Passionate about sports? Can you see yourself involved in the business aspect of the industry? Are you a business savvy individual? Well, an online Master’s Degree in Sports Management may just be a perfect fit for you. We have here gathered the top 20 best online programs offering a Masters in Sports Management and ranked them in order of best schools and programs.
The business aspect of athletics is an exciting and fast-growing field and offers quite a variety of career paths once one has obtained a degree. Among the many career trajectories that a Master’s Degree in Sports Management may provide you, are occupations in facility management, sales, information technology, sports agency, marketing, corporate partnerships, personnel management, event planning, athletic recruitment, and finance. Also, if you’ve always dreamed of a job in professional sports (say, NFL, MLB, NHL, and the NBA), this degree could very well be your means to that end. All across the country, highly qualified individuals are needed to carry out the daily operations and the practical/business side of the industry–including the general evaluation of sports programs, improvement of organizational efficiency, overall profit generation, and many other challenging and financially rewarding tasks.
Our rankings here take some items into consideration, including affordability, prestige, academic rigorousness, and quality of instruction. Also, to assist potential students with varying life circumstances, we considered schools that offer any one of a number of unique features, including acceleration programs, extreme flexibility in attending classes, or unique payment options. Lastly, because of the nature of the sports industry, colleges that offer robust internships tend to rank higher. Overall, our list is designed to assist you in deciding which school or program is the best for your life and circumstance.
Western Kentucky University (WKU) offers a MS in Recreation and Sports Administration with a concentration in Facility and Event Management, which concentrates on administration, bodily and health training, facility management, media, branding, and collegiate administration. This top masters degree program in sports management is highly individualized, and students may seek to construct their degree to fit their own desired interests and aspirations.
Courses offered include specialization in law, research, development, and theory of recreation. From our list so far, WKU is one of the most featured colleges on the U.S. News and World Report rankings list, including the following categories:
- #176 Best Education Schools
- #31 Regional Universities (South)
- #84 Best online MBA Programs
- #44 Best Online Graduate Education Programs
- #12 Top Public Schools
Overall, U.S. News and World Report is highly impressed with this university, and it is not difficult to see why. WKU is highly respected in regards to the prestige of professors hired, and overall academic rigorousness.
Due to increased security risks over the couple decades, one aspect of the sports industry that is rapidly gaining interest is the area of safety in regards to event management. This best MS in Sports Management degree through Southern Miss. offers a one-of-a-kind sports management degree, with an emphasis on Sports Event Security Management. This emphasis is not provided as a part of any other online Master degree program in the world. So, this is the ideal choice for anyone interested in security in the field of sports management.
The Master Degree program at Southern Mississippi also provides areas of emphasis in research and experiential education and offers a choice between an internship or a master’s thesis before graduation. Overall, U.S. News and World Report has in the past ranked the University in the Top 20 Most Popular Schools in the Country.
Like the predecessor on our list (Indiana State), Georgia Southern University (GSU) also ranks as one of the best online universities in the nation for Part-Time Masters degree programs, by U.S. News and World Report. However, GSU jumps ahead one space because of the prestige of its online master’s degree program (#30, U.S. News and World Report).
The MS in Sports Management at GSU is highly respected in the sports industry and is sure to land you a job upon graduation. In general, the degree is much like other Sport Management degrees (focusing on professional sports team management, marketing, and event management). However, there are some unique features of this degree, including its “revenue generation in sports” emphasis which has been highly touted. Otherwise, it is the reputation of this Masters degree program that causes it to land on our #18 spot.
The Online MS in Sports Management degree, offered at Indiana State University, is also geared towards the working professionals–and is focused on marketing, event planning, finance, and governance. But, an outstanding feature of this top program is the attention given towards the development of “administrative theory”–which seeks to explain the best processes for the construction of an organization as a whole, create clear divisions of labor, and efficiently delegate authority.
Overall, Indiana State University is highly respected, and U.S. News and World Report ranks their online MBA program as one of the best in the nation. No GRE is required for this online sports management degree.
This school ranks #30 in the category of Top Public Schools, according to the U.S. News and World Report–and also ranks highly in Best Colleges for Veterans, and Best Online MBA programs. The Masters of Business Administration degree With an Option in Sports Management focuses especially on leadership and communication in the sporting industry. Overall GPA as well as a GMAT of GRE scores are taken into account as requirements for admission to this MBA program.
This top masters program in sports management encourages real-world experience by the means of their applied research projects. Many graduates from this best online MBA in sports management program have gone on to pursue careers in professional sports including minor league baseball, and the National Hockey League.
The University of Memphis is a research-focused institution and enrolls about 21,000 students. In Sports Management the University offers a MS in Health and Sports Science with a Sports Commerce concentration. If organizing rosters and planning events isn’t your forte, and you think that you’d much prefer the business/finance side of the industry, then the University of Memphis ought to be highly appealing to you. The U.S. News and World Report ranks the university in the top 150 in the categories of Part-time MBA, and Best Online MBA Programs.
Liberty University is the single largest Christian college in the world, with over 113,000 students worldwide. U.S. News and World Report ranks the university’s online master’s degree program as one of the best in the nation (#110), and the Master’s Degree of Science in Sports Management is designed to instill competency in participating students. The Degree seeks to model a Biblical worldview for graduates that can be taken into the world of sports management and focuses on ethics, social issues, marketing, public relations, finance, and research.
Overall, Liberty is one of the best online schools in the country, as they have for many years sought to offer value degrees at reasonable prices. This cheap online masters in sports management degree program is accredited through the Commission on Sports Management Education (COSMA).
If small class size and more individualized attention from professors is your preference, then consider putting this university at the top of your list of potential schools. The university is an industry standard in the field, and yet maintains a “small-town” feel, which encourages strong student relationships with faculty. Adelphi has received numerous recognition including as a leader among national universities for ROI (return on investment) by PayScale.
Courses at this top sports management program are geared towards passing down the first-hand experience to graduates–thereby, the faculty at Adelphi consists of highly experienced professors in the field of sports management. The 36-credit-hour Masters in Sports Management degree focuses on technology, marketing, research, and contemporary issues. Also, graduating seniors are required to complete a capstone project.
Saint Leo University is one of the best overall colleges in the South, and their School of Business features a fantastic sports management program. Interestingly, Saint Leo is the first national college to be accredited by the Commission on Sports Management Accreditation (COSMA, which is one of the first specialized accrediting agencies with a focus on a sports management). Also, the school has been recognized by many independent institutions–including SportBusiness, and the Alliance for Sports Business (ASB)–as offering one of the best programs in the field. Overall, U.S. News and World Report ranks Saint Leo’s business school in the top 100 colleges in the category of Best Online MBA programs.
This top MBA with a Sports Business Concentration is also known for its internship program and general association with many companies in the sports industry–all of which has worked to the advantage of many graduating students in finding sports management employment upon graduation.
With its Master’s degree in Sports Management, Drexel is a high-octane educational environment designed to make you the best organizer and manager that you can be. Receive a Masters degree from Drexel and you will be receiving the same degree that many respected athletic directors, head coaches, general managers, and marketing directors have received all around the nation.
Job opportunities upon graduating from this best online sports management program include
- Sports Marketing Manager
- Account Manager/ Account Executive
- Fitness Director
- Event Planner/ Coordinator
Philadelphia is one of the few cities in the country with a sports team involved in every major sports league (NFL, NBA, NHL, and the MLB). With Temple University and their Executive Masters in Sports Business Program, you’ll get an opportunity to become a leader in the $1.5 trillion global sport industry through their online program.
The executive masters program collaborates with the Fox School of Business Online MBA giving students the chance to learn from other top business leaders. You can set your own pace graduating in as few as 13 months, or taking up to 4 years to complete. Overall, U.S. News and World Report ranks Temple University #1 in overall Online MBA Programs.
New England College’s MBA in Sport and Recreation Management is one of the top 10 online sports management degrees. The program can be completed in 20 months and is designed for working professionals.
An MBA is worth it for increased salary, networking, leadership and management skills as well as preparation to meet challenges on the workforce. New England’s MBA in sports management program takes a look at the concepts of sports management as well as the responsibilities of coaches.
8. Central Michigan University
Michigan is a state renowned for collegiate athletics and in the area of sports management, Central Michigan University doesn’t let the reputation down. If you learn best with attentive professors and a personalized online classroom, you may fit in perfectly at this top masters in sports management degree program. The staff and advisors at Central Michigan go out of their way to give as much one-on-one attention to their students as possible. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #36 in Best Online MBA programs and #17 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs. So, attend this school and attend one of the best places to get a master’s degree in general, and a Sports Management degree in particular.
With a #1 ranking in Best online Graduate Education Programs, and a #4 in Best online MBA Programs, from U.S. News and World Report, it is little wonder that this university’s Master’s degree in Sports Management is so highly sought after. The University has produced some of the most renowned financiers in the sports industry and is likely the college for you if your interest is primarily in finance. Both an internship and a capstone project are requirements for graduation–most universities usually require one or the other of these options. In other words, this school is one of the most rigorous in the nation.
Job opportunities upon graduation inlude:
- Game Day Coordinator
- Sports Administration
- Facility Operations Manager
- Sports Agent
- Athletic Performance Training and Development Specialist
This school may just be the most truly unique university on our list. U.S. News and World Report ranks Northeastern University as the #6th Most Innovative School in the nation–and for all the buzz that they’ve created in their unique approach to education, it is hardly difficult to see why. Other schools offer real-world experience as part of their approach, but with Northeastern, and the Master of Sports Leadership degree that they offer, it is made the foundation of all they do. With an emphasis on the relationship between social issue’s and leadership in business practices, anyone attending Northeastern will find it an unparalleled experience.
This top 10 sports management program will prepare you for an exciting career in the sports industry. This COSMA accredited degree is in a flexible online format with an intensive one-week summer residency program in Boston. No GRE or GMAT is required for this online sports management degree program.
5. Texas A&M
The online Master of Science in Sports Management offered at Texas A&M, offers all of its 36 credit hours online, and also offers graduation without a thesis requirement (for those who dread such). The program focuses on research and field experience, and can be obtained either as a full-time, or part-time student. The course curriculum at Texas A&M is specifically designed to equip fully those who are pursuing careers working in Country clubs, athletic departments, fitness clubs, or professional sports.
U.S. News and World Report ranks this program as the #44th best Online Graduate Education Program, which makes it one of the highest ranking sport education masters degrees’ one can obtain online. Texas A&M online masters in sports management can be completed through their distance learning program with no residency.
Perhaps no other school on our list is featured in as many categories of the U.S. News and World Report college rankings. Among the categories that the University of Miami excels at are Best in National Universities (#51), Best Colleges for Veterans (#41), Best Education Schools (#69), Best Global Universities (#155), Best Business School (#68), Best Online Graduate Business Programs (#56), and Best Online Graduate Education Programs (#184). So when attending the University of Miami, you knows you are receiving a highly respected education.
This is no less true in the case of the online Masters of Science in Education in Sports Administration, which focuses on sports management through a globalized perspective. Also, this best online degree in sports management requires just 30 credits and can be completed in just 20 months.
The MBA With a Focus on Sports Management degree is one of the best degrees that can be achieved in the sports industry and comes from one of the most prestigious business schools in the nation: Isenberg School of Management. Isenberg is home to a think-tank of professors, who seek to incorporate the latest and greatest research in the field. The professors at Isenberg (and Umass in general) are among the most respected in their field, and it is this resource that Isenberg offers that make them an undeniable force in the field of sports education. The college is also home to many, year-round, guest lecturers–who are usually some of the most respected leaders in the industry.
This top sports management masters program offers real world experience and provides the best academic experience to prepare graduates for a high-paced career.
Lasell University offers a top masters in sports management completely online. This cheap sports management program can be completed in 12-24 months, and no GMAT or GRE is required to apply.
The quality, affordability and flexibility of the sports management curriculum are what make this a top degree. After completing the degree, graduates have gone on to such jobs in the sports management industry as
- High School Coach and Athletic Director
- College Head Coach/ Assistant Coach
- Sports Marketing Director
- Professional Operations Manager
- Event Manager
No other college could rank number #1 on any sports education list, besides Ohio University (OU) The school essentially invented the category, and has remained an industry giant since its inception. OU seeks to train future leaders in sports management enterprises and is unprecedented for educating many highly respected individuals in the field of professional sports like the NFL, NBA, and the MLB. Also, its Alumni network is considered one of the most prestigious in the country.
U.S. News and World Report ranks OU as one of the best overall universities in the nation, and one of the best places to get an online master’s degree. But it is their highly touted and affordable sports education program that cannot be denied. SportBusiness International ranked their online MSA as the best online sports masters program in the world.
If you are interested in sports management, than this cheap online sports management degree may be the program for you. Employers will be clamoring over themselves to hire you upon graduation, and a degree from OU will streamline your career into the most exciting places to work.
- 20 Best Online Masters in Supply Chain Management
- 10 Best Online Masters in Non-Profit Management
- 25 Best Masters in Organizational Leadership
- 20 Best Online Masters in Finance Programs
- 20 Best Online Masters in Accounting Degree Programs
- Top 15 Masters in International Business Degree Programs
- 20 Best MBA in Entrepreneurship Degree Programs
- Top 20 Masters in Project Management Degree Programs
- How Many Credits is a Master’s Degree and How Do I Earn One?