In this article, we profile the 30 most affordable private colleges for online master’s in sports management degree programs of 2020.
The difference between a bachelor’s in sports management and a master’s is pay increase. Generally, the more education one earns in a specialized field, the more promising the career trajectory. In the competitive field of sports management, setting yourself apart from the competition is critical. To help assist with your research of sport management online degrees, we reviewed some of the nation’s top private colleges.
Accredited Online College Programs
In fact, we reviewed over 60 private colleges that offered online sport management programs or closely related degrees. We narrowed our pool of schools by selecting regionally or nationally ranked institutions with an annual graduate tuition and fees of less than $25,000. We gathered the tuition and fees from the most recently published data on the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator site. In addition to the above indicators, we tried to select only schools or programs that had received rankings or recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. We then listed the schools in order of raw affordability.
Below is our list of the 30 most affordable private colleges for online master’s in sports management degree programs.
Most Affordable Private Colleges for Online Master’s in Sports Management
American Public University offers an online master's in sports management for students interested in a career within the athletic and sport sector. Graduating students may qualify for jobs in coaching, athletic administration, sports marketing, and event/facilities management. The 36-credit degree can be completed in two years and must be completed within seven years from the date of initial enrollment. Students can choose from one of three concentrations including general, sports administration, and coaching theory and strategy. Classes include critical thinking in the sports and health industries, leadership and management in sport, and sports marketing and promotion. U.S. News and World Report recognizes American Public University in its cohort of regional universities South.
Grace College offers online sport management programs designed for interested students seeking a career in athletic administration. The master's level program has partnered with the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. The degree program costs just $9,900 for the 2017-2018 year and is delivered fully online. The curriculum is project-based, giving students the opportunity to develop a portfolio that pertains to their future career endeavors. Courses include athletic finance and marketing management, athletic organization and administration, athletic programs assessment and enhanced leadership, and current issues and trends. Students typically finish the 36-credit degree in two years. U.S. News and World Report ranks Grace College #87 in regional universities Midwest.
Wilmington University offers an online master's in sports management specifically for individuals seeking a career as interscholastic administrator. All of the courses within the sports management track are approved by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and prepare graduates to sit for the Certified Athletic Administrator certification exam. Courses include analysis of decision-making, business strategy in sport management, leadership development and change management, and organization theory and design. Admission requirements include official transcripts, a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college, and a meeting with the director or chair. U.S. News ranks Wilmington University #120 in best online graduate business programs.
Liberty University offers a master's in sports management online for individuals seeking a career opportunity in sports. The degree can be completed in approximately two years and includes several areas of concentration including coaching and athletic administration, general, outdoor sport, sports administration, and tourism. Students can also choose a thesis or non-thesis track within each specialization area. Liberty University is regionally accredited and is also recognized by the Commission on Sports Management Accreditation (COSMA). Courses include economic and financial management of sport, ethics in sport, social issues in sport management, and sports marketing and public relations. Liberty University is ranked #139 in U.S. News' best online MBA programs.
Missouri Baptist University offers sport management online degrees for students seeking a master's level business degree with a sport and athletic focus. All curriculum is business and leadership focused within the context of how business and leadership function in a sport/athletic environment. The 31-credit program can be attended either part-time or full-time with an estimated length to completion of 1.5-2 years. Courses include advanced sport marketing, leadership and management in sport, sport finance, and sport public relations. Graduates of the program may qualify for jobs including interscholastic athletic director, intercollegiate athletic administration, professional sports marketing, sporting event and facilities management, and more. U.S. News and World Report ranks Missouri Baptist #126 in regional universities Midwest.
Concordia University Texas offers sports management degrees online for students desiring a leadership or administrative career track within the sport and athletics industries. Students receive comprehensive business training and education all within the context of a sport administration career. Courses within the 30-credit program include action research, critical issues/events in sports, ethics and leadership in education, and laws in sports administration. Admission requirements include a minimum 2.5 GPA, official transcripts of all colleges and universities attended, and a completed application. No GMAT or GRE scores are required. U.S. News and World Report ranks Concordia University Texas #96 in regional universities West.
Belhaven University offers sport management online degrees for individuals seeking a master's level degree that prepares them for a leadership position within the athletic and sport industry. The 36-credit degree includes courses such as advanced organizational leadership, current issues and trends in sports administration, legal and regulatory environment for sports, and venue and event management. Admission includes a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 2.5 GPA or at least nine credit hours of graduate coursework with at least a "B" in each course. Students must also submit two letters of recommendation and a resume. Belhaven University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to confer associate, bachelor's and master's degrees. U.S. News ranks Belhaven University #78 in regional universities South.
Wesley College offers sport management online degrees for interested students pursuing degrees in the sport, athletic, and recreation and fitness sectors. The sport leadership degree includes coaching and sport management tracks. Potential careers include sports marketing and promotion, coaching, parks and recreation administration, athletic administration, and facility management. Admission requirements include 3.0 GPA, bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, two letters of recommendation, and a current resume. Students with less than a 3.0 GPA may be conditionally accepted. Courses include ethical social issues, facility management, field experience in sport leadership, and sport leadership organization and administration. U.S. News and World Report ranks Wesley College #38 in regional colleges North.
Lasell College offers sport management online degrees in several different concentrations designed for prospective students desiring business training and education within the sport and athletic sector. Concentrations included in the 100% online degree include athletic administration, parks and recreation, sport leadership, and sport tourism and hospitality management. Courses are capped at 23 students, and the degree can be completed in 12-24 months. Admission requirements include official college transcripts, personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and resume. Students with less than three years of professional experience are recommended to have a GPA of at least 3.0. GMAT/GRE scores are not required. U.S. News ranks Lasell #30 in regional universities North and #205 in best online MBA programs.
Mississippi College offers a master's in sports management online for interested students desiring a career in athletic administration at the high school or collegiate level. The program is designed to teach individuals how to build and maintain successful and fiscally prudent athletic programs. The degree program includes 37 credits that can be completed in two years. Students can choose from an interscholastic or intercollegiate track depending on their desired path. All coursework is delivered online except for two 6-week immersions that require students to spend a minimum of 60 hours at an approved site. U.S. News ranks Mississippi College #32 in regional colleges South and #12 in best value regional colleges South.
Campbellsville University offers online sport management programs for prospective students seeking business training and education with a sports and athletic emphasis. Students can also choose from an administration or marketing track within the sports management program. The 30-credit program can be completed within two years, but students can choose their enrollment level depending on their personal schedule. Courses include current issues and trends in sports, facility development and management, sport administration, and sport and the law. Admission requirements include a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, three letters of recommendation, and a 1,000 word personal statement. Students with a GPA less than 3.0 are required to submit GMAT/GRE scores. U.S. News ranks Campbellsville #116 in online MBA courses.
Tiffin University offers a master's in sports management online for individuals seeking business training within the context of the sporting and athletic world. Tiffin's program is completely online and includes a mentorship program model allowing students to work closely with a working professional to develop industry insight and create a working portfolio. The program consists of 36 credits including 28 MBA core classes and four sport management classes. Sport management courses include business strategy in sport, communication and fundraising in sports, personnel management in sport, and sport mentorship. Classes are offered in two 7-week terms starting in January, March, May, July, August, and October. U.S. News and World Report ranks Tiffin University #93 in regional universities Midwest.
Jacksonville University offers online sport management programs designed for students seeking business and leadership training within the sport and athletic sector. The degree is delivered completely online though the institution's School of Applied Health Sciences. The 36-credit curriculum is disaggregated into 8-week terms and can be finished in 12 months. Courses include essentials of finance and economics, leadership and ethics, sport analytics, and sport event and facility management. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, 3.0 GPA within last 60 credit hours, personal statement, and resume. GRE scores can be substituted in lieu of GPA requirement. U.S. News ranks Jacksonville University #52 in regional universities South.
While many institutions offer an online master's in sports management, University of the Southwest confers a master's degree in exercise science that can be parlayed into a number of careers, including athletic training, coaching, sports psychology, sports information director, athletic administrator, and public health education. The program is delivered completely online and consists of 33 credits that can be completed in one year. Students must finish the degree within six years. The programmatic content is specifically designed to take into account the needs of the entire health care athletics and exercise industry, which allows students to pursue a variety of jobs in sport and athletic sub-fields. Curriculum includes advanced human nutrition, diagnostic tests and measurements in exercise science, issues in sport law, and health and human behavior. U.S. News ranks University of the Southwest #96 in regional universities West.
Coker College offers a master's in sports management online specifically designed for individuals seeking careers in athletic administration at the collegiate level. The program is delivered fully online for students unable to matriculate to a traditional in-class degree program. The 30-credit program includes courses such as college coaching and athletic recruiting, fundraising in college athletics, college athletic facilities, and financial management of intercollegiate athletics. Admission requires an undergraduate GPA of 2.85 along with a completed bachelor's degree, personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and all postsecondary transcripts from any institution attended. U.S. News and World Report ranks Coker College #8 in regional colleges South.
Hardin-Simmons University delivers sports management degrees online for prospective individuals seeking a business degree focused on the sport and athletic industries. The curriculum includes general MBA courses mixed with an array of sport-focused elective classes, including aspects of recreational sports programming, governing agencies and the law of sport and recreation, and organization and administration of athletics. The pedagogical philosophy of the Hardin-Simmons program is one where current theory is combined with practical skill building and praxis. Students learn how to apply content from the classroom to prospective jobs and duties they encounter post graduation. Hardin-Simmons is accredited and recognized by the Association Council for Business Schools and Programs and the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). U.S. News ranks Hardin-Simmons #33 in regional universities West.
Fresno Pacific University's sports management degrees online are designed for individuals seeking leadership positions at all levels of the sports and athletics sector. The program is particularly strong for individuals seeking positions as athletic directors, athletic administrators, and sports marketers. The program is delivered entirely online except for an in-field practicum allowing the student to gain real world experience. The 30-credit program can be completed in just five semesters. Admission requirements include a minimum 2.75 GPA, three letters of reference, and a statement of intent. GRE/GMAT scores are not required. Courses include legal aspects of kinesiology and sport, sport administration professional development, and sports career development. U.S. News and World Report ranks Fresno Pacific University #41 in regional universities West.
Canisius College offers an online master's in sports management and administration designed for working professionals to seek a terminal master's degree while maintaining their current professional obligations. The curriculum is delivered online, but provides students the opportunity to blend online courses with face-to-face classes. The degree can be completed in as little as one year and includes coursework such as intercollegiate athletics, leadership in sport, risk management and contract negotiation, and strategic sport marketing. Students can also conduct research through the Canisius College Institute for Research in Sport (IRIS). Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree, resume, two letters or recommendation, and personal statement. U.S. News ranks Canisius #22 in regional universities North.
Keystone College's sport management online degrees are designed for anyone with a bachelor's degree looking for an advanced degree program that provides training and education for a potential career within a wide variety of sport and athletic contexts. Graduates may qualify for positions in professional, collegiate or high school sports as well as public and private recreation organizations. The cohort-based online program begins in August of each year and can be completed in one calendar year. Program prerequisites include a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0, and an interview with the program director. Students may be provided provisional acceptance with a GPA below 3.0. Curriculum centers on current best practices in sports and athletics administration, leadership, and marketing. U.S. News and World Report ranks Keystone College #26 in regional universities North.
Gonzaga University offers online sport management programs for prospective students seeking sports-related careers. The online program consists of 31 credits and can be completed in as little as two years. The degree provides a business curriculum within the context of the sports industry. Curriculum includes ten courses and an internship. Specific classes include administration in sports and athletics, ethical and legal aspects in sports, facility management in sport and athletics, and research methods and statistics in sports. Admission criterion include a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, a 3.0 GPA, two letters of recommendation, resume, and a personal statement. Students with a GPA below 3.0 are required to submit GRE/MAT test scores. U.S. News ranks Gonzaga University #4 in regional universities West.
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor offers sports management degrees online for prospective students seeking careers in the sports industry. The main emphasis of the Mary Hardin-Baylor program is to teach and train students specifically for a career in high school and collegiate athletics. Possible career tracks include athletic directors, athletic administrators, sports information and communications, and sports marketing and public relations. The 36-credit program is delivered entirely online, allowing students to keep their other professional and personal obligations. Coursework includes assessment and evaluation, administration of programs for diverse learners, management and leadership in sports, and marketing in sports. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree in exercise science or a related field, a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, and an interview with the graduate program director. U.S. News ranks Mary Hardin-Baylor #54 in regional universities West.
Franklin Pierce University offers a master's in sports management online for working individuals seeking sports related careers. The Franklin Pierce program combines graduate level business curriculum within the context of the sports industry. Graduates may be qualified for careers in sports marketing, advertising and sponsorship, sporting event management, executive level leadership, and sports operations and technology. Coursework includes change management in sports organizations, media relations and technology in the sports industry, legal and ethical issues in sports organizations, and operations management. Admission requirements mandate students have a 2.8 GPA from a regionally accredited institution, competency in accounting, computer skills, and statistics. U.S. News ranks Franklin Pierce University #146 in regional universities South.
Full Sail University offers an online master's in sports management for individuals seeking an advanced degree in an entertainment and sports related occupational track. The sports management degree is a concentration within the broader entertainment degree pathway and provides students an in-depth look at how various components of the sports industry work. Curriculum within the degree focuses on advanced contract negotiation, financial planning, marketing and sales, and business development. The online master's degree can be completed within just 12 months. Courses include business storytelling and brand development, entertainment and business finance, legal issues in sports, and sports marketing and sponsorships.
United States Sports Academy offers sport management online degrees for individuals seeking careers within a variety of sporting contexts. The Academy's degree is 33 credits and can be combined with any other major for a dual degree, which adds approximately 9-12 additional credits. U.S. Sports Academy is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE). Courses include advanced assessment in sports medicine, adaptive athletics and sports, contemporary issues in sports, membership and marketing for sports clubs, and philosophy and history of recreation and leisure. Students can choose a thesis or non-thesis option. Admission requirements include an undergraduate GPA of 2.5, three recommendation forms, and a personal statement. GMAT/GRE scores are not required, although administration may require them.
Upper Iowa University offers online sport management programs for individuals seeking a career in the sports industry. Graduates may qualify for positions such as athletic directors, agents, marketers and sales, public relations, fitness, faculty, and more. The 36-credit program blends current theory with practical industry skill sets that prepare graduates for a variety of positions. Students can choose from a sport management or coaching and leadership focus. Courses include ethics in sport, research methods in sport administration educational research, sport communication and marketing, and sport law and contract negotiation. U.S. News and World Report ranks Upper Iowa #126 in regional universities Midwest.
Southern New Hampshire University offers sports management degrees online for individuals seeking a business degree specializing in the sports industry. Graduates may qualify for a number of job positions within a wide variety of organizations performing job functions such as client relations, sales and marketing, public relations, entrepreneurship, and business development. The degree can be completed in as little as 15 months with a course load of two classes per 10-week semester. Classes within the curriculum include finance and economics in sports, internationalization of sports business, management of sport organizations, and sport marketing and media. U.S. News and World Report ranks Southern New Hampshire University #86 in regional universities North and #1 in innovative schools North.
Nova Southeastern University offers online sport management programs designed to help students develop and leverage business acumen to drive revenue within a sports-related occupation. The program teaches and trains graduates to develop marketing and sales funnels to assist sports organizations and franchises using a variety of marketing, public relations, sales, and technical skills learned through the program's cutting edge curriculum. Coursework includes sport event and fundraising strategies and techniques, sport revenue generation and emerging technologies, sport sponsorship design and strategies, and sport ticketing concessions and merchandise management. U.S. News and World Report ranks Nova #120 in online graduate business programs and #198 in national universities.
Duquesne University offers a master's in sports management online for individuals seeking careers in the sports industry across a variety of settings including client management, marketing, sales, business development, and consulting. Admission to the online sports management program includes official transcripts, GMAT/GRE scores, two references, a 250 word essay, and resume/CV. Students who graduated with a 3.25 from an AACSB-accredited business school may be eligible for a GMAT/GRE waiver. Coursework includes enterprise risk management, ethics and stakeholder management, the executive environment, and the legal environment. U.S. News and World Report ranks Duquesne University #120 in national universities and #95 in online graduate business programs.
Fairleigh Dickinson University offers sports management degrees online for aspiring students who seek careers within the sports industry. The program consists of 12 three-credit courses for a total of 36 credits, all of which can be completed online. Graduates may qualify to work in a variety of capacities, including sports personnel management, sports marketing and public relations, coaching, and recreation. Students may matriculate four times per year. Admission requirements include four years of undergraduate study from an accredited college or university, a 3.0 GPA, and a 1,000 word personal statement. GMAT/GRE scores are not required for admission. U.S. News and World Report ranks Fairleigh Dickinson #64 in regional universities North.
John F. Kennedy is a private university offering an online master's in sports management with a dual master's in business administration degree for students looking to leverage and blend skills involving sports psychology, management, and entrepreneurship. Students can attend the 103-credit program on a part-time or full-time basis. Students attending full-time can complete the dual degree in three years. Courses include cognitive and affective bases of behavior, ethics and professional issues in sport psychology, financial management, and visionary leadership and sustainability. All courses are delivered online with the exception of mandatory town hall meetings and seminars students have the opportunity to attend. U.S. News and World Report recognizes John. F. Kennedy University in its cohort of regional universities West.
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Grad School Hub compiles rankings based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics play a significant role in how we source our educational data. After collecting insight for each institution, we organize information into five weighted categories.
Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates
Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid
Admission and enrollment rates
Number of program options
Online Enrollment Score
Portion of learners taking at least one online course
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