Accelerated Sports Management Degree Programs

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Finish your studies faster with an Accelerated Sports Management Program. Spend less time in class and graduate sooner!

An accelerated Sports Management degree program helps prepare students to become an active and integral participant in the behind the scenes actions of the vibrant sports industry.

Accelerated Sports Management Degree

Earning an accelerated college degree in Sports Management online or on-campus may be a great way to jumpstart this exciting career.

Let’s look at what you can expect if you enroll in an accelerated program that offers this degree. You may also see this degree listed as Sports and Recreation Management, but it is essentially the same degree.

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Accelerated Sports Management Program Curriculum

Accelerated Sports Management Program Curriculum

The sports industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, providing exciting and rewarding career options for sports management degree holders. You may pursue work in the sports industry after completing an accelerated sports management degree.

Most programs offer a B.S. (Bachelor of Science) degree in Sports Management or Bachelor’s in Business – Sports Management. In addition to completing core courses that cover subject areas like Writing, Humanities, Math, and Science, students will be required to complete a large number of credit hours toward learning the specifics of sports management.

Some of these major-specific courses might include:

  • Business Law
  • Sports Management Accounting
  • Sports Organization
  • Sports Law
  • Sports Marketing
  • Leadership
  • Applied Research

Students might also have the option to choose a concentration within their degree. Some of these concentrations include:

  • Event Management
  • Sports Media
  • Sports Marketing
  • Organizational Management

Most programs will offer at least an overview of all the different areas of sports management, but some programs specialize in one or more of these areas. Make sure the aspect of sports management that you’re interested in is offered in-depth in the program you choose so that you’ll be well prepared for your career choice.

Accelerated Format

athlete running in a track field

Earning an accelerated college degree is often convenient for any situation or schedule. Because you’ll be completing your degree faster than someone in a traditional program, more will likely be demanded of you.

Most courses will meet for 5 to 8 weeks instead of 16 weeks. You’ll be expected to learn the same amount and depth of information but in a shorter amount of time.

The great part about these accelerated programs is that they have carefully designed the curriculum so that you may meet its requirements in that shortened time frame. You don’t have to figure it out all by yourself.

Master’s Degree in Sports Management

A traditional or online master’s degree in Sports Management is usually offered in the form of an MBA with a concentration in Sports Management (or a similarly related concentration). This can be a great option for people already working in the sports industry but who desire a management or leadership position that they are unable to obtain without an advanced degree.

Accelerated MBA programs are really popular these days and some even offer an MBA in as little as one year through an accelerated format. Most MBA programs require students to complete an internship or practicum component in which they work in the industry before they can obtain their degree.

What Can You Do with a Degree in Sports Management?

sports manager talking to athletes in a soccer field

Someone with an accelerated college degree in Sports Management may be prepared to enter a variety of careers. The most high-profile and high-paying jobs working for the major sports leagues and teams probably won’t be available to someone right out of the gates, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a satisfying job right after completing your degree.

The following careers may be a good match for someone with a degree in Sports Management at either the bachelor’s or master’s level:

  • Operations Manager for a sporting venue or event (like the Olympics)
  • Sports Partnerships Director helping athletes with community outreach
  • Sales Representative for a sports team
  • Sports Management Director for a sports team or sporting event
  • Community Relations Coordinator/Director helping a sports team with fundraising and outreach initiatives
  • Promotional Manager for a sports venue

Whether you’re interested in working with athletes, fans, or support staff, there are many exciting career options available with a sports management degree.

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What Jobs Can You Get with a Sports Management Degree?

Jobs You Can Get with a Sports Management Degree

Athletes may be the stars of the sporting industry but they aren’t the only ones who get paid well in the sports industry.

You may also be part of this exciting industry and work behind the scenes as an event coordinator, athletics administrator, sports marketer, and guest relations manager.

As an event coordinator, you may act as a liaison between the team management, venue management, and the fans to ensure a lively and engaging environment for a sporting event.

Working as an athletics administrator, you may be responsible for supervising almost every facet of a sports franchise’s operations from the recruitment of staff to the procuring of athletic equipment.

If you work as a sports marketing professional, you may be tasked to create buzz on your franchise or sports organization. You may also work as a guest relations manager who ensures a positive fan experience during a sporting event.

Here are a few career opportunities for graduates of an accelerated sports management degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Career Annual Median Salary
Director of Operations $185,950
Operations Manager $103,650
Facilities Manager $98,890
Business Manager of Athletes $75,420
Event Coordinator $51,560

Your experience and location often have a big impact on your compensation package, so it may take a few years to earn this kind of money in the sports business.

Professional Organizations for those with a Sports Management Degree

logos of Professional Organizations for those with a Sports Management Degree

Graduates of a sports management program are encouraged to join professional organizations for professional development and support:

  • College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA): founded in 1957, this national organization of sports communicators and information professionals has more than 3,100 members from collegiate athletics in the US and Canada. It provides professional development courses such as leadership and mentorship programs.
  • National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics: founded in 1965, this is the largest association of collegiate athletics administrators. It has more than 15,000 individual-members and close to 2,000 institution-members throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Its members include athletics directors, conference commissioners, among others.
  • North American Society for Sport Management: this organization actively supports professionals working in the sports, recreation, and leisure industries. It promotes, stimulates, and encourages research and study of sports management.
  • Sport Marketing Association: a leading professional group for sports marketers, the Sport Marketing Association is a private, non-profit organization that creates, distributes, and implements sports marketing knowledge.

Consider joining one of these organizations while you’re in school to get unique insights into the industry and to take advantage of possible networking opportunities.

Certification and Licensure Following a Sports Management Degree

sports manager receiving a certificate

After completing a sports management degree, you may apply for the following certifications:

  • NBPA Certification—acquiring certification from the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) may give you the ability to represent and negotiate contracts on behalf of players of the National Basketball Association (NBA)
  • NIAAA Certification—the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) promotes, preserves, and supports athletic administrators in the U.S. middle and high schools. Acquiring certification from the said professional organization may provide you with program development, professional growth, and continuing education opportunities.

Earning your certification can show that you are committed to your profession, even more so than your degree does.

Accreditation for a Sports Management Degree Online

logos of the six regional accreditors

When choosing for a sports management degree online, choose a school that has regional accreditation from one of these boards:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

A national association that accredits sports management programs is the Commission on Sports Management or COSMA. It promotes excellence in the field of sports management by recognizing institutions that consistently deliver excellent educational programs.

If you foresee yourself becoming an athletic coach in the future, it is recommended that you attend a school accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education.

Financial Aid for an Online Sports Management Degree

screenshot of FAFSA website

You may also apply for financial aid even if you plan to complete a sports management degree online. You can apply for federal financial aid as long as you attend an accredited school.

When you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you’ll see what grants and loans you qualify to receive. These can be used to pay for the tuition fee, books, and school supplies. This can also help you cover living expenses.

You can also try applying for scholarships from your university or private businesses or foundations. You may also opt for private student loans, but you need to have a good credit standing to qualify and will need to repay them at a higher interest rate.

If you’re working, you can talk to your employer about tuition assistance. Many businesses sponsor students earning their bachelor’s degree.

Questions Related to Earning a Sports Management Degree Online

Let’s answer a few more questions before you get started on your degree.

What Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management?

A bachelor’s degree in sports management helps prepare students in the planning, organizing, and directing of professional sports clubs as well as athletic events. Courses cover areas such as humanities, science, mathematics, business, and management.

Is It Smart to Get a Sports Management Degree?

Yes, it is smart to get a sports management degree. Pursuing a sports management degree is worth. For one, you may be generously rewarded if you manage to land an athletic or sports management job.

You may also receive an excellent benefits package. You might also get the chance to work with star athletes and be a part of the exciting world of pro or college sports.

How Many Years Do You Have to Go to College for Sports Management?

You can expect to spend at least two years completing a sports management major. Associate’s degree programs usually take two years and may provide entry-level opportunities in the sports industry.

You’ll need around four years to complete a bachelor’s degree. Acquiring a master’s degree may require you to spend at least a year or two.

If you take accelerated classes though, you may cut your time in half. You might further decrease your time in class by testing out of classes, submitting a portfolio of prior learning, and maxing your courseload all year round.

Is a Degree in Sports Management Worth It?

sports manager talking to athletes in a gym

Yes, a degree in sports management is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 9% job growth in management occupations over the next 10 years. Common careers in this field include athlete development specialist, facilities manager, event coordinator, athletics director, and business manager of athletes.

You don’t need to be a gifted athlete to make it big in the sports and recreation industry. With a degree in sports management, you may be part of the action, albeit behind the scenes.

Completing a sports management degree can help provide you with various career options, from events coordinator to athletics director. The athletic management sector may offer lots of upward mobility.

You can start your journey to a successful career in sports management now by applying to any of the accredited schools offering a degree in sports management.

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Joy Cromwelle
Joy Cromwelle
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.