Top 25 Best Sports Management Colleges

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best sports management colleges 2016

No one needs to turn on the news to know that the sporting industry is a very lucrative business. Just how lucrative? Well, according to a recent national credit card poll, Americans spend more than $56 billion dollars per year on sporting events alone. In fact, in 2016, it cost nearly $500 to take a family of four to an NFL game. That’s admission tickets, food, drink, and parking; we’re not even figuring in fan merchandise!

With all this money circulating, the industry needs highly trained sports management and sports marketing managing professionals, with cutting-edge business skills keeping everything organized. A sports management degree is a great choice for prospective students interested in combining their love of athletics with a solid business degree program that opens doors for many job opportunities.

Featured Programs

One of the first Sport manager jobs we really fell in love with was Jerry Macguire. He was savvy, confident and made sure his client got everything he needed in a contract. A sports agent or manager, like Jerry Macguire’s character was, is one of the many jobs you can get with a Sports Management degree. Other jobs include a sports marketer or sporting event planner, a collegiate athletic director, an instructor or personal trainer, or the foundation of a career in sports psychology. If you have a business mind, but a heart for the game, this career may be right up your alley. Read on for the Top 25 Best Value Sport Management Degrees.

Choosing the Best Sports Management Degree Program 

Another no-brainer of sorts is that a business degree, in almost any focus, simply opens professional doors. The more reputable the school the truer this can be for biz school grads. While a business school must be in a larger university that has a regional accreditation to be taken seriously, business schools themselves can also be accredited. Two business school accrediting bodies to look for are the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). For business schools that have sought to be recognized by these bodies, students can be assured they are getting a great business education that will pay off in the long run.

Sports Management degree programs within business schools can seek their own special accreditation. The Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA) is a specialized accrediting body that promotes and recognizes excellence in sports management education in colleges and universities all over the world. They operate at the bachelor’s and master’s levels through specialized accreditation. A sports management program can seek this in addition to their business school credential. Most of the following 25 schools have this accreditation. Many still have gone the extra step to maintain both COSMA and a business school accreditation.

Ranking Sports Management Programs

The Value Colleges Top 25 Best Value Bachelor’s in Sports Management ranking features only colleges and universities that have a proven track record of grads going on to rewarding careers in sports management. Beyond a good return on investment for students, they have gained a good reputation, and obviously, they are less expensive than other programs. In short, they have proven their value through the Value Colleges methodology:

  • Reputation (from U.S. News & World Report)
  • ROI (from College Scorecard)
  • Cost (from IPEDS reporting)

Value Colleges encourages students towards colleges for sports management that are a major score, all the way around. So whether you are looking to score a professional touchdown, or throw a financial no-hitter, this business degree will be “nothing but net”, at least in terms of great higher education investment. The top sports management programs will let you channel your love of sports into a dynamic and rewarding career. The only question is – are you ready to go pro?

Rank School Name Description

United States Sports Academy

The United States Sports Academy was established in 1972, as a result of a sub-par performance by the United States Olympic team. They have since provided sports programming to more than 60 countries around the world. They are a regionally accredited school with a specific focus on sports. Their campus is situated in rural Daphne, Alabama. In 1984 they established the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) on campus; their collection contains over 1,000 works of art from renowned artists. They are also building an on-campus outdoor sculpture gallery featuring environmentally friendly sculptures to honor athletes and a variety of sports.

Among the best sports management colleges and universities, you will find the United States Sports Academy. One of the exciting programs offered at this school is the Bachelor’s of Science program in Sports Science. This program is geared towards students interested in sports management, sports coaching, as well as sports studies including strength and conditioning. The sports industry is considered one of the quickest growing professions in the world, and this program is designed to create professionals who can be leaders in the field. The degree is divided into four majors: including Sports Coaching, Sports Studies, Sports Training and Conditioning, and Sports Management.

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Sports Science

Bellevue University

Bellevue University was established in 1966 with the distinct mission of providing high-quality education to adult learners, many of which would be professional students and those on a non-traditional path. They have become the fourth most prominent private institution of higher learning in the state of Nebraska, serving over 10,000 students per year. By 2011, 80 percent of their student body was over the age of 25. They have a variety of program offerings, many of which are cohort-based, embedding peer support into the program, and many programs are accelerated and offered in the flexible online format.

Bellevue University is one of the best sports management colleges and universities. Their Sports Management Bachelor’s of Science and Bachelor’s of Arts degree programs blend the foundations of management and business with sports and recreation, ensuring that students will be ready to enter this growing field from many angles upon graduation. The primary difference between the two-degree programs is that the BS has an additional requirement of an Applied Statistics course. Bellevue offers both an online course of study and a program that can be completed in the traditional on-campus setting. Other competencies that will be covered include communications as they relate to business management, marketing, and public relations.

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Sports Management BS

Franklin University

Franklin University was established in 1902 with the sole intention of academically serving adult learners. They took on the name Franklin University in 1933 after an initial sponsorship by the YMCA School of Commerce. Their primary location is situated in Columbus, Ohio, though they have locations scattered throughout the midwestern region of the country. They offer a large volume of online classes to accommodate working adults who require flexibility to study. In 1998, they created the Community College Alliance which was built to help move community college students into four-year programs. Franklin has relationships with eight universities abroad that offer study abroad opportunities to their students.

Franklin University happens to be one of the best sports management colleges and universities. They feature a flexible online program yielding a sports management degree at the finish line. Students will gain skills in the management aspect of this comprehensive degree program. This program features seamless transfer opportunities, offering up to 94 credits that can be transferred from another institution. They also offer many opportunities for students to study online, with many course offerings that are delivered in a flexible format. Leaders administer the program in the field whom all have experience as practitioners. Online coursework is supplemented with experiential learning practices, giving students in the hands-on field experience.

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Sports Management BS

Kutztown University

Kutztown University was established in 1866, though was initially called the Keystone State Normal School. The original plan for the school was to train teachers in the region that was advancing rapidly in industry. They have since become a comprehensive four-year institution of higher learning, and they offer both undergraduate and graduate programming. They maintain intimate learning environments, ensuring that students can be more than just a number with a 20:1 student to faculty ratio. All faculty members have scholarly expertise and many of which are currently involved in their research. Total student enrollment is close to 9,500.

Among the best sports management colleges and universities is Kutztown University. They offer a Bachelor’s of Science in Sports Management that dives deep into both the business and managerial aspects of the field as well as the sports-related focus. Students will develop an analysis of ethics and professionalism that include a global awareness and diversity. Critical thinking skills, oral and written communication and quantitative analysis will be stressed in the curriculum. Students will also gain competencies in technology as it relates to managerial communication, organizational decision making, and data acquisition. Interpersonal skills required for effective teamwork and collaboration will also be stressed in the coursework. This program is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science in Sport Management

Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern University was founded in 1993 as a distance learning institution of higher learning. Their classes are now offered almost entirely online and therefore cater to adult learners who require flexibility to study in between their personal and professional obligations. They are accredited by the Distance Education Accreditation Commission, which was initially known as the Distance Education and Training Council. Their headquarters are located in Orange Beach, Alabama. They also offer online degrees in partnership with the Waldorf University. Beneath the Columbia Southern University are three schools, and in all, they offer 26-degree programs including associates, bachelor’s, and masters. They also have many certificate program offerings.

Columbia Southern University offers a Bachelor’s of Science program in Business Administration- Sports Management that is delivered online. This program highlights the need for professionals who are experts in business in the growing field of sports management. Many students find this program who are interested in career opportunities such as sport facilities managers, directors, sports front office administrators, sport communication directors, and sport information directors. The program is 120 credit hours in total with the 90 credit hours is the maximum that is transferable. They offer many start dates, making it easy for students to matriculate. Some of the program key competencies include engaging in financial strategies and business concepts, as well as managerial decision making.

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor Of Science In Business Administration - Sport Management Online

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University was founded in 1932 with the original mission of teaching business. Its original name was New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science. They are currently a private school with no religious affiliation, and they offer a myriad of degree programs both undergraduate and graduate. They are fully accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Colleges and Schools. They are internationally renowned for their online programming, which has leveraged exponential growth institutionally. Their campus is situated between Hooksett and Manchester, New Hampshire. Total enrollment including all programs is over 70,000 students per year.

Southern New Hampshire University is among the best sports management colleges and universities. They offer an online Bachelor’s of Science in Sports Management that is designed to turn sports enthusiasts into professionals. Students will gain the fundamental skills that range from building a brand, to managerial skills, and selling sponsorship. They also offer an accelerated Bachelor’s of Science to Masters of Science pathway option for online students, enabling participates in taking two graduate courses during their undergraduate trajectory, while paying undergraduate rates. Students can apply graduate credits to their master’s degree, and complete an MS in only one year. Students will grasp the fundamentals of communications and business thinking in this comprehensive online program.

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science in Sport Management

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 with the intention of engaging other baptists in a faith-based institution that would be local to them. Their roots lie in Southern Baptist traditions, but they have since become a Christian University. Today they are known as the largest Christian institution of higher learning on the globe. Total student enrollment pushes up against 100,000 students. Their campus is situated in Phoenix, Arizona. They maintain a regional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. Fortune Magazine recognized them as one of the top five online schools for entrepreneurs. They also participate in the Western Athletic Conference, as a member of NCAA Division 1.

Grand Canyon University offers a Bachelor’s of Science degree program in Sports Management. This unique program is housed in the Colangelo College of Business and includes a program that delves into the ins and outs of business while engaging an experiential learning approach to the curriculum. Students will tackle the fundamentals of marketing, social media and graphics, sales, law and entrepreneurial enterprise, marketing research, sports media, ethics, and leadership. The entire course of study is 120 credit hours. Students can choose the flexible online format, or learn in the traditional classroom environment. On-campus students still have flexible learning options with evening class availability.

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science in Sports Management

Columbia College

Columbia College was established in 1851 and was initiated as a private science and liberal arts institution of higher learning with a nonsectarian mission. Since its inception, however, they have adopted a Christian Church Covenant known as the Disciples of Christ. They began as an all-female institution, and have since become coeducational. They began offering graduate degree programs in 1995, starting with a Masters of Arts in Teaching, and then a Masters of Arts in Business Administration, and they now also offer a Master’s of Science in criminal justice. They offer degree programs in the evening hours to provide more flexibility for students, and they also have over 500 online course offerings.

Columbia College is among the best sports management colleges and universities. Their Sports Management Major is designed to provide students the foundations of administration, sports marketing, recreation health, and fitness, as well as management all in one course of study. Graduates of the program will be prepared to work in a myriad of settings, including organizations related to major or minor league teams, sports marketing companies, and recreation centers. The actual degree program is through the School of Business Administration, which is a member of the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). The degree title is Bachelor’s of Arts in Business Administration or a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with 9 hours of core classes in Sports Management. This program is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration

University of Minnesota Crookston

The University of Minnesota Crookston was founded in 1966 and started out as The University of Minnesota Technical Institute. In 1968 the name of the institution changed to the University of Minnesota Technical College. It was not until 1993 that they took on their current name and began offering even more comprehensive degree programs, including bachelor’s degrees. They started an initiative soon after known as “Laptop U,” which provided laptops to all students and faculty, which brought them international notoriety. Their campus is situated on 108 acres of land on the most northern edge of the town of Crookston, Minnesota.

The University of Minnesota Crookston offers an online Bachelor’s of Science Program in Sport and Recreation Management. This course of study was designed to propel students into the rapidly growing field of sports and recreation. Students will learn the ins and outs of working with collegiate, professional, and community sports organizations. The online option allows students optimal flexibility, but those who prefer face-to-face learning can do the traditional on-campus program. On campus is a minor in Coaching that opens even more doors for graduates. The program is known for small class sizes and experiential learning opportunities. An additional offering is a Sports and Recreation Management Certificate can be achieved on campus or online.

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science in Sport and Recreation Management

Thomas College

Thomas College has a long-held reputation for sending students through career-making academic and professional programs. The school was established initially as Keist Business College in 1894 on the third floor of the Woolworth’s building in Waterville, Maine. In the more than 100 years of service to students, Thomas College has made flexible and nontraditional options for delivering educational opportunities a top priority. They offer over 30 undergraduate majors including top-earning professional degree programs like information technology, sports management, accounting, criminal justice, and psychology. Many of their programs are offered fully or partially online. A unique feature of the school is their locked-in tuition guarantee which incentivizes good grades, stating that student’s tuition will not raise if they maintain a 3.8 GPA.

Thomas College is one of the best sports management colleges and universities, as they offer two relevant programs including a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management and a BS in Sports Management Marketing. These 3-year BA programs pack four years of study into only six semesters. This is a rigorous program, for those interested in a dedicated career. In short, a BA in Sports Management is a business degree. The difference in the two offerings at Thomas College is the extra focus of courses related to the marketing of athletics and sports teams and endeavors. It will also provide students with an eye towards the marketing psychology of fan loyalty, for instance. Students can leave the BA program and seek employment in a wide range of fields including sports journalism, event planning, philanthropy and so much more. This program is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science, Sport Management, Management Marketing

York College of Pennsylvania

York College of Pennsylvania was established in 1787 and was initially called the York County Academy. They were initiated with a foundation in connection to St. Johns Episcopal Church. They remain a private four-year institution of higher learning offering many bachelor’s degree programs as well as masters programs and one doctoral option in nursing practice. Situated on 190 acres of land in a park-like setting, the campus is in a suburban area of Spring Garden Township in York County, Pennsylvania. The campus is divided into three adjacent campuses called Main Campus, West Campus and North Campus. They were ranked in 2013 by the US News and World Report as 82nd in the best Regional Universities of the North Category.

Through the Graham School of Business at York College of Pennsylvania, you will find an exciting Bachelor’s of Science in Sport Management program. This course of study has had excellent results in being a platform for students to land leadership positions in the fields of sports management. Many graduates have gone on to work for professional sports organizations, professional tour events, sports marketing companies and sports training facilities, and high school and college athletic programs. Students will gain experience working in the field right from the start of the program with practicums in the first two semesters. They will then participate in a summer internship and capstone experience. This program is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science, Sport Management

Slippery Rock University

Slippery Rock University is often called The Rock or SRU. They were established in 1889 as a public institution of higher learning offering up to a masters level education. They are a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Their 611-acre rural campus is situated in the town of Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, on one of the largest campuses in the western half of the state. They are located just under one hour north of Pittsburgh. They have over 9,000 students enrolled in all of their programming. In 2012 Cheryl Joy Norton became the first woman to be president of the university.

Slippery Rock University offers a bachelor’s in Sport Management that happens to be one of the oldest programs of its kind in the country. They hold a commitment to providing transformative and practical education at the undergraduate level, with a focus on the business end of sports. Students are supported to grow into leaders in this industry with many opportunities for experiential learning and intellectual growth. Students are given many opportunities to think critically and analyze problems related to the sports industry, which include an in-depth study of ethics, civic responsibilities, and social awareness. There are many experiential learning opportunities embedded into the program, enabling students to graduate with practical work experience. This program is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science, Sport Management

University of Florida

The University of Florida was established in 1853 and has been situated on the same campus continuously since 1906. Their campus is located on 2,000 acres of land in Gainesville, Florida. They are affiliated with the State University System of Florida as a senior member. Among 62 other institutions of higher learning, they are a member of the Association of American Universities. In 2020 the US News and World Report has ranked them ninth among the best public universities in the country. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Their total enrollment is 56,000 students, making them the third largest postsecondary school in the state based on enrollment.

The University of Florida offers a Bachelor’s of Science in Sport Management that provides students with the foundations to excel in topics such as finance, law, marketing, management, and the ins and outs of sports organizations. Graduates of the program have landed careers in intercollegiate athletics, sports franchises, sports media, sports committees, municipal recreation, private organizations, amateur sports, and social organizations. Students can perform job responsibilities such as facility and events management, administration, marketing, compliance, sponsorship, player representation, and fundraising. Students are given many opportunities to explore relevant coursework such as Sport and Society, Sports facility design and management, business finance, and sport marketing.

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science in Sport Management

Wichita State University

Wichita State University, which is often referred to as WSU was founded in 1895 with even earlier roots as a Congregational Preparatory School. It was initially established for young women over the age of 12 who could read and write, and was referred to as, “Wichita Ladies College,” Young Ladies College,” and “Congregational Female College.” Before obtaining their current name, they went by Wichita College. They currently have over 200 disciplines of study within their six distinct colleges. Total students enrollment is just over 15,000 students. Their primary campus is situated in Wichita, Kansas on over 330 acres of land.

Wichita State University has their own Department of Sport Management that offers a Bachelor’s of Arts program in the discipline. They are among the best sports management colleges and universities in the country, as they are one of the few in the world with more than one program accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation. In the bachelor’s course of study, students are prepared for careers in the sporting goods industry and within organizations, managerial positions related to sports entertainment, and sport participation. Students will have many experiential learning opportunities that include networking local to the university and throughout the country. This program is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Sport Management

Ohio University

Ohio University was established in 1804, and was the first postsecondary institution chartered by an Act of Congress, and also the first to be chartered by the state of Ohio. The goal of this school’s founding was to expand education in the country and state, as visioned by George Washington. Currently, they are a residential public institution of Higher learning serving students who are primarily from the Midwest and Mid Atlantic United States. They admit 69 percent of their applicants and serve close to 37,000 students per year. Their offerings include over 250 courses of undergraduate study as well as masters and doctoral options. Their primary campus sits on 1,850 acres of land in Athens, Ohio.

Ohio University College of Business offers a Bachelor of Sport Management Program that is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA), which is highly revered. Students in the program will learn the foundations of sports management as a discipline and its core principles. Effective communication is a critical competency for which the program emphasizes. Students will also gain a myriad of career-related skills, as well as critical thinking skills that are relevant to the sports industry. Graduates of the program will have opportunities to enter the field as facility managers, marketing directors, or work within sports entertainment among many other possibilities. This program is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Sport Management

Endicott College

Endicott College was established in 1939, initially as a junior college that served women. Their mission included giving women the educational tools to enhance their professional opportunities and therefore have more independence. In 1975 they became a four-year college, and in 1994 they began admitting men, making it a co-educational institution. Endicott’s gorgeous campus sits on oceanfront property, holding court on 235 acres of land on the Northshore of the Massachusetts Bay. This region of the world is called the Gold Coast. There is lore that Endicott College is one of the haunted colleges in the country as mentioned in many sources including the Book of Haunted Colleges and Universities and the book Haunted Halls by author Elizabeth Tucker.

Endicott College offers Bachelor’s of Science in Sport Management that also encompasses Fitness Studies. This is a challenging program known for its rigor, and it is student-centered in its approach. The curriculum promotes scholarship, professionalism, collegiality, as well as an understanding and appreciation for the sports industry. Endicott places much value on experiential learning in every field, so the embedded internships in the Sport Management program are not unique to the program, but prove to be an effective way for students to grasp experience working in the field. The program is accredited by COSMA (The Commission on Sport Management Accreditation).

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science in Sport Management

Nichols College

Nichols College was established in 1815 with the name Nichols Academy. Amasa Nichols was the founder, and he was a philanthropic industrialist. They are currently a four-year institution of higher learning that offers certificate programs as well as Bachelor’s and Masters degree programs. Their business program has 12 distinct concentrations, and their liberal arts program offers seven unique majors. The US News and World Report have ranked them under the category of best regional colleges in the northern region. They have active sports programs at Nichols, with a championship record and a known presence in New England Division III Athletics.

Nichols College offers a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Sports Management. The expert faculty that facilitates the program have much experience in all aspects of the sports industry including coaching, team management, and marketing. Students will learn the fundamentals of governance and management of both professional and amateur sports, event management, sport facility management, sponsorship and sales, and high school and collegiate athletics administration. Each student will participate in an internship that is tailored to their academic and professional goals. Some of the internships in the past have included working with the New York Rangers, The Boston Red Sox, New York Knicks, as well as working at Madison Square Garden. This program is accredited by the Commission on Sports Management Accreditation (COSMA).

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Sport Management

American Public University

American Public University was established in 1991 as a private institution of higher learning, where all of the coursework is delivered online. American Public University System, known as APUS is an institution that is in collaboration with the American Military University (AMU), and the American Public University (APU). They have both corporate and academic offices located in Charles Town, West Virginia, and additional offices situated in Manassas, Virginia. Their offerings include doctoral, masters, bachelor’s and associates degree programs, as well as dual degrees, learning tracks, and certificate programs. APUS is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission with additional accreditations in various departments.

American Public University offers a Bachelor’s of Science program in Sports Management that is delivered online. This course of study was designed for students who are interested in achieving a position in the sports industry be it: coaching, administration in high school, collegiate, or community sports, or managerial positions in arenas or community recreational sites. Students will engage in coaching strategy and theory, as well as business skills such as marketing public relations, promotion, sports law, and finance. The curriculum stays up to date with industry trends, ensuring that students will graduate with current and relevant skills. Much of what students study includes the appraisal of sociological, historical, philosophical, and political aspects of sports. Students look deeply into ethical practices and procedures, as well as decision-making models that are specific to the professions related to sports management.

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science, Sports Management

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University was established as a private Roman Catholic school in the late 1880s, making it the first Roman Catholic college in Florida. It is located 35 miles north of Tampa on the western, Gulf Coast side of the state, south of what they call the panhandle. The spirit of varied, innovative learning opportunities in the U.S. in many ways began with programs like those at Saint Leo’s. They started this now-common practice of adapting the program curriculum and format to the access needs of their student population. At the time that meant educating soldiers, veterans, and their families who were engaged in the prolonged Vietnam war and wanting a higher ed degree, but needed the flexibility of the wartime military life. Now, only about more than 90% of the students who excel at Saint Leo do so online or through a distance platform.

Acknowledging that Sports is a huge and growing business in the U.S., Saint Leo offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in the field of Sport Business. As a business or marketing degree, Saint Leo gives students the opportunity to craft a career the business of sports, by offering coursework in subjects like Sport Marketing and Promotion, Risk Management in Sport, Legal Issues in Sport, and Media Relations in Sport Business. They also have a relationship with dozens of sports organizations including professional, collegiate, and area high school athletics teams. Each of these institutional relationships means more opportunity for student internships and networking opportunities. It also means a diverse option of lessons in the different needs for athletic organizations and business practices. Saint Leo was one of the first schools to be accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Sport Business

Florida International University

Florida International University, also known as FIU was established in 1965. Currently, they are the most prominent university in South Florida, the fourth largest in the country based on enrollment, and the second largest in the state. Their total enrollment is close to 57,000 students per year. They have two primary campuses including one in University Park, Florida, and one in Miami Dade County. FIU is one of twelve postsecondary institutions that comprise the State University System of Florida. The Carnegie Foundation has classified them as offering the highest level of research activity. They are the home to 17 varsity sports teams known as the Panthers.

Florida International University offers a Bachelor’s of Science in Recreation and Sports Management that is delivered online. This program prepares students to emerge with the skills to be business professionals in the fields related to sports and recreation. The curriculum immerses students into the foundations of law, marketing, finance, sociology of sports, and human resource management. Students will have experiential learning opportunities, including the completion of two internships throughout the course of the program. The flexible online format enables students to complete coursework according to their schedules, and watch lectures while getting real-time feedback. Peer collaboration and support is also embedded into the program.

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Recreation and Sports Management BS

Troy University

Troy University is a public university located in Troy, Alabama. Like many schools on this list, Troy was founded as a Normal school in 1887 to train new teachers. Beginning in the 1960s Troy began opening satellite campuses near military bases to be more accessible to soldiers and their families. They are still invested in finding innovative ways to offer flexible education to nontraditional and military students. On their main campus, Troy serves nearly 8000 students. One unique feature of the school is the Confucius Institute, which opened in 2007. It is affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education and brings knowledge of China specifically around business, and education interests to people across the state of Alabama. They also offer public courses in Chinese culture and language and summer camps for area primary and secondary students. It is the first institute like it in the South.

The Sports Management concentration in the Troy University School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management prepares students for a wide range of career options. This fully online program can be completed from anywhere, even outside of Alabama. Learning the basics of how interscholastic, intercollegiate, professional, and recreational sports teams operate and are run is just the tip of the iceberg for this program focus. Graduates become recreation and fitness program directors, marketing and promotions directors for athletics, or sports event managers. Students also have the opportunity to learn the business of sports and can compete for jobs as corporate sales directors, directors of ticketing and financing, and sport retail managers and sales representatives. This program is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science, Sport and Fitness Management

Davenport University

Davenport University was established in 1866 by a man known as Conrad Swensburg. Currently, they have comprehensive offerings including associates degrees, bachelor’s, masters, diplomas programs, as well as post grad certificate programs. Their primary campus sits on 69 acres of land in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They have more than 7,200 students and 113 academic staff members. Davenport University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The US News and World Report have ranked them 122nd in 2020. The Carnegie Foundation has classified them as a Masters College and University. They have active sports teams and culture that surrounds them, with a mascot known as the Panthers.

Davenport University offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in Sports Management (BBA). They are known as one of the best sports management colleges and universities, and it shows by the fact that they are one of two in the state that is accredited by the Commission on Sports Management Accreditation (COSMA). This pointed degree program provides students with the fundamental skills in business necessary to excel in this field as well as the business industry at large. Such skills include marketing, accounting, finance, IT, economics, and statistics. Students will also be exposed to real-life applications sports management, and have the opportunity to apply their classroom skills in an applicable internship. This program is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration in Sports Management

Metropolitan State University of Denver

The BA in Sport Management at MSU Denver focuses on the business and operations of sport. The dynamic, applied, and career-driven education emphasizes the unique business skills and knowledge required for success in the modern and evolving industries of professional, collegiate, amateur, non-profit and Olympic sport. The COSMA accredited curriculum develops graduates who are prepared to enter this competitive field.

The faculty have established connections in the sport industry, both locally and nationwide, offering students hands-on class projects, community engagement, and meaningful internships. MSU Denver is adjacent to the Pepsi Center and within walking distance of Coors Field and Broncos Stadium at Mile High. The close proximity to multiple sport venues, several large NCAA Division I and II universities, and many Denver area sport organizations provide students with crucial networking and career-building opportunities.

To learn more:  Sport Management Department at MSU Denver

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management

Western New England University

Western New England University is located in the vast Western Massachusetts city of Springfield. It is an institution made up of students who are hard working, ambitious, curious, and caring with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. They can excel in the close-knit campus community, much more like a family than an institution. Students can find everything they are looking for including the confidence to push their abilities to conquer new challenges. In a state that takes education exceptionally seriously, people choose WNEU for its academic excellence and rigor. In 2020, they will celebrate 100 years of serving students, and they are very proud to be among the few small colleges with this distinction.

Western New England University is accredited by the strictest business accrediting body, the AACSB International. The Sports Management major at WNEU is also accredited by the Commission on Sports Management Accreditation (COSMA). It is one of only two sport management programs in the U.S. accredited by both of these bodies. That shows how elite the program is, and how great a WNEU Sports Management degree will look to employers. Since its establishment in 1996, Sports Management has become the most extensive program in the College of Business. Students will prepare to excel in management careers with a core of business courses. The sport management-specific path of business includes coursework like Sports Marketing, International Sports Management, or Business Law for Sports Management. Students will also have the opportunity to learn hands-on skills with local sport business people. Many students in this program obtain a dual major in Marketing or minor in athletic coaching. With one of the best and most accessible law schools in the state, students can also prepare for work in arbitration or negotiation in athletics. This program is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Sports Management

University of Tampa

The University of Tampa, also known as UT was founded in 1931 and became one of the first institutions of higher learning in the Tampa Bay region. Currently, they are a private institution of higher education with over 200 program offerings, which include over 14 master’s degree programs among a variety of majors and minors. They are fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The US News and World Report has ranked the University of Tampa number 21 in the category of Regional Universities in the South. Their campus sits on 110 acres of land in Tampa, Florida. They are committed to maintaining a 17:1 student to faculty ratio.

The University of Tampa offers a Bachelor of Science program in Sports Management. This program intends to give students the foundations necessary to excel in the field of Sports Management. The curriculum combines the concepts of management, sports theory, and practical applications to the field. Each student will participate in an internship throughout the course of their study, which can include many bay area sports organizations. The program is facilitated by four full-time faculty members and no teaching assistants. The program is accredited by COSMA, which stands for the Commission on Sports Management Accreditation. The course of study includes both sports management classes from the Sykes College of Business, as well as the internship that accounts for 12 credit hours. This program is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science in Sports Management

Choose Your Sport Management Degree Wisely

If you’re interested in a sport management degree program, consider what you want out of the degree. A good program prepares students for a variety of sport leadership positions. The best colleges for a sports administration degree program may offer undergraduate and graduate degrees, or just one level. Sports leadership may mean coaching, sports medicine, or any other positions in the sports management industry. Sports management graduates may work for professional sports teams, in minor league sports, or in their local school system. In a sports administration program you will study sports management, business, marketing, and many other aspects of leadership in sports.

Some of the best sports management schools include Columbia University, a private university in New York; Rice University, a private research university located in Texas; and Ohio State University, a public institution. Some of the best sports management schools are actually business schools with a sport management concentration. Sports management degrees from these and all of the best sports management programs can make all the difference in your career.

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Aya Andrews


Aya Andrews is a passionate educator and mother of two, with a diverse background that has shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Born in Metro Manila, she now calls San Diego home and is proud to be a Filipino-American. Aya earned her Masters degree in Education from San Diego State University, where she focused on developing innovative teaching methods to engage and inspire students.

Prior to her work in education, Aya spent several years as a continuing education consultant for KPMG, where she honed her skills in project management and client relations. She brings this same level of professionalism and expertise to her work as an educator, where she is committed to helping each of her students achieve their full potential.

In addition to her work as an educator, Aya is a devoted mother who is passionate about creating a nurturing and supportive home environment for her children. She is an active member of her community, volunteering her time and resources to support local schools and organizations. Aya is also an avid traveler, and loves to explore new cultures and cuisines with her family.

With a deep commitment to education and a passion for helping others succeed, Aya is a true inspiration to those around her. Her dedication to her craft, her community, and her family is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of her life.

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