The Master of Sports Management is the degree of choice for students who wish to pursue a career in the senior echelons of sports management.
Regardless of your undergraduate degree, this program can prepare you for a management role in sports, sports-related business, or academia. A master’s in sports management can provide you with the knowledge, theory, and practical skills required to manage sports teams, clubs, franchises, venues, individuals, and organizations.
The online master’s degree in sports management combines practical and theoretical practices while covering core and niche elements of the profession,  including:
Students who earn a master’s degree in sports management can be found working in organizations all over the world in roles that involve general sports management, operational management, sports marketing, business development, and events management. Some take consultancy positions or work on a self-employed/freelance basis, while others pursue more specialist niches such as analysis of consumer culture in sport, financial appraisal for professional athletes, and personal performance coaching. 
Other possible roles include:
Earning a sports management master’s can help you to achieve more professionally, including the following:
Not all sports management programs offer concentrations or specializations, and options will vary in the institutions that do offer them. Examples of sports management areas of focus include:
Consider your career interests before choosing any specializations or electives. Bear in mind that certain specialist areas of sports management may require additional external certifications or qualifications.
The length of an online master’s degree program can depend on a number of variables, perhaps the most prominent of which is the pace at which you choose to study. You can finish a typical master’s degree program in about two to three years if you choose to study full-time, although some accelerated programs may be able to help you finish more quickly.
Online master’s degree programs tend to offer flexibility suitable for students who choose to study part-time. This option will likely extend your time to completion, but it can allow you to study while fulfilling your familial, social, and professional obligations.
You can find more information on this topic at our program length overview page.
This can vary from program to program, but on average 36 credit hours are required. For further information on credit hours, you should research schools you may potentially enroll in for clarification.
While each program will set its admission requirements based on its own criteria, many requirements are universal across all programs. No matter where you apply, you can expect to provide items like transcripts from previous degrees or coursework; standardized test scores; a personal statement or essay; letters of recommendation; and an overview of relevant work experience.
In certain cases, some of these requirements may be waived.
For more information about admissions, please visit our admissions requirements page.
Not all institutions offering a master’s degree in sports management will require work experience. However, internships and paid work experience stand prospective candidates in good stead when the demand for a program exceeds the number of spaces available. For the sports management master’s degree, prior work experience demonstrates suitability for the coursework.
Certain other master’s degrees overlap with the Master of Sports Management in terms of content and program structure. Similar degrees include:
There are a number of relevant professional industry bodies with which you should familiarize yourself if you plan to pursue a master’s degree in sports management. These include:
There are numerous national and international accreditation bodies which exist to promote excellence, create standards, and promote the study of sports management.
In the United States, the two primary accreditation bodies focused on the subject are:
As the most prestigious form of accreditation that any college or university can receive, regional accreditation matters. It is only granted after meticulous consideration from private, nonprofit organizations responsible for evaluating education quality.
Regional accreditation is of particular importance should you anticipate transferring credits from one online program to another, or if you intend to use the same credits to pursue a degree in a different field, as most regionally accredited institutions will only accept credits from other regionally accredited schools of higher learning. The majority of nonprofit institutions are regionally accredited.
You can learn more on this topic at our regional accreditation page.
There are a number of factors that can greatly affect how much your education will cost. These include whether you attend a public or private institution; whether you attend as an in-state or out-of-state student; and whether you qualify for financial aid like grants or scholarships.
For a more detailed breakdown of tuition, fees, and other financial issues, please visit our tuition and fees page.
The Master of Science in Sport Management is an advanced degree that takes a high-level approach to management in the sports industry at the academic, collegiate, and professional level. This robust degree is designed to provide you with broad knowledge into the strategies, theory, application, and skill sets required for the management of sports teams of any size, franchises, sporting venues, individuals, and key stakeholding organizations.
The MS in Sport Management is for former athletes, students from non-business backgrounds, and individuals with a background or interest in business who seek an executive level, leadership-focused career in sports management. The master’s degree typically attracts professionals who have an interest in high-level management roles, or those who wish to work in nonprofits, public, and private sector sports organizations.
Sports is a thriving, multibillion dollar industry with a vast array of careers and professional opportunities across a wide range of focus areas — all of which require senior-level managers.  An MS in Sports Management can provide in-depth knowledge of the business behind athletics, plus a deep understanding of the inner workings of the sports world. Whether you desire to work with sports leagues and agencies at the local, professional, or international levels, the expertise from a MS in Sports Management can help you strengthen your organization’s business strategy and boost its earning potential.
Generally there are supplementary costs apart from tuition. The tuition does not usually include the cost of books or additional fees. These additional costs will vary from program to program.
The largest provider of student financial aid in the nation is the Federal Student Aid office in the U.S. Department of Education. It supplies college-level or career school students with loans, grants, and work-study funds. You can apply for federal financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as FAFSA.
There are numerous other scholarships available, but you will need to research which opportunities you’re qualified to pursue. Many states, associations, websites, and businesses award scholarships based on specific criteria. Be sure to do your research and apply for any scholarships you’re qualified to be awarded. 
Start with a cost-benefit analysis based on the price of the degree and potential ROI. Weigh the full cost against the positive outcomes you expect as a graduate, which may include a boost in earning potential, upward mobility, or job satisfaction.
To be admitted into a Master of Science in Sport Management program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Additional admissions requirements may vary, but common requirements include a 3.0 GPA (minimum), letters of reference, a written personal statement, interview, and academic transcripts.
Some Master of Sport Management programs require relevant work experience as an admissions requirement, while others do not.
You do not need an undergraduate degree in sport management to pursue an MS in Sport Management.
Whether you will need to complete the GRE prior to applying for a program will largely depend on what school you have chosen. There are many programs that do not require a GRE. Check the admissions requirements for your school before applying.
Asynchronous coursework can be completed on your own time — a big plus for many online graduate students who may be working around a busy work schedule or home life. Synchronous coursework has to be completed within a set timeframe. This is typically done for group projects, seminars, presentations, and other learning initiatives that require multiple attendees.
The elements of asynchronous and synchronous learning in your online program depend on the professor and the course. Once you enroll, reach out to teachers for specifics, but remember that the curriculum may be divided into these two subsets.
According to the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA) and the
North American Society of Sport Management (NASSM), the common body of knowledge provided by a sports management degree program includes:
Completion time may vary by program, but an MS in Sport Management can be earned in as little as 10 to 12 months as a full-time student. Most colleges and universities will offer the degree over the standard two academic years, but fast-track or accelerated programs are available online as well.
No. But most Master of Science in Sport Management programs require the completion of a capstone project during the final semester. This capstone allows you to apply everything you have learned from the MS in Sport Management by undertaking a complex problem from a client through an internship or collaboration with a sports agency, nonprofit organization, or private enterprise. Students can often choose their own topics to research, with faculty on standby to assist the development of the capstone. If you do not wish to pursue a capstone, you also have the option to take a comprehensive exam instead of the capstone.
Yes, many schools offer the opportunity to complete this degree entirely online.
MS in Sport Management programs offer various specialized concentrations for students to focus their education, such as:
A specialization that has high industry demand can significantly broaden your career options.
No. However, if you choose to a career as a sports agent or sport manager, you may have to pay licensing fees for your state of operation. Additionally, if you represent players from one or more professional leagues, you will need a separate license for each organization. 
Many institutions offer Master of Science in Sport Management degrees online.
Online and on-campus degrees typically look identical. Most institutions do not indicate on the degree that it was earned online.
Yes, typically schools use the same curriculum for their online programs as they do for their campus-based programs.
No — attaining management/senior positions is not guaranteed through the completion of a master’s degree. These positions often require many years of experience and a significant level of career achievement. However, an advanced degree can help you develop the necessary knowledge and skills required for these positions and also prove your dedication to the field.
A Master of Science in Sport Management graduate can pursue specialized careers at within the sports industry, such as business development, talent acquisition, sales, marketing, and general management or administration.
Common professions and median salaries for Master of Sport Management graduates include: 
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), management occupations are expected to increase by about 6% between 2014 and 2024. This vast growth will largely be driven by the formation and expansion of organizations. 
In addition to those new management careers, public relations and sports consulting also represent significant avenues of career opportunity for an MS in Sport Management graduate.
Public relations specialists will maintain steady growth from 2014 to 2024 due to the necessity of organizations to develop and maintain their public image, which is paramount to the sports industry.
Sports management graduates who desire to apply their master’s degree toward a high-earning, knowledge-based career will find attractive career growth in consulting roles. BLS research indicates that top management roles at consulting agencies are thriving — and projected to grow by 14% from 2014 to 2024.
MS in Sports Management graduates can find high-level employment in multi-level sporting organizations across the world, marketing agencies, consulting firms, academic institutions, or in self-employment. 
Accreditations are a strong indication of quality, but are also required for students who plan to apply for federal financial aid. Accreditation ensures that your degree is recognized by employers, professional associations, and other accredited institutions of higher education.
SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) applies only to distance education programs in the United States that cross state lines. This agreement is made between member states and establishes comparable postsecondary national standards for distance education courses.
Not every state is a SARA member. Through SARA, member states only have to receive authorization in their home state. Without SARA, non-member states would have to receive authorization in their home state and the state of each of their online students. 
Every school has a department or team responsible for online education. This department will be able to answer questions regarding compliance for your home state. Additionally, you can locate the school through SARA (if it is a SARA institution) to confirm compliance.