2019 Accredited Online Sports Management Degrees

Quick Facts
Accreditation: Institutional
Degree Levels: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
Avg Tuition: $23,298
Avg Salary: $61,111

Find an online degree in sports management using our comprehensive list, which includes 301 programs and 137 colleges. Some outstanding options are highlighted in our list of best online master's programs in sports management, which are ranked according to tuition rates and alumni salaries provided by PayScale.

Prospective students looking for online sports management programs are encouraged to look for degree programs that are offered by accredited institutions. Accreditation is an indication that a program is of excellent quality and is a requirement for those who plan to apply for federal financial aid.

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Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - Sports Management Degrees ( 136)

Partner School
Partner School
Full List Accreditation Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
Full List (135)
Adams State University HLC $20,456 100% (1 review)
40 Programs, 2 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Coaching
  • Master of Arts in Sport Management
Adelphi University MSCHE $37,170 Add Review
16 Programs, 3 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Science in Sport Management
  • Master of Science in Sport Management - Collegiate Athletic Administration
  • Master of Science in Sport Management - Sports Marketing
American Public University System HLC $6,880 71% (141 reviews)
417 Programs, 7 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Sports Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Athletic Administration
  • Graduate Certificate in Sports Management
  • Master of Business Administration - Sports Management
American University MSCHE $46,615 100% (2 reviews)
61 Programs, 2 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Sports Analytics and Management
  • MS in Sports Analytics Management
Arizona State University HLC $15,691 - $27,372 68% (81 reviews)
208 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • BS in Tourism and Recreation Management
Arkansas State University HLC $14,778 33% (3 reviews)
61 Programs, 3 in Sports Management (view all)
  • MS in Sport
  • MS in Sport Administration
  • MS in Sport Administration- duplicate
Ashford University WASC WSCUC $10,632 - $13,400 67% (638 reviews)
146 Programs, 6 in Sports Management (view all)
  • BA/Sports and Recreation Management
  • BA/Sports and Recreation Management - Entrepreneurship Specialization
  • BA/Sports and Recreation Management - Finance Specialization
  • BA/Sports and Recreation Management - Information Systems Specialization
Bellevue University HLC $7,752 67% (54 reviews)
165 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management
Bryan College-Dayton SACS COC $25,600 Add Review
20 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Business Administration - Sports Management
Buena Vista University HLC $32,854 100% (2 reviews)
33 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor Degree Completion in Business - Sport Business
California Baptist University WASC WSCUC $32,256 80% (5 reviews)
84 Programs, 2 in Sports Management (view all)
  • BA: Sport, Recreation and Fitness Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sport, Recreation and Fitness Management
California University of Pennsylvania MSCHE $15,326 79% (14 reviews)
105 Programs, 9 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Sport Management: Wellness and Fitness
  • Certificate in Intercollegiate Athletic Administration Certificate
  • Certificate in Sport Psychology
  • Certificate in Sports Counseling
Calvary University HLC $11,152 Add Review
103 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Business Administration: Sports Management (Bachelor's)
Campbellsville University SACS COC $25,400 50% (2 reviews)
64 Programs, 3 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Sport Management
  • Master of Arts in Sport Management - Administration
  • Master of Arts in Sport Management - Marketing
Canisius College MSCHE $36,454 100% (2 reviews)
25 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master's in Sport Administration
Central Methodist University HLC $5,760 - $23,770 100% (1 review)
35 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Sports Management
Clemson University SACS COC $36,058 100% (2 reviews)
24 Programs, 2 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Athletic Leadership
  • Master of Science in Athletic Leadership
Colorado Mesa University HLC $20,330 Add Review
6 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Sport Management
Columbia Southern University DEAC $6,600 80% (162 reviews)
74 Programs, 2 in Sports Management (view all)
  • B.S. Business Administration-Sports Management
  • Undergraduate Certificate-Sports Management
Concordia University - Nebraska HLC $31,000 0% (1 review)
39 Programs, 3 in Sports Management (view all)
  • M.S. in Athletics Administration - College Athletics Administration
  • M.S. in Athletics Administration - Dual Concentration
  • M.S. in Athletics Administration - High School Athletics Administration
Concordia University - Texas SACS COC $30,600 100% (1 review)
40 Programs, 2 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Sports Administration
  • Master of Education in Sports Administration
Concordia University - Wisconsin HLC $28,600 67% (3 reviews)
109 Programs, 2 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Sport and Entertainment Business
  • MBA - Sport and Entertainment Business
Concordia University-Irvine WASC WSCUC $34,100 0% (1 review)
29 Programs, 2 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Coaching & Athletic Administration
  • Master of Science in Coaching & Athletic Administration
Culver-Stockton College HLC $26,040 Add Review
10 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • BS in Sports Management
Davenport University HLC $17,558 100% (5 reviews)
85 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Sport Management, BBA
DePaul University HLC $39,010 100% (1 review)
85 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • MS in Sport, Fitness and Recreation Leadership (Non-Thesis)
Drexel University MSCHE $52,002 60% (5 reviews)
296 Programs, 6 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Ed.D. in Educational Leadership - Athletic Administration
  • Master of Science in Sport Coaching Leadership
  • Master of Science in Sport Coaching Leadership - Custom-Designed Concentration
  • Master of Science in Sport Coaching Leadership - Lacrosse
East Carolina University SACS COC $23,420 100% (4 reviews)
148 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Sport Management
Eastern Kentucky University SACS COC $18,250 33% (3 reviews)
88 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Sport Management
Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus HLC $11,788 100% (3 reviews)
64 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Science in Physical Education - Sports Administration
Eastern Oregon University NWCCU $19,682 80% (5 reviews)
46 Programs, 2 in Sports Management (view all)
  • BA in Physical Activity and Health - Physical Education and Sport
  • BS in Physical Activity and Health - Physical Education and Sport
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus MSCHE $39,446 Add Review
35 Programs, 4 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Student Services Administration - Intercollegiate Sports Administration
  • Master of Sports Administration
  • Master of Sports Administration - Coaching Theories and Strategies
  • Master of Sports Administration - Sports Administration
Florida Atlantic University SACS COC $17,276 100% (4 reviews)
37 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Business Administration in Sport Management
Florida International University SACS COC $18,954 88% (8 reviews)
117 Programs, 4 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Sport Management - Pre-Recreational Therapy/Adaptive Recreation
  • Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Sport Management - Recreation and Sport Management
  • Combined Bachelor's/Master's of Science in Recreation and Sport Management: Recreational Therapy
Full Sail University ACCSC $23,694 43% (86 reviews)
36 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Science in Entertainment Business: Sports Management Track
Gardner Webb University SACS COC $30,700 100% (1 review)
44 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Business Administration - Sport Management
George Mason University SACS COC $34,370 Add Review
59 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources - Sport Management
Georgetown University MSCHE $52,300 100% (1 review)
26 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
Georgia Southern University SACS COC $17,142 Add Review
55 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Science in Sports Management
Georgia State University SACS COC $23,971 0% (1 review)
33 Programs, 2 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Associate of Science in Sport Management
  • Master of Science in Sports Administration
Gonzaga University NWCCU $41,330 100% (4 reviews)
26 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • MA in Sport and Athletic Administration
Grace College and Theological Seminary HLC $23,170 Add Review
16 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Science in Athletic Administration
Grand Canyon University HLC $17,050 53% (407 reviews)
220 Programs, 2 in Sports Management (view all)
  • BS in Sports Management
  • MBA - Sports Business
Hampton University SACS COC $25,441 Add Review
30 Programs, 4 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Science in Sport Administration
  • Master of Science in Sport Administration - Intercollegiate Sports
  • Master of Science in Sport Administration - International Sports
  • Master of Science in Sport Administration - Sports Business Leadership
Indiana State University HLC $19,452 88% (8 reviews)
83 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Recreation and Sport Management
Jacksonville State University SACS COC $15,582 100% (1 review)
50 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Science in Sport Management
Jacksonville University SACS COC $35,260 88% (8 reviews)
23 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • MS in Sport Management
Johnson & Wales University-Online NECHE $13,365 Add Review
55 Programs, 3 in Sports Management (view all)
  • BS - Sports, Entertainment and Event Management
  • MBA - Sport Leadership
  • MS - Sport Leadership
Johnson University SACS COC $14,920 Add Review
47 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Sport Management
Lakeland University HLC $27,760 Add Review
59 Programs, 3 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration - Sport Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Management Information Systems - Sport Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Specialized Administration - Sport Management
Liberty University SACS COC $11,700 60% (240 reviews)
537 Programs, 19 in Sports Management (view all)
  • BS: Sport Management: Conference and Event Management
  • BS: Sport Management: General
  • BS: Sport Management: Sport Administration
  • BS: Sport Management: Sport Communication and Public Relations
Lindenwood University HLC $16,960 Add Review
72 Programs, 2 in Sports Management (view all)
  • BA in Business Administration - Sport Management
  • BS in Business Administration - Sport Management
Lynn University SACS COC $37,510 100% (1 review)
31 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Business Administration - Sports Management
Maryville University HLC $28,470 0% (11 reviews)
72 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • BS in Rawlings Sport Business Management
McKendree University HLC $29,640 50% (2 reviews)
27 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration - Sport Management
Michigan State University HLC $39,406 100% (3 reviews)
110 Programs, 2 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Sport Coaching and Leadership
  • Master of Science in Sport Coaching & Leadership
Midwestern State University SACS COC $10,644 75% (4 reviews)
35 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Education in Sport Administration
Minot State University HLC $6,810 Add Review
33 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Science in Sports Management
Mississippi College SACS COC $17,392 Add Review
46 Programs, 4 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Science in Athletic Administration
  • Master of Science in Athletic Administration - Intercollegiate
  • Master of Science in Athletic Administration - Interscholastic
  • Master of Science in Communication - Professional Communication in Sports
Missouri Baptist University HLC $26,020 Add Review
23 Programs, 5 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Sports Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Sport Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Sport Marketing
  • Master of Science in Fitness Management
Missouri State University HLC $14,746 0% (1 review)
48 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Sports Management
Morehead State University SACS COC $13,426 Add Review
51 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Sport Management
Mount Aloysius College MSCHE $22,430 Add Review
14 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Sports Management
New England College NECHE $36,954 38% (8 reviews)
85 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • MBA - Sports and Recreation Management
North Carolina State University SACS COC $27,406 67% (3 reviews)
91 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Management
Northcentral University WASC WSCUC $17,526 49% (209 reviews)
272 Programs, 7 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Doctor of Education - Sports Management
  • Education Specialist (EdS) - Sports Management
  • Master of Education - Athletic Coaching
  • Master of Education - Sports Management
Northeastern University NECHE $49,497 100% (9 reviews)
244 Programs, 8 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Doctor of Education - Organizational Leadership - Sports Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate in Collegiate Athletics Administration
  • Graduate Certificate in Professional Sports Administration
  • Master of Science in Leadership - Sport and Social Change
Northwestern University HLC $52,678 0% (2 reviews)
53 Programs, 3 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study - Sports Administration
  • Master of Arts in Sports Administration
  • Master of Arts in Sports Administration - Sports Analytics
Nova Southeastern University SACS COC $29,930 71% (7 reviews)
228 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Business Administration in Sport Revenue Generation
Ohio Christian University HLC $20,240 50% (18 reviews)
73 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • MA in Ministry - Fitness Evangelistic Discipleship
Ohio University-Main Campus HLC $21,360 67% (3 reviews)
55 Programs, 4 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Athletic Administration
  • Master of Coaching Education
  • Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Sciences - Soccer Coaching
  • Professional Master of Sports Administration
Old Dominion University SACS COC $27,900 80% (10 reviews)
123 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Science in Sport Management
Post University Online NECHE Not Provided 34% (82 reviews)
127 Programs, 4 in Sports Management (view all)
  • B.S. in Business Administration / Sport Management
  • B.S. in Management / Sport Management
  • B.S. in Sport Management
  • B.S. in Sports Management
Saint Leo University Online SACS COC $22,220 68% (83 reviews)
133 Programs, 2 in Sports Management (view all)
  • B.A. in Sport Business
  • M.B.A. - Sport Business
Salem University HLC $16,700 100% (1 review)
50 Programs, 2 in Sports Management (view all)
  • BSBA - Sports & Recreation Management
  • MBA - Sports & Recreation Management
Shorter University SACS COC $21,730 Add Review
17 Programs, 3 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Associate of Science in Sport Management
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Sport Management
  • MBA in Sports Management
Southeast Missouri State University HLC $12,720 100% (1 review)
58 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Business Administration - Sport Management
Southeastern Oklahoma State University HLC $15,390 Add Review
34 Programs, 4 in Sports Management (view all)
  • MS Sports Administration - Educational Leadership
  • MS Sports Administration - General
  • MS Sports Administration - Business
  • MS Sports Administration - Native American Leadership
Southeastern University SACS COC $25,360 100% (1 review)
38 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Business Administration - Sport Management
Southern Arkansas University HLC $12,156 100% (2 reviews)
30 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • M.S. in Kinesiology - Coaching
Southern New Hampshire University Online NECHE $11,520 62% (301 reviews)
286 Programs, 11 in Sports Management (view all)
  • BS Business Administration - Sport Management
  • BS Business Studies in Sport Management
  • BS Sport Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Athletic Administration
Southwestern Oklahoma State University HLC $13,905 Add Review
13 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Education in Sports Management
Tennessee Tech University SACS COC $24,377 Add Review
45 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Exercise Science, Physical Education and Wellness - Sports Management
Texas A & M University-Commerce SACS COC $20,884 86% (7 reviews)
54 Programs, 3 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Science in Health, Kinesiology, and Sport Studies
  • Master of Science in Health, Kinesiology, and Sports Studies - Health Promotion
  • Master of Science in Health, Kinesiology, and Sports Studies - Physical Education Pedagogy
Texas A&M University-College Station SACS COC $36,606 67% (3 reviews)
129 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Science in Sport Management
Texas Woman's University SACS COC $17,446 100% (2 reviews)
31 Programs, 3 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Certificate of Leadership in Education and Sport
  • Master of Science in Kinesiology - Coaching
  • Master of Science in Kinesiology - Sport Management
Toccoa Falls College SACS COC $22,104 Add Review
15 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Sport Management
Trident University International WASC WSCUC $9,240 74% (65 reviews)
89 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Education - Sports Performance and Leadership (MAED)
Troy University SACS COC $13,520 55% (11 reviews)
101 Programs, 5 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management - Hospitality Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management - Sport Management
  • Master of Science in Sports and Fitness Management - Sport Management (Non-Thesis)
  • Master of Science in Sports and Fitness Management - Sport Management (Thesis)
Truett McConnell University SACS COC $19,480 Add Review
10 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Sports Management
Union College - KY SACS COC $26,080 100% (1 review)
18 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Science in Athletic Administration
University College WASC WSCUC $10,200 Add Review
83 Programs, 3 in Sports Management (view all)
  • MA in Leadership - Sport Management and Integrated Leadership
  • MBA - Sport Management
  • MS in Physical Education - Sport Management
University of Alabama SACS COC $28,100 67% (3 reviews)
56 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • MA in Human Performance - Sport Management Teacher Certification
University of Alaska Fairbanks NWCCU $19,183 Add Review
58 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • A.A.S. in Applied Business - Recreation and Guiding Management
University of Arizona HLC $11,800 100% (2 reviews)
100 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Sports and Society (BGS)
University of Central Missouri HLC $14,150 100% (2 reviews)
58 Programs, 2 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Business Administration - Sports Business
  • Master of Science in Kinesiology - Sport Management
University of Cincinnati HLC $27,334 83% (6 reviews)
136 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Science in Sport Administration
University of Connecticut NECHE $36,948 100% (1 review)
26 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Diversity in Sport Management
University of Florida SACS COC $28,659 60% (5 reviews)
245 Programs, 3 in Sports Management (view all)
  • BA in Business Administration - Sport Management
  • BS in Sport Management
  • MS in Sport Management
University of Florida - Community Sciences SACS COC $28,659 Add Review
9 Programs, 1 in Sports Management (view all)
  • Master of Science in Sport Management

Online Sports Management Degree Overview & Career Information

Online sports management degrees are offered at the certificate, associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree levels. Students enrolled in an associate or bachelor's sports management program will take a certain number of general education courses, as well as accounting, statistics, and general marketing.

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Online Associate Degrees in Sports Management

An associate degree in sports management can help you become an effective leader who is influential in promoting the well-being of others. This program is offered at many community colleges, as well as distance learning schools. Students are expected to commit to 18 months to 2 years of full-time study and fulfill 60 to 64 credit hours. Those with a high school diploma or equivalent are typically eligible for enrollment, although many schools prefer applicants with high standardized test scores and grade point averages.

Students in sports management associate degree programs learn leadership skills, problem-solving methods, and essential business knowledge in sports-related fields. They explore a wealth of subjects, such as advertising, public relations, computer technology, product promotion, and business law. Additional core topics include psychology, sociology, physical education leadership, accounting, marketing, introduction to sports management, microeconomics, and macroeconomics. Some schools include an internship requirement to give students hands-on experience.

Graduates of associate degree programs in this field usually enter the workforce as facilities managers, purchasing agents, community recreation leaders, account sales representatives, advertisers, and public relations specialists.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees in Sports Management

Sports management bachelor's degree programs equip students with business skills and sports management strategies for working in the sports industry. Areas of emphasis during training include budgeting, controlling, directing, evaluating, organizing, and planning of sport or physical activity. Admission requirements usually include a high school diploma or GED, along with acceptable college entrance exam scores. Students are required to earn 120 to 130 credits, which takes approximately four years.

Programs generally comprise of general education courses, core courses, and electives. Core coursework covers areas such as economics, facility and event management, finance, leadership in sports, legal and ethical issues, marketing principles, media and sport, sociology of sport, sport and exercise science, sport governance, sport information management, sport psychology, and strategic sport management. Electives may include athletic coaching, broadcasting, business administration, and facility and event management. Bachelor's programs usually require students to complete an internship in order to gain firsthand experience of the field.

Career opportunities for program graduates include broadcasting and media relations, collegiate athletics, retail sales, sport facility and event management, sports marketing and sales, and sport tourism. Students are prepared for careers in various sports-related settings such as college and university athletic departments, community recreation agencies, country clubs, golf courses, health and fitness centers, media houses, resorts, sport broadcasting venues, sport marketing agencies, and theme parks.

Job titles for professionals with a bachelor's degree include athletic coach, director of athletics, director of stadium operations, fitness club manager, media relations specialist, sports agent, sportscaster, sports event coordinator, sports information director, sports league director, and sports sales representative.

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Online Master's in Sports Management

The average applicant to a sports management master's degree program has a bachelor's degree (often in business, sports medicine, communications, or a related field), and a strong background in athletics. Applicants will often be asked to submit a resume detailing their experience in the sports management field or a personal statement explaining why they are drawn to the field. To learn more about online master's programs in sports management, see our master's overview which includes a list of the best programs.

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Online Doctoral Degrees in Sports Management

Doctoral programs in sports management allow students to build a solid knowledge base in sport theory and management practices. Programs also allow students to build competencies in statistics and research methods. Prerequisites may include management theory and marketing principles, which students are expected to have taken at the graduate level. Doctoral students are required to earn 65 to 75 credits, which takes approximately three years.

Sports management doctoral programs comprise of a high level of theory and research. The coursework allows students to develop a comprehensive understanding of the historical aspects of sport and exercise. Students also engage in analyses of the physiological and psychological aspects of sport. Areas covered by core coursework include ethics in sports, facility management, human resources in sport, legal issues, marketing research, organizational behavior in sport, public relations and sales, special event management, sport and globalization, sport consumer behavior, sport development, sport economics, sport finance, sport marketing, and sport policy.

Doctorate programs offer students various cognate areas for career specialization. This may include consumer behavior, educational administration, management, marketing, and public policy. Doctoral programs usually require students to take a comprehensive exam after the completion of coursework. Passing the exam qualifies students to work on a dissertation, which is based on independent research. Students are also required to engage in a public defense of the dissertation.

Doctorates in sports management prepare students for careers in various areas of sports such as consulting, management, marketing, and research. Graduates can also pursue careers in education, physical fitness, and wellness. Work settings for doctoral graduates include colleges, research institutions, sports agencies, sports facilities, and universities.

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Online Certificates in Sports Management

The certificate in sports management is a graduate-level program covering the economic, management, and business aspects of organized and commercial sports. These programs are typically offered through business schools and university extension programs and consist of 6 to 10 courses. Most programs require an accredited undergraduate degree. Some programs cover a broad variety of topics related to sports management, while others specialize in a particular sports area, such as sports in higher education or recreation management.

The curriculum in the sports management certificate helps students understand the roles and requirements of leadership positions in the sports and recreation industry. The particular aspects of sports management discussed will vary by program. One common required course, the principles of sports governance, looks at the management systems used within different types of sport. A course in intercollegiate athletics discusses legal issues of sports equity and management issues in collegiate athletics. Other common courses include sports law, sports marketing, and fiscal management. Most programs include a set core of classes and allow students to choose electives to tailor the certificate for their professional interests.

The sports management certificate is great preparation for business roles in sport. Graduates may go on to become marketing or public relations specialists in sport and recreation settings; other options include program director positions in high school sports departments or local government parks and recreation offices.

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Accreditation

Accreditation is an official designation given to either a school or a specific program within a school after it has been evaluated and reviewed by an independent accrediting agency. It may be granted either in the form of institutional accreditation, where an entire school and all of its programs are considered to be accredited, or in the form of programmatic accreditation, where one specific discipline or program receives accreditation.

At this time, the US Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) do not officially recognize any agencies that provide programmatic accreditation to any sports management degree programs. Instead, students are advised to choose a sports management degree program that is offered by a school that has received institutional accreditation. You can verify a school's accreditation by checking one of the databases offered by either USDE or CHEA.

While attending an accredited school isn't mandatory, doing so will enable you to transfer credits to other accredited schools, utilize any federal financial aid that might be available to you, and have the best possible chances of having a potential employer recognize your academic qualifications.

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Common Courses in Sports Management

Through the study of sports management, students learn the intricacies, psychology, and business dynamics of sports. Sports management is about analyzing the business aspects of sports and the ways to make it enjoyable, profitable, and beneficial to its stakeholders. Becoming acquainted with all those involved in the sporting business, and then bringing them together to work as one cohesive unit, will be the at the core of a sports manager's goals. Courses that will be essential for sports management students include the following:

Business Courses

  • Accounting: Here one will learn the nuances of accounting as they relate to the sports management professional, such as ticket sales and facility expenses.
  • Economics: Sports economics will focus on the bigger picture and how one theorizes the business aspect of sports management.
  • Marketing: This course will educate on how to promote your product in sports management, whether that is yourself as a sports agent, your team or athlete, or your program.
  • Sports Finance: This course will teach one how to fund certain sporting projects.

Interdisciplinary Courses

  • Communications: As sports management involves talking to and working with people in a variety of positions and with a variety of backgrounds, a foundation in communications will prove helpful.
  • Computer Applications: As we are in the age of information technology, one will be required to be well-versed in computer applications, regardless of the discipline.
  • Psychology: This is a general course that will help a sports management professional consider different psychological perspectives when analyzing sports-related matters.
  • Sports Law: There are laws and codes of ethics specific to athletics.

Sport-Focused Courses

  • Inscholastic, Intercollegiate, and Professional Sports: This is a more detailed course for those looking into a specific field within sports.
  • Sports in Culture: This course pertains to the history of sports and its impact on society; there are both social and psychological elements to this course.
  • Sports Ethics: Here one will also deal with psychology and philosophy in sports; this may vary depending on which region one is looking to study and work in.
  • Sports Information: This is a general course on the basics of sports and how it works, which is essential to any sports management professional.
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Career Opportunities for Sports Management Graduates

There are myriad jobs in the sports management field; directing and management positions are two of the most prevalent. Sports agenting is perhaps the most popular subprofession in the sports management field, but there are plenty of other jobs to choose from.

Director Positions

  • Athletic Director: This position calls for a general understanding of athletics and logistics. Depending on the program one is working with, different levels of familiarity with college, high school, and other programs will be required.
  • Compliance Director: This director will ensure that their program or organization is up to standards on working conditions, safety, business practices, etc.
  • Corporate Sales Director: This position requires a higher degree of knowledge in the business field and familiarity with corporations, especially those that deal with sporting aspects.
  • Director of Ticketing and Finance: This is strictly the business side of sports, like dealing with ticket sales and accounting for them.
  • Intramural Director of Campus Recreation: This job will require one to work at a university with students playing intramural sports. Management will be key to this job, as there are thousands of students that play intramural sports every term.
  • Marketing and Promotion Director: A synthesis of business savvy and communications skills are vital to this position, which involves bringing good publicity to your athlete, team, or organization.
  • Program Directors in Community Sport Programs: A nuanced knowledge of youth sporting dynamics, propensity for community advocacy, and a passion for public service will be important in this position.

Management Positions

  • Event Management: You will coordinate various sporting and promotional events.
  • Athletic Business Manager: This is essentially a business management position; it deals with athletics in general, from high school boosters to the economics of college sports.
  • Fitness Manager: This deals with aspects of managing recreation centers and other fitness venues.
  • Promotions Management: A professional in this position will be in charge of coordinating the promotional campaign of a sporting program.

Sports Agent

Sports agenting is a field that stands out in sports management, both because of how well many sports agents are known in professional sports and how competitive the field is. Sports agent are responsible for building their reputation through honest yet persuasive business practices and a good work ethic. Being in constant contact with sporting organizations, corporations, and other institutions is a given in this position. Expect to work many hours, but receive generous compensation.

Other Positions

  • Academic service representative for student athletics
  • Athletic director
  • Facilities coordinator
  • Talent scout
  • PR and community relations specialist
  • Publicist
  • Salary cap analyst
  • Sporting goods sales representative
  • Sports marketer

References

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