with more than three years of full time work experience in the industry and a strong academic background. The program can be completed in 21 months and requires three short residencies on campus. Ohio University also offers a Professional Master of Sports Administration online degree that can prepare students for NIAAA certification. This two-year program prepares students for a career as an athletic director.
For More Information: Ohio University
#6 – Davenport University – Grand Rapids, Michigan
Online Bachelor of Business Administration in Sports Management
Davenport University offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration in Sport Management that includes two internship opportunities. This 120 credit hour program features coursework in accounting, marketing, statistics, and business. Students complete courses that tie together textbook learning with real world application. Course topics include governance, advertising, facility management and operations, and the global sport industry. Graduates of the program have gone on to work for the Detroit Lions, Detroit Red Wings, USA Football, and the Minnesota Vikings.
For More Information: Davenport University
#5 – Northeastern University – Boston, Massachusetts
Master of Sports Leadership Online
The online Master of Sports Leadership from Northeastern University in Boston is a 45-credit hour program that can be completed on a full time or part time basis. Full-time students can complete the program in just one year of study. The program offers two different concentration areas including Professional Sports Administration and Collegiate Athletics Administration. Unique course offerings include ticket sales and strategies, bystander strategies for the prevention of gender-based violence, and the power of social media. Graduates have gone on to have successful careers working with intercollegiate sports teams, fitness clubs, and wellness organizations.
For More Information: Northeastern University
#4 – Lasell College – Newton, Massachusetts
Online Master of Science in Sport Management
Lasell College features an online Master of Science in Sport Management with three different concentration areas including Sport Leadership, Sport Hospitality Management, and Sport Non-Profit Management. This fully online sport management program is ideal for the working professional since there are no set class times and all coursework can be done when it’s most convenient. Choosing an area of concentration means that coursework is relevant and relatable to a student’s professional interests. Faculty have experience in the field, and in online instruction. Sport Management students have access to a variety of services including career counseling, academic advising, and enrollment counseling.
For More Information: Lasell College
#3 – Liberty University – Lynchburg, Virginia
Online Master of Science in Sport Management
Liberty University prides itself on being the “largest private non-profit university in the nation, the largest university in Virginia, and the largest Christian university in the world.” The online Master of Science in Sport Management with a concentration in Sport Administration is a 36-credit hour program delivered entirely online. Students learn both management and leadership skills to become successful in the industry. Courses emphasize ethics in management and faith in learning, a theme woven throughout the university. Graduates have gone on to pursue careers in athletic marketing, sports broadcasting, athletic facility management, and promotion administration.
For More Information: Liberty University
#2 – Saint Leo University – St. Leo, Florida
Online Master in Business Administration with a Concentration in Sport Business
Saint Leo University Online is the “oldest Catholic higher education institution in Florida.” The school’s online M.B.A with a sport business concentration is the first to be accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation. The school was also recognized by SportBusiness International as offering the 3rd best sport-related online graduate degree in the world. Students can complete this one year M.B.A. program by completing two courses per eight-week term. Concentration coursework including risk management, sport marketing, financial aspects, and faculties planning and management.
For More Information: Saint Leo University
#1 – Troy University – Troy, Alabama
Bachelor of Science, Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management; Master of Science, Sport and Fitness Management
Troy University offers both a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management with a concentration in Sport Management and a Master of Science in Sport and Fitness Management. The undergraduate program teaches students how to motivate others, provide quality services, and be productive in the workplace. The Sport and Fitness Management Master’s program teaches students the skills and knowledge needed to excel in leadership positions. Students benefit from an internship opportunity to gain professional work experience (not required as part of the Master’s program) and instruction from faculty with industry experience. Graduates of the Master of Science program have gone on to work in the NBA, NFL, event management, and recreation departments.
For More Information: Troy University
Sports Management is a growing field and the career possibilities vary greatly depending on your expertise and goals. There’s almost always room to advance in the career of sports management. A sports management degree online can provide you with potentially lucrative, exciting and rewarding career opportunities.