The sports industry is big business in our nation. Sports are deeply ingrained in our communities, nation, and world. It is an industry that binds our neighborhoods together and is also a leading industry with more growth expected in the future. Forbes states that the sports industry is expected to grow to $145.3 billion between 2010 and 2015. If you are looking for an industry with much heart, passion, excitement, and countless business opportunities, then the sports industry might be a good choice for you.
With the growth in the sports industry, the diverse options have grown for professionals. Opportunities are available in professional sports organizations, sporting goods manufacturers, sports and fitness clubs, nonprofit organizations, intercollegiate athletics, community recreation organizations, and parks and recreation departments. Within these organizations are positions such as facility and event management, marketing, administration, compliance, ticket operations, sponsorship sales, fundraising, and player representation.
There is a growing need of educated and well-trained professionals in the sports industry, which requires a well-rounded business education with a focus on sport management. Not only can you access the personal, profession, and financial goals within a bachelor’s degree in sport management, but you can also do it within the busy confines of your schedule with an online degree. This has many obvious advantages, but also many sport employers are looking for relevant past experience. An online program allows future leaders to gain important education while leaving room in their schedule to gain experience in the sport industry. Use this ranking as a starting point for finding the right online sport management bachelor program for you!
Here is our list of the 25 Best Schools for Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Sport Management. Schools were ranked based on faculty credentials, student services and engagement, course delivery technology, student satisfaction, and tuition costs. The data was derived from the most recent and publicly available sources, including U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education and Statistics.
For more information in your online sport education search, also check out our Sports Management Online Resource Guide.
#25 Salem International University – Salem, West Virginia
Photo creditSalem International University
is a 4-year, private, for-profit university that was established in 1888 as Salem College. SIU offers a myriad of Associate, Bachelor, and Graduate degree plans in Business, Education, Computer Science, Information Technology, and Criminal Justice. SIU caters to the Salem student population with on-campus programs, as well as the wider public with online degree plans as well. Among their online programs is a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. The coursework in this program provides comprehensive business fundamental classes as well as provides education in specializations, including Sports Management. Courses within this specialization include: Organization & Administration of Physical Education & Sports, Principles of Sports Management, Governance & Ethics in Sports, Facilities & Event Management, Legal Aspect of Sports.
#24 Webber International University – Babson Park, Florida
Photo creditWebber International University
is a 4-year, private, nonprofit university that was founded in 1927. WIU was originally established as a woman’s business college and has now grown to offer many traditional, as well as online programs. Among its many online offerings, WIU offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Sport Business Management. This online concentration, as well as its on-campus classes, was developed out of the growing need for highly trained professionals in this internationally growing Sport Business sector. The Sport Business program is designed to train leaders with a solid business core and an education in the unique aspects of sports promotion, sports information and media, and facilities and event management. Sport Business Management Courses within this program include: Ethics and Issues In Sport Business Management, Risk Management and Legal Aspects of Sport, Sport Promotion, Sport Information and Media Relation, Facilities and Event Management, and Sport Administration.
#23 Grand Canyon University – Phoenix, Arizona
Photo creditGrand Canyon University
is a 4-year, private, Christian, for-profit university that was founded in 1949. Since that time, GCU has strived to help students find their purpose, achieve their potential, and advance their careers. Among the many relevant and helpful programs available, GCU offers an online Bachelor of Science in Sports Management. This 120-credit hour bachelor’s program covers general education coursework to develop thoughtful and critical thinkers, as well as sports management and business specific coursework. These courses are designed to prepare leaders in sports marketing, media, amateur and professional athletics, and sport and entertainment event planning.
#22 Ashford University – Clinton, Iowa
Photo creditAshford University
was founded in 1918 by the Sisters of St. Francis as Mount St. Clare College. What was started as a junior college for women, has now grown into a 4-year, private, for-profit university that offers a wide array of programs on-campus as well as online. Among their online offerings, is a Bachelor of Arts in Sports and Recreation Management. This 120-credit hour program is designed to prepare future sport and recreation leaders with basic business courses, classes focused on theories of management, writing, and speaking skills, as well as sport industry specific courses complete with important learning experiences. Within this degree program, students are also offered specializations in Entrepreneurship, Finance, Information Systems, Marketing, and Project Management.
#21 Buena Vista University – Storm Lake, Iowa
Photo creditBuena Vista University
is a 4-year, private, nonprofit university that was founded in 1891. In addition to BVU’s on-campus offerings at 16 remote learning locations, are complete online degree programs with over 700 students enrolled alone. Among the online programs at BVU is a Bachelor of Applied Studies with a Major in Management. This program develops future leaders and managers to be flexible, multi-tasking, trained in business, and able to lead teams to success. Within this program is a track in Sports Management. Courses within this track include: Facility and Event Management, Sports Marketing, and Psycho-Social Dimensions in Sport.
#20 Southern New Hampshire University – Manchester, New Hampshire
Photo creditSouthern New Hampshire University
is a 4-year, private, nonprofit university that was founded in 1932. Southern New Hampshire University offers on-campus programs to over 3,000 students and online programs to over 30,000 students. Among their 200 online degree programs are masters and bachelors degrees in Sports Management, including a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management and a Bachelor of Science in Business Studies in Sports Management. This program includes business, liberal arts, and sports management courses to give a well-rounded and solid educational foundation. Sport Management courses available include: Governance/Management of Sport Organizations, Sport Marketing, Sport Law, Sport Sponsorship, Sport Sales and Promotions, Media/Public Relations in Sport, and Event Management and Marketing.
#19 Missouri Baptist University – St. Louis, Missouri
Photo creditMissouri Baptist University
is a 4-year, private, nonprofit, Christian-based university that started in 1957 as an extension of Hannibal-LaGrange College. Among the on-campus and online degree programs offered are a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management. These online degree programs are designed to be flexible for the busy students with strict schedule parameters. The sport management programs are focused on developing skills in leaders to organize, administer, and facilitate sport programs. Courses within this program include: Communication in Sport, Sport Marketing, Sport Law, Sport Psychology, and Sport Finance.
#18 Shorter University – Rome, Georgia
Photo creditShorter University
is a 4-year, private, Christian, nonprofit university that was founded in 1873 as Cherokee Baptist Female College. Shorter University is a nationally recognized university that not only offers on-campus courses but online as well, to provide quality programs to students and future leaders. Among their programs offered in an online Bachelor of Business Administration in Sport Management. This 120-credit hour program offers a broad foundation in business and sport history. Courses include: Introduction to Sport Management, Legal Aspects of Sport, Leadership in Sport, Ethics in Sport, and Event and Facility Management.
#17 Midway College – Midway, Kentucky
Photo creditMidway College
is a 4-year, private, nonprofit college that was founded in 1847 as the Kentucky Female Orphan School, the first school in the US designed to serve orphaned and disadvantaged women. Over the past 167 years, Midway has grown to offer on-campus and online courses, including a Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management. This 120-credit hour program prepares future managers for business, community, public, and private sport programs. The coursework includes the fundamentals of management, marketing, accounting, finance, as well as coursework unique to the sport industry. Courses include: Managing Sporting Events, Sport Marketing, Facility Management & Design, Management & Leadership in Sport, Legal Issues in Sport, Financial Application in Sport, Communications in Sport, Ethical Issues in Sport, Sport Psychology, and Socio Cultural Dimensions in Sport.
#16 American Military University – Charles Town, West Virginia
Photo courtesy of American Public University SystemThe American Military University
is a 4-year, private, for-profit university that was founded in 1991 and became a member of the greater American Public University System in 2002. AMU started by providing relevant online education to the mobile population of military learners. This large system employs over 1,400 employees to provide 180 100% online degrees to over 100,000 leaders around the world. Among the many offerings at AMU is a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management. The coursework in this program prepares sport leaders in management, leadership, marketing, and administration with courses in law, finance, marketing, public relations, and organizational leadership as they pertain to sports.
#15 Columbia Southern University – Orange Beach, Alabama
Photo creditColumbia Southern University
is a large, online, 4-year, private, for-profit university right on the coast of Alabama. CSU was established in 1993 and was one of the first completely online universities available. CSU offers a wide range of degree programs at the associate, bachelor, and master levels, including a 120-credit hour Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Sport Management. Courses within this program include: Sociology of Sport, Sport Marketing, Sport Fund Raising, Sport Facilities, Sport Administration, Sport Financing, and Sport Legal Liability and Risk Management.
#14 United States Sports Academy – Daphne, Alabama
Photo creditThe United States Sports Academy
is a 4-year, private, nonprofit and the largest sports university in the world. The USSA was established in 1972, and offers faculty with academic backgrounds and professional experience in sports that help mold future leaders in the growing sports industry. Among the online offerings at USSA is a Bachelor of Sports Science in Sports Management. This program offers classes in Sports Marketing, Sports Law And Risk Management, Organization and Management in Sports, Personnel Management in Sports, Legal Concepts in Sports, Sports Facilities Management, Public Relations in Sports, Fundraising in Sports, and Leadership Principles in Sports.
#13 Mercy College – Dobbs Ferry, New York
Photo creditMercy College
is a 4-year, private, nonprofit college that was founded in 1950 by the Sisters of Mercy. Mercy College offers more than 90 programs, 40 of them online, to over 11,000 students annually. Among the 40 online programs is a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. This 120-credit hour program is focused on management, marketing, operations experience, and requires an internship. This program offers a specialization in Sport Management. Courses within this specialization include: Sport Marketing, Sport Law, Sport Facility and Event Management, Sport Finance and Administration, and Sport and Society.
#12 Davenport University – Grand Rapids, Michigan
Photo courtesy of Davenport UniversityDavenport University
is a private, nonprofit university that was founded in 1866. What started as teaching 16 students in bookkeeping, penmanship, business law, and arithmetic has grown to a 4-year university focused on business, technology, and health programs. Among the programs offered is a 120-credit hour online Bachelor of Business Administration with a Major in Sport Management. This program offers a strong business foundation with sport management courses focused on performance, production and promotion. Courses include:Legal Aspects of Sport Management, Sport Management Foundations, Sports in Society, Global Sport Industry, Sport Operations and Facilities Management, Sport Governance and Regulation, Sport Marketing, and Sport Advertising and Promotion.
#11 Liberty University – Lynchburg, Virginia
Photo courtesy of Liberty UniversityLiberty University
is a 4-year, private, nonprofit university that was established in 1971 and is said to be the largest Christian university. Liberty University offers more than 250 online certificate, associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees to more than 95,000 students around the world. Liberty offers a 120-credit hour Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree to teach future business leaders about business, accounting, finance, leadership, management, human resources, and marketing. Liberty also offers a Minor in Sport Outreach. This minor covers trends in sport management and include courses in Sport Methodology, Methods, and Practices, Global Sports Outreach, Mentoring in Sports, and Sport Chaplaincy.
#10 AIB College of Business – Des Moines, Iowa
Photo creditAIB College of Business
is a 4-year, private, nonprofit college that was founded in 1921, dedicated to develop business leaders. Among its business degree offerings is an online Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a minor in Sports and Event Management. This 198-quarter-credit hour program is designed to prepare leaders for the rapidly changing business environment. Coursework within this program includes core general education classes, foundation business classes, as well as specific sports and events management classes dedicated to the minor. Classes within this minor include: Principles of Sports Management, Principles of Sports and Event Marketing, Sports and Event Facilities Management, Legal Liability in Recreation, Sports and Tourism, and Sports and Event Finance.
#9 Concordia University Chicago – River Forest, Illinois
Photo creditConcordia University Chicago
is a 4-year, private, nonprofit university that was founded in 1864 as a teachers’ education college. Concordia University Chicago has grown to offer over 60 areas of study to over 5,000 full-time students annually. Out of their College of Graduate and Innovative Programs is an online Bachelor of Arts in Sports and Recreation Management. This program is designed to prepare future leaders in the sports industry and cover topics such as event operations, marketing, management, and communication. Courses within the Sports and Recreation Management major include: Intro to Facilities & Events Management, Sociological & Historical Foundations of Sports and Recreation, and Legal and Ethical Issues in Sports and Recreation Administration.
#8 Post University – Waterbury, Connecticut
Photo creditPost University
is a 4-year, private, for-profit university that was founded in 1890 as the Matoon Shorthand School training students in typing, bookkeeping, and business writing. Birthed from the growing need of students wanting more flexible learning options, Post University has added online degree programs to their traditional programs. Among their online degree offerings, Post’s Malcolm Baldrige School of Business offers an Online Bachelor of Science in Sport Management. This program provides depth with business courses in management, organizational leadership, marketing, customer engagement, and administration with a sport management focus. Sport Management courses include: Foundations of Sport Management, Sport in Society, Sport and Athletic Administration, Sport Event and Facility Management, Sport Marketing, Sport Law, and Sport Economics.
#7 Columbia College – Columbia, Missouri
Photo creditColumbia College
is a 4-year, private, nonprofit, liberal arts college that was originally founded in 1851 as Christian Female College. Today, Columbia College has a network of 35 campuses nationwide and teaches over 29,000 students every year. In addition to its on-campus offerings, Columbia offers an online degrees that allow students to take classes on their own schedule. Columbia College offers an online Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. Within this 120-credit hour program is a major in Sports Management. Courses within this Sports Management Major include: Sports Finance, Social Media, and Sports and Event Marketing.
#6 University of Minnesota-Crookston – Crookston, Minnesota
Photo courtesy of University of Minnesota-CrookstonThe University of Minnesota-Crookston
is a 4-year, public university and a member of the greater University of Minnesota System. Since its establishment in 1966, it has grown to offer on-campus and online programs to over 1,100 students annually. The University of Minnesota-Crookston is dedicated to their students’ success with their education that includes equipping each student and faculty member with laptop computers. Among the many online offerings, they offer a Bachelor of Science in Sport & Recreation Management. This 120-credit hour degree is designed to prepare future leaders for the management in the fast-growing sports industry. This program is focused on building a foundation of business disciplines, developing written and oral communication skills, abilities to apply operating procedures and tools, and developing team-building skills.
#5 Troy University – Troy, Alabama
Photo creditTroy University
is a 4-year, public university founded in 1887 as the Troy State Normal School. Today Troy University offers a full range of degrees in a traditional classroom as well as online. Troy offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science with many majors to choose from, include a Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management Major. This 123-credit hour major is required to include a minor, among the minors to choose from is an 18-credit hour Sport Management Minor. The Sport Management Minor includes courses in Sport Finance and Business, Sport Communications, Legal Aspects in Sport Management, and Facility Management.
#4 Concordia University-St. Paul – Saint Paul, Minnesota
Photo creditConcordia University-St. Paul
is a 4-year private, nonprofit, Christian liberal arts university founded in 1893. Concordia University-St. Paul states to offer a quality and unique education with an experiential learning environment, a liberal arts education, over 100 years of higher education experience, a flexible online format, competitively priced programs, generous financial aid packages, and supportive faculty members. Among the many degree offerings, Concordia University-St. Paul has a Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management. This 128-credit hour program offers a theoretical and practical education in kinesiology, exercise, and sport management. Courses include: Sport Management, Law & Sport, Marketing & Fundraising in Sports, Planning & Managing Sport Facilities, and Sports Business.
#3 McKendree University – Lebanon, Illinois
Photo creditMcKendree University
is a 4-year, private, nonprofit university that was established in 1828 as Lebanon Seminary. What started as a seminary for 72 students, has grown to a university that educates over 3,000 students annually. Among the many degrees available is an online Bachelor of Business Administration. This 128-credit hour program offers a major of Sport Management that is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management and focuses on educated future leaders of businesses, nonprofit organizations, sport facilities, stadium, community organizations, and fitness centers. Courses within this major include: Principles of Sport Management, Legal Aspects of Sport Management, Sport Marketing, Sport and Health Psychology, Sport Facilities and Event Management.
#2 American Public University – Charles Town, West Virginia
Photo courtesy of American Public University SystemAmerican Public University
is a 4-year, private, for-profit university system founded in 1991 as the American Military University. Together with the American Military University, they make the larger American Public University System. This large system employs over 1,400 employees to provide 180 100% online undergraduate and graduate degrees to over 100,000 leaders around the world. The American Public University offers distance learning that provides over 180 undergraduate and graduate degrees. APUS strives to offer the best career-relevant programs including homeland security, intelligence, education, emergency management, and business. Among the 180 online programs is a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management. This degree is focused on developing leaders for the global, multibillion-dollar sports industry in areas of management, leadership, marketing, law, finance, and public relations.
#1 University of Florida – Gainesville, Florida
Photo creditThe University of Florida
started as a small seminary in 1853, and grew to a 4-year, public university with 4,000 faculty members and over 6,400 students. The University of Florida has not only strived to offer exceptional on-campus courses, but also was one of the first schools to offer an accredited online degree program. The online degree programs at UF do have a 2-day, on-campus requirement every four months to take exams, give presentations, and meet faculty. Among the online offerings available, is a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management program equipping students in the areas of management, marketing, finance, and law, with a final internship to implement the theoretical knowledge. Courses include: Sport and Society, Sport Facility Design and Management, Sport Marketing, Business Finance, and The Legal Environment of Business and Entrepreneurship.