Programs for a Sports Management Degree: California

sports management california

Are you interested in working in the sports industry? You might start your journey by working toward associate degrees in exercise science, event management, or sport administration. Beyond that will come a bachelor’s degree. Students who graduate from one of the accredited sport management degree programs in California find themselves ready to handle a number of different jobs in sports management in the sports industry. While some enjoy working with professional athletes and helping them manage their careers, others prefer working for sports complexes and sports organizations.


You might work for the Olympic Committee, a professional athletic organization in your city or for a complex where local teams and individuals play. California is home to several accredited programs that will give you access to internships and other programs and events that can expand your options after you graduate. There are many schools with good sports management programs. Here are the sports management masters California.

Azusa Pacific University

School of Education

Azusa Pacific University is one of the best sports management colleges. If you want to study in a program that will teach you more about sport management and foster your spirituality, check out Azusa Pacific University. Founded by a group of Christians concerned about the lack of faith-based colleges in the area, the university opened in 1899. Its first class had just 12 students, and the university struggled for a number of years to increase its enrollment. Financial problems led to the small college merging with several others to form APU in the 1940s. It is now one the largest religious institutions of higher learning in the state and the country with more than 10,000 students.

Physical Education, MS in Sport Management and Integrated Leadership

Azusa Pacific University offers a masters in sports management California. Its Physical Education, MS in Sport Management and Integrated Leadership degree through its head campus. Students can also take one or more of their classes on one of the six other campuses in the APU school system, and students can also take one of more classes online. Designed for those who have an undergraduate degree in education, the program lets students customize their degrees with an emphasis on sport management and integrated leadership. This prepares students to work as PE teachers at all levels, including elementary school and high school. Students also develop strong research and writing skills that will assist them at the doctoral level. Graduation from the program requires that students take a number of business and management courses that will teach them more about budgeting, scheduling and other administrative tasks. Some of the program’s graduates work for professional sports organizations and facilities.


•National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)


901 E. Alosta Ave.
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000
(626) 969-3434
Azusa Pacific University

California State University, Long Beach

College of Health & Human Services

California State University Long Beach is one of the best colleges for a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree. Orange County experienced a rapid rise in population as soldiers returned from World War II and settled in California. The state reacted to the increase in new students with the formation of California State University, Long Beach. Originally known as a state college that served the needs of those living in the southern part of Los Angeles, California State University Long Beach quickly established itself as one of the leading schools in the state. With a population of more than 30,000 students, it it now one of the largest and most popular schools in the CSU school system.

Master’s in Sports Management

California State University Long Beach offers a top sports management degree California. The Master’s in Sports Management from CSU Long Beach lets students complete the program in 18 months as a full time student. This is one of the state’s only programs that require an internship component. Students must agree to spend a minimum of 500 hours working for a sports complex or in another facility. As the college partners with more than 400 different companies, students can easily find an internship that appeals to them. CSU Long Beach offers this degree in an accelerated format, and students will generally take specific courses during three sessions. The university also expects students to complete at least one internship each semester to finish the minimum number of working hours required for graduation. This gives you the chance to work for the same company for several months or experience working for different companies and making contacts in various areas of the sport management world.


•National Council for the Accreditation of Coaching Education


1250 Bellflower Boulevard
Long Beach, California 90840
(562) 985-4111
California Sate University Long Beach

Hope International University

College of Business and Management

Established in the late 1920s, Hope International University originally served as a seminary that prepared those interested in working for religious organizations. The university did not expand into other areas until the 1960s, which was also when the college built a new campus in Long Beach. In more recent years, the university expanded its number of graduate school offerings. Located on a large and sprawling campus, the university is home to a number of historic buildings that date back to the 1960s and earlier. Many visit the campus simply to look at the large number of buildings in the Googie architecture style.

B.A. Business & Management in Sports Management

Hope International University is one of the top sports management masters programs in California. Hope offers a bachelor’s degree in the field. The B.A. Business & Management in Sports Management degree offered by the university lets students select a sport management concentration. Your first semester working toward your bachelor’s degree will consist of some general education courses and an introduction to business and management. The school expects students to take a large number of business, management and leadership courses as well. As a sport management student, you’ll also take a minimum of five courses applying to your major. Those courses will show you how you can apply management skills to the sports field. Hope is a religious institution that asks all of its students to complete a ministry practicum that prepares them for working with religious organizations. You have the option of taking an internship in lieu of that practicum. An internship requires that you spend a minimum of 140 hours working for an approved organization or business, but the university may help you find a paid internship.


•Western Association of Schools and Colleges


2500 E. Nutwood Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92831
(714) 879-3901
Hope International University

Menlo College


Menlo Colleges owes its foundation to the Menlo School for Boys, which was a small school that educated male students prior to the 1920s. As the need for private schools decreased, the school transitioned itself into a junior college. Now regarded as one of the best business schools in the state, the college offers a number of management and business courses. Both The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report designated it one of the best business schools in California and one of the top schools of its type in the western region of the United States. Menlo is one of the best sports management colleges.

B.S. Management in Sports Management

Menlo College offers a sports management degree in California. Before earning a B.A. Business & Management in Sports Management from Menlo College, you need to complete the minimum number of required business courses. Also known as the core business courses, this core consists of 39 units. Some of the typical courses in the core include principles of marketing, organizational behavior, principles of managerial accounting and business communications. When you reach your final year, you’ll also need to take a senior capstone seminar in either global strategies or launching the venture. Required courses for a sport management degree include management of information systems and a business internship that is worth six units. You must also take courses on the history of sports, how sports organizations market and advertise, the economics of different sports organizations and the business behind sports. The college also asks that you take at least one elective from a selection of upper level business classes.


•Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)


1000 El Camino Real
Atherton, CA 94027-4301
(800) 55-MENLO
Menlo University

Saint Mary’s College of California

School of Economics and Business Administration

Saint Mary’s College of California is one of the top sports management colleges in California. Conveniently located within driving distance of both San Francisco and Oakland, St. Mary’s College is popular with students who want to live close to the big city but take classes on a quiet campus. The campus, which sits on more than 400 acres of land, offers plenty of opportunities and activities for those students. In addition to a newspaper, radio station and television station, it also boasts a number of sports teams and more than 40 clubs. Students also have access to discounts from local companies and organizations that bring down the price of local activities for currently enrolled students.

Bachelor of Arts in Sports & Recreation Management

The Bachelor of Arts in Sports & Recreation Management available from St. Mary’s College is quite different from the other accredited sports management degree programs in California. This program emphasizes the importance of health and wellness in the sports field. Undergraduates must take courses on biology that teach them more about how the human body functions and course on chemistry. Those courses help them understand how different chemicals affect the body and the importance of medications. As a sports management major, you must also take some business classes, including courses on management, accounting and leadership. The completion of several economics and business administration courses are also required. Though the college generally reserves internships for older students, you will have access to those programs during your junior or senior year. You can work for a local hospital, at a sports complex, in a physical therapy office or for one of the local teams.

MBA in Sport Management

St. Mary’s College offers several types of MBA programs for its students. Its executive MBA program lets those with full schedules find time to work on and finish their sports management degrees. You can take a combination of weekend, online and evening classes, and you can often finish your degree in under two years. Professional programs and other programs follow a more rigid schedule and ask that you take specific classes on campus throughout the week. The MBA in Sport Management is a unique program offered jointly through the Kinesiology Department. It emphasizes the need for students to understand how the human body works at the same time that they develop managerial skills. Also known as a flexible MBA program, advisors working in the program help students decide which classes will apply to their major and help them create a customized learning plan tailored for each individual student.


•Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)


1928 Saint Mary’s Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
St. Mary’s College of California

San Diego State University

College of Business Administration

San Diego State University offers one of the top sports management programs in California. Founded in 1897, San Diego State University is one of the most selective schools in the state. In every year since 2010, the university accepted less than 40 percent of students who applied. Though the university does have more than 30,000 enrolled students, it uses a selective process to ensure that only the brightest and best students enter the college. Several reputable publications ranked the school quite highly. While Forbes named it one of the country’s top 300 schools, both U.S. News & World Report and Washington Monthly ranked it around 150. SDSU is one only a few California schools that also rank globally.

MBA in Sport Business Management

Available through the SDSU College of Business Administration, the MBA in Sport Business Management is a program that focuses more on the business side and less on the player side of sports. A case competition held each year places students in small groups and brings in groups and teams from other schools. Teams receive a problem or issue and have just one day to find a solution to that problem. They present their findings in front of a panel of leading experts, and those experts award prizes based on which teams do the best. When not taking part in activities like this one, you’ll take 14 classes. Those classes include financial management, sports marketing, advanced marketing strategy for sports, sports economics and organizational behavior. SDSU also requires that sports management MBA students spend at least six months working as an intern for a local sports company or facility.


•Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)


5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182
(619) 594-5200
San Diego State University

University of San Francisco

College of Arts and Sciences

University of San Francisco is one of the top sports management colleges California. The University of San Francisco has a long history of success. Since opening in the 1850s, the university focused on using Jesuit principles in preparing students for the future. As one of the oldest schools in the state and the oldest university in the city, thousands of students graduated from the college, including business owners, writers and even a governor and a mayor. U.S. News & World Report chose it as one of the country’s best schools, and it also received good rankings from other organizations due to its commitment to minority students and its contributions to the local community.

Master’s in Sports Management

Graduates from the Master’s in Sports Management at USF work for professional athletic teams, including the Giants and the 49ers, but graduates also work for Nike and other sports companies. The program consists of several main requirements, including a long internship and the completion of multiple classes. Students spend a minimum of 23 months in the program, and they take one or more classes at night each semester. While other graduate schools make you take a few classes before helping you find an internship, USF lets you arrange for your first internship when you enroll in the program. You must spend 1,000 hours working on that internship, but the school can place you with a professional team, a local college team, sports manufacturers, nonprofit organizations or even with a television station. You will earn a total of 36 units for graduation, which include core sports management courses and a few electives.


•Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)


2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
(415) 422-5555
University of San Francisco

With a number of different schools and programs operating out of the state, why would you choose to attend school anywhere else but in California? Whether you are a new college freshman, studied management in the past or have an undergraduate degree in a similar or different field, you can learn a lot in the accredited top schools for sports management degrees in California.

Related Resources: