Earn Your Master's in Sports Management
- $627/credit (36 credits total)
- Transfer up to 12 graduate credits
- Finish in as quickly as 15 months, or at your own pace
- Network with faculty working in the field
- Gain industry experience with an internship
- Flexibility of online courses
Master's in Sports Management Online Program Overview
With a master's in sports management, you’ll gain the business administration and leadership skills you need to turn your love of sports into your dream career. With Southern New Hampshire University’s Master of Science (MS) in Sport Management degree, you’ll learn how to break into this fulfilling, competitive industry by combining hands-on learning opportunities with strong business skills.
Complete coursework in finance, management, media studies and more while gaining hands-on professional experience. Enjoy 12 credits of electives so you can customize your degree program to suit your needs. Learn to apply your savvy business sense to enjoy studying a field in which you are truly passionate: sports.
As one of the most established programs in the country, with a history that dates more than 25 years, SNHU's master's in sports management offers you opportunities to connect with accomplished industry professionals across the country.
Learn how to:
- Apply management and leadership theory
- Critically analyze sports management on a global scale
- Gain practical communication skills
- Develop an ethical framework
- Problem solve and identify functional areas in sports business organizations
- Create connections between classroom and real-world experience
- Strategically analyze organizational information
Pursue Your Passion
Thanks to his online sports management master’s from SNHU, Greg Gosselin '11 is happy to get up every day to do a job in sports administration he loves.
A career in sports management can truly take you anywhere.
“Sport is often described as a universal language,” said Dr. Michael Newhouse-Bailey, associate dean of business at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). “It can speak to people no matter where you are from or what your background is. Its impact to shape society and provide a sense of connection to communities is what keeps me excited about this field.”
The skills you gain in this degree can lead to a rewarding career in sports marketing, finance, facilities management or even event planning. You could leverage your expertise into a career teaching and coaching at the secondary or community college level. Or, perhaps managing a fitness facility or sporting arena interests you.
“The MS in Sport Management program provides students with a solid business foundation with a specialization in its application to the sport industry,” Newhouse-Bailey said.
Communication skills are important for just about any career field, and with sports administration even more so. Strong written and oral communication skills can set you apart in the job market. Solid analytical and creative thinking skills are also important. You need to be able to think on your feet as well as consider how different parts of an organization need to fit together for the operation to run smoothly.
As a sports lover, you already know that there is more to the world of sports than being on the field. Sports journalists and sports marketers are key to promoting sports and to making them accessible to a wide variety of audiences.
“This program prepares students to assume leadership roles in the sport industry, including roles in intercollegiate athletics, professional sport, recreation and interscholastic athletics,” Newhouse-Bailey said. “These roles include, and are not limited to, director of athletics, marketing manager, director of communications, facilities manager and more.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with a master’s degree in sports management qualify for jobs1 such as:
- Operations manager, where you may manage financial, guest services and facilities of a venue to keep it running smoothly. You may also be responsible for staff management and leadership-oriented roles, so strong communication and interpersonal skills will be helpful here.
- Facility director, where you may work at a local community center or fitness center. You may serve as the recreation manager, or director for camps, sports clinics or other recreation programs.
- Sports marketing managers and directors, where you will combine your knowledge of sport with your marketing skills to promote a team or organization. You may use your communication skills to sell products, services and even tickets and experiences for your organization or team. Creative, communication and business skills will help you stand out in this role.
- Athletic director, where you may lead an athletic organization as the manager. You may work at the local, high school, college or professional level or at a fitness center or training facility. Strong communication skills coupled with management and business skills will serve you well here.
There are endless opportunities for someone with an interest in sports and a knack for business to enjoy a rewarding, dynamic and marketable career.
Start Your Journey Toward an Online Sport Management Degree
Why SNHU for Your Master's in Sports Management
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 12 credits from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, Southern New Hampshire University has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- “Most Innovative” regional university honors from U.S. News & World Report each year since 2015
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
- Recognition as a 2017 Digital Learning Innovator by the Online Learning Consortium
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate your industry. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.2 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials — with no GRE or GMAT required.
Students with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75 are eligible for provisional acceptance.
To apply, use the online application.
How to Apply
Courses & Curriculum
Coursework in the MS in Sport Management degree program offers a strong foundation in the business of sport, research methods, sports management, marketing and the finance and economics of sport.
You’ll also have the opportunity to customize your program through an optional hands-on internship and 12 credits of major electives. These electives allow you to bolster your degree in a variety of areas based on your personal and professional interests. Choose from courses in accounting, information technology, economics and more to truly customize your education.
A Business Foundations course is built into the program for those students who come in with little to no business experience. This is yet another way SNHU ensures you'll be supported and prepared for your program. Other students, based on their undergraduate coursework, will be able to waive this course and hop right into the major courses. The Business Foundation course focuses on the principles and mechanics of how business firms function. Whether you have a prior business experience already or only some, this course can help prepare you to succeed in the field of sports management. Financial aspects of business administration as well as principles of economics are also covered.
Sport marketing and media is also a key focus of this degree. Students will examine the concepts used in marketing and communications of a sports organization. These skills are necessary no matter what level of sports organization, be it professional, collegiate or even local.
In the Sport Marketing and Media course, students will use the case study approach to analyze the current market and develop their own marketing and communications plan. Special emphasis is placed on markets, consumers and media relations as these areas each have unique aspects.
“Students will learn skills and tools that will benefit them as they seek career advancement in sport,” said Dr. Michael Newhouse-Bailey, associate dean of business at Southern New Hampshire University. “Students will apply theory in a practical setting as they develop marketing plans and analyze sport in a global context. Coursework focuses on sport marketing, sport finance, business foundations and sport law.”
Because you may likely be dealing with the public throughout your career, strong communication skills are vital. Your master’s in sports administration online program provides ample opportunities to hone your written and oral communication skills. You can learn research skills and study ethics.
You'll also refine your organizational skills and enhance your analytical and critical thinking skills. Having a diverse skill set is important because “a huge part of working in this field is event management and ensuring that customers have a positive experience. This involves a lot of problem-solving,” Newhouse-Bailey said.
Coursework in the master's in sports administration online program provides the necessary interdisciplinary business skills you need to compete in today’s job market. From research methods to management of sports organizations to sport marketing and media, our sports management curriculum helps bridge the gap between theory and application in the real world, so you leave with practical tools you can immediately use in the workplace.
This 36-credit-hour program is conveniently offered online. Complete your coursework when you desire. Enjoy the support of our 24/7 professional academic advisors to ensure you earn your degree at the pace you need. This program provides the flexibility of allowing you to choose 12 credits of electives from a variety of sports management-related topics.
A key part of the curriculum is the opportunity for a hands-on internship. With this optional experiential learning opportunity, you’ll have the chance to build your professional network and gain valuable experience in the field. “Previous students have successfully completed internships within professional teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLS,” said Newhouse-Bailey. “Internship opportunities allow students to build their professional network and gain valuable experience in the field.”
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|MS in Sport Management|
|Courses May Include|
|MS in Sport Management|
|SPT 501||Research Methods in Sport Management||This course examines the methods and techniques used in research in sport management and the sport industry. Including the basic aspects of reading, evaluating, and writing research; this course will explore the concepts developed in relevant literature as they apply to sport management. Topics include problem selection, literature review, instrumentation, methodology, statistical issues, and types of research in physical activity.|
|SPT 510||Sport and Society||Students investigate the interrelationships between sport, culture and society in an attempt to better understand the role and function of sport in contemporary society. Students receive a broad overview of selected socio-cultural factors that influence participation in sports. Major ethical issues of sport in society will be explored.|
|SPT 565||Internationalization of Sport Business||The Internationalization of Sport Business course will help to prepare the sport business manager for the exciting world of global sports. The course is designed to thoroughly introduce the graduate student to the many facets of conducting sport business in the international marketplace. By using real life international sport business examples, students will garner a deeper understanding of the various complexities associated with conducting sport business in an international context. Some of the key areas include culture, international marketing, financial/political/economic risk, ethical dimensions, role of media, technology/products, professional sport leagues and governance.|
|SPT 600||Management of Sport Organizations||This course focuses on the application of management concepts and theories to sports organizations and the sports industry. It includes issues of organizational design, public policy, labor relations, collective bargaining, ethical issues in sport and the globalization of the sports industry.|
|SPT 608||Sport Marketing and Media||This course examines the concepts and processes used in marketing and communications of a sport organization, at the college, professional or community level. Students will utilize the case study approach to analyze current marketing problems and techniques to develop an effective sport marketing and communications plan; with special emphasis placed on the unique aspect of sport products, markets, consumers, and media relations.|
|SPT 620||Finance and Economics of Sport||This course will provide students with an understanding of financial and economic theories and principles utilized in the sport industry. Topics will include the preparation of financial plans, strategic budgeting, capital and operating budgets, sources of revenue, economic theories, supply and demand concepts in the sport industry; economic impact, and other financial and economic theories pertinent to sport industry professionals.|
|SPT 700||Sport Management Capstone||This capstone course is the culminating experience for the M.S. in Sport Management program. The aim of the capstone is to assess students' ability to synthesize and integrate the knowledge and skills they have developed throughout their coursework, rather than introducing new concepts. This course is structured to support student success in fulfilling program requirements.|
|Total Credits: 36|
How to Take an Online Class at SNHU
Southern New Hampshire University understands that everyone learns differently. That’s why our online degree programs are designed to provide a more flexible learning experience that fits your schedule and meets your needs. In this video, you’ll gain a better understanding of how the SNHU online class format works for the modern learner.
Stephanie Arpaia: Networking with Alumni
Thanks to her online sports education at SNHU, Stephanie Arpaia scored a major advantage in kickstarting her sports career. Today, she’s director of consulting for a sports management firm where she puts her MS in Sport Management to the test every day.
Tuition & Fees
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
|Online Graduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour||Annual Cost for 15 credits|
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)
Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you do with master's in sport management?
While competing in sports at the professional level is elite and not for everyone, there are endless ways to enjoy a long, rewarding career in professional sports. If you’re interested in sports, business or community engagement, a master’s in sport management can take you just about anywhere you want to go.
With a master’s in sport management, you can combine your critical thinking, analytical expertise and savvy communication skills for such roles as:
- Athletic director: This is a dynamic administrative role where you could manage the overall work of coaches and staff. You might find this job at a college or university, within a professional sports franchise, at the local level in a high school athletics program or with a recreation or community center.
- Ticket sales manager: This role involves managing all aspects of the box office at a sporting venue. Because the role includes a large level of staff management, strong communication skills are helpful. Organizational skills and some finance acumen are also helpful.
- Corporate sponsorship sales director: This is a dynamic role that combines developing and managing relationships to raise funds in support of an organization. This role requires a high level of interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills.
- Sport marketing director: This role is responsible for coordinating all aspects of marketing for a sports organization. This may include creating promotional materials, social media management and brand development.
- Event director: In this role, you may manage all aspects of large events, including staffing, purchasing, promotion and scheduling. Attention to detail and excellent communication skills are helpful for this job.
- Operations manager: In this logistics-heavy role, you may be in charge of all aspects of event coordination and stakeholder communication. Your role may involve strong project management skills with an emphasis on the guest experience. Or, you may be involved in negotiating vendor contracts and budgets. A strong interest in logistics, communication and the legal or financial aspects of management would be helpful here.
- Guest relations manager: In this role, you could be the point of contact for guests, working to ensure a safe and positive visit to a sporting event or arena. Strong interpersonal skills and administration skills are key.
As you can see, jobs in sports management are not just about sports. These roles are about planning, organizing, teamwork and effective communication. Of course, a love of sports certainly helps.
Is a master's in sport management worth it?
If you’re looking for a rewarding way to combine your interest in business with your passion for athletics, earning a master’s degree in sport management could be just what you’re looking for.
With this degree, your education is grounded in business principles, with options to customize your program according to your personal interests. Enjoy the 12 credits of major electives as an opportunity to explore other areas of business that most interest you. You will be able to do a deep dive into your preferred courses to supplement your core sport management coursework. Put the internship to work with hands-on experience in the field. You’ll gain valuable work experience and make important connections to help you get hired.
Predicted growth in the field is strong. Sports management involves skills grounded in advertising, promotions and marketing. These fields have a predicted 8% growth between 2018-2028.1 For business and financial occupations, that predicted growth is 7%.1 Both are above the national average.
Considering that your master's in sport management can take you in so many directions, plus with high predicted career growth, the future for sports administration professions is bright. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the athletes and sports competitors sector also includes positions such as athletic scout or coach. These professions are expected to hold steady at the national average of 6% growth from 2018-2028.1
Potential jobs with a master’s in sport management include:
- Market analyst, where your role may involve ensuring that merchandise for athletic teams is high quality. You may also conduct market research to determine best product endorsement opportunities for athletes, a team or a franchise.
- Financial analyst, where you may conduct market research or make decisions about licensing products for athletes or a sports organization. You may also write reports to help organizations make decisions about future products or endorsements.
- Facility manager, where you may be involved in all aspects of planning a sports facility or arena. You may be involved in the design and construction, the overall management of staff, grounds and operations or both.
- Sports marketing director, where you may be involved in all aspects of promoting the time through social media, branding and promotion activities.
- Communications director, where you may be responsible for all internal and external communications for your organization. That may include media interviews and appearances, press releases and social media content.
- Sport financial manager, where you may prepare financial plans, strategic plans and budgeting. You may manage operating budgets, and devise new sources of revenue. This role focuses on consideration of overall economic impact for your organization.
Just as there will always be a demand for athletics, there is also a need for innovative thinkers. New ideas and mindsets on how to best bring people together through athletics will always be in demand.
Sports in general are a key part of our national and global culture. As a long-withstanding industry, while sports are definitely big business, they are also beloved by millions of people around the globe. They serve as a form of entertainment, but more than that, as a source of pride and community. Our strong cultural connection to sport is what contributes to its ongoing longevity as an exciting career field with so many opportunities.
How long does it take to get a master's in sport management?
While it takes two years on average to complete a master’s in sport management, the degree can be completed in as quickly as 15 months.
The beauty of studying for an online master’s in sport administration is that you go at your own pace. With 24/7 access to your courses in an online program, you can easily fit your studies in around your work and other commitments.
Students typically take one or two courses per 10-week term. Thanks to the opportunity for an internship with this program, you can also graduate ready to jump into the job market with great experience and professional connections already under your belt.
What kind of jobs can you get with a sports management degree?
With a master’s degree in sports administration, you can gain marketable skills in all areas of sport, including management, marketing and economics. You'll hone critical skills such as communication and analytical thinking. You’ll start with a foundation in business principles and if you choose, can end with a hands-on experience through an internship.
And, you’ll do it all online, which contributes to strengthening your written communication skills. Thanks to the diverse and comprehensive curriculum, you can leave this program ready to tackle all kinds of exciting challenges with professional, collegiate, local athletics and recreational organizations.
Just a few of the jobs that you can get with a sports management degree are:
- Athletic director, where you’ll make decisions for the overall vision and direction of an athletic program.
- Marketing manager, where you could use your communication skills to promote a team or a franchise. You’ll leverage social media and other strategies to make connections between fans and the organization.
- Finance manager, where you can leverage your financial management skills to manage budgets and negotiate contracts.
- Facilities and operations director, where you can use your management skills to keep operations running smoothly.
- Public relations specialist, where your communication skills and media savvy can help you promote your athletes, team or program.
How do you get into sports management?
First, get the right degree. Solid credentials – and the education that goes with them – can make you stand out in any job market.
Second, you may want to take advantage of the hands-on experience you will earn with an optional internship. With Southern New Hampshire University offering both an undergraduate online sports management degree program and this MS program, as well as an online MBA in sport management, you have options. These degree programs can provide the hands-on professional experience you need to help make connections that could help you get noticed by the right hiring manager.
And third, don't forget the importance of networking. Southern New Hampshire University can help. You’ll be able to learn at your pace while networking with faculty who are currently working in the field. Most importantly, you’ll have the support of one of the biggest alumni networks in the country to back you up.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
This program and its concentrations are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Student achievement data can be found on College Navigator.
Sources & Citations (1, 2)
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/athletes-and-sports-competitors.htm (viewed May 5, 2020)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm (viewed May 5, 2020)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm (viewed May 5, 2020)
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2 According to more than 9,200 SNHU online students in survey responses from the fall of 2019.