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Working professionals in the athletics industry – from professional, big-league sports to kids’ programs and education – can benefit from a master’s degree. But those who are already working also have a lot of other responsibilities on their plate, which may make it difficult to go back to school. An online, accelerated sports management master’s degree program is the solution. 

In the event you decide that you want to earn a master’s degree in sports management, you’ll be entering a sector that has an incredible selection of career possibilities. Jobs for masters in sports management degrees range from working as a facilities coordinator on the low end of the salary scale to sports revenue manager on the high end. Sport management masters jobs are found in all major and minor athletic leagues, schools, arenas, sports memorabilia manufacturers, public relations, and more. 

Methodology: Ranking the Best Accelerated Sports Management Master’s 

Accelerated master’s programs aren’t just about speed, so for the Great Business Schools ranking of the best accelerated sports management master’s, fast is only the start. With a pool of accredited online programs offering accelerated options, editors rank qualifying programs according to their tuition rate, student satisfaction, and potential salary. 

1. Louisiana State University

louisiana state lsu

Louisiana State University’s Sports Management, MS is an accelerated sports management masters program. This program is accredited by COSMA and prepared students for advanced positions in the sports industry. Students learn to think innovatively and become thoughtful athletic leaders. Its expansive curriculum handles sport management topics. Students interested in facilities management, policy development, finance, and behavior development will benefit from LSU’s accelerated sports management masters program.

A public grad school, Louisiana State University is located in Baton Rouge. In LSU’s grad school, there are nearly 6,000 students, who choose from 78 programs offered. Ten of these an be taken online or by enrolling in LSU’s distance education program for graduate students. Besides sports management, many students major in business, law and social work. Just 23% of grad students attend part-time, so this school may be a better fit for full-time learners. 

Highlight: Louisiana State University ranks a respectable 153rd among national universities but 72nd compared to other public universities according to U.S. News & World Report.

Degree: Sports Management, MS

2. East Tennessee State University

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East Tennessee State University’s Sports Management, MS is an accelerated sports management masters program. This online program lets students study when it’s convenient for them, which is ideal for those with family and work obligations to organize around. The program teaches learners the foundation of sport management, athletic administration and similar roles. Those already working in the field can move ahead by applying advanced concepts to competency for advanced positions. The same experienced faculty members teach the online and in-person courses for continuity and consistency.

This public graduate school is located in the Kingsport Area of Tennessee. Over 3,000 grad students study 46 majors and 10 of them can be taken online or via distance education. Besides sports management, the most popular courses at Tennessee State University include nursing, public health and pharmacy programs. Just 35% of students take classes part-time.

Highlight: East Tennessee State University is No. 127 among the Best Education Schools. Schools are ranked by performance by U.S. News and World Report. 

Degree: Sports Management, MS

3. Northwestern University

northwestern u

Northwestern University’s Sports Management, MS is an accelerated sports management master’s program. Sports represent a huge range of economic opportunities — but competition is fierce and many professionals choose to deepen their knowledge through a master’s degree. Those interested in entering or advancing a current career in sports can build the skills needed to administer programs, coach or teach via Northwestern’s comprehensive online masters in Sports Management. MSA classes taught by experienced faculty members, who deliver practical knowledge based on careers in the industry. Students have wide access to executives and professionals in marketing, operations and sponsorship at the amateur, college and professional levels. 

Located in Evanston, IL, Northwestern University played a key role in brining higher education to the region. This private university has over 21,000 students, and an endowment of more than $11 billion.

Highlight: Northwestern University is one of the highest-ranked institutions in the US.

Degree: Sports Administration, MS

4. Indiana State University

indiana state

Indiana State University’s Sports Management, MS is an accelerated sports management masters program. The content emphasizes curriculum established by the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM). Students learn leadership, research methods, risk management, marketing, social context of sports and ethical considerations.

Indiana State, located in Terre Haute, Indiana has 2,094 grad students. Of the 49 programs, 22 are available online. Besides sports management, students at Indiana State University study business, registered nursing and educational administration. 57% of students study part-time.

Highlight: ISU is a great place to attend school. This midsize school was ranked highly as a place for voluminous opportunities for professional growth.

Degree: Sports Management, MS

5. Morehead State University

morehead state

Morehead State University’s Sports Management, MA is an accelerated sports management masters program. Graduates pursue careers in college, amateur and professional sports franchises. The MSU Career Services team offers advice on interviewing, planning and resume creation and it also assists students who wish to find internships and job hunting services.

Morehead State is a small public graduate school with 800 graduate students. Of the 25 concentrations, 13 can be taken 100% online. Sports management, teaching and business rank among the school’s popular course tracks. 

Highlight: 71% of its graduate students are part-time, indicating flexibility in the school’s outlook toward adult and returning students.

Degree: Sports Management, MA

6. Troy University

troy u

Troy University’s Sports Management, MS is an accelerated sports management masters program. The sports industry generates $400 billion annually, and its growth is bound to continue, given current interest in sporting events. This ensures an increase in jobs due to the high demand for employees with advanced management degrees. Students just starting their career or those hoping to obtain a doctorate find the accelerated sports management masters program a good preparation for their goals. Troy’s SMMS provides the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the industry. 

Located in Troy, Alabama, this midsized grad school has an enrollment of 3,500 graduate students. There are 29 graduate programs on offer, and you can take 18 of them online. Counseling psychology, sports management, human resources and business are among the popular majors on campus and online. Nearly 79% of students attend grad school part-time.

Highlight: Troy SMMS graduates currently work in the NBA, NFL, campus recreation, Division I athletics and minor league sports. They also hold jobs in event management and recreational facilities. 

Degree: Sports Management, MS

7. University of Southern Indiana

southern indiana

University of Southern Indiana’s Sports Management, MS is an accelerated sports management masters program. The MSSM is a 33-credit program and each class runs for seven weeks. Students take courses one at a time or two at a time to finish the accelerated sports management masters faster. Taking the accelerated route, the program can be completed in one year. 

Southern Indiana is located in Perry Township, Indiana and has 1,458 graduate students. SIU offers 15 graduate programs, 5 of which are available online or through distance education programs. Business, medical social work, sports management and healthcare management are among the most highly chosen courses of study.

Highlight: 83% of its graduate students are part-time learners who pursue careers or raise families while finishing their studies.

Degree: Sports Management, MS

8. Western Kentucky University

western kentucky u

Western Kentucky University’s Recreational and Sports Administration, MS is an accelerated sports management masters program. This program includes a concentration in athletic administration and coaching. This fully online program gives students maximum flexibility in how they complete their courses. If you want to teach Interscholastic (K-12) sports, this accelerated sports management masters program gives you the knowledge and experience you need. Designed to solidify leadership, coaching and administrative skills, this program covers theoretical and practical topics. 

Western Kentucky, located in Bowling Green, Kentucky has 2,426 graduate students. There are 52 programs, 18 of which are offered remotely. Popular programs include recreation and leisure studies, organizational leadership and speech-language pathology. Two-thirds of graduate students attend part-time.

Highlight: 100% of surveyed students agree that the instructors they have care about students’ success. All students surveyed agreed that their professors were interesting and engaging.

Degree: Recreation and Sports Administration, MS 

9. Adams State University

adams state u

Adams State University’s Sports Management, MA is an accelerated sports management masters program. Sports have become one of the most profitable industries, and graduates look forward to careers in retail management, media relations, facilities and public and private entities. The accelerated sports management masters program is a 36-credit track offering a variety of practical experience in sport management. All courses can be taken online for optimum convenience for grad students who cannot relocate.

Adams State in Alamosa, Colorado is a midsize graduate university with 1,113 students. Of the 9 programs at Adams State University, 8 can be taken via graduate distance education or online. Teaching, business, counseling and psychology are among other popular majors at ASU. More than half (65%) of grad students take classes part-time.

Highlight: Of students surveyed, 100% took full-time courses and thought that was the best way to complete their programs.

Degree: Sports Management, MA

10. Wayne State University

wayne state u

Wayne State University’s Sports Management, MA is an accelerated sports management masters program. Utilizing industry professionals to teach the fundamentals of sports management, this program gives students a real-world view of jobs in professional, collegiate, interscholastic and other sports sectors.

Wayne State, a public graduate school, is located in Detroit. Nearly 10,000 grad students attend 121 graduate programs. Nine are also available online or via distance education opportunities. Although many students pursue an accelerated sports management masters. the most popular programs are business, medicine and social work. 39% of graduate students attend part-time at Wayne State.

Highlight: 100% of those who responded to a survey thought Wayne State had professors invested in students’ success. All survey respondents agreed that their instructors were easy to understand. 

Degree: Sports Administration, MA

What if I Don’t Need a Master’s?

Getting a master’s degree is a great way to get ahead in sports management, but it’s not the only option for students who want to enhance their existing degree or work experience. A graduate certificate in sports management fills the degree gap for those who have earned a master’s degree in a similar field or are working in the management sector and want to focus on entering the world of sports management. 

Sports management graduate certificate programs are completed in less time than an associate’s degree and consist of classes that address common management techniques as they apply to the world of sports. You can expect a graduate certificate in sports management to require anywhere from 18 to 24 credit hours for completion. A graduate certificate in sports management can be earned in two semesters or less and enable you to transition into a new career or expand your current career skills in less time than it takes to earn a degree. 

When time is an issue due to work and/or family obligations, but getting a graduate certificate in sports management is highly desired, there is always the option to enroll in a graduate certificate in sports management online program. An online sports management certificate course can be completed anywhere and at any time. You are free to attend an educational institution of your choice, even if it’s not anywhere near you geographically. The potential to earn a sports management certificate from a prestigious university is there, something that may not have been available to you if you have to physically attend a campus. 

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

Jobs for sport management masters are plentiful and it’s more a matter of finding a career path that satisfies your goals and needs along with recognizing opportunities for advancement when they arise. Here’s a look at some of the jobs for masters in sports management:

Sporting Event Planner or Coordinator

All sporting events require planning long before the day of a match or meet arrives. A sporting event planner has to anticipate the needs of the teams, figure out where the opposing team will stay, arrange transportation when the home time is away, getting local businesses to work with the team by providing discounted hotel rooms or freebies for game attendees, and making sure that the game runs smoothly from the moment the gates open for the fans to the time everyone leaves after the game is finished. When it come to pay for this type of sports management masters jobs, it’s on the low end of the scale. However the experience gained at this level can help with finding sport management masters jobs with better pay. 

Sports Accountant 

This particular type of jobs with a masters in sports management is a good fit for someone who wants to work behind the scenes and enable the team to do its best work. Being a sports accountant is not unlike being a tax accountant. The work tends to be seasonal with the bulk of activity coming during the sports season. During the rest of the year, the sports accountant maintains the budget for the team and makes sure money is available for off-season needs. A sports accountant is a sports management masters job that presents an opportunity to earn a full-time salary while working part of the year.  

Sports Agent

This is one of those jobs that is highly coveted by those who are looking for jobs in the sports industry. It’s also usually one of those jobs with a sports management masters degree requirement. Not only do you have to mentor for your player, you have to teach them the law as it relates to their employment as an athlete, find them employment, examine contracts prior to signing, and make sure the player behaves and shows up to mandated events and practices. Agent jobs for sports management masters are well-suited to individuals who have a legal degree and experience working in the legal field. 

Game Operations Director

This job for sports management masters degree holders is similar to that of event coordinator, but on a much larger scale. The game operations director is in charge of large stadiums and/or arenas that accommodate thousands of fans on game day. This role requires managing security details, keeping track of the entertainment and entertainers, making sure the game starts on time, sponsors get their name shown through the appropriate media outlet, and the facility is empty of all non-essential persons after the game is over and it’s time to lock the gates. 

Related Rankings:

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15 Best Online Sports Management Master’s Degrees

10 Most Affordable Sports Management Master’s