The global sport market is worth over $400 billion and is expected to reach over $600 billion by 2022. Earning a master’s degree in sports management is a great way to get in on the action! Sports management professionals are found at every level of sport and in a variety of settings. From professional sports to fitness centers, sport managers plan, organize, direct, and lead. Highly skilled sports managers can help lead a program or athlete to success and their expertise is in demand.
We created this list of the top 25 most affordable large universities offering a master’s in sport management. Large universities definitely have their perks. The large student population helps keep costs lower and larger class size can make it easier to make friends and network. Large universities also have plenty of professional development opportunities through clubs, organizations, networking, and volunteer work. For the purpose of this list, large public universities are defined by those with an undergraduate enrollment of over 20,000 students. Below is our list of the 25 most affordable large public universities that offer a master’s in sport management.
#25 – University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Michigan
MS in Sport Management
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $23,890/year in-state and $48,204/year out-of-state
The School of Kinesiology at the University of Michigan features a top affordable master’s in sport management rich with real-world experiences. Students have access to unparalleled resources both on-campus and in the local sport community. Class size is intentionally kept small to maximize student and faculty interaction. Core courses include:
- Financial Management for the Sport Industry
- Strategic Management in Sport
- Marketing Management for the Sport Industry
Students with a B+ average in their first 12 semester hours of study are eligible to choose the thesis option. Most students can complete this 30 credit hour program in about two years.
For More Information: University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
#24 – Rutgers University – New Brunswick, New Jersey
Global Sports Business MS Program
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $17,736/year in-state and $30,144/year out-of-state
Rutgers is a top large public university offering an low-cost master’s in global sport business. Courses include:
- Facilities and Event Management in Sports
- Sports Law
- Sports Marketing: Advanced and Entrepreneurial Planning
Full-time students can complete this 40 credit hour program in four semesters. This interdisciplinary program includes a semester-long executive residency where students get valuable hands-on training in their preferred field.
#23 – University of Minnesota-Twin Cities – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sport Management M.A.
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $17,580/year in-state and $27,204/year out-of-state
The School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota offers a top-value master’s in sport management that explores the theoretical and practical dimensions of sport management. Students can choose whether or not they want to complete a thesis as part of the program. Courses include:
- Programming and Promotion in Sport
- Sport Finance
- Organization and Management of Physical Education and Sport
This 36 credit hour, low-cost master’s degree program can be completed on-campus and most courses are delivered in a traditional face-to-face format. Students can expect to learn how to integrate new ideas into their programs to improve overall operations.
For More Information: University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
#22 – Temple University – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
M.S. in Sport Business
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $16,956/year in-state and $23,346/year out-of-state
The high-value master’s in sport business from Temple University is a highly personalized program. Students can choose from four concentration areas including:
- Sport Marketing and Promotions
- Sport Analytics
- Recreation and Event Management
- Athletics Administration
This economical, 36 credit hour master’s in sport business features evening courses that allow students to work or pursue internship opportunities. All students receive individualized professional development and coaching to help elevate their career to the next level. Most students can complete their degree in just two years.
For More Information: Temple University
#21 – University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Massachusetts
MS in Sport Management
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $14,014/year in-state and $29,529/year out-of-state
The Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst features a low-priced master’s in sport management ranked first in the world by SportBusiness. The high-value master’s curriculum is designed and taught by industry experts and blends theory with practice. Courses include:
- Sport Marketing
- Sport Finance & Business
- Sport & the Law
Students benefit from hands-on projects integrated throughout the program and an internship which provides students with valuable professional training.. Alumni serve as mentors to help prepare students for success in the field after graduation.
For More Information: University of Massachusetts
#20 – University of South Carolina-Columbia – Columbia, South Carolina
Sport and Entertainment Management, M.S.E.M.
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $13,737/year in-state and $29,760/year out-of-state
The College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management at the University of South Carolina Columbia features a high-value, 36 credit hour master’s degree program for future sport industry leaders. Students can choose to complete either a thesis or non-thesis program option. The affordable curriculum emphasizes venue management that includes arenas, stadiums, and amphitheaters. Hands-on experience with local venues such as the Colonial Life Arena and Carolina Stadium prepare students for career success.
For More Information: University of South Carolina
#19 – University of Cincinnati – Cincinnati, Ohio
MS Sport Administration
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $12,790/year in-state and $24,532/year out-of-state
The affordable master’s in sport administration offered by the University of Cincinnati is a low-cost, 30 credit hour master’s degree program offered in a flexible online format. Students can complete the top-value master’s degree program in just one year by taking 12 credits each semester. Students will develop professional competency in both interscholastic or intercollegiate athletic administration. Courses include:
- Sport and the Social Context
- Managerial Strategies in Athletics
- Strategic Athletic Marketing and Communications
Graduates are eligible to complete the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Certificate Program.
#18 – Virginia Commonwealth University – Richmond, Virginia
Master’s in Sport Leadership
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $12,701/year in-state and $26,039/year out-of-state
The Center for Sport Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University features an inexpensive, 12 month master’s in sport leadership. Students will study the sports industry from a global perspective. This economical, full-time master’s degree program begins during the fall semester and all courses are available on-campus. Students take five courses each semester. This unique master’s degree program doesn’t focus exclusively on managing industry changes, it emphasizes the development of industry leaders.
For More Information: Virginia Commonwealth University
#17 – George Mason University – Fairfax, Virginia
M.S. in Sport and Recreation Studies-Sport Management
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $12,144/year in-state and $33,456/year out-of-state
The School of Sport, Recreation, and Tourism Management at George Mason University offers a top-value, affordable sport management master’s degree that prepares students to work in a variety of positions within the sport industry. The economical master’s degree program follows the curriculum guidelines set by the North American Society for Sport Management and the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation. This low-priced, 30 credit hour master’s degree program includes courses in:
- Sport Marketing and Sales
- Economics and Financial Management in the Sport Industry
- Sport Operations, Venues, and Event Management
Students can choose to complete either a master’s project/internship or a thesis.
For More Information: George Mason University
#16 – Kent State University at Kent – Kent, Ohio
Sport and Recreation Management – M.A.
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,766/year in-state and $21,952/year out-of-state
Kent State University is a large public university offering a best-value master’s in sport and recreation management through the College of Education Health and Human Services. This inexpensive, 34 credit hour master’s degree program includes coursework in:
- Legal Issues in Sport and Recreation
- Financial Aspects of Sport and Recreation
- Sport Marketing
Students can choose to complete an internship, research project or thesis option. To be considered for unconditional admission, students should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
For More Information: Kent State University
#15 – Washington State University – Pullman, Washington
Master of Arts in Education – Sport Management
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,493/year in-state and $25,248/year out-of-state
Washington State University is a large public university with a systemwide student population of over 30,000. WSU features an affordable master’s in sport management with a thesis and non-thesis option. This full-time, inexpensive master’s degree program takes two years to complete. Courses include:
- Marketing Sports Events and Programs
- Law and Risk Management in the Sport Industry
- Mass Communication in Sport Management
Students gain hands-on experience through the university athletic department, recreation department, or community sport organizations.
For More Information: Washington State University
#14 – The University of Tennessee-Knoxville – Knoxville, Tennessee
Recreation & Sport Management Master’s Program
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,468/year in-state and $29,656/year out-of-state
The affordable master’s in sport management from The University of Tennessee Knoxville with flexibility to support each student’s interest. Students can choose between completing a thesis or a project, depending on their professional goals. Required courses include:
- Research Methods
- Personnel Management
- Ethics in Sport Management
Class size is kept small with an average of 30 new students admitted each year. Most students can complete this top-value, 36 credit hour master’s degree program in two years.
For More Information: University of Tennessee
#13 – University of Florida – Gainesville, Florida
Master’s Degree in Sport Management
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $10,770/year in-state and $27,335/year out-of-state
The University of Florida is a large public university offering the first sport management master’s program in the country to become PAADS-certified. Courses include:
- Management and Leadership in Sport
- Sport Sociology
- Management and Leadership in Sport
Specializations are available in:
- Athlete Development
- High Performance Coaching
- Sport Law
All students complete a capstone project, allowing them to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a professional practice.
For More Information: University of Florida
#12 – University of Iowa – Iowa City, Iowa
MA in Sport and Recreation Management
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $10,079/year in-state and $29,026/year out-of-state
The cheap master’s in sport and recreation management from The University of Iowa is a flexible, high-value master’s degree program available to students of diverse backgrounds. Students will complete coursework, a field experience, and an individualized capstone project. Coursework includes:
- Marketing and Sport Promotion
- Economics and Financing
- Risk Management
Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of settings including community rec programs, college athletic departments, and professional team front offices.
#11 – Florida State University – Tallahassee, Florida
Master’s in Sport Management
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,684/year in-state and $24,116/year out-of-state
The College of Education at Florida State University features inexpensive, top-value sport management master’s degree program rich with hands-on experiences. Courses include:
- Sport and the Media
- Marketing Sport
- Strategic Management for Sport Organizations
The low-priced, master’s degree program offers both a thesis and non-thesis track. Non-thesis track students will complete an internship, gaining valuable hands-on experience. Graduates will be prepared for leadership roles in the sport industry.
For More Information: Florida State University
#10 – Ohio University – Athens, Ohio
MBA/Master of Sport Administration Joint Degree Program
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,444/year in-state and $17,436/year out-of-state
At the forefront of sport business education is the top-value, large, public university, Ohio University. Ohio University features a joint MBA/MSA degree in sport administration that prepares students for leadership positions. Students are engaged in hands-on learning experiences through the AECOM Center for Sports Administration. This COSMA accredited low-cost master’s degree program is taught by teacher-scholars and executives-in-residence, giving students a unique perspective into the sport business industry.
For More Information: Ohio University
#9 – University of Houston – Houston, Texas
M.A. in Sport and Fitness Administration
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $8,370/year in-state and $17,746/year out-of-state
The inexpensive master’s in sport and fitness administration from the University of Houston is a comprehensive program that prepares students for leadership roles in the sport/fitness industry. The University of Houston is a Tier One Research University and has over 40,000 students. Courses include:
- Sport Event Management
- Sport Facility Administration
- Sport Finance
This economical. 36 credit hour master’s degree program includes a thesis option. Students can also complete an internship in a variety of settings including professional and amateur sports.
For More Information: University of Houston
#8 – University of South Florida – Tampa, Florida
MBA in Sport Business/MS in Sport & Entertainment Management
The Muma College of Business at the University of South Florida features a top affordable MBA/MS in sport and entertainment management. This dual degree program awards students with both an MBA with a concentration in sport business and an MS in sport and entertainment management. Courses include:
- Sport & Entertainment Law
- Sport Business Analytics
- Contemporary Issues in Sport & Entertainment Management
During the second year of the program, students spend in a residency, earning a paycheck and receiving a tuition waiver. Students can complete this full-time master’s degree program in two years.
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $8,350/year in-stat and $19,048/year out-of-state
#7 – Georgia State University – Atlanta, Georgia
Sport Administration, M.S.
Georgia State University is the largest university in Georgia with over 53,000 students. Georgia State has a diverse majority-minority student population and offers more than 250 degree programs. The top affordable sport administration master’s degree program offered by GSU is available on the Atlanta campus and can be completed in just two years. All students complete either an internship or a thesis. Courses include:
- Sport Organizational Behavior
- Cultural Aspects of Sport
- Sport Marketing
This economical, 36 credit hour master’s degree program prepares graduates to work in a variety of sectors and professional roles. Graduates have found success working in event management, public relations, and international sport organizations.
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,164/year in-state and $22,662/year out-of-state
#6 – Boise State University – Boise, Idaho
Master of Athletic Leadership
The innovative, low-cost master’s in athletic leadership from Boise State University develops strong leaders in intercollegiate, interscholastic, or youth sport athletic programs. Courses include:
- Psychological Aspects of Athletic Leadership
- Philosophy of Sport and Athletic Leadership
- Athletic Organizational Communication
Students will learn how to effectively create and maintain athlete centered programs for children and adults. This inexpensive, 32 credit hour master’s degree program includes two distinct practicum experiences. Students also complete a professional portfolio to showcase their knowledge and skills.
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,110/year in-state and $24,030/year out-of-state
#5 – University of Central Florida – Orlando, Florida
Sport Business Management (MSBM
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,916/year in-state and $25,759/year out-of-state
The high-value Sport Business Management master’s program offered by the University of Central Florida is an affordable program focused on ethical, moral, and social issues in sport alongside sport leadership. Students have the unique opportunity to contribute 21 community service hours per semester to a local organization that supports underserved youth. They also spent at least two weeks building homes in New Orleans. Core courses include:
- Professional Selling in Sport
- Sport Analytics
- Business of Sport Media
All students complete a 15 week internship opportunity in a professional sport setting.
For More Information: University of Central Florida
#4 – Texas A & M University-College Station – College Station, Texas
M.S. in Sport Management
The top affordable master’s in sport management from Texas A&M University is a comprehensive, low-cost master’s degree program for students who aspire for leadership roles in sport management. Courses include:
- Financial Management in Sport
- Personnel Management in Sport
- Management of Sport Organizations
Students can choose from a thesis or non-thesis program option. Non-thesis students complete additional coursework to fulfill graduation requirements.
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,677/year in-state and $18,700/year out-of-state
For More Information: Texas A & M University
#3 – Texas Tech University – Lubbock, Texas
M.S. in Sport Management
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $5,958/year in-state and $13,428/year out-of-state
The Department of Kinesiology and Sport Management at Texas Tech University features an affordable master’s in sport management. Students have several different opportunities for hands-on experience including internships, research projects, or a thesis. Courses include:
- Ethics and Morality in Sport
- Marketing and Promotions in Sport
- Sport Media Management
Graduates are prepared for roles such as sport marketing director and corporate partnerships manager.
The thesis program is 36 credit hours while the non-thesis option is only 30 credits.
#2 – Missouri State University-Springfield – Springfield, Missouri
Master of Professional Studies-Sports Management
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $5,202/year in-state and $10.476/year out-of-state
Missouri State University features an innovative, cheap Master of Professional Studies in sports management. Students gain valuable hands-on experience through diverse fieldwork opportunities with community partners like Hammons Field and Mediacom Ice Park. This economical, 33 credit hour master’s degree program includes required courses in:
- Legal Aspects in Sports, Physical Education, Recreation and Wellness Programs
- Current Problems in Sports Administration
- Principles of Sports Management
Courses can be completed online or on-campus.
For More Information: Missouri State University
#1 – Georgia Southern University – Statesboro, Georgia
Master of Science, Sport Management
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $4,977/year in-state and $19,890/year out-of-state
Our top most affordable master’s in sport management offered by a large public university is the sport management master’s at Georgia Southern University. GSU has over 26,000 students who come from over 100 different nations. The high-value sport management master’s degree program is delivered in a flexible online format that is ideal for working professionals. Courses include:
- Current Trends in Sport Administration
- Revenue Generation in Sport
- Sport Facility and Event Management
Most students can complete this inexpensive, 36 credit hour, master’s degree program in 24 months. New students are admitted throughout the year.
For More Information: Georgia Southern University
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