People often say that the chances of becoming a professional athlete are around one in a million. But there are plenty of sports fans around the world who might still want to be involved in the industry, even if their draft stock isn't too high. Sports Management is an industry devoted to the business aspects of sports, namely the planning, organizing, managing, and budgeting of sports or physical activities. Graduates may end up working for large university teams such as the UConn women's basketball team or the Alabama Tuscaloosa football team. They can also find jobs with professional sports franchises such as the New England Patriots or the Boston Red Sox.
Thanks to the wide range of levels and sports, people with all different kinds of experience or expertise can turn this degree into a successful career. Jobs can involve things like facility management such as grounds keeping in basketball or managing ice rinks for hockey teams. Students interested in finance or accounting can manage budgets and contracts for teams. Or there are also careers available in the marketing or advertising fields, where employees help to sell season tickets or arrange bobblehead nights!
Sports Management programs are particularly relevant for current and future college students because they focus on the practical skills that students often seek. All programs require students to pursue internships, field experience, or study abroad opportunities to gain real-world experience while they are in school. Courses in these programs can still use case studies or other simulations of what the business world might look like, but the hands-on emphasis made by sports management programs guarantees not only hard experience but also networking connections that students can use or build upon after they graduate.
Why Become a Sports Management Professional?
It's easy to think that people only go into sports management professions because they themselves are a big sports fan or former players. But even those who don't necessarily consider themselves hardcore or dedicated sports fans can find well-paying and consistent careers in the Sport Management field. The wide variety of fields and specialties – marketing, finance, accounting, management – means that there are an equally wide variety of careers that graduates can choose to pursue. Graduates may have specific geographic locations they wish to work in or have particular professional and career goals that would ordinarily limit or eliminate their job options. But training in sports management leaves students with a diverse enough skill range to keep a wide variety of options and opportunities available.
Some of the available careers include Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners, who make an average of a little over $49,000 per year and are expected to see an 11 percent job growth in the next decade. Those focused more on the financial aspect of sports management can consider a career as an accountant, auditor, or accounting manager. Accountants have a median salary of almost $71,000 per year, along with a potential 10 percent job growth in the market over the next ten years. Because of the size of the sports market, almost 140,000 new openings are possible both inside and outside of the sports management field. And even Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers are expected not only to see a 10 percent growth in their job market while earning a median salary of over $132,000 per year.
These examples help to quantify the value of the versatility of skills provided by these sport management programs, as the skills learned can apply to a wide range of professions, companies, and markets. This allows students to work for professional sports organizations when jobs are available, but also gives them the chance to work for non-profits, get jobs with corporate sponsors related to the sports management world, or even to start their own business!
Top Management Degrees uses seven data points to rank college programs. Here they are in order of importance:
- A Reputation Aggregate Score from other rankings
- Graduate Average Salary
- Alumni Reviews
- Percentage of Admitted Students Who Graduate
- Admitted Students' Test Scores
- Acceptance Rate
#25. Michigan Technological University – Houghton, MI
Bachelor of Science in Sports and Fitness Management
Michigan Technological University is a public university located in Houghton, MI. MTU has a Bachelor of Science program in Sports and Fitness Management. The program focuses on the scientific background needed to understand sports and fitness related topics. Early courses in the program introduce students to the Foundations of Kinesiology, Exercise Science, and Motor Development. Students then transition into more advanced topics of Biomechanics and Molecular Exercise Physiology. And then in addition to these scientific courses, students also take courses focused on leadership, promotions, and financial management. During their degree program, students are also able to complete internships, original research, or special topics courses. Internship opportunities allow students one-on-one interaction with clients in clinical, community health, or sports setting, and can sometimes lead to post-graduate employment opportunities.
Students in the program are eligible to apply to the Pavlis Honor College where high-achieving students are able to further their professional development in their chosen field. Some of the program's primary learning goals for students include cultural awareness toward the different cultures and individuals that professionals are asked to engage with in the sports and fitness field. Students are also asked to engage in civic engagement activities locally to help develop a holistic perspective on their place within the community. Students in the program may also take an additional certificate or minor programs, which can cover topics including coaching, water safety instruction, lifeguarding, and Red Cross instruction. These certifications help to further boost the professional credentials of graduates, which helps them in the post-grad job market.
Net Price: $17,139
#24. University of Louisville – Louisville, KY
Bachelor of Science in Sports Administration
The University of Louisville is a public university located in Louisville, KY. Louisville offers a Bachelor of Science program in Sports Administration. The Sports Administration major includes 39 credit hours of required courses, which are divided between nine hours of career development, nine hours of elective courses, and six hours of Health and Sports Science department courses. The first courses in the program focus on the sports administration industry broadly, giving students the big picture through courses such as The Sports Spectator Experience, Issues and Ethics in Sport, and Administration of Intramural Activities. Students then advance to a cross-range of financial, management, and business topics which help to diversify the knowledge they've already gained.
Specific courses toward the latter portion of the program include Financial Principles of Sport, Sport Facility Management, and Sports Communication. The program also offers specific courses concerning Women in Sports, Sport Management in Nonprofits, and other unique topics. On top of the major program, there is also a number of minor programs that students in the Sports Administration program may use to supplement their major. These include options such as Business Administration, Communications, Economics, Finance, Management, and others. When applying to the program students should have a high school GPA above 2.50 and ACT composite scores of 21 or above. Students who have already taken college courses must have an overall GPA of 2.25 for all college credit earned. The Sports Administration program is also available through the University of Louisville online learning service and can be completed online.
Net Price: $17,008
#23. Winthrop University – Rock Hill, SC
Bachelor of Science, Sport Management
Winthrop University, located in Rock Hill, SC, is a public university. Winthrop has an interdisciplinary degree program in Sport Management. This program offers a number of different learning outcomes for each course, which seek to ensure that each student gets something specific and worthwhile out of each course. For instance, the final course in the program is a Seminar in Sport Management, which includes a final project and presentation which are key learning outcomes of the program. Other courses also include a mini-project or final project elements, which are designed to force students to think critically and prepare for innovations they might bring to the job field. For example, students have previously been asked to create an International Sporting Event proposal in order to prepare them for the increasingly global nature of sports management.
Students are required to complete an internship or field experience as a part of the program. Previous students from the program have worked with teams such as the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League, as well as organizations such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Charlotte Bobcats. Winthrop has a Sports Management Association, which is a student organization geared toward providing professional development and networking opportunities for students enrolled in the SPMA program. There is also an honors department organization known as Phi Epsilon Kappa. Course offerings from the program include Sport Law, Sport Budget and Finance, Global Perspectives in Sport, Sport Marketing, and Risk Management in Physical Activity and Sport.
Net Price: $16,970
#22. North Greenville University – Tigerville, SC
Bachelor of Science in Sports Management
North Greenville University is a private university located in Tigerville, SC. North Greenville has a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management program, which uses a biblical worldview to prepare students for a wide variety of sports management related careers. Students may choose between a number of different certifications or emphases depending on their specific professional goals. There is a business emphasis available for students wishing to learn about financial management, communication, and media relations. Students pursuing this track complete the program by developing a public relations plan for a major sports franchise. In addition to this track, there is also a coaching certification option which includes a 600-hour internship at a sports organization of the student's choice.
NGU is a Baptist University specifically affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. The program incorporates Christian elements into their coursework and encourages students who wish to use the program as a way to use sports to reach out to others for Christ. This is why the final emphasis available in the program is a ministry emphasis which teaches students about discipleship for Christ. Some of the main elements of this part of the program include developing a sports ministry plan for a church and in a foreign country. Students may also choose to complete minor programs which are not directly affiliated with the program in the way that emphases are, but can still be used to supplement the degree program. These might include broadcast media, finance, international business, or youth ministry.
Net Price: $16,821
#21. University of Minnesota – Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN
Bachelor of Science in Sport Management
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public university located in the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN. UM has a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management program which includes 80 credit hours of study within the major. The major focuses on the combination of social, psychological, and economic phenomena that make up contemporary sports. Required courses within the major include Sport Marketing, Sport and Recreation Law, Organization and Management of Sport, and Ethics and Values in Sport. In addition to the nine core courses, students must also complete eight credits in the Sports Experience Practicum. The practicum is an experimental course designed to allow students to investigate topics within the realm of Sports Experience.
The other component of the major on top of the core and practicum courses is the elective coursework that students will undertake. Students take 23 credit hours of focus electives which can include a wide variety of topics such as Sports Sales and Fundraising, Sports and Wellness in China, or Learning About Leadership Through Film and Literature. There is also an upper-division, writing intensive, seminary course that completes the degree program. In addition, students take physical education courses as a part of the program which can include snowboarding, tennis, squash, judo, or a host of other activities. Students are also required to take introductory courses in public speaking, sociology, and psychology.
Net Price: $16,808
#20. Davenport University – Grand Rapids, MI
Bachelor of Business Administration in Sports Management
Davenport University is a private university located in Grand Rapids, MI. Davenport has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Sport Management. Students focus on the legal, regulatory, marketing, and operational aspects of sport management. During the program, students complete a pair of internships as well as courses in governance, advertising, operations, analytics, and law, among other topics. These help to give students a wide range of expertise by covering accounting, marketing, economics, and finance as they apply to facility and organizational management. By giving students a mixture of theoretical knowledge, practical application, and quantitative skill, the program specifically prepares students to thrive in the business arena of sports management.
The program can be completed either in-person or online. Davenport's online degree program was ranked one of the top online sports management degrees in 2018 by College Affordability Guide. The internship requirements for the program include a minimum of 300 hours of real-world experience. Students have previously completed internships with the Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings, USA Football, and other organizations based in the Detroit or Grand Rapids areas. Davenport has a Sport Management Student Organization that helps to create social and professional opportunities with industry professionals and program alumni. Over 95 percent of Davenport students receive some kind of financial assistance.
Net Price: $16,788
#19. University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign, IL
Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Sport and Tourism
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a public university located in Urbana and Champaign, IL. Illinois has a Sports Management emphasis for students enrolled in the Department of Recreation, Sport, and Tourism. The program begins with an understanding of sports as a leisure pursuit and as a form of entertainment and then allows students to pursue more specific areas of interest. The sports management core requires 15 credit hours of courses which include Legal Aspects of Sport, Sport & Society, Foundations of Sport Management, and Ethical Issues in Sports. In addition to these requirements, students must also complete 24 credit hours of electives, 13 credit hours of internship, and 35 credit hours of leisure studies and the management core.
To reach the required numbers of internship credit hours, students must obtain a minimum of 300 hours of experience related to the industry. Students must use a minimum of two different agencies, with a minimum of 40 hours per agency. Management core requirements include courses in Leisure Service Delivery, Leisure Service Marketing, and Leadership in Leisure Services. The Leisure Studies core courses focus on topics such as consumer culture, leisure & diversity, and society & leisure. Within the 24 credit hours of electives that students are required to take, 13 are department electives, while the other 11 credit hours are free electives. In addition to the sport management emphasis, the department also allows students to pursue an emphasis in either tourism or recreation. These also use the internship as the capstone experience and course in the program.
Net Price: $16,638
#18. Florida State University – Tallahassee, FL
Bachelor of Science in Sport Management
Florida State University is a public university located in Tallahassee, FL. Florida State offers a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management through the College of Education. There are 30 credit hours of core courses required as well as 18 credit hours of elective courses. Elective courses give students a chance to tailor their coursework to a particular area of the sports industry related to their professional objectives. Students may complete up to 12 credit hours of electives outside of the department. The program is completed with a practicum experience, where students pursue part-time, full-time, or volunteer experiences in the field of sport management. Students have previously gained experience through college athletic departments, professional sports teams, or even entrepreneurial endeavors.
FSU has a Global Sport Management study abroad program that includes a number of opportunities for students interested in the global aspects of sport management. Students attend sporting events, meet with executives from sporting organizations, and get an up close and personal look at some of the world's most famous sporting venues such as Old Trafford or Wimbledon. Students applying to the program must have at least a 2.75 GPA in their attempted college coursework and must have completed at least 60 credit hours of college coursework prior to admission. There is a large network of alumni that students are able to network with and glean advice from. Graduates currently work as industry professionals with USA Volleyball, the Atlanta Braves, the Miami Marlins, and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Net Price: $16,450
#17. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, MI
Bachelor of Arts in Sports Management
The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is a public university located in Ann Arbor, MI. Michigan offers a Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management degree through their school of Kinesiology. The program uses case studies and consulting projects to give students hands-on, real-world experience in the cultural and business impacts of sport. Courses from the program include offerings such as Historical and Sociological Issues in Sports and Fitness, Business Communications, and Sports Marketing Analytics. Students may also take courses in more specialized topics such as Sport Tourism and Sport Real Estate. Students choose one of two concentrations to pursue in the program: Sports Marketing & Management or Sport Policy & Analytics.
Michigan has a number of student-run groups relevant to sports management majors including the Sports Business Association, Michigan Women Empowerment in Sport and Entertainment, and Michigan Sport Consulting Club, among others. UM's Michigan Sport Business Conference has also been ranked best in the nation by Forbes. Graduates from the program have gone on to careers with groups such as the Detroit Red Wings, New York Mets, and Milwaukee Bucks. Students also work for organizations such as ESPN, the NCAA, The New York Times, and Under Armour. The program also prepares students for moving on to graduate degree programs, both directly and indirectly related to sports management. Graduates have gone on to law school or even Harvard Business School.
Net Price: $16,408
#16. University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, AR
Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Sports Management
The University of Arkansas is a public university located in Fayetteville, AR. Arkansas offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Sports Management. The Recreation and Sports Management major includes 54 credit hours of required coursework. The required core begins with courses such as Recreation and Sports Facilities, Inclusive and Special Recreation and Sports, and Sport and Recreation Risk Management. Students are also required to complete a minimum of three different practicum experiences as well as an internship semester. There are also requirements for students to complete a course in public speaking, along with elective courses up to 31 credit hours. During the program, students will choose and pursue a concentration area which will be developed through their elective coursework and pertain directly to their career goals.
Concentrations take between 18 to 21 credit hours and generally relate to subjects outside of recreation. Sample concentration areas that past students have chosen to pursue include Fitness Club Management, Correctional Recreation, Youth at Risk, and Outdoor Recreation. Students develop their area of interest with a faculty advisor who helps to find relevant coursework and to tailor professional applicability for the choice. Students who successfully complete the program may also wish to continue their education and pursue their Masters in Education in Recreation and Sport Management which the school also offers. They even have a Doctor of Philosophy program in Health, Sport, and Exercise Science with a concentration in Recreation and Sport Management.
Net Price: $15,966
#15. University of Nebraska – Kearney, NE
Bachelor of Science in Sports Management
The University of Nebraska at Kearney is a public university located in Kearny, NE. Kearney offers a Bachelor Science in Sports Management program which is business-oriented and designed for those students looking for a career in the business side of sports. The program prepares students to work in professional sports, sport regulatory agencies, conference headquarters, athletic departments of large universities, and facility management. The program can be taken in a comprehensive format which gives students more structure in terms of the classes they are going to take. Students who opt not to take the comprehensive format have to complete a second major or a minor as a part of their graduation requirements.
Nebraska Kearney lists its internship experience as the "highlight and most important aspect" of its degree program. The department attempts to personalize the internship experience as much as possible to meet the personal and professional needs of each of its students. Students have previously been placed in internships with the Indiana Pacers, Buffalo Bills, Orlando Magic, and the Colorado Xplosion. Students in the program are strongly encouraged to complete six additional business courses on top of the major core, which then qualifies them for a business administration major to pair with their sports management major. Students also have the option of pursuing a sports management minor instead of major which requires 24 credit hours and retains the internship element.
Net Price: $15,909
#14. University of Florida – Gainesville, FL
Bachelor of Science in Sport Management
The University of Florida is a public university located in Gainesville, FL. Florida offers a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management which teaches students to ethically apply core management, marketing, finance, and law concepts to the industry of sports. Students complete coursework that prepares them to work at a wide range of levels, including professional, collegiate, and amateur sports. Students focus on general education requirements during their first two years before moving on to major coursework divided between core courses, related options courses, and specialized electives. Once students complete all of their coursework, they will then complete an approved 13-week internship. This internship counts for 12 credit hours within the 120 hours requires for the degree.
UF has an online learning service, which offers students the ability to earn their Sport Management degree fully online. UF uses what they call the "critical tracking method" to keep students on track for graduation. This includes one or two classes or class categories that students are required to fill each semester such as Principles of Management during their third semester. Students must meet these benchmarks to be accepted into a given major and to begin their major coursework. UF offers Combined Degree options for students who wish to get a jump start on their graduate work by beginning graduate courses during their junior and senior years. Students may earn up to 12 credits that count toward both their graduate and undergraduate degrees.
Net Price: $15,283
#13. Towson University – Towson, MD
Bachelor of Science in Sports Management
Towson University is a public university located in Towson, MD. Towson offers a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management major through its School of Kinesiology. Students begin with courses that cover the principles of Economics, Accounting, and Marketing. They then begin the Kinesiology core which includes Sport and Globalization, Seminar and Field Experience in Sport Management, Legal and Ethical Issue in Sport, and Sport Marketing. Students then take a six credit hour internship during their final semester, along with a pair of electives and a Cultural Economy of Sport class. Students are required to find their own internship and then work with the Sports Management internship coordinator to receive course credit.
Students are required to complete a minor in business administration as a part of the program, with coursework covering accounting, economics, finance, marketing, and management. Towson has a Sport Business Association that students are encouraged to join while in the program. The Sport Management major and minor both have residency requirements meaning that a minimum number of credit hours must be completed at Towson. Students transferring in with fewer credits remaining than this minimum may be required to take additional Business Administration courses in order to meet this requirement. Students transferring in from Maryland two-year colleges are encouraged to use ARTSYS to review recommended transfer programs and course equivalents. Internship sites available in the program include Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia.
Net Price: $15,250
#12. SUNY College at Brockport – Brockport, NY
Bachelor of Science in Sport Management
The State University of New York College at Brockport is a public university located in Brockport, NY. Brockport has a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management program, which focuses on fundamental sports organization skills such as marketing, fundraising, finance, facilities, and research. The program includes 36 credit hours of required core courses, as well as nine credit hours of electives. Core courses include Coaching Sports, Problems in Sport Management, and the Modern Olympic Games. Elective courses then include a philosophy or psychology course relating to sport and two classes from outside of the department. All students in the sport management program must also complete a second program of study in a different discipline which can be either another major, or a minor, concentration, or full-time study abroad semester.
Students have previously chosen to study subjects such as coaching, recreation and leisure, journalism, and communications as their second program of study. The core program includes three on- or off-campus mini-internships and one full semester off-campus internship that can be completed locally, nationally, or internationally. These multiple internship opportunities help students to apply their classroom learning to multiple real-world environments and gives them an appreciation for the different challenges and advantages of certain markets, sports, organizations, or areas. In addition to the sport management major, there are also available majors in Athletic Training and Exercise Science, as well as a Coaching Athletics minor. Other courses from the major core include Ethics in Sports Contests and Sport and Society.
Net Price: $14,960
#11. Central Michigan University – Mount Pleasant, MI
Bachelor's in Sport Management
Central Michigan University is a public university located in Mount Pleasant, MI. Central Michigan offers a Bachelor's degree program in Sport Management. The program requires a total of 40 to 46 credit hours of study within the major. This includes 34 to 46 credit hours of required courses including Sports Management Governance, Social, Historical, & Global Issues in Sports, and Sports Sales & Marketing. Students then also choose between taking either a Financial Accounting Concepts core or a course in Entrepreneurial Accounting. A student internship may take up between one to 12 credit hours of the required core courses, which determines the number of elective courses that a student may take. Elective courses cover topics such as the legal environment of business and the economics of professional sports teams.
The department helps to coordinate major and minor programs in subject areas such as sports retail, merchandising, journalism, broadcasting, and event management which helps to broaden employment prospects in these fields. Students interested in pursuing a coordinated program must receive early advisement so that they can fulfill requirements for both programs within the required timeframe. The Sport Management major is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation. Career options listed by the program include high school, collegiate, amateur, and professional sports management as well as coaching or employment with non-profit sports agencies. Overall, the program attempts to combine topics of fitness, economics, marketing, and business to give students a holistic knowledge and experience base to draw from when they are on the job market.
Net Price: $14,675
#10. The University of Texas at Austin – Austin, TX
Bachelor's in Sports Management
The University of Texas at Austin is a public university located in Austin, TX. UT Austin offers a Bachelor's in Sport Management degree program which requires 21 credit hours of Sport Management Cognate classes. There is also a six-credit requirement for a Sport Management Internship. The internship requirement is fulfilled by either a 270-hour internship or by completing a 135-hour internship and an extra Kinesiology and Health Education elective course. Courses from within the Sports Management Cognate include Sport Industry in America, Sport & Event Marketing, and Revenue & Budgeting in Sport. Students also explore topics of race, sociology, strategic marketing, and law.
Graduates from the Sport Management program have gone on to work both in the industry of sport management and to graduate students in sport management, law, or business. UT Austin has a Kinesiology student group that seeks to connect kinesiology and health education students from the university through service and social activities. In addition to the Sport Management Cognate, students in this degree program must also complete kinesiology & health core courses for a total of 12 credit hours. Courses from within this section include Physiological Basis of Conditioning, Management of Physical Activity & Sport Programs, and Historical & Ethical Issues in Physical Culture & Sports.
Net Price: $14,356
#9. Wichita State University – Wichita, KS
Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management
Wichita State University is a public university located in Wichita, KS. Wichita State offers a Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management program, which includes 55 credit hours of coursework in the major. Major courses begin with Introduction to Sport Management, Sport Public Relations, and Sport Finance. Students then advanced to courses such as Selling the Sport Industry, Sport Facility Management, and Sport Governance & Policy. In their final semester, students complete an Internship in Sport Management which lasts the entire semester and is their only required course. Most semesters includes 16 credit hours of study, while the internship course counts for 12 credit hours. Other areas of sport management that students will engage with include psychology, human resources, and event management.
Wichita State's athletic teams are known as the Shockers. Its men's college basketball team has played in the NCAA tournament ten times and advanced to the Final Four in both 1965 and 2013. Wichita State also has a pair of celebrated men's and women's bowling teams that have won a number of Intercollegiate Team Championships. In addition to their undergraduate Sport Management program, they also have a Master of Education program in Sport Management. The program does not require students to submit GRE or GMAT scores and generally takes two years to complete the required 36 credit hours of study. Similar to the undergrad program, students in the graduate program are required to complete a semester-long internship.
Net Price: $13,541
#8. University of North Florida – Jacksonville, FL
Bachelor of Science in Sport Management
The University of North Florida is a public university located in Jacksonville, FL. North Florida offers a Bachelor of Science program in Sport Management which includes 30 credit hours of major courses and 15 credit hours of field experience. The major core includes courses such as Issues in Sport, Sport Finance, Sport Law, and Diversity in Sport. The required field experience is broken up into a three-credit Sport Management Practicum course and 12 credit hours devoted to a Sport Management Internship. Other courses within the major sequence include Sport Facility Management, Sport Marketing, as well as Governance and NCAA Compliance. There is also a three-credit business course that is required for the program called Elementary Statistics for Business.
Students must add a minor to their Sport Management degree as a part of the program. Available minors include Business Management, Marketing, Community Leadership, Community Sport & Tourism, and Communication Studies. Each of these minors requires 12 credit hours of study, while there is also a Mass Communication minor that requires 15 credit hours. Students are required to complete prerequisite courses in the principles of financial accounting, principles of macroeconomics, and an introduction to sports management before they can begin their major coursework. In addition to the coursework required by the major students also complete 48 credit hours of upper-level course credit to satisfy the credit minimum for the College of Education and Human Services.
Net Price: $13,524
#7. Arkansas State University – Jonesboro, AR
Bachelor of Science in Sports Management
Arkansas State University is a public university located in Jonesboro, AR. Arkansas State has a Bachelor of Science program that is designed for students interested in intercollegiate and professional athletics. Coursework covers a wide range of topics, for students considering careers in facility management, community recreation, sports information, public relations, sports news media or sports merchandise. They have four different degree plans, depending on the student's choice of one of four specializations: Marketing, Creative Media Production, Business, and Media Journalism. In total the degree includes 124 credit hours of coursework, with 45 credit-hours coming from upper division courses. Students do complete an internship in their final semester of study, along with two elective courses and a Philosophy & Ethics in Sport course.
Core courses from the program begin with Economics & Financial Management in Sport, Organizational Behavior, and Sports Promotion & Sales Management. Upper-level courses include Organization & Administration of Interscholastic Athletics and Applied Psychology of Sport & Exercise. Students must complete 18 of their final 24 credit hours at ASU-Jonesboro, and a minimum of 57 credit hours must come from three-year institutions. If a student is completing a second degree and their first degree was not from ASU-J then the student must complete at least 32 resident hours. Alumni from the program are now in a wide variety of positions and organizations across the country at institutions such as Washington State University, the Dallas Stars Hockey Club, and FT Dallas.
Net Price: $13,420
#6. University of Southern Indiana – Evansville, IN
Bachelor of Arts or Science in Sport Management
The University of Southern Indiana is a public university located in Evansville, IN. USI has both a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree program in Sport Management. The Sport Management degree program includes the option to pursue one of four specialized tracks: Intercollegiate Athletics, Recreational Sports, Sport Communication, and Sport and Business Studies. Students are required to complete an internship or field experience requirement, which can include either pre-set options within UCI's own departments or outside organizations chosen by the student. Students can begin their internships as a freshman and earn as many as 400 hours of internship experience by the time that they graduate. UCI also hosts a Sport Management Summit each year which students are able to help organize or even present at.
Graduates from the program have gone on to take jobs with organizations including the San Francisco 49ers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Iowa Cubs, Evansville Icemen, and the YMCA of Greater Louisville. Other graduates work in sports media, amateur and youth leagues, parks and recreation programming and manufacturing and retail. On top of its undergraduate program, UCI also offers a Master of Science in Sport Management degree program. The graduate program includes both an accelerated one-year track and a traditional two-year track. The former of which is available to high-achieving UCI undergraduates looking to graduate with both their bachelor's and master's degree in a total of five years.
Net Price: $13,130
#5. Indiana University – Bloomington, IN
Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (in Sports Management)
Indiana University at Bloomington is a public university located in Bloomington, IN. UI's Department of Kinesiology offers a Sport Marketing & Management program, which focuses on using excellence in teaching, research, and service to support the growth of its students. The major's coursework includes 78 credit hours of study which is broken down between 39 credit hours of the Sport Marketing and Management core, 18 credit hours of the Sport Marketing and Management Elective, and small requirements from the Business Elective, Business Marketing, and Communications courses. Students must complete at least one internship experience during the program but many students choose to complete a number of varied experiences prior to graduating. The Indiana University Sports Marketing Alliance is an organization that students may join to help find internship or professional opportunities before or after graduation.
Newly admitted freshman may apply directly to the program and receive an offer of direct freshman admission to the sport marketing and management program if they meet either the minimum GPA, ACT/SAT or graduating class percentile scores. If students are not admitted as freshmen then they are required to complete 30 credit hours of coursework and maintain a minimum GPA of at least 2.5 before they can be admitted into the major program. If a student has a poor semester, anywhere below a 2.0 GPA, in the semester before entering the program then they may be admitted to the major on academic probation so long as their overall GPA is at least 3.0 and they have completed at least 30 credit hours of study.
Net Price: $12,488
#4. Metropolitan State University – Denver, CO
Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management
The Metropolitan State University of Denver is a public university located in Denver, CO. MSU Denver offers a Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management which focuses on the business and operations elements of sports. Students take 60 credit hours of major coursework which includes 42 credits of core courses and 18 credits divided between the internship and elective courses. The internship credits come from a field experience or an internship, which help to validate the student's academic knowledge and orient themselves to figure out a professional career track. Core courses from the program include Sport Promotion, Sport Venue Management, and Sport Media operations. The final courses in the program are Professional and Career Development in Sport Management and a Seminar in Sport Management.
Metro has a Sport Management Club which gives students opportunities to learn about careers within the sports industry, along with networking opportunities with industry experts. Alumni from the program now work in a wide variety of roles including as a guest services manager for the Colorado Rockies or as the vice president of operations at Forward Progress Athletic Counseling. Other employers of alumni include Mile High Stadium/Denver Broncos, USA Fencing, Denver Mammoths, and the Gold Crown Foundation. Other courses in the program include Legal Liability for Physical Educators, Coaches and Administrators and Technology and Social Media in Sport. MSU Denver is located next to the Pepsi Center which is home to the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche. The campus is also near Coors Field, Mile High Stadium, and a number of Division I and II college athletic programs.
Net Price: $12,175
#3. Southeast Missouri State University – Cape Girardeau, MO
Bachelor of Science in Sport Management
Southeast Missouri State University is a public university located in Cape Girardeau, MO. SEMO has a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management program, which also requires a Business Administration minor and includes a practical component within each of its courses. Sample courses from the program include Sport Marketing, Sport & Society, Sport Ethics, and Sporting Event Management. All programs also offer students an internship, study-abroad program, clinical opportunities, student teaching, or a research internship. All students also complete a professional seminar in sports management course which is designed to help students examine their professional goals and set priorities for their internships. The class also helps students to set priorities for their internship and understand the process of preparing for job interviews.
Students from the program have pursued internship and career opportunities with organizations such as Major League Baseball, the St. Louis Sports Commission, Rawlings Sporting Goods, and the National Hockey League. To be admitted to the program students are required to have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and at least 30 semester degree credit hours completed. In addition to the undergraduate program, SEMO also has a Master of Business Administration in Sport program that students are able to pursue. In addition to the professional seminar course, students also have access to the Office of Career Services which can help provide resume critiques, practice interviews, job search strategies, and career events.
Net Price: $12,165
#2. Troy University – Troy, AL
Bachelor of Science in Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management
Troy University is a public university located in Troy, AL. The Health and Human Services Department at Troy offers a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management with an emphasis in Sport Management. The Sport Management major emphasis includes 51 credit hours of required courses which are divided between introductory hospitality courses such as Leisure in Society, Leadership Principles in HSTM, Revenue Generation in HSTM, and Marketing in HSTM. Students are required to complete at least one 18 credit hour minor as a part of the major program, as well as six credit hours of internship coursework. Later courses in the program include Sport Communication, Sport Finance, and Governance & Policy in Sport.
In addition to its undergraduate program in Sport Management, Troy also offers graduate programs on this topic. They have both a thesis and non-thesis master's degree program, as well as a PhD program, each of which is in Sport Management. All of these graduate programs are available both on-campus at Troy and online through their online learning service. Troy is home to the John W. Schmidt Center for Student Success, which strives to enhance Troy students' personal and social growth, campus and civic engagement, and career development. Troy has a number of different scholarship opportunities available for students at both undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as scholarships specifically for online students, military scholarships, and family scholarships.
Net Price: $12,146
#1. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, NC
Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public university located in Chapel Hill, NC. UNC has a Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management that gives students coursework specifically related to sport-related business and prepare students to join professions relating to competitive sports settings or to pursue graduate school programs. The program's curriculum requires students to take courses such as Sport Sales and Revenue Production, Fundamentals of Sport Marketing, and Finance and Economics of Sport. Students are also required to complete a field experience in sport administration and take classes in topics including law, emergency care, and facility and event management.
UNC Chapel Hill is home to one of the nation's most successful collegiate men's basketball programs with six national championships, as well as a championship in women's basketball. As of 2011, UNC had a total of 40 Division I national championships which was the eighth highest total in the country. The Sports Administration program is a part of the Exercise and Sport Science department which includes relevant physical science instruction within the curriculum. Students from the program have pursued internship opportunities with Disney, the Carolina Hurricanes, Durham Bulls, USA Baseball, and the Best Shot Foundation. The School of Journalism and Mass Communication also offers a certificate program in Sports Communication for students interested in pursuing careers in sports journalism or sports information.
Net Price: $11,100