By BVS Staff
Thinking about enrolling in an online sports management program? You’re not alone. This is a popular choice for many undergrads – and for good reason. Sports represents a multibillion-dollar a year industry, and millions of people every year fantasize about a possible future as a professional athlete. But since that’s a career choice reserved for only a very few, many find that they can still get in on the action by working as administrators, facilities managers, communications directors, marketers, and in other positions within the world of sports.
Fortunately, a fair number of schools offer online bachelor’s degrees in this field. To get started, you simply need to find the one that’s right for you!
The 20 Best Online Sport Management Programs Ranking Methodology
For this ranking, we focused on public and private (non-profit) colleges and universities that offer sport management majors online. Because the focus of this list is on affordability, we only considered programs with average* tuition rates of $25,000/year or less.
*For public schools, we calculated the average value of their in-state and out-of-state rates.
Unfortunately, there are a limited number of bachelor’s degrees in sports management available online. Therefore, we could not compile a pool of options large enough to justify a complex ranking system in which we’d filter out schools based on a list of specific factors.
So instead, we ranked the programs solely according to their affordability. See below for the best cheap sports management online degree programs, ranked from most to least expensive.
Cheap Online Sport Management Degrees Ranked
20. Liberty University
Online Sport Management (B.S.)
The brand new affordable online sports management degree at Liberty University represents a great option for Christian students. Launching in fall 2018, the B.S. incorporates a biblical worldview, thanks to the school’s 12-credit “Christian Life and Thought” course requirement. But Liberty has plenty more to recommend it, including a generous transfer policy (you can bring in up to 75% of the required credits), a fully online curriculum, and eight yearly start dates. Plus, you can define your degree with one of four cognates: Sports Administration, Sports Communication and Public Relations, Sports Outreach, or Venue and Event Management. None of those fit your interests? Choose the General cognate and determine your own course of study.
Average Tuition & Fees: $21,310/yr
19. Concordia University-Saint Paul
Online Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management
Working adults with busy schedules will appreciate the B.A. in Sports Management at Concordia University-St. Paul. Thanks to a fully asynchronous course load, you’ll progress through this accredited online sports management program at your own pace, at whatever times are convenient for you. Plus, accelerated, seven-week-long courses allow you to move through the curriculum quickly. Classes cover myriad topics, including business, biomechanics, marketing, law, and more, readying you for a career in all manner of sports-related positions and settings. Finally, you’ll also wrap up your studies with an internship at a site that you and your advisor determine resonates with your personal and professional career goals.
Average Tuition & Fees: $21,250/yr
18. University of Iowa
Online BS in Sport and Recreation Management
Like most distance programs, you can pursue the University of Iowa’s cheap sports management online degree from anywhere in the country. However, Hawkeye State residents will have a slight advantage when it comes to field experiences. The B.S. requires students to take nine credit hours of either guided or independent training so that you can choose the option most suitable for your background. And if you’re a local, the school will help connect you with sites nearby (recent opportunities included the Iowa Speedway and Chicago Blackhawks!). But learners in all locations can appreciate the school’s diverse curriculum, which incorporates eight concentrations in areas such as Sport and Diversity, Coaching and Sport Instruction, and Interscholastic Athletic/Activity Administration.
Average Tuition & Fees: $19,787/yr
17. Johnson C Smith University
Online Sport Management Major
If you’re reading this sports management major online ranking in search of an HBCU, give Johnson C. Smith University a look. This North Carolina school shines for its smart classroom technology and interdisciplinary curriculum. Recorded videos and presentations help replicate the on-campus experience, while courses in communications and computer science ensure you become a well-rounded job applicant. You’ll also have the opportunity to pair your major with one of eight complementary minors, such as Community Health, Sports Medicine, or Fitness and Wellness Management. One caveat? You’ll need to participate in an on-campus internship in Charlotte, where you’ll shadow athletic trainers and directors to get real-world experience.
Average Tuition & Fees: $18,236/yr
16. Davenport University
Online BBA in Sport Management
As a Bachelor of Business Administration program, Davenport University’s accredited sports management online degree incorporates coursework in finance, marketing, accounting, economics, and more. In addition, it imparts the IT and statistics skills you’ll need to make smart decisions on the job – skills you’ll get a chance to put into practice during a 300-hour internship. While you can certainly complete your internship close to home, Grand Rapids residents will benefit from local partnerships with the Detroit Red Wings, the Lions, and other hometown teams. Plus, you’ll have access to the school’s Sport Management Student Organization, which offers valuable opportunities to network with industry professionals.
Average Tuition & Fees: $16,726/yr
15. University of the Southwest
Online Bachelor of Business Administration: Sport Management
New Mexico-based University of the Southwest offers another opportunity to earn a B.B.A. with an emphasis on sports management. Beyond the typical business coursework, the curriculum also explores how sociology, law, and other disciplines intersect with business. As you earn this top online sports management degree, you’ll gain the skills and experience necessary to apply for certification from two prestigious bodies: the National American Society of Sport Management and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. And if you plan to complete graduate-level study, you’ll appreciate that the school also offers an online MBA with a specialization in Sport Management and Recreation.
Average Tuition & Fees: $15,456/yr
14. United States Sports Academy
Online Bachelor of Sports Science (B.S.S.)
On this sports management major online ranking, the United States Sports Academy sets itself apart for one main reason: It’s an entirely sports-focused school. Founded partly in response to the United States’ poor performance at the 1972 Summer Olympics, USSA offers a small but targeted selection of athletically oriented programs – including a Bachelor of Sports Science with a major in Sports Management. With courses informed by industry leaders and experts, this degree offers unparalleled training for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the world of sports. USSA also offers an unusual emphasis in Sports Security, which will teach you how to keep venues safe and respond to emergencies.
Average Tuition & Fees: $15,420/yr
13. Colorado Mesa University
Online BS in Sport Management
If you live in Colorado and eventually want to earn an MBA, check out Colorado Mesa University. In addition to a top online sports management program, CMU also offers an MBA with a track in Sport Management, so you can easily transition into graduate-level study after earning your BS. Other program perks extend to residents of all states, including a broadly applicable curriculum that will leave you with a versatile set of skills. More specifically, the coursework balances theory-focused classes (e.g. “Sport in Society” and “History and Philosophy of Sport and Physical Education”) with practical ones (such as “Sport Marketing” and “Sport Operations”). Before graduating, you’ll also complete a senior seminar and internship for hands-on practice.
Average Tuition & Fees: $13,416/yr
12. Johnson & Wales University
Online BS in Sports, Entertainment, Event Management
If you’re not sure you want to pursue a career in sport management, you might appreciate JWU’s multifaceted program. Much more than your typical sports management online degree program, Johnson and Wales touches on multiple industries with its B.S. in Sports, Entertainment, and Event Management. As such, you’ll take classes that extend beyond the sports-specific, instead developing skills and values that apply to the hospitality industry as a whole. You’ll also acquire decision-making techniques that you can apply to real-world problems, and you even have the option to study abroad.
Average Tuition & Fees: $13,365/yr
11. Eastern Kentucky University
Online Sport Management Bachelor’s Degree
With six yearly start dates, eight-week terms, and a fully online curriculum, Eastern Kentucky University offers an accredited online sports management program that can fit even the busiest professional’s schedule. You’ll never need to visit the Richmond campus while pursuing your degree, and the school’s generous transfer allowance (up to 90 credit hours) can help you make the most of any previous college courses you’ve taken. Classes cover everything from law to psychology to policy, and the 38 credits of electives let you put your own spin on the curriculum. And if you’re worried about making time for an internship, don’t be: the school has a very minimal requirement of just 50 hours.
Average Tuition & Fees: $13,808/yr
10. Florida International University
Online BS in Recreation and Sport Management
After enrolling at Florida International University, you’ll pair up with a dedicated “success coach” who’s always on hand to talk through issues and plan out your course of study. That’s not the only way FIU’s cheap online sport management degree stands out, however. You also have the option to join the school’s Honors College, an opportunity that’s not always available to online learners. To graduate with honors, you’ll need to earn 12 credits in some combination of interdisciplinary seminars, study abroad experiences, and thesis writing courses. Beyond the honors notation on your transcript, you’ll also benefit from increased access to research opportunities and the chance to attend lectures, symposia, and conferences.
Average Tuition & Fees: $12,755/yr
9. Troy University
Online Bachelor of Science in Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management
Troy University offers an affordable sports management major online that stands out for its high-quality curriculum. The Commission on Sport Management Accreditation even put its official stamp of approval on the coursework. And it’s easy to see why; classes combine broadly applicable soft skills like leadership and communication with industry-specific topics that range from event management to revenue generation. The degree also includes a class on research methods to help you learn how to evaluate the latest findings and apply them on the job. As for hands-on practice, you’ll have a chance to participate in a two-part internship and (if you want) also complete an independent research project.
Average Tuition & Fees: $11,872/yr
8. University of Minnesota-Crookston
Online Bachelor of Science in Sport and Recreation Management
More than many schools, the University of Minnesota at Crookston goes above and beyond expectations to meet the needs of adult learners. Not only is the program available entirely online, but it offers pathways to accommodate both first-time college students and transfers (holding an A.A. or A.A.S.). What’s more, this cheap online sport management degree costs the same for both in-state and out-of-state applicants: just under $12,000. On the academic side, you’ll find a curriculum that touches on ethics, leadership, finance, psychology, and more. You’ll also take a business-writing course to brush up on essential communication skills and tackle group projects that will prepare you to succeed in collaborative environments.
Average Tuition & Fees: $11,700/yr
7. Wilmington University
Online Bachelor of Science in Sports Management
At Wilmington, you’ll take both business- and sports-focused courses as you pursue the school’s affordable sports management major online. The business core encompasses coursework in accounting, strategic management, and human resources, while the sports core introduces you to industry-specific topics like media relations, facilities management, and the sociology of sport. You’ll then further refine your work by choosing 15 credits of electives; options range from the historical (e.g., “Sports in America”) to the eminently practical (“Sports and Athletics Fundraising”). You can even add a concentration in Nonprofit Management, which focuses on the specific fiscal and advocacy needs of organizations such as the YMCA and local parks and rec offices.
Average Tuition & Fees: $10,670/yr
6. Averett University
Online BS in Physical Education: Sport Management
On this online sports management program ranking, Averett University offers one of the absolute best options for adult learners. That’s because you’ll work with an advisor to devise a wholly unique learning experience based on your career goals. You’ll schedule classes at times that are convenient, and you’ll build independent study experiences that take advantage of your existing expertise while also cultivating new skills. And while these features cater to non-traditional learners, the program serves first-time college students just as well as those with transfer credits or years away from school.
Average Tuition & Fees: $10,325/yr
5. University of Northwestern Ohio
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Marketing and Management
For an affordable top sports management online degree that places a focus on marketing, check out the University of Northwestern Ohio. This Lima-based school offers both an associate’s degree and a B.S. in Sport Marketing and Management. Both programs cover crucial industry skills and topics – like law, promotion, event management, and finance – and give you a chance to network with industry professionals. Another key component? In both programs, you’ll need to complete a two-part internship. By partnering with a local or national athletic organization, you’ll gain invaluable hands-on experience – and maybe even a permanent job offer!
Average Tuition & Fees: $10,269/yr
4. University of Florida
Online Bachelor of Science in Sport Management
Potential UF applicants have plenty of opportunities to explore the school’s B.S. in Sport Management, thanks to frequent virtual information sessions as well as opportunities to chat directly with admissions counselors. And if you ultimately decide to pursue UF’s top sports management major online, you’ll benefit from even more opportunities to get involved. Not only will you complete a full-time internship, but you can also join student organizations that focus on leadership, research, and other topics. And with optional study abroad opportunities around the world, you can continue your hands-on learning in the international arena.
Average Tuition & Fees: $10,228/yr
3. Columbia College
Online Bachelor of Arts/Science in Business Administration: Sports Management
At Columbia College, you can pursue a cheap online sport management degree in one of two ways: as a B.S.B.A. or a B.A.B.A. For the most part, both options have similar requirements and the option to complete up to two business-focused internships. In addition, both programs share the same overarching mission: to help you gain a broader understanding of the “social and cultural environment” that defines business within the sports community. The main differences? B.S.B.A. majors will take more business-focused electives. But no matter your course of study, you’ll appreciate the school’s affordable tuition (just under $8,000) and generous credit transfer policies.
Average Tuition & Fees: $7,887/yr
2. Bellevue University
Online BA in Sport Management
Bellevue University’s accredited online sports management program features a business-forward curriculum that emphasizes management, leadership, and effective problem-solving. On top of that, the department encourages students to pair their B.A. in Sports Management with a minor in Business Administration as a way to double-down on essential managerial skills. Like most top schools, Bellevue also requires sports management majors to complete a three-credit internship in their junior or senior year. To ensure that this experience directly matches your professional goals, a program advisor will work with you to find an appropriate sports organization and position in your area.
Average Tuition & Fees: $7,365/yr
1. Central Methodist University
Online Bachelor of Science in Sports Management
When it comes to price, it’s hard to beat Central Methodist University. This Missouri school’s accredited sports management online degree costs just under $6,000 for both in- and out-of-state students. But you won’t sacrifice quality for cost, thanks to a broad curriculum that readies you for work in myriad industries. Required courses touch on planning, operations, administration, marketing, and more, and you’ll round out your classroom learning with hands-on experiences. These experiences come not only through required internships but also through the opportunity to participate in athletic events and collaborate on group projects with your classmates. And with both eight- and 16-week course options, you can arrange your class schedule to meet the demands of your daily life.
Average Tuition & Fees: $5,760/yr
Thanks for reading our ranking of the 20 top cheap online sports management programs!