The 10 Best Online Sports Management Master’s Degree Programs

SportsMgmtMasters

If you love sports and want to turn that passion into a career, then you should consider furthering your education with a master’s degree in sports management. Whether you are looking to work in college athletics, sports broadcasting, facilities management, or even for a nationally recognized sports organization, an advanced degree will take your career to the next level. Even if you already have a full-time job, you can still earn an online master’s degree in sports management.

Careers in sports management can be very lucrative, with salaries ranging from $50K to $100K and more. However, the competition for these positions can be fierce, so you need to be able to compete with a strong resume of experience and quality education. A master’s degree in sports management will help you stand out from the pack, but you want to make sure to choose an online school that is reputable and will prepare you for a career in sports.

All of the following online sports management master’s degree programs are accredited and provide a sports-focused curriculum in business and administration. Most are 100% online, some offer hybrid courses, and many require a sports-related internship of some kind. These Top Ten Online Master’s Degrees in Sport Management programs were chosen based on each school’s reputation, the scope of the curriculum, career assistance, and national rankings.

10. Texas A&M University

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The Department of Health and Human Performance offers a Master of Science in Health, Kinesiology, and Sports Studies with a concentration in Sport and Recreation Management. Online students can also choose to follow concentrations in Athletic Administration, Health Promotion, and Exercise Science.

The Sports Management concentration is a practical and research-based program that offers a thesis and non-thesis option. The thesis option is designed for students who are interested in academic and research studies as it is related to the sport and recreation industry. The non-thesis option is the professional internship track that prepares students for a career in community recreation, intercollegiate athletics, or professional sports.

* Public university, 100% online, 36 credit hours
* No minimum GPA, no standardized tests
* Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

9. California University of Pennsylvania

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While the name can be misleading, this online university located in the state of Pennsylvania offers a Master of Science in Sports Management Studies degree. This program was the first to be offered entirely online in the United States and has a highly regarded reputation for distance learning and in the field of sports management.

The foundation of the program covers 24 credit hours of core courses that provide the basics needed to succeed in the sports industry. Students then decide to concentrate their last 12 credit hours on either Intercollegiate Athletic Administration courses or the Sports Management mentorship program. Classes are organized in an accelerated format that can be completed in 13 consecutive months if attending full-time. A part-time schedule of coursework is also available online for students who work full-time. The program is tailored for students who are already working in the sports industry or recent college graduates who want to focus their career goals in sports management.

* Public university, 100% online, 36 credit hours
* Minimum 2.50 GPA, no standardized tests
* Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
* #35 for Best Online Graduate Education Program by U.S. News & World Report

8. Liberty University

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Liberty University is a private, non-profit Christian university that offers a Master of Science in Sports Management degree with three online concentrations available. The general non-thesis track provides students with an overall comprehensive understanding of the sports management industry. Potential careers with this concentration include sporting events planner, sports broadcaster, and athletic facilities manager. With an emphasis on ethics and faith integration, a career in sports ministry can also be achieved.

Other tracks in this degree include Outdoor Adventure and Sports Administration. These courses can lead to sport-related careers as a camp director, park ranger, sports promotions, or athletic marketing. Courses are taught 100% online and can be completed in two years. Students are also given the opportunity to visit the campus and take one of their one-week intensive classes to become better connected with the on-campus community.

* Private university, 100% online, 36 credit hours
* Minimum 3.0 GPA, no standardized tests
* Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
* #61 for Best Online Graduate Business Program by U.S. News & World Report

7. Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University

This private, non-profit, Roman Catholic liberal arts university offers an online MBA degree in Sports Business. This degree will prepare students for careers in sporting goods retail management, college athletic departments, and professional sports franchises. This online MBA is the first in the country to be accredited by COSMA, the Commission on Sports Management Accreditation. In 2014, SportBusiness International ranked this online program as the third best sport-related MBA in the world.

The 36 credit hour degree program is 100% online with the option of working a paid internship at a local sports-related organization. The program can be completed in as little as one year or extended to as much as five years. Program courses begin every two months, and a double MBA can be pursued concurrently. Recent graduates and interns have been employed by the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, and Vail Resorts Management.

* Private university, 100% online, 36 credit hours
* Minimum 3.0 GPA, no standardized tests
* Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
* 71 for Best Regional University in the South by U.S. News & World Report

6. Washington State University

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A Master of Arts in Education with a specialization in Sports Management will prepare students for a career in all areas of the sports industry. Curriculum focus is on sport-specific coursework, including finance, organizational theory, sponsorship, ethics, and media communication. This 34 credit program is specifically organized and tailored for online students who want to achieve their degree quickly with an internship or on-campus requirements.

Washington State University offers its online students opportunities to participate in activities and events that are similar to those found on campus. Through their Global Connections program, virtual students can experience extra-curricular activities that include webinars, live cultural events, streaming lectures, and online career fairs.

* Public university, 100% online, 34 credit hours
* Minimum 3.0 GPA and GMAT test scores
* Regional Accreditation Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
* #21 for Best Online MBA Program by U.S. News & World Report

5. Drexel University

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Drexel University Online offers a Master of Science in Sports Management degree with a combination of online courses, a week-long summer residency, and a final thesis project. The program is designed for students who are already working in sports management and those new to the industry who want to make a career change. Courses are taught with a global approach and focus on sports law, sports finance, sports media, and business strategies that are tailored to meet the needs of the sport management field.

This 45 credit hour degree program can be completed in two years, and can be taken either full or part time. Also, the Kline School of Law also offers an online graduate certificate in NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Compliance. These credits can later be applied to their Master of Legal Studies program.

* Private university, hybrid online courses, 45 credit hours
* Minimum 3.0 GPA, no standardized tests
* Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
* #99 for Best University in the Nation by U.S. News & World Report

4: University of Massachusetts Amherst

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The Isenberg School of Management offers an online Master of Business Administration in Sports Management degree. This is one of only a handful of sport management programs in the country that is based in a professional business school, with over 40 years of experience in the sports management industry.

This internationally ranked program is known for its high-quality faculty, cutting-edge sport research facilities, and close connection with the top sports industries in the world. The curriculum covers all areas of sports business administration, including marketing, communications, sales, and sports analytics. Courses are taught 100% online, or you can choose to take some courses on campus at one of their satellite locations if you wish. This dual MBA/MS dual degree in Sports Management program requires 45 credit hours and can be completed in 24-36 months.

* Public university, 100% online, 45 credit hours
* Minimum 3.0 GPA and GMAT test scores
* Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
* #12 for Best Online MBA Program by U.S. News & World Report

3. University of Miami

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An online Master of Science Education degree in Sports Administration is offered through the School of Education and Human Development. This degree is geared toward preparing graduates to work as an administration professional and collegiate athletics, sports communication, and sports law. The University of Miami is one of the most prestigious brands in the world of sports education as a top academic institution and nationally recognized athletics department.

The Sports Administration degree is 100% online with a global perspective, giving graduates a broader perspective and appeal when they enter the workforce. The same faculty teaches the online and on-campus courses, so you know you are receiving the same education experience as the students who attend classes in person. This is an accelerated program with just 30 credit hours that can be completed in 12-24 months, including a sports industry internship. Graduates of the program are currently working for national organizations, including the Baltimore Orioles, Miami Dolphins, and the PGA.

* Private university, 100% online, 30 credit hours
* Minimum 3.0 GPA and GRE test scores
* Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
* #51 for Best Univeristy in the Nation by U.S. News & World Report

2. University of Florida

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Under the direction of the College of Health and Human Performance, a Master of Science in Sports Management is offered online at the University of Florida. With a proud history of collegiate sports and 21 winning varsity teams, the home of the Florida Gators is an institution that eats, sleeps, and breathes sports of every kind. Their broad, rigorous, yet flexible curriculum prepares students for a vast array of sport-related careers, such as event coordination, athletics administration, sports marketing, guest relations, facilities management, and more.

Sport Management courses are taught 100% online with a practicum/internship that can be completed locally, and a capstone project required at the end of the program. Also, students who want to work directly with athletes can specialize with an additional 15 credits in Athlete Performance and Development courses. The college is very focused on making online students feel like full members of the Gator Nation. With top-of-the-line services, online students have full access to institutional resources, including the career center where students can find relevant job opportunities, internships, mock interviews, networking opportunities, and professional development workshops.

* Public university, 100% online, 36 credit hours
* Minimum 3.0 GPA and GRE/GMAT test scores
* Regional Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
* #47 for the Best University in the Nation by U.S. News & World Report

1. Ohio University

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The Department of Sports Administration in the College of Business at Ohio University offers an online Master of Sports Administration degree. This highly selective program only accepts 25 students each year, making it one of the preeminent sports management schools in the country. In 1966, Ohio University was the first institution to offer a secondary education degree in sports administration. They were also the first institution to offer an online Master of Athletic Administration program focused on interscholastic sports.

Designed for professionals already working in the sports industry, this online program was created to help students advance in their studies while still working at their full-time jobs. During this 21-month hybrid program, online students will get the chance to interact with other on-campus students by collaborating on class projects and meeting during the two required 3-day residency sessions. Recent graduates of the program are now working for nationally recognized sports organizations, such as the National Basketball Association, IndyCar, and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Ohio Univeristy was also ranked as the world’s best postgraduate sports management program by SportBusiness International in 2012, 2013, and 2015. This program earned the top spot on our list due to its stellar reputation, high-quality curriculum, and qualitative approach to educating sports professionals. If you are lucky enough to make the cut with this highly selective sports management program, this degree will take your career to the highest levels of the sports industry.

* Public university, hybrid online courses, 36 credit hours
* Minimum 3.0 GPA, no standardized tests
* Regional Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
* #89 for Best Online MBA Program by U.S. News & World Report