Online MBA Programs

Best Online MBA Degree Programs in Sports Management

Professionals typically have the desire to advance within their careers. However, many simply feel they don’t have the time to go back to school. This ranking includes Master’s of Business Administration degrees with a focus on the growing field of Sports Management that can be earned entirely online. The online format is convenient, and allows working professionals, parents, and those with other obligations to maintain a work/life/school balance.

Don’t have time to attend a traditional three-hour weekly class? Many universities realize that it is a reality for adult learners, and have created programs for students just like you! You can log in and complete a discussion board post before work, watch a professor’s lesson at your convenience, and complete longer projects or essays on the weekend.

Students can also access these online programs from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. By taking online classes, students are able to eliminate the time it takes to drive to class, and who doesn’t want to add an extra hour to their busy day?

Students may wonder how to find a credible online degree that holds the same prestige as traditional on-campus degrees. In our ranking, we make it easy for you! All of the MBAs included in our ranking of the Top 20 Online Sports Management MBA Programs have been thoroughly vetted, based on rankings by publications such as U.S. News and World Report, regional and business accreditations, overall program affordability, and online student support services. Students can rest assured they will be making a wise investment in their career when selecting one of these top-notch programs.

It is essential for students to feel confident in the graduate school where they choose to pursue their MBA. This ranking is sure to help you find just what you’re looking for; an online Master’s of Business Administration in Sports Management that meshes perfectly with your schedule and career aspirations.


MBA Central collected data on online Sports Management MBA programs and ranked the programs based on the areas of Affordability (33%), Support Services (33%), and Quality of Classes (33%).  In addition to the ranking order, every Online Sports Management MBA program is also given an Affordability Score. This score is awarded because of the total base tuition of the MBA degree, with ranges as follows:

Very Affordable: under $15,000
Affordable: between $15,000 and $20,000
Average: between $20,000 and $30,000
Above Average: between $30,000 and $50,000
Expensive: between $50,000 and $100,000
Very Expensive: above $100,000

#1 Southeast Missouri State University Harrison College of Business – Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Students at Southeast Missouri State University can earn an online MBA in Sports Management degree. This program sits at the top of our list because of its unparalleled affordability, support services, and quality of classes.

Southeast Missouri State University offers graduate students a flexible Master’s of Business Administration in Sports Management, offered through Harrison College of Business. This highly acclaimed 33 credit hour program is prestigiously accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Network of International Business Schools, and the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation. The curriculum consists of global opportunities, universal competition, and regulatory concerns. Students will also learn business negotiations, and how to utilize technology frequently used in sports management, such as in production, controls, and communication. Internship opportunities are available with the Kansas City Royals to gain insight into what it’s really like to work with a professional sports team. This program is a very affordable master’s with pricing below $14,999. Recent graduates of this MBA in Sports Management have entered successful careers as collegiate athletic directors, athletic stadium general managers, and the field of sports marketing. This flexible degree is sure to set candidates apart in the competitive sporting industry.

Southeast Missouri State University is a public college accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. SEMO was founded in 1873, and currently is home to approximately 11,500 students each year. The main campus can be found in Cape Girardeau, and regional campuses accommodate students in Kennett, Sikeston, Poplar Bluff, and at Cape College Center. Southeast Online is ideal for non-traditional students, and delivers top-ranked, high-quality education according to U.S. News and World Report. Majors are added to keep up with industry demands, and today SEMO offers over 145 undergraduate majors and more than 75 graduate programs through five academic colleges. Internships and study abroad programs are available for all majors. Among the degrees offered to graduate students is the Master’s of Business Administration in Sports Management. Potential candidates interested in pursuing the MBA in Sports Management must submit an application, copies of all official college transcripts, and GRE/GMAT scores.

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Accreditation: AACSB, Higher Learning Commission
Affordability Score: Very Affordable

#2 University of Massachusetts Amherst Isenberg School of Management – Amherst, Massachusetts

The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers students the opportunity to earn an online MBA including a focus on Sport Management. This degree was selected for our ranking because of their exceptional reputation for preparing students for leadership careers in the sporting industry.

At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, students can earn a top-rated online Master’s of Business Administration with a focus in Sport Management through Isenberg School of Management. This program is offered entirely online to meet the needs of working professionals, and carries prestigious accreditation with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Additionally, this MBA is noticed by the business industry as being one of the best in the nation and the world. Financial Times ranks the Online MBA 3rd worldwide, and U.S. News and World Report ranks the Online MBA 16th in the country. Further, Sport Business International ranks this program 2nd Best Graduate Sport Management Program in the World. This academically rigorous 45 credit hour program is comprised of 36 hours of core MBA courses and nine hours in the focus area of Sport Management. Graduates of the MBA in Sport Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will be prepared for successful sport management careers.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is a public university accredited through the New England Commission of Higher Education, and has an annual student body enrollment of over 30,000 students. UMass Amherst was founded in 1863, and serves as the flagship campus in Massachusetts. The university offers over 100 undergraduate majors, 77 master’s degrees, 48 doctoral programs through their 10 academic schools and colleges. U.S. News and World Report currently ranks UMass Amherst 26th among national universities. Additionally, UMass Amherst is listed among the 100 “Best College Values” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and by Money Magazine in its most bang for the buck category. Graduate students seeking an MBA in Sport Management can earn their degree through Isenberg School of Management. Prospective students interested in this program must submit a graduate school application, official transcripts from all universities attended, a personal essay, two letters of recommendation, a resume/CV, and GMAT/GRE scores.

Accreditation: AACSB, New England Commission of Higher Education
Affordability Score: Above Average

#3 Fort Hays State University W.R. and Yvonne Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship – Hays, Kansas

Students can earn an online MBA with a Health and Human Performance/Sports Management concentration at Fort Hays State University. This MBA is recognized for offering a budget-friendly, top-notch education.

Fort Hays State University features an online MBA with a focus in Health and Human Performance/Sports Management through their elite W.R. and Yvonne Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship. U.S. News and World Report ranks the online MBA 108th in the United States. This MBA is 34 credit hours, and covers all facets of the sports industry including sports marketing, planning, promotion, facilities management, and legal issues. This program is a very affordable master’s with pricing below $14,999. In fact, many publishers rank this MBA as one of the most affordable in the nation. Best Value MBA,, and OnlineU all recognize the FHSU MBA for its economical tuition rates. This high-tech, online degree is not only convenient, but also engaging with lessons delivered via Skype, WebX, Blackboard, YouTube, and GoogleDocs. The FHSU MBA is an excellent launching pad for students looking to enter or advance their career in Health and Human Performance or Sports Management.

Fort Hays State University is a four year, public college, founded in 1902, and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. FHSU currently offers a wide array of courses leading to associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees through four academic colleges to over 15,000 students annually. Over 200 programs are offered through the Virtual College. Online students are provided free online tutoring and writing support, career services, and tech support. Students can get involved in over 200 organizations or travel the world through the study abroad program. Even online students can serve as an officer of the Virtual Student Senate and join honor societies to enhance their leadership skills and feel more connected with their peers. Graduate Students may pursue an MBA with a concentration in Health and Human Performance/Sports Management through Fort Hays State University. Prospective students are encouraged to submit a graduate application, official transcripts, official GMAT/GRE scores, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Affordability Score: Very Affordable

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#4 Florida Atlantic University College of Business – Boca Raton, Florida

Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business offers an online MBA in Sport Management. This distinguished program was chosen for our ranking for their many accolades and prestigious accreditation.

Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business offers an online MBA in Sport Management. This MBA is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The FAU MBA is recognized as a leader in the business education community. U.S. News and World Report ranks the Online MBA among the top 50 programs in the nation and #1 in South Florida. Additionally, Bloomberg BusinessWeek also identifies this MBA as one of the best in the country. This program is 40-46 credit hours, and takes 23 months to complete. Students are expected to take part in internships and employment opportunities in the sports or entertainment industry to enhance their studies. Students will also participate in a leadership and executive forum, where they will have the chance to view presentations from executives. This online MBA in Sport Management will help students excel as managers and executives in the sports entity.

Florida Atlantic University is a public, four-year university that is regionally accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The main campus is in Boca Raton, and five satellite campuses offer students the opportunity to study in Dania Beach, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter, and in Fort Pierce. FAU offers more than 170 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs through its 10 academic colleges, and serves over 30,000 students each year. The Princeton Review names FAU among the “Best Southeastern Colleges.” The Carnegie Foundation classifies FAU as a research university with high research activity. Among the many academically rigorous degrees offered at Florida Atlantic University is the online Master’s of Business Administration in Sport Management. Ready to apply? In addition to the graduate and departmental application, prospective students must submit a current resume, personal essay, official college transcripts from all universities attended, and GMAT or GRE scores.

Accreditation: AACSB, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Affordability Score: Above Average

#5 Franklin Pierce University College of Business – Rindge, New Hampshire

Graduate students have an opportunity to earn an accredited online Master’s of Business Administration in Sports Management at Franklin Pierce University. This elite MBA has a reputation for preparing business leaders in intercollegiate athletics, amateur, or professional sports.

The highly acclaimed College of Business at Franklin Pierce University offers an online Sports Management MBA. This 39 credit hour program is fully accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education. Additionally, this program has been ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. The curriculum focuses on change management, media relations, and sports facility management. Students have the convenience of completing this program fully online in four semesters. Another option is to complete the Sports Management Graduate certificate, and later fulfill the requirements of the MBA. Tuition for this program is considered average, with pricing between $20,000 and $29,999. Students graduating with this unique Master’s of Business Administration in Sports Management outshine other contenders for leadership roles in intercollegiate athletics, amateur, and professional sports. Many graduates have gone on to successful careers as operations directors, facilities managers, business managers and marketers, and sports merchandisers.

Franklin Pierce University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit university, accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Franklin serves over 2,300 students annually and offers a wide array of associate’s degrees through doctoral degrees. The main campus is located in Rindge, and four additional locations are provided for graduate and professional programs. U.S. News and World Report, ranks Franklin Pierce among the top universities for Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees and Best Online MBA Programs. Working professionals are able to complete a higher education degree in a reasonable amount of time while balance a busy work schedule, family, and convenient online classes that can be accessed from anywhere at any time. A Master’s of Business Administration in Sports Management can be earned through the College of Business. Prospective students must submit an online application, official transcripts, an updated resume, outline of professional aspirations, and an essay.

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Accreditation: IACBE, New England Commission of Higher Education
Affordability Score: Average

What will I learn in a sports management MBA?

A Master’s of Business Administration in Sports Management is the perfect degree for avid sports fans with a business acumen. Students pursuing a Sports Management degree will take courses covering topics such as marketing, operations management, facility management, and public relations as they relate to sports.

While all MBAs in Sports Management will cover core business courses, such as law, finance, and promotions, there are also a number of specialized Sports Management concentrations. Specializations include Health and Human Performance, Recreation Management, Event Security Management, and Athletic Administration. If you already have an idea of the particular career path you’d like to pursue, it can be beneficial to select a similar concentration. For example, an individual interested in opening a health facility or managing athletic trainers could take the Health and Human Performance route. Someone who has future career aspirations to become a sports camp or youth sports director might consider the Recreation Management specialty. Whereas, an aspiring college athletic director would find the Athletic Administration track most beneficial.

Earning an MBA in Sports Management is a fairly easy process, with top-ranked universities offering flexible programs that meet your needs. Many programs are offered in a fully online format, so you can complete discussion boards and reading assignments at a time convenient with your schedule; even during half-time while watching the game! Typical programs range between 33 and 54 credit hours, with the average program being 36 credit hours. Accelerated programs can be completed within a year or two, so you don’t have to wait long to begin your dream career! An MBA in Sports Management is the ticket to an exhilarating occupation in the growing sports, entertainment, and recreation industry!

What jobs can I get with a sports management MBA?

College and amateur athletes are prime candidates for entering the competitive world of sports management. They are able to draw on their personal experiences to relate to athletes, and have established a network with other coaches, agents, and players. The sports industry is a rapidly growing field, with many exciting career possibilities. Sports Management encompasses careers at the youth, intercollegiate, and professional levels. Some of the unique career possibilities include agents and business managers of professional athletes, college athletic recruiters, marketing managers, athletic directors at universities, sports promoters, public relations managers, and special events managers.

There is a wide range of salaries within the sports industry, depending on the particular career you choose to pursue, level of education, and the level of athletes you work with. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, agents and managers for professional athletes earn a mean salary of $94,870. College athletic directors earn in the range of $52,960 and $182,150, depending on the number of athletic teams they are managing, the size of the university, and the popularity and overall success of the athletic teams. Those working in a recreational setting typically make significantly less money. For example, recreation workers will generally earn a maximum of $42,560. Individuals in Sports Management careers who hold a master’s degree earn approximately 20% more on average than those with just a bachelor’s degree.

There is also a larger than average projected growth in certain sports-related careers. A spike of about nine percent growth is anticipated for athletic administration careers by the year 2024. Those interested in athletic management, marketing, sales, public relations, and other sports-management careers can expect a growth of about six percent in the number of careers available by 2024.

How do I start my career in sports management?

Due to the competitive nature of the sports sector, earning a Master’s of Business Administration in Sports Management is a wise investment to give candidates a competitive edge. In addition to enhancing their resume, students will have the opportunity to get their foot in the door through internships with sports organizations. When selecting an internship, it is imperative for students to think about their future career goals, and try to build that skill set. For example, students interested in sports broadcasting should try to find an internship with a local television network. Students should also seize opportunities to officiate sports, coach youth teams, and volunteer for professional organizations to gain exposure to a variety of sports careers and widen their network. Graduates go on to work in a variety of settings, including fitness facilities, parks and recreation departments, higher education institutions, professional teams, sports associations, and marketing firms.

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