Online master’s in sports management degrees are versatile programs that prepare graduates for leadership roles in many different areas of the sports industry, including athletic directors, college coaches, sports marketing managers and sports information directors. When looking for an online master’s degree in sports management, it’s crucial to do your homework. In order to help ensure that the degree will pay off, we’ve developed the following ranking of the top 20 best value online master’s in sports management degree programs for 2017.

Ranking Methodology
Awards and Recognition (Related to Sports Management)
• National Level – 2 points
• Regional Level – 1 point
20-Year Net ROI
• Above 500,000 – 5 points
• Above 400,000 – 4 points
• Above 300,000 – 3 points
• Above 200,000 – 2 points
• Above 100,000 – 1 point
Customization Options
• Content Customizations (e.g. Concentrations and Specializations) – 1 Point
• Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid, Synchronous, etc.) – 1 Point
Innovative Programs and/or Teaching Methods in Sports Management – 1 point
Internship Opportunities in Sports Management – 1 point
Scholarship Opportunities in Sports Management – 1 point
Related Student Organizations and Societies – 1 point
Wow Factor
• 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us

Best Value Colleges for an Online Master’s in Sports Management
To compile this list of the best online master’s in sports management degree programs, we scoured the web for colleges and universities that offer the degree in an online format. Beginning with this initial pool of 55 schools, our editors then consulted PayScale.com to narrow the list to the 20 schools boasting the highest 20-year return on investment. Finally, we used information from each program’s website to apply the ranking methodology above. The result is the following ranking of the 20 top best value online master’s in sports management degree programs. In cases where two or more schools received the same rating, we used College Navigator’s tuition information to break the tie, presenting the more affordable school higher in the ranking.

#20 – Adelphi University

Online Master’s in Sports Management

Garden City, New York

Adelphi University online master's degree in sports management

Adelphi University offers an online master’s in sports management with a unique concentration in Collegiate Athletic Administration.

Website
Points: 3
Adelphi University offers an online master’s in sports management with two available concentrations: Sport Marketing and Collegiate Athletic Administration. Offered through the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, the program consists of two foundation courses, four core courses, five courses in the student’s chosen specialty, and a culminating capstone course. Some course titles include Technology in Sport Management, Contemporary Issues in Sport Management Environment, and Sport Marketing. Online master’s degree sports management students can complete the program within 24 months.
Tuition & Fees: $37,070

#19 – University of Miami

Online Master’s in Sports Administration

Coral Gables, Florida

The University of Miami's online master's in sports management features a prescribed curriculum.

The University of Miami’s online master’s in sports management features a prescribed curriculum.

Website
Points: 3
The University of Miami offers a 30-credit hour online master’s in sports administration program that can be completed in less than two years. The curriculum is entirely prescribed and includes course titles such as Fiscal Management in Sport Administration, Essential Leadership Skills in Sport, Ethical Decision Making in Sport, and Contemporary Issues in Kinesiology and Sport Sciences. To complete this online master’s degree in sports management, students take one seven-week program at a time and graduate in as few as 20 months.
Tuition & Fees: $34,248

#18 – Southern New Hampshire University

Online Master’s in Sports Management

Manchester, New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University master's in sports management online

Southern New Hampshire University’s online master’s in sports management program offers a concentration in International Sport Management.

Website
Points: 3
Southern New Hampshire University offers an online master’s in sports management program with concentrations in Athletic Administration and International Sport Management. The 36-credit hour curriculum is flexible, allowing students to customize their degrees by choosing five electives based on their interests and career goals. Core course titles include Research Methods in Sport Management, Internationalization of Sport Business, and Management of Sport Organizations. Prior to graduation from this master’s in sports management online program, students must participate in an internship and complete a capstone project.
Tuition & Fees: $18,810

#17 – Tiffin University

Online MBA in Sports Management

Tiffin, Ohio

Website

Tiffin University online master's degree in sports management

Tiffin University’s online master’s in sports management program features a unique mentorship component.

Points: 3
Tiffin University’s online master’s in sports management program is technically an MBA offering with a concentration in sports management. The curriculum is comprised of nine sessions, including course titles such as Business Strategies in Sport, Personnel Management in Sport, and Sport Mentorship. Students enrolled in this master’s in sports management online program will benefit from the school’s unique mentorship program, during which they create a web portfolio and blog under the supervision of an industry expert.
Tuition & Fees: $12,600

#16 – Belhaven University

Online Master’s in Sports Administration

Jackson, Mississippi

Belhaven University master's in sports management online

Belhaven University offers an online master’s in sports management program founded upon Christian principles.

Website
Points: 3
Belhaven University offers an online master’s in sports management program that approaches the subject of sports management from a Christian perspective. The 36-credit hour prescribed curriculum includes course titles such as Leading High Performance Teams, Legal and Regulatory Environment for Sports, and Venue and Event Management. After two years of study, online master’s degree in sports management students will be well-prepared to enter the field as athletic directors, sports writers, advertising sales representatives, and related positions.
Tuition & Fees: $9,990

#15 – Indiana State University

Online Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Management

Terre Haute, Indiana

Indiana State University online master's degree in sports management

Indiana State University’s master’s in sports management online students must pass a comprehensive exam prior to graduation.

Website
Points: 3
Indiana State University offers an online master’s in sports management program through the school’s College of Graduate and Professional Studies. The curriculum includes six credit hours of research courses, a 24-credit hour core, one elective course, and an internship. Specialty course topics include Sport Facility Design, Administrative Theory in Sport, and Sport Media Relations. Students must also pass a comprehensive examination prior to earning their online master’s degree in sports management.
Tuition & Fees: $7,184

#14 – Georgia Southern University

Online Master of Science in Sport Management

Statesboro, Georgia

Georgia Southern Univeristy online master's degree in sports management

Georgia Southern University offers an online master’s in sports management program with content customization options.

Website
Points: 4
Georgia Southern University offers a 36-credit hour online master’s in sports management from its School of Health and Kinesiology. The curriculum consists of eight core classes, including Current Trends in Sport Administration, Sport Facility and Event Management, and Research and Analysis in Sport, as well as four elective courses. Graduates from this master’s in sports management online program will be well-prepared to enter careers as athletic directors, ticket sales representatives, fitness center owners, and related positions.
Tuition & Fees: $8,728

#13 – Concordia University—St. Paul

Online Master of Arts in Sport Management

St. Paul, Minnesota

Concordi University- St. Paul online master's degree in sports management

Concordia University-St. Paul’s online master’s in sports management is an accelerated, 18-month program.

Website
Points: 4
Concordia University-St.Paul’s online master’s in sports management program is an accelerated one designed to be completed in just 18 months. Enrolled students will take courses such as Ethics & Policy in Sport Management, Research Design Methods, Sports Marketing, and Legal Aspects of Sports. Although master’s in sports management online students can complete the degree requirements for this program entirely online, they still benefit from a curriculum that mirrors the school’s on-campus offering and includes interactive learning opportunities.
Tuition & Fees: $8,550

#12 – American University

Online Master of Science in Sports Analytics and Management

Washington, D.C.

American University master's in sports management online

American University’s online master’s in sports management program offers a graduate certificate in sports analytics and management.

Website
Points: 5
American University’s online master’s in sports management offering is an MS in Sports Analytics and Management. This unique program consists of twelve fully online courses such as Emerging Technology Trends, Client Communications & Professional Consulting, Project-Cost Benefit Analysis, and Digital Enterprises in Sports. Although the online master’s degree in sports management takes 2 years to complete, students can earn a graduate certificate in sports analytics and management in as few as 10 months.
Tuition & Fees: $27,898

#11 – Western Kentucky University

Online Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Administration

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Western Kentucky University online master's degree in sports management

Western Kentucky University’s online master’s in sports management program offers two available concentrations.

Website
Points: 5
Western Kentucky University offers an online master’s in sports management with concentrations in Athletic Administration & Coaching and Facility & Event Management. The 33-credit hour program features a 21-credit hour required core including course titles such as Analysis of Research in Recreation, Fiscal Practices in Recreation Sport, and Recreation Sport Facility Development. Master’s in sports management online students may qualify for scholarships from the recreation administration program.
Tuition & Fees: $10,860

#10 – Troy University

Online Master of Science in Sport & Fitness Management

Troy, Alabama

Troy University online master's degree in sports management

Western Kentucky University’s online master’s in sports management program is COSMA-accredited.

Points: 5
Troy University offers an online master’s in sports management through its School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management. The program features a broad curriculum, yet still allows students to concentrate in one of two areas: Athletic Administration or Coaching. Troy’s master’s in sports management online program is one of only five in the country accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA). Despite the virtual nature of the program, students still benefit from one-on-one attention from faculty members, thanks to teleconferencing and web-conferencing.
Tuition & Fees: $7,948

#9 – Arkansas State University

Online Master of Sport Administration

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Arkansas State University master's in sports management online

The online master’s in sports management program offered by Arkansas State can be completed in as few as 12 months.

Website
Points: 5
The online master’s in sports management offering from Arkansas State University is an accelerated program designed to be completed in as few as 12 months. The curriculum is a prescribed one and includes specialty course topics such as Sport Communications, Sport in Society, Sport Governance & Operations, and Ethical Issues in Sport. Master’s in sport management online students must complete an internship over the course of two 7-week terms prior to graduation.
Tuition & Fees: $5,810

#8 – Drexel University

Online Master of Sport Management

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Drexel University master's of sports management online

Drexel University ‘s online master’s in sports management program requires a week-long residency.

Website
Points: 6
Drexel University offers a comprehensive 45-credit hour online master’s in sports management program featuring a 33-credit hour core. Students will take specialty course titles such as Sport Media & Technology, Sports Ticket Sales & Strategies, Leadership in Sport Management, and Sport Facilities & Event Management. Although the coursework for this online master’s degree in sports management can be completed entirely online, a week-long summer residency in Philadelphia is required.
Tuition & Fees: $31,519

#7 – University of Florida

Online Master of Science in Sports Management

Gainesville, Florida

University of Florida master's of sports management online

The University of Florida’s online master’s in sports management features a unique concentration in Sports Law.

Website
Points: 6
The online master’s in sports management from the University of Florida is offered through the school’s College of Health and Human Performance. The program gives students the option to specialize in either Sport Law or Athlete Performance and Development and also prepares them for certification through the Professional Association of Athlete Development Specialists (PAADS). Master’s in sports management online students are required to complete an internship or practicum, but can complete this requirement in their local area.
Tuition & Fees: $12,737

#6 – Ohio University

Online Professional Master’s in Sports Management

Athens, Ohio

University of Ohio online master's degree in sports management

Ohio University’s online master’s in sports management program requires six residencies.

Website
Points: 6
Ohio University offers a top-ranked online master’s in sports management from the school’s College of Business. The program’s curriculum is comprised of three components: a sports administration core, applied projects, and current issues. Specific course topics include Sport Sponsorship, Sport Law, and Human Resource Management in Sport. Students typically complete this online master’s degree in sports management within 21 months, and although most coursework can be completed online, six residencies are required.
Tuition & Fees: $9,510

#5 – Georgetown University

Online Master of Sports Industry Management

Washington, D.C.

Georgetown University master's in sports management online

Georgetown University’s online master’s in sports management program features three available concentrations.

Website
Points: 7
Georgetown University offers an online master’s in sports management program with optional concentrations in Strategic Marketing, Communications, & Digital Media, and Business, Management, & Operations. The asynchronous program mirrors the school’s on-campus offering and includes course titles such as Applied Ethics in Sports, Social Responsibility and Diversity in Sports, and Sports Business and Finance. Online master’s degree in sports management students must also complete either an internship or externship prior to graduation.
Tuition & Fees: $45,136

#4 – Northeastern University

Online Master of Sports Leadership

Boston, Massachusetts

Northeastern University online master's degree in sports management

Northeastern University’s online master’s in sports management program features a unique specialty in Professional Sports Administration.

Website
Points: 7
Northeastern University offers an online master’s in sports management program developed in collaboration with the school’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. Although the vast majority of coursework can be completed online, an intensive one-week residency in Boston is required. Master’s in sports management online students take core courses such as Sports Law, Sports Media Relations, and The Ethical Leader, and they also have the option to specialize in either Professional Sports Administration or Collegiate Athletics Administration.
Tuition & Fees: $22,061

#3 – Gonzaga University

Online MA in Sport and Athletic Administration

Spokane, Washington

Gonzaga University online master's degree in sports management

Gonzaga University’s online master’s in sports management students typically graduate within two years.

Website
Points: 7
Gonzaga University offers a 31-credit hour online master’s in sports management program designed to be completed over the course of two years. The curriculum is a prescribed one and features course titles such as Sport & Athletic Promotions, Sport Media and Communication, Sport & Athletic Finance, and Administration in Sport & Athletics. Prior to graduation, master’s in sports management online students must complete an internship and a capstone project.
Tuition & Fees: $15,090

#2 – Texas A&M University

Online MS in Sports Management

College Station, Texas

Texas A&M University master's in sports management online

Texas A&M’s online master’s in sports management program is both comprehensive and customizable.

Website
Points: 7
Texas A&M University offers a 36-credit hour non-thesis online master’s in sports management program. The program consists of a required research core, a required sport management core, and a required internship in sports management. In addition, master’s in sports management online students may choose 5 credit hours of sport management electives and 6 credit hours of outside area courses. Some course titles include Revenue Generation in Sport, Diversity in Sport Organizations, and Personnel Management in Sport.
Tuition & Fees: $8,656

#1 – University of Massachusetts—Amherst

Online MS in Sports Management

Amherst, Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts Amherst online master's degree in sports management

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst offers an online master’s in sports management that emphasizes experiential learning.

Website
Points: 8
The University of Massachusetts—Amherst offers an accelerated online master’s in sports management that can be completed in just one year. The 35-credit hour program includes a 26-credit hour core including courses such as Sport Finance & Business, Socio-Historical Foundations of Modern Sport, and Applied Sport Marketing Research. Classes are taught by a faculty with over 100 years of combined experience in the field, and master’s in sports management online students have many experiential learning opportunities.
Tuition & Fees: $14,754

This concludes our ranking of the top 20 best value online master’s in sports management degree programs for 2017.

Sources:

Payscale.com
NCES College Navigator

CVO Staff
November 2016