Sports Management Degree Programs in South Dakota

Are you looking for sports management degree programs in South Dakota? Three accredited options are available at Dakota Wesleyan University and the University of South Dakota. In the Upper Midwest, South Dakota is known for being America’s fifth least populous state with 858,470 residents. That doesn’t mean there’s a lagging economy though. South Dakota generates $39.8 billion each year.


According to CBNC, South Dakota has the second most business-friendly climate nationwide. Agriculture and energy are big sectors, but sports are popular too. South Dakota has several minor league teams, including the Sioux Falls Canaries, Sioux Falls Storm, Rapid City Rush, and Aberdeen Wings. Fishing is a major $224 million-dollar industry with anglers reeling for walleye, salmon, and trout. South Dakota also hosts the famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Mount Rushmore Marathon yearly. Build your dream athletics career by checking out these sports management programs located in South Dakota.

Dakota Wesleyan University

College of Leadership and Public Service

Established by Methodist pioneers as Dakota University in 1883, Dakota Wesleyan University has grown into a four-year private, co-educational religious liberal arts institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church to serve around 750 students on a 50-acre rural campus in Mitchell. The DWU Tigers compete in the NAIA with 17 varsity teams, including the 2015 national runner-up men’s basketball team. The U.S. News ranks DWU as the Midwest’s 45th best college with the 114th best online bachelor’s programs nationally. The College of Leadership and Public Service builds an ethical foundation for diverse careers from business to criminal justice and special education.

Sports Management Program

Leading to a bachelor’s degree, the Sports Management (SPM) Program at DWU integrates the essential business concepts students must master for excelling in today’s competitive sports industry. Fully accredited by the IACBE, the four-year program develops the managerial competencies to run professional sports, college athletic, recreational sports, and fitness centers. Three emphasis areas are offered in Marketing and Sports Information, Finance, or Human Resource Management. All students must take a sports agency course for hands-on experience with an NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL team. SPM majors learn the technical operations for the new Daktronics Inc. integrated scoring system. Students also help organize the College Basketball Pro Showcase at the Corn Palace every spring.


        • International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)
        • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA)


1200 W. University Ave
Mitchell, SD 57301
(605) 995-2711

University of South Dakota

School of Education

Located on a 321-acre urban campus in Vermillion just 39 miles northwest of Sioux City, Iowa, the University of South Dakota is the state’s oldest flagship public, co-educational research institution founded in 1862 to serve over 10,200 students annually. The South Dakota Coyotes have 15 varsity teams competing in NCAA Division I within the 10,000-seat DakotaDome. According to the U.S. News, USD is ranked the 180th best national university, 100th top public school, and 143rd top college for veterans. Furthermore, the School of Education is lauded for being America’s 153rd best education school with the 95th best online master’s programs.

Kinesiology and Sport Science: Bachelor of Science

Consisting of 51 major credits, the Kinesiology and Sport Science: Bachelor of Science at USD is an upper-division program for undergraduates to develop skills in exercise assessment and sports programming to improve people’s fitness. Students fulfill the qualifications needed to become certified strength and conditioning specialists. The curriculum allows for specialization in Sport Management or Exercise Science. The former is ideal for students interested in the business side of athletics. Courses are offered in collaboration with the AACSB-accredited Beacom School of Business. Students will master topics like sport marketing, budgeting, sport analytics, event planning, and sport law. All KSS majors must pass field-based practicum and complete a senior internship. There’s also an 18-credit Coaching Minor available.

Kinesiology and Sport Science: Master of Arts

At the graduate level, the Kinesiology and Sport Science: Master of Arts program is offered to bachelor’s degree holders who wish to further their training to better enhance physical activity and fitness programming. Like the B.S. curriculum, the master’s program gives specializations in Sport Management or Exercise Science. Students may also forgo a specialization for generalist electives. Ranging from 33 to 39 credits, the program has thesis and non-thesis tracks depending on students’ research interests. Sport Management majors will delve deeper into sport governance, technology, promotions, finance, law, risk management, and strategic planning. There’s a part-time online learning option for busy working adults to graduate in 24 months. Eligible applicants must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75.


        • National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE)
        • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
        • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA)


Patterson Hall Room 132
414 E. Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
(605) 658-5551

Whether you’re an athlete on the field or avid fan in the bleachers, sports play a pivotal role in American culture. From basketball and football to hockey and golf, we devote hours of leisure time cheering on our favorite teams. That’s why the U.S. sports industry has grown to garner more than $485 million in revenue. Job opportunities are expanding for sports lovers to build lifelong careers keeping the spirit of competition alive. Even though the job outlook is sunny, you’ll need to make your stats stand out with a sports management degree. For those in the “Mount Rushmore State,” three excellent sports management degree programs in South Dakota are worth a consideration.

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