Professional sports stars get a lot of the glory, but those that work behind the scenes deserve their share of credit, too. Careers in sports management allow you to work up close with some of the most talented athletes on the planet, celebrating their victories and helping them improve their skills over time.

Featured Online Colleges for Sports Management in 2018

Students interested in a sports management career would be wise to consider all of the schools that offer programs in this niche. To make the search easier, we've highlighted some of the online colleges that offer programs in sports management, providing key details on the nuts and bolts of each of their individual programs.

1

Ashford University

Tuition & Fees
$11,248
Distance Education Participation
100%
Number of Programs Offered
68
School Type
4-year

As a fully online school, Ashford University has ample experience with online degree programs. As part of that commitment, they offer a bachelor’s degree in sports and recreation management that can lead to a number of exciting careers.

Students who pursue this degree can earn it entirely online with the help of online message boards, video conferencing and lectures, and other technologies offered by the school. Within the sphere of this degree program, students can also choose a specialization in topics such as marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, information systems and project management.

Accreditation:

  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
 
2

Columbia Southern University

Tuition & Fees
$5,415
Distance Education Participation
100%
Number of Programs Offered
51
School Type
4-year

Located in Orange Beach, Alabama, Columbia Southern University offers distance-based programming in a wide range of disciplines. Included on the list are its thriving sports management programs, which include both a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in sports management and a sports management certificate.

While focusing on sports management and core subject matter, these programs also offer an introduction to concepts such as franchise management, sports tourism, health and fitness, and sporting promotion.

Accreditation:

  • Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
 
3

Drexel University Online

Tuition & Fees
$52,002
Distance Education Participation
21%
Number of Programs Offered
98
School Type
4-year

The online component of Drexel University offers all sorts of degree programs for students who want to earn a degree through distance-based learning. For sports junkies, this includes a master of science in sports management and an online sport management leadership degree.

With Drexel University's superior reputation, students who pursue these online degrees can rest assured their education will count.

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
 
4

Hampton University

Tuition & Fees
$25,441
Distance Education Participation
8%
Number of Programs Offered
24
School Type
4-year

Hampton University offers an array of educational options that involve sporting, sports marketing and sports management. The list includes a Master of Science in Sport Administration, which can be completed entirely online. Once you decide to pursue this program, you can choose between the following specializations: intercollegiate sports, sports business leadership and international sports.

In addition to core curriculum, Hampton University students will take courses in physical fitness, psychology, humanities and other topics indirectly related to sports management.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
 
5

Post University

Tuition & Fees
$16,610
Distance Education Participation
93%
Number of Programs Offered
37
School Type
4-year

Post University, located in Waterbury, Connecticut, is a prominent school in the area. In addition to its on- campus programming, Post University offers a wealth of online degree programs, including an online Bachelor of Science in Sport Management.

Students who pursue this degree will be immersed in everything related to sporting, sports marketing and the management of teams on both a local and broader level. Sport law and sporting economics will also be introduced, as well as core courses that lay a foundation for this educational program.

Accreditation:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE)
 
6

Texas A&M University

Tuition & Fees
N/A
Distance Education Participation
60%
Number of Programs Offered
6
School Type
4-year

Texas A&M University offers a Master of Science in Sports Management program that can be completed entirely online. Through online message boards, recorded lectures and the school’s online learning platform, students can take both core education and the courses required to complete their degree.

This program can be pursued in conjunction with an internship or without one, and it may be completed online or at the school’s campus. Texas A&M considers sports a passion but also introduces students to the business side of this exciting industry.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
 
7

United States Sports Academy

Tuition & Fees
N/A
Distance Education Participation
100%
Number of Programs Offered
11
School Type
4-year

As a school that focuses on sports education, the United States Sports Academy is the perfect spot for students hoping to enter this career field with an online education. Degree programs offered include a bachelor’s in sports science, a master’s in sports science, and a Doctor of Education in Sports Management. Meanwhile, the school offers a sports management and sports coaching diploma program.

All of these programs, and their included coursework, can be completed online and around any busy adult’s personal schedule.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
 
8

University of Miami

Tuition & Fees
$48,484
Distance Education Participation
29%
Number of Programs Offered
9
School Type
4-year

While the University of Miami offers a wealth of programs on its Florida campus, it also offers plenty of degrees online. Included on that list is an exciting online master’s degree in sports administration.

During this program, students will learn the basics of sports management and marketing. Plus, they will participate in valuable networking sessions that could help them create important connections with others in this field.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
 
9

University of Minnesota-Crookston

Tuition & Fees
$11,814
Distance Education Participation
42%
Number of Programs Offered
16
School Type
4-year

While the University of Minnesota at Crookston offers an array of on-campus learning opportunities, they also boast a thriving online program as well. Through online learning, students can pursue a bachelor’s in sports and recreation management.

Graduates have gone on to work in sports management and coaching, plus youth services and development. With University of Minnesota credentials and a good work ethic, you may be able to purse similar sports management professions.

Accreditation:

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
 
10

University of Northwestern Ohio

Tuition & Fees
$11,050
Distance Education Participation
14%
Number of Programs Offered
19
School Type
4-year

The University of Northwestern Ohio offers online sports management courses that lead to two separate degree types – a bachelor’s degree in sports marketing and management and an associate’s degree in sports marketing and management.

While both offer similar core curriculum, they also introduce students to the fields of event marketing and management, account management, promotions, and internet marketing. Meanwhile, internships with local and national sporting agencies may also be available.

Accreditation:

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
 

Degree Overview : Sports Management

The sports field has grown into a $430 billion-plus industry, according to Troy University. This has created a need for qualified personnel in various aspects of the industry, including coaches, marketing experts, researchers, scouts and business managers, to name a few. Online degrees for sports management, offered from the associate degree level up to the PhD, provide a way for students to develop new sports management skills.

Online Sports Management Courses

Online sports management degrees typically focus on the fundamentals of the field, such as finances, marketing, leadership and relationship building. Requirements for programs vary by degree type, but are generally aimed at providing practical knowledge helpful for pursuing a career. More details on degree courses are listed directly below.

  • Sport sociology and sport administration are usual components of online sports management degrees at the associate level. Programs could lead students to tackle topics like sport financing, sport facilities and legal liability. Courses in associate degree programs might later be acceptable for transfer to a bachelor's degree.
  • Online bachelor's degree programs in sports management often introduce students to topics such as business finance, sport marketing, and sport and facility design management. Elective courses and an internship can also be a required part of a four-year degree program.
  • graduate certificate in sports management can introduce students to various aspects of the field, such as leadership, marketing and public relations, while not requiring a full commitment to a master's degree. In fact, just a few courses are typically required, and these may even be transferable to a master's program if desired, should you decide to return to school to earn one.
  • Students in online master's degree programs in sports management are expected to learn about the ethical components of managing teams and gain insight into the various interests of stakeholders, including officials, players, coaches, fans and more. An internship or capstone project may be a requirement in a master's program.
  • PhD programs in sports management (yes, they do exist) are structured to help students prepare for a range of sports management positions, relating to athletic teams, education, research or the sports industry. In a PhD program, students might study applied statistics in sports management, sport management pedagogy and legal aspects. A dissertation may be required.

Career-Related Skills to Develop

Many skills are important to a sports management career. Students pursuing online education for sports management degrees may want to focus on the following skills while they are enrolled in a sports management program.

  • Decision-making: Sports managers must know how to recognize talented players and when and how to use them on the court or field. Because there are often competing priorities in a game, and because the situation of the game can change in the blink of an eye, sports managers need to know how to make decisions and how to make them quickly.
  • Motivation: Knowing how to motivate players and athletes is essential to athletic development and improvement. Sports managers need to find the right things to say at the right time to keep players focused and working toward their goals. It's easy to be a leader when everything is going well; it's motivating your charges during the hard times that really matters.
  • Interpersonal skills: Good sports managers understand the importance of relationship-building and are always working to improve their relationships with players, staff, coaches and other personnel. Sometimes giving a speech to their entire team at once, sometimes speaking to a single person one-on- one — in either situation, interpersonal communication and listening skills are coming into play.

Sports Management Career Outlook

Online colleges for sports management offer courses that could lead to many thriving careers in all kinds of industries. However, most students who pursue this educational path have certain careers in mind.

The following careers are commonly pursued by graduates from these programs:

Coach
Average Salary
$43,870
Projected Job Openings
47,600
Projected Job Growth
10.5
Entry-level Education
Bachelor's degree
Coaches teach athletes of all ages about the intricacies of their sport and how to become better. They set up training schedules to increase athletes’ strength, arrange team practices and offer actionable advice, strategies and tips during games and meets.

By pursuing online sports management courses, students can learn how to manage and motivate a team, while helping each team member become a better version of themselves. While many coaches lead small local teams, some – and especially those with college degrees – go on to manage teams at the state and national level.
Sportscaster
Average Salary
$51,630
Projected Job Openings
4,000
Projected Job Growth
-7.3
Entry-level Education
Bachelor's degree
Sportscasters speak about sporting events to the public, often live and on the air or over the radio. Using an array of technologies, these professionals share each play or move made during a game or meet, often offering their own perspective or angle on each story.

For sportscasters who work on television, the job requires maintaining a professional physical appearance that translates well over air. For radio sportscasters, the job is more about sharing an enthusiasm for the sport and offering insightful commentary that helps others get into each game or event without being physically present.
Marketing Manager
Average Salary
$147,240
Projected Job Openings
26,000
Projected Job Growth
8.1
Entry-level Education
Bachelor's degree
Sports marketers work behind the scenes to promote and encourage enthusiasm about a team or its members. They create advertising and promotional campaigns, negotiate advertising and marketing contracts, and come up with the concepts that can add to the presence of a sports team or sports department.

Since online sports management courses teach about the marketing aspect of sports management, this career can be a natural fit for anyone who is naturally inclined to focus on promoting a team instead of running its day to day activities.
Sources
Methodology
Methodology

Methodology

To be included in these rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria for the specific subject being ranked:

  1. Offer at least one degree or certificate in that subject online
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2015-16

Once we had our list of schools for each subject, we ranked them on six criteria:

  1. In-state tuition, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  2. Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  3. Accessibility, based on the admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  4. Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded by the school in 2015-16 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  5. Related subjects, based on the number of similar programs that the school offers at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  6. Variety of degree levels, based on the number of degree and certificate levels out of a possible nine that the school offers in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
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