The sports industry is one that regularly requires educated candidates; this is perhaps why there are so many exceptional accelerated online Master’s in Sports Management degrees available in the United States today. From major league sports teams to the facilities that host the games, there is always a need for sports management professionals who understand the industry inside out. While a bachelor’s degree is a great entry point for professionals, a graduate degree will solidify their credibility in the industry and provide them with leadership positions

The 5 Most Affordable Accelerated Sports Management Master’s programs are: 

  1. Louisiana State University
  2. Florida Atlantic University
  3. Troy University
  4. University of Southern Indiana
  5. Western Kentucky University

Continue reading below for in-depth profiles of the top 20! 

Most sports management professionals are interested in advancing and the best way to do that is with an online degree. These are flexible and affordable programs, making them a perfect fit for a working professional who does not have time for a traditional campus program. It also enables them to complete their degree quicker, ensuring that they can advance in the industry as soon as possible.

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Sports Management

As a most affordable ranking, the Fast Online Master’s ranking of sports management master’s programs is featured in order of tuition rate, according to current IPEDS stats. But students want to know their decision will pay off, so we feature only reputable, accredited colleges. 

1. Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University offers an MS in Sports Management that is accredited by COSMA. LSU’s best online masters in sports management degree program requires the completion of 36 graduate semester credits – all online, but only one year to complete. BestMastersPrograms.org recognizes LSU’s online degree among the best online sports management masters programs in the nation. Coursework for the sports management degree includes organizational behavior in sports, sports law, economic issues in sports, and social issues in sports, to name a few.

LSU’s official name is the Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College. Founded in 1860, LSU now operates as a land, sea, and space-grant institution of higher education, with a student enrollment that nears 35,000 undergraduate & graduate students. Louisiana State University is recognized to be Louisiana’s flagship higher learning institution.

Degree: Sports Management, MS

Format: Online – 12 months

2. Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University offers an AACSB accredited MBA in Sports Management that can be completed in less than two years. Florida Atlantic University’s best online masters in sports management program offers degree candidates three start dates each calendar year – Summer, Spring, and Fall. FAU’s best online sports management masters programs are available for full-time and part-time students and requires students to complete a minimum of 40 to 43 graduate credit units.

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) is a member of the state’s university system, with multiple campuses throughout south Florida. Established in 961, Florida Atlantic University  also operates as a space-grant school with more than 30,650 undergraduate & graduate students. Florida Atlantic University holds the distinction of being the first public institution of higher education to have opened in southeast Florida.

Degree: Sports Management, MBA

Format: Online – 23 months

3. Troy University

Top 50 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Business Management Online Troy University

Troy University offers one of Alabama’s best online sports management masters programs with its Master of Science degree (MS) in Sports Management program that has received accreditation from COSMA. Troy University’s best online masters in sports management program prepares graduates for rewarding careers in major league sports – NBA or NFL, as well as many college or minor league sports facilities and teams. Classes for Troy University’s 36-credit hour (of which 12 credits may be transferred, if eligible) include foundations of sport & fitness management, sport finance, sport consumer behavior, and physical education, sport, and the law, to name a few.

Founded as a state-run normal school to train teachers, Troy University now serves more than 18,000 students across its multiple Alabama campuses. Established in the late 1880s, Troy University is now organized into seven colleges/schools offering degrees in education, communication, business, health, and arts/sciences, among others. Troy University is home to the Confucius Institute, which was designed to promote Chinese culture.

Degree: Sports Management, MS

Format: Online – generous transfer

4. University of Southern Indiana

The University of Southern Indiana offers an MS in Sports Management degree program (MSSM)that can be finished in only one year. USI’s best online masters in sports management program is available entirely online and requires students to finish a minimum of 33 graduate semester units. Additionally, students enrolled in the University of Southern Indiana’s COSMA-accredited best online sports management masters programs must complete classes in strategic sport communication, leadership skills, sports marketing, and fiscal practices, and the dimension of diversity in sport organizations, among others.

The University of Southern Indiana (USI) was founded in the mid-1960s. The university’s suburban campus in Evansville serves more than 8,950 undergraduate and graduate students. The University of Southern Indiana offers its student a comprehensive selection of more than 135 student organizations.

Degree: Sports Management, MS

Format: Online – 12 months

5. Western Kentucky University 

Western Kentucky University offers one of the best online sports management masters programs in Kentucky with its Master of Science degree program (MS) in Recreation and Sports Administration with an academic emphasis in athletic administration and coaching. WKU’s best online masters in sports management program requires degree candidates to complete 33 graduate semester units over an eighteen month time span. Coursework for Western Kentucky University’s graduate degree in sports management includes theory of recreation & sport, legal issues in sports, public relations in recreation and sports, plus sports fiscal practices, among others.

Western Kentucky University (WKU) is a public institution of higher education that was established in 1906. WKU maintains multiple campuses in Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Owensboro, and Glasgow that serve more than 20,150 undergraduate and graduate students. Western Kentucky University’s Bowling Green campus is situated on a hill that overlooks the Barren River Valley – a tributary of the Green River.

Degree: Recreation and Sports Administration, MS

Format: Online – 18 months

6. Adams State University

Adams State University offers an MA in Sports Management that is ranked among Colorado’s best online sports management masters programs. Degree candidates enrolled in Adams State University’s WKU’s best online masters in sports management program must complete 36 graduate semester units – all online. This graduate degree from ASU can be completed over 24 months with classes that include facilities & event management, leadership skills, sports law, social aspects of the sport, and measurement and evaluation, among others.

Adams State University was founded as a state-run normal school in the early-1920s. The university’s Alamosa 90-acre campus is home to approximately 3,350 students. Adams State University athletes participate in NCAA Division II – Rocky Mountain conference. Adams State University was named to honor the state’s 3-term governor, Billy Adams, who worked tirelessly to create teaching education opportunities in rural Colorado.

Degree: Sports Management, MA

Format: Online – 2 years

7. University of Central Arkansas 

The University of Central Arkansas  offers an MA in Sports Management that is one of Arkansas’s best online sports management masters programs. Degree candidates enrolled in UCA’s best online masters in sports management program can complete this 30-credit unit program in as little as twenty months. Classes for the University of Central Arkansas’s graduate degree in sports management include financial principles in sport management, sports marketing, sport law aspects, and sports organization communication, to name a few.

The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) began as a state-run normal school for teachers. Established more than 100 years ago (in 1907) as a postsecondary school, the University of Central Arkansas currently operates as a space-grant school with a student enrollment that nears 11,500 undergraduate and graduate students. The University of Central Arkansas is one of the largest postsecondary schools in the state of Arkansas.

Degree: Sports Management, MA

Format: Online – 20 months

8. Wilmington University

Wilmington University offers an MS in Management that offers an academic track in Sports Management that is ranked among Delaware’s best online sports management masters programs. Students enrolled in Wilmington University’s best online masters in sports management program may participate in a five-day stay at the Olympic training facility, with the work to be included in the student’s thesis or simulation culminating project. Students have the opportunity of starting the program every eight weeks.

Wilmington University was established in the late 1960s but now maintains more than a dozen campuses across Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey. Wilmington University’s multiple campuses are home to more than 20,350 students vying for the more than 100 academic and certificate programs. Wilmington University athletes participate in the NCAA Division II – Central Atlantic Conference as Wildcats.

Degree: Management, MS

Format: Online – generous transfer

9. Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University offers an MS in Sports Management that is one of Georgia’s best online sports management masters programs. This 24-month, best online masters in sports management program from Georgia Southern University requires students to complete at least 36 graduate credit units. Classes for this degree include sports law, revenue generation, sports administration, event management, and financial management, to name a few.

Georgia Southern University is a member school of the state’s university system that was founded in 1906. In addition, Georgia Southern University is a land and space-grant higher learning institution with dual campuses in Statesboro and Hinesville. More than 25,850 students attend classes offered online and on the school’s campuses. Georgia Southern University holds the distinction of being the fifth-largest Georgia higher learning institution.

Degree: Sports Management, MS

Format: Online – 2 years

10. North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University offers a Master of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Sport Management that is considered among the best online sports management masters programs in North Carolina. This best online masters in sports management program from North Carolina State University requires the completion of 31 graduate semester credits – all available online and available to be completed in only two years. Graduates enter the workforce as events coordinators, recreation program directors, or sports marketing representatives, among others.

North Carolina State University (State) was established in the late-1880s as a mechanic and agricultural, land-grant school. NC State is a member school of the North Carolina university system with a student enrollment that exceeds 36,150 undergraduate and graduate students. North Carolina State University maintains a number of campuses in the Raleigh area.

Degree: Master of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Management

Format: Online – 2 years

11. St. Thomas University

St. Thomas University offers an MS in Sports Management that is ranked as one of Florida’s best online sports management masters programs. St. Thomas University’s best online masters in sports management program can be completed 100% online in only one year. This 30-credit graduate degree in sports management is offered with six-8-week terms. Students graduate prepared for rewarding careers as athletic directors, facilities management, parks & recreation directors, media relations specialists, sports camp directors, or sports information directors, among others.

St. Thomas University was founded as a private postsecondary school in 1961. The university’s south Florida campus (and online platform) is home to approximately 4,050 undergraduate and graduate students. The history of St. Thomas University can be traced back to Havana – during the mid-1940s.

Degree: Sports Administration, MS

Format: Online – 12 months

12. University of Louisville

University of Louisville

The University of Louisville offers an MS in Sports Administration (MSSA) degree program that is recognized among the best online sports management masters programs, according to Sports Management Degree Guide. Additionally, the University of Louisville’s best online masters in sports management program can be completed in only 24 months, with a reduced tuition rate for active-duty students. Degree candidates must complete 36 graduate semester credits to meet the sports management program’s requirements.

The University of Louisville (UofL) was founded in 1798 and the first postsecondary school situated to the west of the Allegheny Mountains. This space-grant institution of higher education serves about 21,050 students that are from all fifty states and more than 100 international locations. The University of Louisville holds the distinction of being one of the schools to create the first blood banks in the nation.

Degree: Sports Administration, MS

Format: Online – 2 years

13. Belhaven University

Belhaven University offers an MBA in Sports Administration that is recognized to be one of Mississippi’s best online sports management masters programs. Belhaven University’s Louisville’s best online masters in sports management program requires the completion of coursework that includes venue and event management, regulatory/legal environment of sports, and trends in sports administration, among others.  In addition, Belhaven requires degree candidates to complete 42 graduate credit units to meet the MBA degree requirements.

Founded as a Christian university for young ladies in 1883, Belhaven University is now home to more than 4,050 students. Belhaven University is named to honor the neighborhood in which it is situated. Male students were admitted in 1954 after a Board vote, and a men’s tennis and basketball program were added a dozen years later.

Degree: Sports Administration, MBA

Format: Online – 7 week terms

14. Colorado State University

Colorado State University offers a Master of Sports Management degree program (MSM) that is ranked among Colorado’s best online sports management masters programs, according to BestMastersPrograms.org. This best online masters in sports management program offers students three academic specializations in business, sports marketing, or sports media & communication. Students enrolled in CSU’s 18-month graduate degree in sports management are required to complete at least 32 to 26 graduate credit hours, depending on the academic specialization selected.

Colorado State University was established as an agricultural college and a land-grant school in 1870. In addition, Colorado State University is a space-grant postsecondary school with a student enrollment that exceeds 34,050 undergraduate and graduate students. Colorado State University’s living alumni nears 170,000 and include astronauts and Pulitzer Prize winners, among other preeminent positions.

Degree: Sports Management, MSM

Format: Online – 18 months

15. Jacksonville University

Jacksonville University’s Applied Health Sciences School offers an MS in Sports Management degree program (MSSM) that is recognized to be among the Sunshine State’s best online sports management masters programs. JU’s best online masters in sports management program requires the completion of twelve classes, for 36 credit units, over the course of one year. Students graduate from this graduate degree program in sports management to find rewarding careers working in public relations, event management, professional sports, or journalism, to name a few.

Jacksonville University is a private postsecondary school that was founded in the mid-1930s as a junior college. At present, Jacksonville University is a member of the Sunshine State’s independent universities and colleges. The university’s urban campus in Jacksonville, Florida, is home to nearly 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students.x

Degree: Sports Management, MS

Format: Online – 12 months

16. Lasell University

Lasell University offers an MS in Sports Management degree program (MSSM) that is considered to be one of Massachusetts’ best online sports management masters programs. Additionally, Lasell University’s best online masters in sports management program offers degree candidates four academic concentrations – sports tourism/hospitality, leadership, athletic administration, and parks & recreation. Lasell College’s graduate degree in sports management requires students to complete a minimum of 36 semester units at the graduate level. Classes include sports marketing, administrative procedures, and leisure studies, to name a few.

Lasell University was founded in 1851 as a female seminary in a village within the town of Newton. At present, Lasell is home to more than 2,050 undergraduate & graduate students. Nearly ¾ of students enrolled in Lasell College live on campus.

Degree: Sports Management, MS

Format: Online – 12 months

17. Georgetown University

Georgetown University offers a Master’s in Sports Industry Management that is among the nation’s capital best online sports management masters programs. This best online masters in sports management program from Georgetown University requires the completion of 30 semester hours over a two-year time frame. Classes for Georgetown University’s graduate sports management degree includes sports law and contracts, strategic sports marketing, applied ethics in sports, sports business analytics, and sports economics/global brand management, to name a few.

Georgetown University is a research school that was founded in 1789. Georgetown remains affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church; however, the school operates independently. The school’s basketball program holds the distinction and record of 8-Big East Championships. The majority of the 18,850 students are not Catholic. Georgetown University is home to one of the nation’s oldest debating societies.

Degree: Sports Industry Management Master

Format: Online – 2 years

18. Northeastern University

Northeastern University offers a Master of Sports Leadership that is ranked among Boston’s best online sports management masters programs. Northeastern University’s practice-oriented, best online masters in sports management program has received accreditation from COSMA. Additionally, Northeastern University’s one-year graduate degree in sports management offers an academic concentration in professional sports administration, with classes that include corporate sponsorships, fiscal practices, sports management, risk management in athletics, sports marketing, and event management, to name a few.

Northeastern University is a private, space-grant school that operates multiple campuses in Massachusetts, North Carolina, California, Washington, Maine, and Canada. These campuses are home to more than 25,550 students studying for the degrees offered by the university’s eight colleges/schools. Northeastern University’s cooperative education model is world-renowned and offers students the opportunity to earn a full-time salary while studying for their degree.

Degree: Master of Sports Leadership

Format: Online – 12 months

19. Lynn University

Lynn University offers an MBA in Sports Management that can be completed in as little as one year. As one of Florida’s best online sports management masters programs, Lynn University’s best online masters in sports management program includes coursework in sport management topics, legal aspects of athletics, sports business management, and professional & intercollegiate sports issues, plus an internship in sports management, to name a few.

Lynn University was established as Marymount College (a junior college for women known as the College of Boca Raton) in the early 1960s. The university’s Boca Raton campus covers more than 100 suburban acres and serves about 2,950 students. Lynn University was named in 1991 to honor the school’s benefactors – the Lynn Family.

Degree: Sports Management, MBA

Format: Online – 12 months

20. Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University offers a Master’s in Sports Management that is recognized to be among the best online sports management masters programs in New Hampshire. In addition, Southern New Hampshire University’s best online masters in sports management program requires the completion of 36 graduate credit hours, with up to 12 eligible credits available for transfer. Students enrolled in the Southern New Hampshire University ACBSP-accredited degree program in sports management can be completed entirely online in only fifteen months.

Southern New Hampshire University is a private postsecondary school that has seen tremendous recent growth due to its successful online programs. The university’s student enrollment on-campus and online nears 91,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Southern New Hampshire University was originally founded as an accounting and secretarial school by 2nd generation immigrants.

Degree: Sports Management, MS

Format: Online – 15 months

Why Should I Get My Sports Management Master’s Online?

Online education is becoming more accepted by employers, so getting a sports management master’s online could be an affordable option for entering this line of work. More state universities and respected institutions are offering online masters in sports management which gives the degrees more credibility. With online education, you can stay at home, which makes it much more affordable. Online education is less expensive in many other ways as well. It is the ultimate in convenience in addition to being a more affordable option.

You may also do your online sports management master’s classwork when it is convenient, so it is a good option if you have a full-time job already. A sports management degree involves a lot of disciplines and will qualify you to have a professional administrative job in sports and possibly in other areas. There are many options in the sports world that need managing and a sports management master’s online is a good way to become qualified.

Is a Master’s in Sports Management Worth It? 

It is worth it if you have the personality and innate skills to excel in the sports world. There are also possible applications in other areas besides sports. It is a degree in management, so it could have an application in any kind of management. Sports is a little different than other businesses, so you would need to have a slightly different mindset working with sports than what you would have as a business manager in any other field. The answer to the question, is a master’s degree in sports management worth it, is a resounding yes.

You need to have an outgoing personality, and you need to be able to talk with people easily. There is a good mix of teamwork, leadership, and facilities management skills you can learn while earning the degree. The pay is good and there are likely to be jobs available for people with training, so that makes it worth it. Online is a more affordable way to get a degree.

What Can I Do with a Master’s in Sports Management?

With a master in sports management jobs, you could become a facility’s operations manager, event coordinator, sports agent, and many other sports-related type jobs. Sports is a huge business and there will always be a need for someone to administer teams and facilities.  This is also similar to a business management degree, so you could potentially get a management job that is not in sports. The biggest difference perhaps is that sports management might involve more interaction with people. Jobs with a master’s in sports management are often exciting and action-packed.

Sports management is also a way to remain involved in sports significantly. Jobs you can get with a master’s in sports management could include working for a university, or for a professional team. If you become a sports agent you would be able to work directly with college and professional athletes. For some diehard fans, a master’s in sports management jobs could be a dream job to work with the team you have always loved. A sports management position with a team would be a significant position in any organization. With this degree, you could also get jobs in government and in the business world. With a sports team, you could also be involved in public relations, and helping deal with situations as they arise. It could be a high-pressure job, but it would also be rewarding.

How Much Can I Make with a Master’s in Sports Management?

With all the different kinds of jobs you could get with a Masters in Sports Management, there would also be a very wide spectrum as far as to pay.  A master’s in sports management salary averages $96,000, but that could be much higher depending on the job you have. The low end to start would be around $55,000 and the upper end would be $165,000.

The benefits are usually very good. If you work for a University. In addition to a good sports management master’s salary, you would get all the state benefits professors and other school employees get. A Master’s in sports management salary is a job that many people would want.

As a sports agent, you would have your own business, and there would be no limit to how much you could make. Sports management masters’ salary would depend on how many athletes you represent.

Increases in jobs could increase masters in sports management salaries. Sports management salary with masters also has a lot of upward mobility in most situations. As you move up the ladder sports management masters’ salary would increase significantly.

Related Rankings:

TOP 20 MOST AFFORDABLE ACCELERATED MASTER’S IN SPORTS MEDICINE ONLINE

TOP 10 MOST AFFORDABLE ACCELERATED MASTER’S IN SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY ONLINE

5 INTERNSHIPS FOR MASTER’S IN SPORTS MANAGEMENT STUDENTS