45 Best Online Masters in Sports Administration Degree Programs

A satisfying career in sports doesn’t always require being on the field. Sports managers take care of many of the behind-the-scenes responsibilities in amateur and professional athletics. These experts may handle public relations, marketing, finance, facility management, player development, legal matters and more.

sports public relations manager at work

If you’re ready to turn your love of athletics into a career in sports management, then you need the education to support your passion. Although a bachelor’s in sports administration could prepare you for entry-level positions, a master’s degree may give you a competitive edge over other contenders for advancement.

An online master’s in athletic administration can be your ticket to a fulfilling sports career.

Sports Management Concentrations

athletic sports director on phone working at laptop

Sports management is a broad field that appeals to many athletic-minded students. Selecting a degree concentration will give you the opportunity to take specialized classes that provide in-depth knowledge about one particular aspect of sports management.

Event Management

In the world of sports, every game can be an event. Plus, there are even bigger events that happen now and then, such as famous marathons, Olympic competitions, and championship games. Whether you want to be involved in planning and promoting the regular season games or you’d prefer to have a hand in once-a-year events, earning a specialization in Event Management can help you prepare.

Organizational Management

From local teams to world-renowned professional leagues, athletic organizations require managers. You can fill that role when you earn a degree concentration in Organizational Management. Your responsibilities might include coordinating schedules, arranging facility use, communicating with players or keeping the team running smoothly.

Sports Law

If you’re interested in both athletics and the legal system, then a concentration in Sports Law could blend those two passions into one lucrative career. Your studies may include topics like negotiations, trademark law and team sales. As a practicing sports attorney, you might provide counsel for players, teams or professional organizations.

Sports Media

The field of sports media deals with communications, merchandising and journalism in the world of athletics. As a professional in this area, you might be responsible for increasing brand recognition, developing new licensed products or reporting game coverage.

Sports Project Management

Across industries, project managers are people who see projects through from beginning to end; they coordinate details and keep an eye on the big picture. Sports project managers do this job in the realm of athletics. They often work as consultants who oversee projects like facility construction or victory celebrations.

Entering the job market as an expert in your chosen area can increase your appeal as a candidate for open positions.

Admission Requirements

masters of sports administration student on university campus

Applying to school is the first step in getting your sports administration master’s degree online. When submitting an application, it’s important to make sure that you meet the requirements and then gather all the necessary documentation.

The admission requirements for master’s programs commonly include:

  • Completed application and fee
  • Resume or curriculum vitae — Some programs want applicants to have a minimum number of years of related work experience.
  • Bachelor’s degree — A minimum GPA or a particular field of study may be required.
  • Transcripts
  • Test scores — GRE or GMAT requirements are common, but waivers may be available.
  • Letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources
  • Personal statement or essay

Admissions requirements vary among schools, so if you don’t meet the criteria for one program, keep looking. You might qualify for another sports administration program just fine.

Curriculum

sport administration masters student working on laptop

Your studies during a sports administration program will pull from a variety of disciplines, including business, sociology, law, and psychology. In each of these areas, your studies will be specifically tailored to applying the concepts within the realm of sports.

Sample courses for a master’s in sports administration include:

  • Athletics in International Settings: Learn to provide sports management services for athletes and teams around the world.
  • Developing the Athlete: Prepare for a career as an athlete development specialist who can handle a player’s finances, media relations, career advancement and publicity.
  • Ethics in Sports: Use case studies to evaluate considerations that should go into making decisions in sports, especially when it comes to issues of cheating, performance enhancement and crowd behavior.
  • Finance in Sports: Learn about basic financial business principles that you can apply in the sports realm.
  • Legal Issues in Sports Management: Gain a basic overview of sports law as it relates to players, teams and leagues.
  • Marketing for Athletics: Increase your proficiency at building brand recognition, increasing product and ticket sales, and garnering fan loyalty.
  • Nonprofit Sports Agencies: Cover leadership in nonprofit settings so that you will be prepared to head up community leagues, school athletic departments or independent organizations.
  • Psychology of Sports: Learn to apply psychological principles in athletic settings to improve player performance and team dynamics.
  • Sociology of Teams and Players: Discuss social issues like sexism and discrimination that affect athletics.
  • Statistics and Analytics: Learn how data can influence management and business decisions in sports.

Choosing a concentration may influence the classes you take in your master’s program. In addition, you may have the opportunity to take electives or complete an internship experience.

Careers/Salary

sports administration masters graduate athletic coach on field with football players

You’re probably choosing a sports administration degree because you have a passion for athletics. The many job opportunities available to sports administrators will allow you to play an important role in this field that you love so much. Your job will be even more satisfying when you choose a career path that is particularly in line with your personal strengths and interests. Consider the following job options that may be available to you after you earn your master’s degree in sports administration.

Athletic Agent

As an agent or a business manager, you could represent one athlete or many different ones. Your responsibilities might include public relations, marketing and business advisement. Agents make an average of $90,930 each year, and the field is growing at a rate of 4.4%.

Coach or Scout

Athletes need coaches to help them develop their skills and perform their best. Scouts recruit players for schools or teams. Coaches and scouts earn an average salary of $33,780, and positions are expected to increase by 11% over the next several years.

College Athletic Administrator

The athletic director of a university oversees all of the school’s teams, coaches, athletes, schedules and facilities. Postsecondary education administration roles are growing at a rate of 7%, and administrators earn an average of $94,340 annually.

Event Coordinator

Special sporting events can garner significant attention from the public. As an event coordinator, you could help these major games or competitions run smoothly. Event planners can earn around $49,370 yearly, and positions are increasing at a rate of 7%.

Finance Manager

In this business role, you would be responsible for a team or organization’s money-related decisions. You might evaluate contracts or make recommendations for increasing revenue. Financial managers make $127,990 per year, and job growth is at 16%.

Marketing Director

In a marketing position, you could help advertise a special event or grow the fan base of a team. Your efforts might help increase ticket, merchandise or advertising sales. Marketing managers make an average of $132,620 annually, and positions are increasing at an 8% rate.

School Athletic Director

Like universities, middle and secondary schools often hire athletic directors to oversee their sports programs, coaches and athletes. To work at this level, some districts might require teaching credentials. Athletic directors are often considered school administrators, and the average administrator makes $98,750 annually.

Accreditation

football stadium a familiar seen for a sport administration graduate

Some sports administration programs have received a stamp of approval from the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA). Schools can voluntarily choose to have their sports management programs reviewed by this organization. Those that meet the established standards of academic quality and student outcomes may receive COSMA certification. If a school has been accredited by COSMA, you can be confident that you are enrolling in a high-quality program.

On the other hand, since schools don’t have to undergo the COSMA review process, there may be many good sports management master’s programs without this certification. For many students, this type of accreditation doesn’t make or break their enrollment decisions.

Another type of accreditation is absolutely essential, though. You should only consider schools with regional accreditation from one of the country’s approved regional accreditors.

These include:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission

All reputable universities bear school-wide regional accreditation. To qualify for federal financial aid, transfer credits to another school or graduate with a respected degree, you must attend a regionally accredited college.

Professional Organizations

sports administration professional organization meeting

To enhance your education and your career, consider joining a professional organization. These groups can help you build network connections and stay on top of industry happenings.

  • National Alliance for Youth Sports: NAYS supports coaches and other leaders as they provide community-based sports programs for kids.
  • National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics: NACDA is for those involved in athletics administration or conference leadership for postsecondary schools.
  • North American Society for Sports Management: Membership in NASSM is open to professionals who are involved in the sports and recreation fields in any aspect, including marketing, law and facility management.
  • Sport Marketing Association: Academic and industry leaders share ideas and research through membership in the Sport Marketing Association.
  • World Association of Sports Management: WASM connects sports-management professionals from around the globe for research, educational opportunities, and industry advancement.

Financial Aid

masters in sports administration applicant applying for financial aid

Whether you earn your sports management degree online or through on-campus classes, financial aid can make the tuition more affordable.

Financial aid can take many forms:

  • Federal or state loans: This borrowed money must be paid back, but the interest rates are low.
  • Federal or state grants: Think of grants like a gift; you don’t have to repay them.
  • Work-study programs: You can be matched with a job through your school or elsewhere, and your earnings will go toward tuition.
  • Private loans: If you to borrow more money than you qualify for in government loans, you could consider private sources.
  • University payment plans: You may be able to break your tuition costs over multiple payments.
  • Scholarships: Your school or other private sources may gift you with tuition money because of your accomplishments, background or financial need.
  • Fellowships: You may be able to gain professional experience and offset your graduate tuition costs by earning a fellowship.

To learn more about your qualifications for financial aid, fill out and submit the federal government’s FAFSA document.

frequently asked questions about an online masters in sports administration

How Much Do Sports Administrators Make?

Your future earnings will depend largely on your post-graduation career plans. Local coaches may earn $30,000 or less annually, but agents could make millions each year. Although you may not become a multi-million-dollar agent, it’s possible that you could be a manager or other sports professional with a triple-digit salary.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Masters in Sports Administration?

You may be able to finish your master’s program in 18 to 24 months if you carry a full-time class load. Often, schools with accelerated schedules offer the quickest path to graduation.

What Can You Do with a Masters in Athletic Administration?

Those with master’s degrees may become coaches, athletic directors, agents, marketing managers or finance directors for sports organizations. The job market for nearly all related career options is expected to grow over the next decade, so this degree should afford you plenty of job exciting possibilities.

List of Schools Offering a Master’s in Sports Administration Online

Rank University Featured Image tbl-programs Location mdgtbl-description
1 Adams State University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONColorado
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Adams State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Masters in Sport Management
2 Adelphi University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONNew York
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
Adelphi is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and all of the professional schools and related programs are accredited by nationally recognized professional associations.
  • Masters in Sport Management
3 American Public University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONWest Virginia
ACCREDITATIONHLC
American Public University is part of the American Public University System (APUS), which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
  • Masters in Sports Management – Coaching Theory and Strategy
  • Masters in Sports Management – Interscholastic Athletic Administration
  • Masters in Sports Management – Sports Business Leadership
4 American University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONWashington, D.C.
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
AU is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and recognized by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church.
  • Masters in Sports Analytics and Management
5 Arkansas State University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONArkansas
ACCREDITATIONHLC
A-State is accredited by the regional institutional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Masters in Sport Administration
6 Baker University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONKansas
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Baker is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, for degree programs in arts, sciences and professional curricula at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.
  • Masters in Sports Management
7 California University of Pennsylvania
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONPennsylvania
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
Cal U is accredited by the Commission of Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • Masters in Sport Management Studies – Intercollegiate Athletic Administration
  • Masters in Sport Management Studies – Sport Management
  • Masters in Sport Management Studies – Strategic Sport Analysis
8 Campbellsville University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONKentucky
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Campbellsville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Masters in Sport Management
9 Canisius College
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONNew York
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
Canisius is accredited by the Middle States Association Commission on Higher Education.
  • Masters in Sport Administration
10 Coker University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONSouth Carolina
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Coker is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters degrees.
  • Masters in College Athletic Administration
11 Concordia University – Irvine
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONCalifornia
ACCREDITATIONWSCUC
CUI is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
  • Masters in Coaching and Athletics Administration
12 Concordia University – St. Paul
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONMinnesota
ACCREDITATIONHLC
CSP is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.
  • Masters in Sport Management
13 Concordia University – Texas
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONTexas
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
CTX is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the associate, bachelor, and master degrees along with the Doctorate in Education (EdD).
  • Masters in Coaching & Sports Administration
14 Delaware State University
GRE/GMATWaiver
LOCATIONDelaware
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
DSU is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
  • Masters in Sport Administration
15 Drexel University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONPennsylvania
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
Drexel is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
  • Masters in Sport Management
16 East Central University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONOklahoma
ACCREDITATIONHLC
ECU is formally accredited as a whole by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA).
  • Masters in Sports Administration
17 Eastern New Mexico University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONNew Mexico
ACCREDITATIONHLC
ENMU has been accredited at an institutional level by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • Masters in Physical – Sport Administration
18 Fairleigh Dickinson University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONNew Jersey
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
FDU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
  • Masters in Sports Administration
19 Florida Atlantic University
GRE/GMATWaiver
LOCATIONFlorida
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
FAU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist and doctorate degrees.
  • MBA – Sport Management
20 Fort Hays State University
GRE/GMATYes
LOCATIONKansas
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Both the traditional FHSU and its Virtual College are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • MBA – Health and Human Performance/Sports Management
21 Fresno Pacific University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONCalifornia
ACCREDITATIONWSCUC
FPU has been accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) since 1965.
  • Masters in Sport Administration
22 Georgetown University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONWashington, D.C.
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
Georgetown is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
  • Masters in Sports Industry Management
23 Georgia Southern University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONGeorgia
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Georgia Southern is accredited by the Commission on Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Masters in Sport Management
24 Gonzaga University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONWashington
ACCREDITATIONNWCCU
Gonzaga is accredited, as an institution, by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Masters in Sport and Athletic Administration
25 Grand Canyon University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONArizona
ACCREDITATIONHLC
GCU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
  • MBA – Sports Business
26 Hampton University
GRE/GMATYes
LOCATIONVirginia
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Hampton U is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates and degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s, education specialist, professional, and doctoral levels.
  • Masters in Sport Administration
27 Indiana State University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONIndiana
ACCREDITATIONHLC
ISU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1915.
  • Masters in Sport Management
28 Jacksonville University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONFlorida
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
JU ​is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges to award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.
  • Masters in Sport Management
29 Lasell University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONMassachusetts
ACCREDITATIONNECHE
Lasell has been accredited by the Commission on Institution of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) since 1932 and offers bachelor’s degrees in the liberal arts and professional disciplines.
  • Masters in Sport Management
30 Liberty University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONVirginia
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
Liberty is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees.
  • Masters in Sports Management – Sports Administration
31 Midway University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONKentucky
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
MU is officially accredited and/or recognized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
  • MBA – Sport Management
32 Northeastern University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONMassachusetts
ACCREDITATIONNECHE
Northeastern is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.
  • Masters in Sports Leadership – Professional Sports Administration
  • Masters in Sports Leadership – Collegiate Athletics Administration
33 Northwestern University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONIllinois
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Northwestern is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
  • Masters in Sports Administration
34 Ohio University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONOhio
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Ohio University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional accreditors in the United States.
  • Masters in Athletic Administration
35 Old Dominion University
GRE/GMATYes
LOCATIONVirginia
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
ODU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, education specialist, and doctoral degrees.
  • Masters in Sport Management
36 Southeastern Oklahoma State University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONOklahoma
ACCREDITATIONHLC
SOSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
  • Masters in Sports Administration
37 Southern New Hampshire University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONNew Hampshire
ACCREDITATIONNECHE
SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
  • Masters in Sports Management
38 St. Thomas University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONFlorida
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
STU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, law, and doctorate degrees.
  • MBA – Sports Administration
39 SUNY Cortland
GRE/GMATWaiver
LOCATIONNew York
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
SUNY Cortland is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
  • Masters in Sport Management
40 Texas A&M University – Commerce
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONTexas
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
TAMUC has been accredited by SACSCOC since 1925 to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees.
  • Masters in Health, Kinesiology, & Sport Studies – Athletic Administration
41 Tiffin University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONOhio
ACCREDITATIONHLC
Tiffin is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
  • MBA – Sports Management
42 University of Cincinnati
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONOhio
ACCREDITATIONHLC
The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
  • Masters in Sport Administration
43 University of Florida
GRE/GMATWaiver
LOCATIONFlorida
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
UF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
  • Masters in Sport Management
44 University of Kansas
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONKansas
ACCREDITATIONHLC
KU has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1913.
  • Masters in Sport Management
45 University of Louisville
GRE/GMATYes
LOCATIONKentucky
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
U of L is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, bachelor, master, specialist, doctoral, and first-professional degrees (D.M.D., J.D., M.D.).
  • Masters in Sport Administration
46 University of Miami
GRE/GMATWaiver
LOCATIONFlorida
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
UM is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees.
  • Masters in Sport Administration
47 University of Northern Colorado
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONColorado
ACCREDITATIONHLC
UNC has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1916.
  • Masters in Sport Administration
48 University of South Alabama
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONAlabama
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
USA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
  • Masters in Sport Management
49 University of Southern Mississippi
GRE/GMATYes
LOCATIONMississippi
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
USM is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award degrees at the baccalaureate, masters, specialists and doctoral levels.
  • Masters in Sport Management
50 University of Texas at Austin
GRE/GMATWaiver
LOCATIONTexas
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
UT is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, professional, masters, and doctorate degrees.
  • Masters in Sport Management
51 Upper Iowa University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONIowa
ACCREDITATIONHLC
UIU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
  • Masters in Sport Management
52 Wayne State College
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONNebraska
ACCREDITATIONHLC
WSC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Masters in Sport and Recreation Management
53 West Virginia University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONWest Virginia
ACCREDITATIONHLC
WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
  • Masters in Sport Management
54 Western Carolina University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONNorth Carolina
ACCREDITATIONSACSCOC
WCU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees.
  • Masters in Sport Management
55 Wilmington University
GRE/GMATNo
LOCATIONDelaware
ACCREDITATIONMSCHE
WilmU is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
  • Masters in Management – Sports Management

 

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