Best Online Bachelor’s in Sports Management

Best Online Bachelor’s in Sports Management

An online bachelor’s in sports management degree program is a great choice for students who are looking for a career as a coach, events coordinator, athletic scout, or promotions manager.

Key Takeaways

  • Sports management is one of the fastest-growing career fields across the US, which equates to more demands for professionals in the industry.
  • Sports management is a job that many come to naturally, specifically for former professional athletes or college sports players, and one that most professionals can start without a degree.
  • The online bachelor’s in sports management gives you the business foundations you need to pursue various jobs across the sports industry.
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Online Sports Management Degree: A Top College Degree Option

If you’re both business-minded and passionate about sports and fitness, earning an online bachelor’s in sports management is the first step toward a lucrative career. As a student in sports management, you will learn a lot about finance, marketing, and risk management, and how these things apply to recreation and sports.

Public relations, coupled with a solid understanding of sports administration, will prepare you for careers in athletics at different levels in this booming industry. Because of the notable increase in sports participation at both college and high school levels, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said there is a 20% growth for careers in sports coaching, scouting, and the like, in the next ten years.

A bachelor’s in sports management degree online offers you so many advantages over the conventional on-campus program. The main benefits include schedule flexibility and lower cost. Most of the students who are attracted to a degree in sports management are working in the field already.

And since they need a bachelor’s degree to advance their careers, the online classes will provide them the flexibility needed to earn their degree and keep their respective jobs.

Online Bachelor’s in Sports Administration Career Paths

Sports Agent: Sports agents network with endorsers and sports teams to negotiate contracts for players and athletes. Although there is no formal education, professional licensure, or training needed to become a sports agent, having a bachelor’s degree in sports management will teach you how to lobby for clients effectively.

Event Coordinator: In a sports event, there is always an endless amount of work to make the event smooth sailing, and event coordinators are the ones that manage everything behind the scenes to ensure a successful and seamless production. Event coordinators handle an expansive list of tasks, including guest relations, security, and transportation.

Athletic Director: As an athletic director, you are responsible for managing the entirety of a sports program. You manage budgets, facilities, and personnel as well. Athletic directors usually work at colleges and high schools and can sometimes take on additional coaching roles.

Sports Marketing Professional: These sports professionals promote athletes, leagues, and teams to fans. Sports Management programs equip students with the right public relations methods, events and appearances, and advertising campaigns to advance their “products” through broadcasting, social media, and other digital platforms.

Sports General Manager: They are responsible for the big personnel decisions every sports team makes. Sports general managers are also the ones that hire players and coaches, manage a team’s budget, and negotiate player contracts.

Common Courses in an Online Bachelor’s in Sports Management Program

Sports Marketing: This course is an expansive introductory survey to sports marketing. Degree seekers will have topics in the marketing planning process, consumer demographics, segmentation and target marking, and psychographics.

Personal Management: Students will learn how to effectively use communication techniques while highlighting the value and importance of nurturing and supporting business relationships. They will also understand more deeply how efficient leadership can shape sports organizations positively.

Ethics in the Sports Industry: This course is designed for students to learn how to make moral and ethical decisions in different sports settings. It provides students with the logical tools to steer tough ethical scenarios while gaining the necessary skills to become efficient role models and leaders within the sports industry.

Organizational Behavior in Sports: You will study the behavior and culture of sports organizations and learn to apply management and leadership theories to various practical problems.

Legal Aspects of Sports: In this course, students are introduced to the legal issues that surround professional and intercollegiate sports. This is beneficial for students who wish to pursue a law degree. Some of the topics covered include labor relations, contract law, intellectual property law, and collective bargaining.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sports Management Degrees

Who should get their bachelor’s in sports management?

Students who enjoy athletics, business, and competition may enjoy pursuing a bachelor’s degree in sports management.

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How long does it take to get a bachelor’s in sports management?

With classes available both online and in person, students can complete the 120 required credits for this degree in about four years.

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What topics do courses cover?

Courses cover a variety of business and sports-related topics, ranging from leadership and laws to marketing and management. Students will also typically take classes in finance and explore ethical issues in the industry. Students can also narrow their focus to concentrations like event management, coaching, and sports law.

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What can you do with a bachelor’s in sports management?

Graduates can find careers as coaches, athletic scouts, promotions managers, and event coordinators at various levels within the sports industry. Students should note, however, experience and additional licensure may be required for some careers.

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Learn more about how to major in business.

Best Online Bachelor's in Sports Management
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Best Online Bachelor’s in Sports Management Degree Programs

  1. #1

    University of Iowa

    Iowa City , IA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/25

    Online Degrees

    BS in Sport and Recreation Management

    Concentrations

    • Business Studies
    • Coaching and Sport Instruction
    • Communications Public Relations/Journalism
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Event Management
    • Interscholastic Athletic/Activities Administration
    • Sport and Diversity
    • Student-Designed
    • Required Credits: 123-129
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    48K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    Online Degrees

    BS in Recreation and Sport Management

    Concentrations

    • Recreation And Sport Management
    • Parks Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. #4

    University of Memphis

    Memphis , TN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/22

    Online Degrees

    BS in Sport and Leisure Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #5

    Webster University

    Saint Louis , MO
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/24

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Sports and Entertainment Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #6

    Mercy College

    Dobbs Ferry , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    985/20

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Sports Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  6. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    84K

    Online Degrees

    BS in Sport Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Sports Management
    • Accounting
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Finance
    • Human Resources Management
    • International Business
    • Management Information Systems
    • Marketing
    • Nonprofit Management
    • Organizational Leadership
    • Project Management
    • Public Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  7. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    9K

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • General Management
    • Health
    • Administration
    • Sport Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/21

    Online Degrees

    BBA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Sport Management
    • Finance
    • General Business
    • Leadership
    • Marketing
    • Economics
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Sport and Recreation Business

    Concentrations

    • Sport Management
    • Recreation Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/23

    Online Degrees

    BA in Sport Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. #11

    Northwood University

    Midland , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/21

    Online Degrees

    BA in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Sport Management
    • Accounting
    • Automotive Marketing and Management
    • Cybersecurity
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Finance
    • Franchising Management
    • Healthcare Management
    • International Business
    • Management
    • Management Information Systems
    • Marketing
    • Marketing Communications
    • Operations and Supply Chain Management
    • Required Credits: 123
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  11. Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Degrees

    BS in Sports and Recreation Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  12. #13

    Upper Iowa University

    Fayette , IA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/21

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Sports Administration
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Finance
    • General Business
    • Global
    • Health Services Administration
    • Human Resource Management
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Communication Studies

    Concentrations

    • Communication Studies
    • Mass Media
    • Sports Communication
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  13. #14

    Liberty University

    Lynchburg , VA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    75K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/24

    Online Degrees

    BS in Sports Management

    Concentrations

    • Sports Administration
    • Sports Outreach
    • Sports Communication And Public Relations
    • Sports Venue Management
    • Conference and Event Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 3.5 years
    • Format: Online
  14. #15

    Regent University

    Virginia Beach , VA

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/22

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business

    Concentrations

    • Sports Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  15. #16

    Keiser University

    Fort Lauderdale , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $22K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    29K

    Online Degrees

    BS in Sport Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  16. #17

    Davenport University

    Grand Rapids , MI

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    5K

    Online Degrees

    BBA in Sport Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  17. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1107/22

    Online Degrees

    BBA in Sports Management
    • Required Credits: 53-55
    • Completion time: 1-2 Years
    • Format: Online
  18. #20

    Maryville University

    Saint Louis , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/22

    Online Degrees

    BS in Sport Business Management

    Concentrations

    • Sport Data Analytics
    • Results-Centered Sales
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  19. #21

    McKendree University

    Lebanon , IL

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1063/23

    Online Degrees

    BBA in Sport Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  20. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    4K

    Online Degrees

    BS in Recreation Sports Management
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  21. #23

    Bellevue University

    Bellevue , NE
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    9K

    Online Degrees

    BS or BA in Sport Management
    • Required Credits: 127
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  22. Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/21

    Online Degrees

    BA in Sport, Recreation and Fitness Management
    • Required Credits: 49
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  23. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/20

    Online Degrees

    BS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Advanced Sport and Recreation Business
    • Introduction to Business
    • Advanced Business Principles
    • Human Resources and Marketing
    • Economics and Accounting
    • International Business
    • Introduction Sport and Recreation Business
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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Online Sport Management Programs Looking for You

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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require a time of adjustment. Although you’ll typically learn the same material and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, going online will require greater independence and responsibility than going in person. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, for harnessing the online educational technology that you’ll need to use, and for completing the course requirements, such as listening to lectures, learning lessons, reading texts, and handing in assignments. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take the initiative in building relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier than campus-based education is ease of access: all you need is a computer and an internet connection for online education. But even this seeming advantage of online education can be misleading: what’s easier, studying online with your computer and internet connection from your home where you need to cook, clean, pay rent, and maintain a job? Or studying on campus in a dorm where all your living needs are handled by the school, and college staff are there to help you every step of the way?

If you take the commute to campus out of the equation, campus-based education is easier. All the support structures available on campus for students, especially with real people to help you in person, are not there online. The demands on you as an online student will largely be the same as for your campus-based counterpart, but without the same helps.

In general, your online courses will present the same material and test you in the same way as traditional in-person courses. In many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning with remote educational technology for the first time, online college may be considerably more challenging than campus-based college. For a few insights on how to manage this new online experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable non-profit institutions on the one end and less-than-reputable for-profit institutions on the other end. Accreditation gives you the power to identify the more reputable actors in online education. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency indicating that a college or university is meeting standards of quality and credibility. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university that is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. For students seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that they opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree. For more on this important topic, check out our What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? College & University Accreditation Guide.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited (see the previous point), you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer of credits. In many cases, you will encounter some bureaucratic haggling in which some of your credits will be transferred and others may be refused. However, provided that you have attended an online school with recognized regional accreditation, you should be in good shape in transferring your credits earned online.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript, or resumé differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

Some employers may express the concern that because you did your degree online, you may need to transition from an online education experience to in-person workplace experience. But in an age of Covid, that concern seems much diminished. The fact is that much employment these days is remote. And collaboration increasingly happens online over Zoom. Many employers will therefore view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will be less than ideal for you (though depending on your circumstances, it may also be the only viable option).

While there is much in traditional campus-based education that can be substituted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing that can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual in-person classroom setting. As you transition to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face in getting the most out of your online classes is overcoming this difference between “real reality” and “virtual reality.” Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. Above all, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities-educational experiences that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Online College-Bound Students

Whether you’re just getting started on your college search, you’re looking for survival tips on your way to a bachelor’s degree, or you’re preparing for the transition into grad school, we’ve got guides, how to’s and tons of other valuable resources to keep you moving forward in your educational journey.