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

Best Small CollegesBy SMD Staff

The sports industry is booming and the demand for sports management professionals is on the rise according to the North American Society for Sport Management. While schools of all size offer sports management bachelor degree programs, there are many advantages to earning a bachelor’s in sport management from a small school. Small schools typically have smaller class size, more individualized attention, and a strong sense of community. Sport management programs at these schools are often small, allowing students to network and develop professional relationships.

Featured Schools

Methodology for Ranking the Top Small Colleges for a Sports Management Bachelor’s Degree

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.

The institutions selected meet the following criteria based on information provided by College Navigator:

  • 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 the percent of students admitted. These 20 top small schools for a bachelor’s in sport management are sorted in ascending order of their freshman retention rate (reported by College Navigator) as an indicator of student satisfaction.

20. Bacone College – Muskogee, Oklahoma

B.S. in Sport Management

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Admission Rate: 15%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 11%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 7:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 271
Average Net Price: $21,444
Bacone College is a top small school offering a high-value bachelor’s in sports management for students who aspire for roles such as coaches, sports team managers, or athletic directors. Courses include:

  • Organizational Behavior & Leadership Theory
  • Sport Facility Management & Design
  • Governing Bodies in Sport

Students complete 124 credit hours to complete their low-cost sports management degree and all required courses must have at least a C average. Graduates are prepared for professional roles in sport management or to continue on to graduate school.

19. Alice Lloyd College – Pippa Passes, Kentucky

B.A. in Sports and Fitness Programs Management

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Admission Rate: 28%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 48%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 644
Average Net Price: $15,120
Alice Lloyd College is a small private college well known for providing quality inexpensive undergraduate programs. They offer a best-value bachelor’s in sport and fitness programs management featuring courses in physical education and business. Courses include:

  • Prevention and Care of Injuries
  • Motor Development and Motor Learning
  • Team Sport Skills

Students will gain knowledge and skills that prepare them to administer programs and facilities or lead games and sports.

For More Information: Alice Lloyd College

18. Webber International University – Babson Park, Florida

Sport Business Management Bachelor’s Degree Program

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Admission Rate: 40%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 49%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 23:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 613
Average Net Price: $24,323
Webber International University is a small, economical, private not-for-profit university accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Webber features a low-cost bachelor’s in sport business management that includes a comprehensive curriculum. Courses include:

  • Risk Management & Legal Aspects of Sports
  • Facilities & Event Management
  • Ethics & Issues in Sport Business Management

Students have the opportunity for hands on training by completing a field experience and an internship. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of sport management related careers.

17. Sterling College – Sterling, Kansas

Sports Management Bachelor’s Degree Program

 

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Admission Rate: 41%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 50%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 648
Average Net Price: $20,061
Sterling College is a small, affordable Christian university offering a top-value bachelor’s in sport management. Students can choose from four concentrations including:

  • Club, Fitness and Recreation
  • Coaching and Instruction
  • Collegiate, Professional or Corporate Sport Administration
  • Marketing, Promotions and Sports Information

Students can participate in class projects and volunteer with organizations like the Sterling College athletic department and the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Courses include:

  • Sport Tournament/Event Management
  • Management Leadership
  • Sport Public Relations

For More Information: Sterling College

16. Livingstone College – Salisbury, North Carolina

B.S. in Sport Management


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Admission Rate: 42%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 50%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,148
Average Net Price: $16,826
Livingstone College is a private, low-cost historically black institution committed to quality in education. With a strong Christ-centered environment and a liberal arts focus, Livingstone meets the needs of students from diverse ethnic backgrounds. The high-value master’s degree program prepares sports leaders to understand the business side of the industry and gain practical experience in sport management. Students can network and professional development skills by participating in the Sport Management Club.

15. Alderson Broaddus University- Philippi, West Virginia

Sport Management BA

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Admission Rate: 43%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 51%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 836
Average Net Price: $19,742
The top, affordable bachelor’s in sport management from Alderson Broaddus University is an economical, interdisciplinary master’s degree program for students with a passion for sport. Students take courses in a variety of areas including:

  • sports law
  • management
  • finance
  • marketing

Through this unique curriculum, students gain skills in areas like sport marketing, facility management, and special event management. To complete this best-value bachelor’s degree, students should have 120 credit hours and a GPA of at least a 2.0.

For More Information: Alderson Broaddus University

14. Limestone College – Gaffney, South Carolina

B.S. in Sport Management

Limestone College

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Admission Rate: 44%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 52%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,468
Average Net Price: $23,881
Limestone College is a small, affordable liberal arts college that welcomes students from diverse backgrounds. The supportive Christian environment fosters personal and professional growth. Limestone features a top-value bachelor’s in sport management emphasizing hands-on learning and external partnerships. Courses come from a variety of areas including HR, marketing, accounting, and event and facility management. While this low-cost bachelor’s degree prepares students for entry level positions in the field, Limestone also features a high-value 4+1 program allowing students to earn their bachelor’s in sport management and an MBA in just five years.

13. University of the Southwest – Hobbs, New Mexico

Bachelor of Business Administration in Sport Management

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Admission Rate: 45%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 54%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 416
Average Net Price: $15,944
The University of the Southwest is a great small college to earn a low-priced bachelor’s in sport management. USW is a private not-for-profit university, providing students with a Christ-centered education in a variety of majors including sport management. Courses include:

  • Sport Consumer Behavior
  • Sport Marketing
  • Managing Diversity

Students engage in hands-on learning opportunities that prepare them for success in the workforce. Graduates may apply for certification with the NASPE or the NASSM.

12. Warner University – Lake Wales, Florida

Bachelor’s in Sport Management

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Admission Rate: 35%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 55%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 910
Average Net Price: $17,744
Warner University is a small, private four-year university located between Orlando and Tampa. Warner reports that 100% of full-time, first-time undergraduate students received grants from federal, state, or other sources, helping to keep tuition costs low. Warner features a low-cost bachelor’s in sport management that follows the standards set by the North American Society for Sport Management and the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation. Required courses include:

  • Theory and Practice of Coaching Sports
  • Athletic Facility and Event Management
  • Sports Marketing and Public Relations

Students complete a practicum and a practicum followership as well as an internship to gain valuable field experience. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of settings including corporate sport marketing departments, sport agent firms, and public and private organizations.
For More Information: Warner University

11. Emmanuel College – Franklin Springs, Georgia

B.S. in Sport Management


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Admission Rate: 42%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 58%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 920
Average Net Price: $17,672
Emmanuel College is an inexpensive, liberal-arts, Christ-centered university founded in 1919 by the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. The student population is comprised of students from 30 states, 22 foreign countries, and 25 different denominations. Emmanuel features a top-value bachelor’s in sports management with courses in:

  • Organizational Administration
  • Sports Psychology
  • Facility Design & Management

Students complete two internship opportunities, gaining valuable hands-on training. Most students can complete their degree in four years of study.

10. Coppin State University – Baltimore, Maryland

B.S. in Sport Management

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Admission Rate: 38%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 63%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,362
Average Net Price: $9,689
Coppin State University is a small university offering a cheap bachelor’s degree in sport management that prepares students to work in both the public and private sectors. Courses include:

  • Community Recreation & Fitness
  • Sports, Ethics & the Law
  • Organization & Administration of Recreation

Students gain valuable hands on experience through a practicum and an internship. Unique electives are available in areas like drug abuse education, critical listening, and coaching and officiating.

For More Information: Coppin State University

9. Bluffton University – Bluffton, Ohio

B.S. in Sport Management

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Admission Rate: 42%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 66%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 700
Average Net Price: $26,294
Bluffton University is a small liberal arts university affiliated with the Mennonite Church USA. Bluffton features a high-value bachelor’s in sport management focused on hands on experience. Students can choose from concentrations in sport communication and sport organization. All students complete an internship in a job setting. Courses include:

  • Facility Management
  • Sport Communication
  • Sport Psychology

Most students can complete their degree in four years by following the recommended program plan.

8. Ohio Valley University – Vienna, West Virginia

Bachelor’s in Sport Management

 

Admission Rate: 34%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 66%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 481
Average Net Price: $15,896
The College of Business at Ohio University features a low-cost sport management program that is considered the first in the nation. Heavily focused on hands-on experience, students are actively involved through the AECOM Center for Sports Administration. The center links students with internships, jobs and professional development opportunities. On and off-campus opportunities include the Germany Global Consulting Program and the San Diego Sports Consulting Project. Courses include:

  • Leadership and Sport Management
  • Sport Facility and Event Management
  • Marketing and Revenue Streams in Sport

This COSMA accredited, affordable sports management degree program provides students with a deep understanding of management theory and administration.
For More Information: Ohio Valley University

7. Culver-Stockton College – Canton, Missouri

B.S. in Sport Management

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Admission Rate: 46%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 67%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,022
Average Net Price: $20,327
Culver-Stockton College is a small, Christian college offering a top-value bachelor’s in sport management. Students have the opportunity to travel around the country and abroad to learn about this unique industry. Courses include:

  • Facilities and Event Management
  • Legal Issues in Sport
  • Ethics and Governance

Graduates of this economical sports management degree program are prepared to work in a variety of settings including youth sport organizations and professional sport teams.  For more information: Culver-Stockton College

6. Davis and Elkins College – Elkins, West Virginia

B.S. in Sport Management

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Admission Rate: 37%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 68%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 793
Average Net Price: $18,152
Davis and Elkins College is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. Coursework covers areas such as:

  • athletic training
  • kinesiology
  • marketing and entrepreneurship

Students complete a supervised internship where they learn from industry leaders in areas like professional athletics and global management. A business minor is strongly encouraged, adding value to the degree. Graduates of this affordable sports management degree program are prepared to work in areas like coaching, health club management, and sales.

5. Johnson C Smith University – Charlotte, North Carolina

Sport Management Bachelor’s Degree Program

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Admission Rate: 46%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 69%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,480
Average Net Price: $18,991
Johnson C Smith University is a small private university regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. JCSU is an independent, historically Black university in Charlotte, North Carolina offering 23 degree programs including an inexpensive bachelor’s in sport management. Students benefit from personalized attention and on-campus organizations that help students feel connected to the field. Courses include:

  • Sport Marketing
  • Sport Psychology
  • Sport Facilities Management

Students have access to a variety of unique internship and job opportunities throughout the Charlotte area.
For More Information: Johnson C Smith University

4. Barton College – Wilson, North Carolina

BS in Sport Management

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Admission Rate: 40%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 72%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 976
Average Net Price: $22,792
Barton College is a small Christian college that fosters a lifelong commitment to learning in their students. They offer a top bachelor’s in sport management as a stand alone program or as part of a combined BS/MBA option that takes five years to complete. Students are encouraged to develop their niche in the field through a specialized minor. Courses include:

  • Sport Finance
  • Event and Facility Management
  • Organizational Leadership/Administration

All students complete two practicum experiences, preparing them for success in the field. Each student creates a professional portfolio and resume that they can use to kickstart their career.
For More Information: Barton College

3. LeTourneau University – Longview, Texas

Sports Management

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Admission Rate: 46%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 78%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,801
Average Net Price: $23,386
LeTourneau University is a top-value small school featuring a sports management bachelor’s degree through their kinesiology program. Students gain the skills needed to promote and share Christ-like sportsmanship. Students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through internship opportunities with organizations such as the Oak Forest Country Club, Christus Good Shepherd Institute, and AK Fitness. Courses include:

  • Sports Marketing and Promotion
  • Contemporary Issues in Sports Management
  • Care and Prevention of Sports Injuries

Graduates of this economical sports management degree programn are prepared to work in areas like sports marketing, intramural administration, and athletic administration.
For More Information: LeTourneau University

2. Columbia International University – Columbia, South Carolina

B.S. in Sport Management

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Admission Rate: 33%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 86%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 545
Average Net Price: $18,136
Columbia International University features a top, affordable bachelor’s in sport management that prepares students for a career in the U.S. or abroad. CIU offers a comprehensive curriculum taught from a Christian worldview. Sport management courses include:

  • Ethics and Character Development in Sport
  • International Business Practices
  • Finance, Accounting, and Economics in Sport

Students can complete a professional sport internship, gaining hands-on experience. Most students can complete this high-value sports management degree program in four years.

1. Hillsdale College – Hillsdale, Michigan

B.S. in Sport Management

Website

Admission Rate: 36%
First-to-Second-Year Retention rate: 91%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,468
Average Net Price: $21,918
Our top choice for a small school offering a bachelor’s in sport management is Hillsdale College. Hillsdale College is a small Christian liberal arts college. Hillsdale College has always been progressive, opening it’s doors to students of all races and religions back in 1844. They offer a top-value bachelor’s in sport management that provides students with a strong background in areas like economics, marketing, and accounting. Courses include:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Organization and Administration
  • Business and Economic Statistics

Students can complete an internship, giving them valuable professional experience. Graduates of this affordable sports management degree program are prepared for entry level positions in the field or to continue on to graduate school.
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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.