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Online Masters Degree in Sports Management: Program Summary

Through an online master's degree program in sports management, students learn how to coach and administrate sports in schools and community centers. The completion of this program typically leads to a Master of Science. This article outlines the requirements and courses you must complete to earn an online master's degree in sports management.

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Essential Information

There are a variety of online master's degree programs available in sports management. Students take courses online but they may need to attend summer residency programs, where they complete hands-on components of the program, such as sports training. Students can also gain practical experience through internships completed close to where they live. These internships and on-campus visits allow students to coach and participate in a variety of sports. The experiences can help them practice the real-world skills needed to take on jobs in coaching, scouting, sports marketing, athletic training or team management.

Related Degree Options

Students can find many online graduate options related to sports management. They may decide to study athletic administration, sports coaching or health promotion, among other subjects. Program options include:

  • Graduate Certificate in International Sports Management
  • MBA in Athletic Administration
  • Master of Science in Sports Coaching
  • Master of Science in Exercise Science and Health Promotion

Online Master of Science in Sports Management Program Summary

Through this online master's degree program, students learn management techniques for a wide variety of sports, combining these techniques with business training. Students acquire skills in business management, marketing, leadership and sports law. In order to be eligible for the master's program, students must have at least a bachelor's degree and practical experience working in the sports industry. Typically, this program is intensive to the sciences and students take a variety of business, management and leadership courses.

Program Information and Requirements

An online Master of Science in Sports Management program takes between one and two years to complete. Students log on using the school's Web-based applications to watch and listen to lectures, complete assignments and interact with other students.

Students interested in completing this program must have a working computer and reliable Internet access. Other computer software programs, such as Microsoft Office Suites, Adobe Flash and Acrobat Reader, may be required. A Webcam and media player is also essential.

List of Common Online Sports Management Courses

Online courses are completed in one of two ways, either with regular due dates and assigned class periods, or in a flexible manner conducive to a student's own schedule. Students take only courses related specifically to the major.

Promotion and Sales in Sports Course

Students study ways to raise money to develop and promote sports. They learn methods used to generate funds, make a profit and keep the sports team running effectively.

Society and Sports Course

This course familiarizes students with the role sports play in contemporary society. Students examine cultural factors influencing participation in sports and addresses ethical issues.

Sports Law Course

This course introduces students to legal concepts in sports and issues associated with sports, sports management and the sports industry. These include an overview of the relationship between the athlete and the agent and issues faced by professional sports teams or athletes, including media scandals and sports-related injuries.

Media and Sport Marketing Course

Students completing this course analyze current sports marketing problems and learn to develop marketing plans that could help sports teams raise money to purchase necessary equipment. They also learn ways to find sponsors and evaluate the cost of different aspects of managing a sports team, including paying athletes, coaches and promoting sponsors.

Coaching Sports Methodology Course

Through this course, students learn how to coach sports and teach students sports skills. Students develop a coaching philosophy based on contemporary trends in sports and learn how to adapt it to meet possible future trends.

Career Information for Graduates

Upon completion of a master's degree in sports management, students can find careers as coaches, athletic trainers, sports marketing directors, scouts, sports team managers or athletic directors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, the median annual salary for athletic trainers was $39,640 in May 2008. Coaches and scouts earned $28,340, and marketing directors averaged $120,070. The BLS states that demand for these positions is growing much faster than the average demand for all occupations.

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