What Does a Sports Management Degree Consist Of?

Sports management is a diverse field that features multiple levels of education, career tracks, and possibilities for continuing education. Across the U.S., both online and traditional Sports Management degree programs abound. Each degree program will vary slightly by school, with further variables depending on an individual’s career goals.

Related resource: Top 13 Best Sports Management Degree Programs

What Kinds of Study Are Available?

At a basic level, students wishing to pursue sports management can earn associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and graduate degrees of various kinds. As the degrees increase in prestige, so do the requirements. Higher degrees are also usually more specialized than lower degrees.

Even at the level of an associate degree, the sports management field encompasses such subcategories as business ethics, coaching, physical education and kinesiology, and management of either a team itself or its business operations. Comprising only two years, these studies are necessarily broad. Earning an associate degree is a good way to get a grounding in one’s chosen field and to get certain core requirements out of the way early.

Bachelor’s degrees are also available with a focus on accounting and financial planning as well as in the same subjects offered to associate degree holders. Four-year degrees also provide for specializations, such as public relations and advertising. One must decide, however, if the associate degree is worth the same as the first two years of a four-year degree. Many community colleges have “upped their game,” so to speak, so they offer a cost-effective method of getting that grounding and settling core requirements.

Graduate degrees branch out in all directions. Master of Business Administration degrees are available from many institutions, and so are degrees in sports medicine, which allows students to pursue careers in physiotherapy, injury rehabilitation and prevention, and management of such departments associated with a team.

A Master of Sports Management can lead to a student becoming a team owner, general manager, or even head coach as well as pairing the study with accounting and finance to be a team’s controller. Students can also lay the groundwork for future study on the way to involving themselves with the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, or other large-scale events.

Doctoral candidates who wish to study Olympism would strive to earn the Doctor of Education in Sports Management while aspiring team executives or sports organizational executives, such as the head of the NCAA, would instead look toward the Doctor of Philosophy in Sports Management.

Students are encouraged to contact the schools to which they wish to apply to find out any qualifications necessary for enrollment, such as applicable certifications, licenses, and coursework. It would also be wise to search out opportunities for financial assistance and to speak with people in their chosen fields to get an idea not only of what to expect but also what they might gain from applying for financial aid.


There are, quite literally, dozens of fields and subcategories grouped under the banner of sports management. Students interested in pursuing careers in these fields should speak with their high-school counselors, if applicable, college advisers, or graduate advisers to determine their best course of action. As reported by ForbesSports Management is one of the fastest-growing degree fields, with a wealth of programs- both online and traditional- to choose from.

Related Articles: