Top Sports Management Graduate Schools

Review some important considerations for choosing a school with a strong graduate program in sports management. Read about three well-ranked schools with programs in this field, and find out what sports management graduate degrees each school offers. Schools offering Education - Sports Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Top Sports Management Graduate School?

You may wish to investigate programs at institutions that are highly rated for overall academics as well as those accredited by COSMA, the Commission on Sports Management Accreditation. COSMA was jointly established by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education and the North American Society for Sport Management, which maintains a list of universities that offer COSMA-accredited sports management programs.

COSMA accreditation replaced the former Sport Management Program Review Council (SMPRC) accreditation process in 2008, so not all programs have been reviewed under the new system. SMPRC accreditations will still be valid and recognized by COSMA until they expire.

You may want to investigate strong programs in your particular area of sports management interest, such as marketing, agenting or administration. Top programs also offer a broad range of internship opportunities and usually feature instructors with professional connections - both of which can assist you with career placements in this highly competitive field.

What are Two Top Sports Management Graduate Programs?

Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL

In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Florida State as tied for 70th in the category of national universities. FSU offers sports management programs at the certificate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. The graduate programs are accredited through SMPRC. The FSU Department of Sports Management offers graduate training for professional sports management employment as well as research opportunities.

A 12-hour online graduate certificate is available in coaching. Master's programs are designed to prepare students for entry or mid-level sports management positions. Students will complete a practicum with a sports-related organization. The doctoral program prepares students to be teachers and researchers.

The FSU Sports Management programs offer special opportunities. Graduate students with international interests have access to a summer Global Sports Management program in Europe. The program sponsors an annual sports management conference and distinguished lecture series. Its Center for Sports Industry Research provides market research data for public and private entities. Graduate programs include:

  • Online Graduate Certificate in Coaching
  • Master of Science in Sport Management (thesis track)
  • Master of Science in Sport Management (non-thesis track)
  • Dual Master of Science in Sport Management/Juris Doctor
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Sport Management

Columbia University in New York, NY

An Ivy League school, Columbia University placed 16th in 2019 for the QS World University Rankings. Also for 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Columbia University as tied for #3 among national universities. Columbia offers a Master of Science in Sports Management within its School of Professional Studies. The program provides industry-specific training that includes finance, law, marketing, personnel management and event and facility management. Faculty include full-time faculty in these areas as well as professionals who work in college athletics or with pro baseball, basketball, football and tennis leagues. Faculty also have expertise in sports media and publications, public relations and physical education. The following degree is offered:

  • Master of Science in Sports Management

Sports Management Graduate Schools

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition (2018-2019)*
University of Connecticut4-year, PublicStorrs, CT$18,000
Louisiana State University4-year, PublicBaton Rouge, LA$13,000
University of Illinois4-year, PublicUrbana, IL$18,000
Indiana University4-year, PublicBloomington, IN$10,500
University of Georgia4-year, PublicAthens, GA$11,000
Texas A&M University4-year, PublicCollege Station, TX$10,000
University of Tennessee4-year, PublicKnoxville, TN$13,000
University of Michigan4-year, PublicAnn Arbor, MI$23,000
University of North Carolina4-year, PublicChapel Hill, NC$12,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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