According to Bloomberg Business Weekly, “The sports industry in the U.S. is a $200-billion-plus powerhouse.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities in certain areas of the Sports Industry are experiencing a growth of 29%, with the overall industry seeing a decade-long growth of 22% continuing into 2020.
The sports industry needs professionals with knowledge in management, marketing, and sales, for careers in areas such as facility managers, event planners, public relations directors, and recruiters.
But, how does one tap into this industry and build a fulfilling career in a sports-related occupation? If you have a passion for sports and aspire to a career in a sports-related field, completing and excelling in a sports management degree program can give you an edge in the competitive arena of the sports industry.
From professional teams to secondary and collegiate athletic departments, sports managers are needed to design, implement, and evaluate sports programs, to strengthen athletic team rosters,to improve organization efficiency, and to maximize profits. An advanced degree in Sports Management is a great place from which to launch a lucrative career in the sports industry.
Master’s degrees in Sports Management come in different sizes and shapes, but most include an emphasis on a strong business foundation, the ability to apply research methods, and an understanding into the intricacies of the sporting industry. MBA programs with a specialization in sports management often lean a little stronger on the business foundations, while a Master of Science degree program may deal more specifically with sports management issues.
Also, the university college or department from which the program is delivered influences the course content selection. For example, programs delivered through the Education Department may include more course content concerning coaching and high school and college sports, while those delivered through departments of kinesiology or exercise sciences may focus more closely on the physical aspects of athletic preparedness. However, overall, most master’s degrees in Sports Management contain similar course offerings and are intended to prepare graduates for a variety of careers in a sports-related profession.
One of the important elements of a career-oriented sports management program is the internship, which goes by several names, such as practicum, mentorship, or field experience. These are supervised educational work experiences that allow students to develop professionally under the guidance of leaders in the sports industry field. It is the arena where students learn to apply their theoretical knowledge and technical skills. It also provides a professional network and work experience that add strength to a graduate’s resume.
A career as a sports manager is often rigorous and demands time and energy to maintain, much like being a professional athlete takes hard work. But,as the saying goes, “No guts, no glory.” For those with a strong business background, a knowledge of the sports industry, a passion for sports, and the stamina to perform under pressure, few careers offer the excitement, earning potential, and career advancement of sports management.
The following list of top online Sports Management master’s degree programs have been evaluated by analyzing publicly available data. The strength of an institution’s program was measured by considerations including the overall academic position of the institution, the depth and innovation of the program, student performance and success, essential elements of the program (such as business foundation and internships), accreditation, and reputation.
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The Top 20 Online Sports Management
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1. Texas A&M University
(College Station, TX)
Texas A&M was founded in 1871 as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. Today, Texas A&M is a premier research university with over 50,000 students. It is also one of the nation’s largest universities, occupying over 5,200 acres in College Station, Texas.
The Master of Science in Sport Management is a 36-hour program, consisting of courses in sports management (15 hours), electives (11 hours), research (six hours), and field experience (four hours). This fully online program can be acquired on a full-time or part-time basis and can be completed in two years.
This Sports Management master’s program prepares graduates for positions in industry segments such as sports marketing and sales, athletics administration, facility management, and fiscal management in a variety of organizations, such as:
- Health and fitness clubs
- Collegiate athletic departments
- Stadiums and arenas
- Community sport organizations
- Country clubs
- Professional sport organizations
The MS in Sport Management degree at Texas A&M is offered through the Department of Health & Kinesiology (HLKN). The stated mission of this department is to provide education in the “science and benefits of health, human movement, sport, lifetime activities, and healthy lifestyles.”
The Center for Sport Management Research & Education offers an annual symposium where graduate students can present their research, exchange feedback about research projects, network with other students and faculty, attend workshops and panel discussions, and practice skills of presenting material at conferences.
2. Drexel University Online
Drexel University is a private, comprehensive university that was founded in 1891. Drexel began offering online programming in 1996 and has been awarded the Sloan-C Award for Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Education.
Drexel offers over 100 degree programs online, with a commitment to the quality of online programs equaling the on-campus ones. Both types of programs are top-ranked, focus on experiential learning, and deliver cutting-edge educational technology and research.
Drexel was ranked third among national universities in the most recent U.S. News & World Report ranking for schools “making the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics and faculty.”
The MS in Sport Management at Drexel gives students the skills, knowledge, and experiences to become leaders in the sports industry. The multidisciplinary curriculum encompasses experiential learning, a solid business foundation, global awareness, and research. The program includes courses such as Sport Law & Risk Management, Sport Media & Technology, Development & Fundraising Strategies in Sport, and Managing Coaches & Teams.
This online program is divided into three segments: Core courses in business administration principles, a week-long summer residency in Philadelphia, and a research project or thesis. The week-long immersion in Philadelphia is done after the courses in the core curriculum are completed. The program length varies, but usually takes two years to complete.
The MS in Sport Management at Drexel is career-oriented and flexible. Students can take anywhere from one course to a full-time load each quarter.
The program is fully accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
3. Washington State University
Washington State University (WSU) was founded in 1890 as a public research school of agricultural science. The university’s continued emphasis on research has attracted distinguished faculty, who are on the cutting-edge in their respective fields of study.
The Carnegie Foundation classified WSU as one of only 96 U.S. public and private universities with very high research activity, a highly-prized distinction.
Washington State University’s online MA in Sport Management offers a business-oriented approach to sports. This program, offered through the College of Education, requires 34 credits, with 21 credits in sports management, six credits in research, three credits in social foundations, and four credits for the thesis or comprehensive exam. Degree completion takes two years.
The curriculum for this program includes courses such as the following: Sport Finance and Economics, Ethical Perspectives in Sport & Physical Activity, Administrative Concepts in Sport Organizations, and Sport in Higher Education.
Graduates from the MA in Sport Management program pursue careers in the sports industry area, including Event Management, Sports Marketing and Promotion, Sports Journalism, Recreation Management, and Ticket Sales.
Through the Global Connections program, online students can participate in many events similar to those offered on campus, like online career fairs, webinars showcasing the faculty, and study groups and team projects.
WSU’s website allows anyone to see actual class lessons, displaying some of the educational formats used.
Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as having the best (#1) online MBA program and as having the highest (#1) Student Engagement, Washington State University walks the talk of dedication to success.
4. Northeastern University
Northeastern University is a private, research institution that is proud of having the “world’s largest and most innovative cooperative education program,” offering professional work, research, service, and global learning.
Even in the beginning, in 1898, as the Evening School of the YMCA, Northeastern had a cooperative program which possessed these characteristics. Today, Northeastern’s co-op includes over 2,700 employers in more than 90 countries.
One of these cooperative unions is with the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, which offers Northeastern global business and economic development. The online Master of Sports Leadership is offered in collaboration with Northeastern’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society, and operated through the state-of-the-art Charlotte Graduate campus.
Because of this blending, Northeastern’s Sport Leadership master’s degree emphasizes both social and business issues surrounding sports management. Specific attention is given to discerning each student’s leadership style and how to develop effective teams.
The coursework is well-rounded, practice-oriented, and applicable to a wide variety of occupations in sports-related institutions, such as marketing for a professional athletic team, organizing an intercollegiate league, or managing a fitness or wellness club.
The entire program consists of a minimum of 48 quarter hours: 24 quarter hours of core courses, 18 quarter hours of elective courses in sports leadership, three quarter hours of open electives, and three quarter hours of either an internship or project. Northeastern’s online Sports Leadership master’s degree program requires a one-week immersion at the Boston campus, during summer.
Northeastern is institutionally accredited through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.
5. Tiffin University
Tiffin University is a private, independent institution that has been educating students to aspire to lives of “leadership, excellence, and service . . . the American Dream” since 1888.
Tiffin enrolls nearly 7,000 students and is institutionally accredited by North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and The Higher Learning Commission. Tiffin University was in the top 100 schools for the best online graduate business programs in U.S. News & World Report‘s 2013 rankings.
Tiffin University describes itself as a “professional university,” where a broad education foundation supports a focus on industry expectations and the job market for preparing students for successful careers. The MBA in Sports Management at Tiffin maintains this professional structure in its programming.
Students will take 14 courses in strengthening their business education foundation and four courses in the sports management specialization that is designed around the industry’s standards and needs.
The MBA program is additionally accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and by the European Council for Business Education (ECBE).
The Sports Management MBA degree program includes a 200-hour Sports Mentorship. Tiffin’s faculty in this program have all worked in sports management and have maintained close ties to a broad network of mentors. Tiffin is flexible in coordinating this experience for distance learners, who can do the mentorship near home, even at a local high school.
The following is a small list of organizations where Tiffin University students/alumni work, have worked, or have interned:
- NFL Headquarters
- Cincinnati Reds
- Cleveland Browns
- Indianapolis Colts
- St. Louis Cardinals
- Women’s Sports Foundation
- Mid American Conference
- NCAA Final Four
6. California University of Pennsylvania
California University of Pennsylvania (known as “Cal U”), a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, has been dedicated to the values of Integrity, Civility, and Responsibility since its founding in 1852.
The school enrolls 9,400 students and operates over 160 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as a Global Online program.
Cal U has been ranked as one of the Best in the Northeast (USA) consistently for the past eight years in the Princeton Review regional rankings. The Global Online program was ranked third overall among U.S. online colleges for 2013 by the Guide to Online Schools.
The online MS in Sports Management consists of 13 consecutive months of classes, with start dates in July and January. Cal U was the first public university in the U.S. to offer this master’s degree online.
This degree is offered only as a cohort program, which means students begin and move through the program with the same group of people. This format allows for strong networking bonds to be established. Course material is provided through video, PowerPoint presentations, and online forums, along with cohort discussion groups and chat rooms.
Students in the Sports Management master’s degree program at Cal U must choose one of the following three areas of concentration: Intercollegiate Athletic Administration (IAA), Sports Counseling, or Sport Management. Each track consists of 36 credits of which 24 credits are core courses taken as a cohort. The sports management track requires a 12-credit mentorship following the core courses, while the other two tracks require four additional courses.
Cal U also offers a Sports Counseling Certificate.
7. Saint Leo University
(Saint Leo, FL)
Saint Leo University is a private, liberal arts institution, enrolling nearly 16,000 students. The main campus is just outside Tampa, Florida, with 17 continuing education centers worldwide.
The university was founded in 1889 and began offering online programming in the 1990s. Saint Leo University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Saint Leo is committed to imparting a traditional liberal arts education, which includes thinking critically, reading deeply, and writing clearly, along with preparation in leadership that is strong and innovative. Their stance is that education is a partnership: “It’s a simple contract. If you work hard at Saint Leo University, you will be rewarded.”
Saint Leo offers an MBA with a Sport Business concentration, which was the first of its kind in the nation to be accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA). This program was ranked as 17th best sport-related graduate degree in the world in 2012 by SportBusiness International.
The online MBA in Sport Business at Saint Leo offers a broad business background covering topics such as business communication, team membership and leadership, economic responsibility, and technology application. The MBA program is additionally accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).
This degree program is a 36-credits program, with 21 business core credits and 15 sports business concentration credits, including an Internship. The program can be completed in one year as a full-time student.
The academic year is divided into eight-week terms, where students can take up to two courses (six credits) per term.
8. Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University is a public, research university with a “a fertile learning environment exemplified by a free exchange of ideas, high academic expectations, and individual responsibility for academic achievement” (georgiasouthern.edu).
The campus occupies over 900 acres, which has been named one of the nation’s top eco-friendly campuses by the Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council (2011).
Georgia Southern offers an online MS in Sport Management through the Department of Health and Kinesiology Sciences that provides academic preparation and practical experience on which successful careers in various segments of sport industry can be based.
Courses in this program include:
- Professional teams
- Sports facilities and event management
- Sports marketing
- Sports media or communications
- The Olympic Movement
- Public sports commissions
- Athletic leagues and associations
The MS is Sport Management degree program requires 36 credit hours and can be completed in two years. The program provides courses in administration, financial and strategic planning, marketing, and sports facility management.
In one course, Current Issues in Sport Administration, students use critical thinking skills and in-depth problem solving methods on contemporary issues such as the following: sport associations and governing bodies (NCAA, MLB, NBA, MLS, NFL), the Olympic Movement, NCAA legislation and conference realignment, NCAA reform and Title IX/Gender Equity, ticketing, free agency, collective bargaining revenue-sharing, salary caps, luxury taxes, and government subsidization of stadiums.
Georgia Southern is recognized as one of America’s Best Graduate Schools by U.S. News & World Report and has been named one of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes magazine.
9. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private, not-for-profit university that enrolls 13,000 students and offers over 150 degree and certificate programs.
SNHU is a respected university that has been teaching and graduating successful professionals for over 80 years. The institution is accredited through New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
SNHU’s online programming is innovative and award-winning. SNHU offers over 80 online graduate degree programs and over 40 specialized MBA online programs.
Southern New Hampshire offers three distinct master’s degree programs and two graduate certificates in Sport Management:
- Master of Science in Sport Management
- MS in Sport Management with an Athletic Administration Graduate Certificate
- MS in Sport Management with an International Sport Management Graduate Certificate
- MBA with a Sport Management specialization
- International MBA with a Sport Management specialization
These programs have been approved jointly by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education and the North American Society for Sport Management.
SNHU offers one of the pioneering programs in the country, with their online MS in Sport Management having been established for over 25 years. This is a 36-credit-hour program that requires an internship and provides 15 credit-hours of electives, both of which can help students customize an education that best meets their career interest.
Through alumni and faculty connections, students have access to a large network of opportunities for internship and placement, which have included:
- Boston Celtics
- United States Olympic Committee
- America East Conference
- Eastern College Athletic Conference
10. Lasell College
Lasell College is a private, non-profit institution offering professionally oriented degree programs.
Lasell has been educating students for real-life career experiences for over 150 years and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The Sport Management degree programs are further accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.
The 53-acre campus in Newton is eight miles from downtown Boston.
Lasell College offers a 36-credit-hour online MS in Sport Management degree with three areas of concentration from which to choose:
- The Sport Leadership concentration: Prepares students to be effective leaders in various segments of sports industry, such as League Directors or Commissioners, Directors of Recreation, or Athletic Program Directors
- The Sport Hospitality Management concentration: Designed for students from various backgrounds of business and hospitality to learn sports-industry-specific essentials of business and marketing
- The Sport Non-Profit Management concentration: Specializes in legal and ethical mandates and practices, as well as fiscal responsibility for non-profit organizations
Lasell’s Connected Learning organizes opportunities for students to work at various organizations and events and to do research projects with corporations and organizations. For example, Sport Management graduate students have done Sports Sponsorship Research for corporate sponsors including ESPN Outdoor Games, X-Games, Bassmaster, and NASCAR events.
Internships that have been arranged through Connected Learning include:
- Boston teams playing at TD Garden (Boston Celtics/ Bruins)
- New England Riptides
- Massachusetts Special Olympics
- ESPN Game Day
- Hong Kong Events Center
- Health/Fitness Clubs
- Radio Stations (WEEI, WBZ, ESPN)
11. University of New Haven
(New Haven, CT)
Founded in 1920, the University of New Haven (UNH) is a private, non-profit institution that places high emphasis on experiential and collaborative education. The enrollment at UNH is 6,351 students, with a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:16. The university is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
The sports management program has been established for almost 30 years and has built a strong national and international reputation. It is the oldest program in the U.S. to be continually offered through the business school. Sixty percent of graduates from this program are employed in their chosen field within three months of graduation.
The online MS in Sports Management focuses on being at the forefront of business applications in sports and on training leaders in the sports industry. The school accomplishes this goal by integrating theory with real-world applications.
In the 2012 SportBusinessInternational report, this program was ranked 13th best business-based graduate sports program in the world and the fourth best in the United States.
The core business courses come from four interdisciplinary areas of business: Management, Marketing, Finance, and Accounting. The sports management courses are broad-based, with topics including promotion and public relations, sports law, facilities and events, and development and sustainability.
UNH’s online Sports Management master’s degree is a 36-credit program, with 12 credits of core businesses courses, 21 credits of sports management courses, and a three-credit final capstone project.
The online master’s degree in Sports Management is delivered in seven-week terms and can be completed in two years. Students can begin coursework year-round, during one of the six start dates.
12. Liberty University Online
Liberty University is a private, religiously-oriented institution that has been training Champions for Christ since 1971. The campus occupies over 7,000 acres in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Liberty University Online has been pioneering distance education since 1985. It now has more than 90,000 students, with a student body representing all 50 states and 95 countries around the world.
Liberty offers a wide variety of programs, with 206 resident programs and 166 fully accredited online programs.
Liberty University Online offers a Master of Science in Sport Management with a concentration in Sport Administration, with the mission to prepare graduates to be able to organize and run sports programs at corporate, agency, professional and amateur levels and to have a Christian worldview that will pertain to their career paths in sports management. The overall curriculum encompasses sociological, psychological, ethical, financial, and legal aspects of sports management careers.
This degree program prepares graduates for careers in such fields as sports broadcasting, athletic facility management, and athletic marketing and public relations. The MS in Sport Management is a 36-hour program with courses such as Social Issues in Sport Management, Sport Marketing and Public Relations, and Foundations of Sport Ministry.
This master’s program can be pursued as a thesis or non-thesis cognate. Students take 21 hours in Core courses (15 if taking the thesis cognate), including a six-hour Internship course and 15 hours in Sport Administration courses.
Liberty is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
13. Western Kentucky University
(Bowling Green, KY)
Western Kentucky Universtiy (WKU) was founded in 1906 as a normal school—a state-sponsored institution for teachers. The campus at WKU is perched on a hill 125 feet above downtown Bowling Green, which provides the name of the athletic team, the Hilltoppers.
WKU enrolls over 21,000 students in its six colleges and describes itself as an institution transforming into “a leading American university with an international reach.”
WKU’s department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport offers an online Master of Science in Recreation and Sports Administration with concentrations in three areas:
(1) The concentration in Athletic Administration and Coaching is a cohort program designed to prepare working physical education and administrative professionals for the rapid changes in the sports industry areas of economics, politics, legalities, and marketing. Through a partnership with the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD), students in this concentration receive a one-year membership and are able to apply to be Certified Athletic Administrators through NIAAA upon completion of their degree.
(2) The concentration in Facility and Event Management includes management training in areas such as crowd control, turf care, safety and accessibility, green design and sustainability, and construction standards. Professional careers related to this concentration include:
- Stadium and Arena Managers
- Convention and Conference Center Managers
- Golf Course Personnel
(3) The concentration in Sport Media & Branding includes specialized training in areas such as digital media production and distribution, sports branding, sports marketing communication, and sports sponsorships.
Professional careers related to this concentration include:
- Public Relations Representative
- Membership Services Coordinator
- Merchandising Manager
14. Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University (ODU) is a private, research university located in the City of Norfolk, in coastal Virginia. Founded in 1930 as a division of the College of William and Mary, ODU became an independent institution in 1962.
ODU has been named the Best Southeastern College by Princeton Review.
With the simple philosophy that “Knowledge should be productive,“ Old Dominion University recognizes innovation in teaching, in scholarship, and in research as the major contributor to their success and good reputation.
The faculty at ODU have high levels of mastery in their respective fields, with 25 SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award Winners. There are more than 400 ongoing research projects, which generate $88 million in annual funding. ODU has been designated a Research University (high research activity) from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
ODU offers an online Master of Science in Sport Management degree through the College of Education (MSEd) and is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. All online courses are designed and taught by the same faculty who teach the on-campus classes.
The stated goal of the program is to provide preparation to meet the opportunities and challenges of various careers in the sport industry, including:
- Professional Sports
- Collegiate athletics
- Event and facility Operations
- Corporate sport management and marketing firms
- Health and fitness industries
- Community recreation and leisure agencies
The Sport Management degree program consists of 36 credit hours, including Research Foundation courses and the Capstone Experience, and can be completed in two years.
15. Concordia University
(Saint Paul, MN)
Founded in 1893, Concordia University Saint Paul is a liberal arts university with over 2,800 students enrolled. The university is part of the 10-member Concordia University System, which is operated by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
Concordia uses the hands-on, practical application of coursework to examine business concepts like management, strategic planning, marketing, and law as they pertain to sports management. Both on-campus and online programs at Concordia strive to offer students a learning environment where they can collaborate and interact with their classmates and professors.
Concordia offers an online MA in Sport Management that consists of 36 credit hours. The program is delivered in a cohort model format that emphasizes collaboration. Students are part of a cohort, which is a learning group of students who stay together throughout the program. Each course is completed in only seven weeks. This is an accelerated program and the degree can be earned in less than 18 months. Students can choose to do an internship or a capstone project.
Concordia’s Sport Management master’s degree program is designed to examine the entire scope of the sports industry, including organizational leadership development, human resource management, ethics & policy, research methods, marketing, planning and managing facilities, and legal aspects.
Concordia strives to emphasize leadership qualities and skills, not just management styles.
16. Nova Southeastern University
(Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Nova Southeastern University (NSU) was founded in 1964 with some revolutionary ideas during a time of historic social and cultural change. Today, NSU is an independent, non-profit university that is classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Since first introducing its off-campus courses in 1972, Nova has become nationally recognized for its innovative distance education programs. NSU has over 28,000 students and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The online MS in Athletic Administration is offered through the Department of Education and is intended for educators that want to become athletic directors or sports managers. It is also appropriate for college graduates who want to gain knowledge and skills in athletic administration. This online degree program imparts leadership skills through practical application and adheres to the professional standards set forth by the Sports Management Program Review Council.
This master’s degree program requires 37 credits for degree completion. The 12-credit-hour core courses include the following topics: educational research, ethical school leadership, problem solving, and human resources. The 24-credit-hour athletic administration courses include the following topics: sports law, ethical and cultural foundations, marketing, and event planning and public relations.
The program also requires applied field experience and applied research. This experience is accompanied by a portfolio detailing all aspects of the project and an evaluation. The portfolio is often instrumental in graduates’ job searches.
17. United States Sports Academy
The United States Sports Academy was founded in 1972 after a discussion in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) about using education to organize and enhance the sports profession. The Academy is the “first and only free-standing, accredited school of sport in America.” As well, the Academy offers the largest program in sports education in the world.
The United States Sport Academy offers an online Master of Sport Science with a major in Sports Management. This program consists of 33 semester hours of courses and a mentorship. The program courses, which cover the wide spectrum of sports business, include Introduction to the Business of Sports Agents, Sport Facilities, Sports Law and Risk Management, Sports Club Management, Public Relations in Sports, and Membership and Marketing.
The Sports Management master’s degree program at the Academy is one of a select few of such programs that is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has received program approval/accreditation through the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE).
Career paths for graduates of the Sports Management master’s degree program include the following:
- Facilities Manager
- Community Recreation Coordinator
- Agent or Team Representative
- Senior Sport Administrator
- University Athletic Director
- Olympic Games Organizer
From a massive student/alumni survey done in 2012, the following data were obtained: 82.6% of respondents secured employment within four weeks of graduating, 70% were currently employed in the sport industry, and an impressive 95% said they would recommend the Academy to friends and colleagues.
18. Full Sail University
(Winter Park, FL)
Full Sail University is a private, academic institution with over 24,000 students enrolled. Full Sail’s main campus in Winter Park, Florida, near Orlando, is innovative, with an abundance of modern features conducive to a rich exploratory education in the entertainment and media industry. Full Sail’s education is delivered through immersive teaching methods, including its online learning environment.
Full Sail University offers an Entertainment Business Master of Science degree program with a Sports Management Elective Track that is designed to provide advanced business education, addressing the specific needs of the sports industry. This degree program prepares graduates for careers in one of the sports industry’s many professional branches, including teams and leagues on the amateur, collegiate, and professional levels, the organizations that operate their venues and facilities, marketing and promotion groups, companies that sell the tickets, and the broadcast outlets.
The MS with a Sports Management track program is offered in a 12-month format, with courses delivered over four-week sessions. The program begins with the course, Mastery: Personal Development and Leadership, in which students participate in in-depth immersion and reflection, learn academic research and methodologies, and study leadership principles.
In addition to courses designed to develop leadership and knowledge concerning the sports industry, students will learn and utilize the appropriate graduate-level academic research approaches.
Full Sail University was awarded School/College of the Year for both 2008 and 2011 by the Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges (FAPSC).
19. Anna Maria College
Anna Maria College (AMC) is a private, non-profit institution founded by the Sisters of Saint Anne in 1946. AMC stresses educational innovation, service to others, and access to a quality education for all. AMC values its small class sizes for the close-knit community it provides and seeks to mirror this environment in its online courses.
Anna Maria College offers an online MBA with a Sport Management specialization to meet the demand and expected growth in sports industry careers, an estimated decade-long growth of 22% by 2020 (BLS). This program addresses the need for strong, knowledgeable business administrators in high school, collegiate, and professional sports.
The MBA with a Sport Management specialization is a 36-credit-hour program, incorporating current concepts and theories in business management with strong ethical standards and leadership qualities that “ensure long-term profitability and organizational health.” The program includes 21 credit hours in core courses, 12 credit hours in sports management specialization courses, and three credit hours in the capstone requirement.
The Master of Business Administration program is taught by professors who have been leaders in the private-sector business world and have a wealth of industry experience. Core courses include Ethical Theory, Financial Analysis, Decision Making/Quantitative Analysis, Marketing Strategies, and Research Methods and Technology.
The curriculum also explores business challenges that are unique to high-school and college athletics.
AMC is accredited through New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The Business Program is an Educational Member of the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).
20. Belhaven University
Belhaven University is a private, Christian liberal arts college located in Jackson, Mississippi, with a student population of over 3,000 students. Belhaven also maintains satellite campuses in Atlanta, Chattanooga, Houston, Memphis, and Orlando.
Belhaven University was founded by the Presbyterian Church in the United States and continues to have strong ties to it. The university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Bellhaven offers an online Master of Sports Administration that combines the business and technical skills needed for sports management with the values of a Christ-centered education. This program is offered through the School of Business, and stresses the development of strong leadership that understands the perspectives of the various players in the sports world, such as team members, representatives, corporate sponsors, managers, owners, individual players, and facility managers.
The Master of Sports Administration is offered in flexible, eight-week sessions, that allow for the program to be completed in two years. The program’s required 36 credits are obtained through specifically outlined coursework, the Master of Sports Administration curriculum. There is also a Capstone Seminar in Sports Administration. Each course uses project-team activities to emphasize the development of problem-solving skills, both as an individual and as a team member.
Bellhaven’s Master of Sports Administration degree program prepares graduates for positions in sports administration, such as:
- Athletic Director
- Associate Director of Marketing
- Assistant Director of Facilities
- Director of Operations for Youth Sports
- Media Relations Director
- Advertising Sales Representative
- Sports Writer