Online Colleges With Sports Management Degree Programs (Bachelor’s)

Online Colleges that Offer Sports Programs - featured image

Did you know that Sports Management degree leads to some of the highest-paid careers in the United States?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics discloses that entertainment and sports occupations pay a median annual wage of $52,940. Workers in management occupations earn $107,360 (as of May 2022). Both occupation types promise abundant employment opportunities for bachelor’s degree holders.

Here are 10 of the best online Bachelor’s in Sports Management and related fields. Many of them offer graduate degree programs for ambitious sports managers and professionals. These include the University of Florida and Louisiana State University.

Featured Programs

Online Colleges that Offer Sports Programs - fact

Florida International University 

Miami, FL

Website

Total Credits Required: 120

Time-to-completion: 4 years 

Tuition: 235.57/credit (in-state); $648.87/credit (out-of-state) 

Students in the BS in Sport and Recreation Management: Sport Management Track program benefit from the rigorous curriculum that emphasizes both theory and practice in sports management. You will study industry-specific courses, such as sports finance, strategic marketing in sports, and globalization of sports, in addition to general education and elective courses. 

With the prestige of an FIU degree, you can establish a successful career in sports management or sports marketing in workplaces like fitness clubs, high school and college athletics programs, and sports and events facilities.  

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

Website

Total Credits Required:  120

Time-to-completion:  4 years 

Tuition: $129.18/credit 

Students in the BS in Sport Management program develop their foundational knowledge and skills in modern sports management through core and major courses. You will engage in an in-depth study of the social issues in sports, marketing management in sports, and facility design and operations of sports facilities. You will complete either a full-time or part-time internship or choose the non-internship track. 

Getting ahead in job opportunities is easier, too, thanks to the prestige that comes with a UF degree! Graduates are employed in sports media companies, professional sports franchises, and athletics programs.

Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge, LA

Website

Total Credits Required: 120

Time-to-completion: 4 years 

Tuition: $399/credit 

The COSMA-accredited BS in Sports Administration Sport Leadership Concentration program prepares students for the challenges and rewards of being in the sports management sector. You will gain the competencies essential in your career progression as a sports management professional through rigorous coursework. The core courses cover topics in management information systems, leadership development, and sports administration. 

Graduates find well-paying jobs in the extensive sports industry including professional sports organizations, sports media companies, and intercollegiate athletic programs. Many earned their bachelor’s degree in less than four years with transfer credits.

Kent State University 

Kent, OH

Website

Total Credits Required: 120 

Time-to-completion: 4 years 

Tuition: $50,700 (total approximate) 

The BS in Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology program is the best choice for individuals whose interests are in coaching and mentoring athletes, coaches and executives in the psychology behind sports, exercise and performance. Emphasis must be made that the major focuses on the psychological aspects, not on the business, physiological and educational aspects. We must say that psychology plays crucial roles in successful sports management, including understanding athlete behavior, boosting athletic performance, and managing stress, conflict and mental health issues among athletes, coaches and executives. 

Graduates can pursue professional certifications from the Association of Applied Sport Psychology.

Arkansas State University 

Jonesboro, AR

Website

Total Credits Required: 120 

Time-to-completion: 4 years  

Tuition: $276/credit 

Earn A-State’s BS in Sport Management degree in less than four years with up to 90 transfer credits accepted. Regardless of whether you’re an incoming freshman student or a transfer student, you will gain the competencies that employers in the sports industry look for in their entry-level employees. 

You will explore industry-specific topics in core courses like Business of Esports, Sports Promotion and Sales Management, and Economic and Financial Management for sports organizations. You can also add an undergraduate certificate in social media, NIL, and graphic communications, among others.

Southern New Hampshire University 

Manchester, NH

Website

Total Credits Required: 120

Time-to-completion:  4 years 

Tuition: $330/credit

Students in the BS in Sport Management program develop the competencies and mindset that enable them to keep up with, if not set, the trends in the ever-changing sports industry. You will benefit from the extensive curriculum that combines liberal arts courses with business and sports management coursework. Your graduation requirements also include field experiences for hands-on learning opportunities. 

The rigorous curriculum covers topics in the business and economics of the sports industry, principles and practices in sports management, and ethics and social responsibility in sports. Data analysis skills and soft skills development round out your education.

American Military University

Charles Town, WV

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Total Credits Required: 120

Time-to-completion: 4 years 

Tuition: $250 – $350 depending on civilian/active military/veteran status

If you want a more scientific perspective coming into the sports industry, you may want to consider the BS in Sports and Health Sciences program. The program emphasizes the science behind human movement and behavior that, in turn, have a significant impact on your success as a sports management professional. You will be able to make informed decisions about team strategies, player development, and training programs, thanks to your knowledge of exercise science, testing and programming, kinesiology, and nutrition.

University of Southern Indiana

Evansville, IN 

Website

Total Credits Required:  120 credits 

Time-to-completion: 4 years 

Tuition: $289.70/credit (in-state); $704.25/credit (out-of-state) 

The BS in Sport Management program is one of the few online programs that offer concentrations where students gain more specialized knowledge. You can choose from these concentrations: 

  • Recreation Sports
  • Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Sport and Business Studies

You will first tackle general education and core courses that cover business administration, sports management and marketing, and athletics communications. Then, your next step is learning the specific knowledge of your chosen concentration. You will develop soft communication, collaboration, and learning skills.

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

Website

Total Credits Required: 120  

Time-to-completion: 4 years 

Tuition: $10,964 (in-state); $32,927 (out-of-state) (estimated) 

Offered by the Department of Health and Human Physiology, the BS in Sport and Recreation Management program emphasizes both the business side and the human aspect of sports management. You can choose from several concentrations, namely: 

  • Business Studies
  • Coaching and Sport Instruction
  • Communications and Public Relations/Journalism
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Event Management
  • Interscholastic Athletic/Activities Administration
  • Recreation Management
  • Sport and Diversity

You can also design your concentration based on your professional goals but with the approval of an academic advisor. You must also complete either an independent or guided field experience.

University of Louisville

Louisville, KY

Website

Total Credits Required: 120

Time-to-completion: 4 years 

Tuition: $527/credit; $250/credit for military and other qualified students 

The BS in Sports Administration program features a career-focused curriculum designed by industry experts and credentialed faculty. Students then develop a broad understanding of the sports industry in general and sports management in particular in preparation for successful careers in both aspects. You will learn the basic principles of business administration, including finance, economics and law, as well as develop your communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills. 

Basics of Sports Management Degrees and Careers

The term “sports management” refers to the management of a wide range of business functions in sports, entertainment and recreation organizations. While specific roles and responsibilities widely vary depending on the type, size and scope of the organization and the specific job title, sports managers generally plan, organize, direct, implement and evaluate the programs, projects and activities in their sports-related organizations. 

The beauty of being in the sports management profession is the broad variety of workplaces, including: 

  • High school and college athletics programs 
  • Community gyms 
  • Commercial gyms 
  • Sports-related facilities like stadiums, tracks and pools 
  • Professional teams in the National Basketball Association or National Football League 
  • Sports media companies (e.g., ESPN) 
  • Sports management consultancy firms 
  • Athletes’ management agencies 
  • Sports marketing agencies 

Several degrees aspiring sports management professionals can pursue, too. 

  • An associate degree is the first step for many aspiring professionals that can open opportunities for entry-level jobs. 
  • A bachelor’s degree is the most popular step for aspiring professionals who want faster career progression from entry-level jobs to supervisory and managerial positions. Popular job titles include public relations manager, events coordinator, and facilities manager.
  • A master’s degree will sharpen your knowledge and skills in sports management and, thus, pave the way for executive positions. Popular career paths are sports managers, team operations managers, and sports marketing managers. 
  • A doctoral degree, which can either be a Doctor of Philosophy or a Doctor of Education, is a terminal degree that will open doors of opportunities for leadership positions in academia, government agencies, and sports organizations, among others. The most popular career paths are researchers, professors and sports economists. 

Liberty University has an online Master’s in Sports Management program, or you can also consider the University of Kansas’ online Master’s in Sports Management program. Troy University offers a Ph.D. in Sport Management online program, while the United States Sports Academy has a Doctor of Education in Sports Management program. 

As with any profession, sports management professionals enjoy career advancement through a combination of education and training, work experience, and continuing education, as well as a passion for lifelong learning. Professional certifications are also recommended, with the best examples being Certified Sports Manager and Certified Sports Administrator.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the highest college degree program in sports?

The doctorate program is considered the terminal degree in sports management and related fields, and these degrees involve extensive coursework, advanced research, and the completion of either a doctoral project or dissertation.

What is the highest-paying career in sports?

Professional athletes are among the highest-paid professionals in sports, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé being the top earners in 2023. Team owners and executives, coaches and managers, sports agents, and sports physicians and surgeons also earn top dollar. 

What college degree is best for sports marketing?

You can earn a sports management degree since it has broad coverage, or consider a marketing or marketing communications degree for more specialized knowledge.

What skills do you need as a sports marketer or manager?

  • Knowledge and skills in marketing and the sports industry 
  • Communication 
  • Collaboration 
  • Creativity 
  • Leadership and teamwork 
  • Building relationships 
  • Data analysis 
  • Events management 
  • Adaptability 

Where does a sports marketer make the most money?

Check out the salaries for sports marketing professionals in major sports organizations, professional sports leagues and high-profile professional athletes. Sports marketing managers can earn between $99,715 to $131,417 per year (excluding commissions, incentives and other perks).