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The sports indus­try in the US and world­wide is a mul­ti-bil­lion dol­lar busi­ness, and a degree in sports man­age­ment is one of the most reli­able ways of break­ing into the busi­ness side of ath­let­ics. With career oppor­tu­ni­ties like mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tions, sales and mer­chan­dise man­age­ment, or even becom­ing a sports agent, a sports enthu­si­ast or for­mer ath­lete can make sports man­age­ment a reward­ing career path.

Earn­ing a degree in sports man­age­ment would pro­vide many more options for an inspir­ing stu­dent inter­est­ed in sports. For work­ing adults who are look­ing for pro­mo­tion or a career change, though, mon­ey is often the main stick­ing point in going back to school (even more so than time). Find­ing an afford­able online sports man­age­ment degree can help prospec­tive stu­dents get past that block and make a change in their lives. The top 10 sports man­age­ment col­leges for afford­abil­i­ty ranked by Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter can help stu­dents get the cre­den­tials they need with­out break­ing the bank.

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Online Sports Management Degree Programs

For rank­ing the most afford­able online sports man­age­ment degree pro­grams, on cri­te­ria stands above all oth­ers — cost. Even though the rank­ing is arranged from low­est to high­est tuition rate (based on cur­rent IPEDS data), schools still had to meet the basic stan­dards of Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter — accred­i­ta­tion, rep­u­ta­tion, and proven job mar­ket suc­cess for graduates.

1. Bellevue University

A Belle­vue Uni­ver­si­ty online BA or BS in Sports Man­age­ment degree pro­vides the stu­dent with a strong foun­da­tion in sports ter­mi­nol­o­gy and sports law. Some cours­es include account­ing, pub­lic rela­tions, event man­age­ment, and sports mar­ket­ing. The BSSM or BASM pre­pares the stu­dent with pro­fes­sion­al busi­ness acu­men for the very com­pet­i­tive field of study. Skills need­ed for the degree are com­mu­ni­ca­tion, crit­i­cal think­ing, lead­er­ship, and prob­lem-solv­ing. Belle­vue Uni­ver­si­ty also is an afford­able online sports man­age­ment degree, with low tuition and strong finan­cial support.

Belle­vue, found­ed in 1966, is a non­prof­it insti­tu­tion in Belle­vue, Nebras­ka. The col­lege ranks as one of the top insti­tu­tions for mil­i­tary stu­dents. Their goals are to pro­vide an inno­v­a­tive and mar­ket-focused school that builds on the integri­ty of its stu­dents. Belle­vue Uni­ver­si­ty is also a region­al­ly-accred­it­ed school.

Degree: BA or BS in Sports Man­age­ment

Learn more about this afford­able sports man­age­ment degree!

2. Troy University

Troy University’s online BS in Hos­pi­tal­i­ty, Sport, and Tourism Man­age­ment degree with a con­cen­tra­tion in Sport Man­age­ment. The degree puts empha­sis on strong val­ues and gives stu­dents a com­pet­i­tive advan­tage as they pre­pare for the job mar­ket. The course­work required will pre­pare stu­dents for inter­scholas­tic, inter­col­le­giate, pro­fes­sion­al, and recre­ation­al sports jobs. Skills that may ben­e­fit each grad­u­ate are skills, like oral, inter­per­son­al, and writ­ten com­mu­ni­ca­tion. The BS-HSTM degree rec­om­mends stu­dents to be pro­fi­cient in IT sys­tems as well. Troy University’s afford­able online sports man­age­ment degree is one of the best-ranked in the nation.

Troy Uni­ver­si­ty, home of the Tro­jans, was found­ed in 1887. The Uni­ver­si­ty offers degree pro­grams at four cam­pus­es in the State of Alaba­ma. The uni­ver­si­ty is also a mil­i­tary-focused school; in fact, there is a teach­ing cen­ter right on Fort Ruck­er base. As a pub­lic insti­tu­tion, Troy is well known for its afford­abil­i­ty and out­reach, espe­cial­ly through its grow­ing online programs.

Degree: Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence, Hos­pi­tal­i­ty, Sport and Tourism Man­age­ment – Sport Man­age­ment Con­cen­tra­tion

3. Columbia Southern University

Colum­bia South­ern University’s online BS in Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion Sports Man­age­ment con­cen­tra­tion works to pro­vide each stu­dent with fun­da­men­tal busi­ness prin­ci­ples applied to the sports indus­try. Cours­es for the BSBA-SM degree include sports tourism, fran­chise man­age­ment, and busi­ness law. In addi­tion, risk man­age­ment and health and fit­ness class­es are also rec­om­mend­ed. Stu­dents who grad­u­ate with the BSBA in Sports man­age­ment will go on to careers, like sports man­agers, sports direc­tors, or sports admin­is­tra­tors. The pro­gram is 120 cred­its; how­ev­er, up to 90 cred­its can be trans­ferred in.

Found­ed in 1993 in Orange Beach, Alaba­ma, Colum­bia South­ern Uni­ver­si­ty is ded­i­cat­ed to dis­tance edu­ca­tion, and has made its rep­u­ta­tion on offer­ing low-cost edu­ca­tion­al options to all, includ­ing their afford­able online sports man­age­ment degree pro­gram. The school not only has low tuition, but a flex­i­ble enroll­ment pro­ce­dure, giv­ing work­ing adults more con­ve­nience in earn­ing or com­plet­ing their degree.

Degree: BSBA in Sports Man­age­ment

4. Columbia College (MO)

The Bach­e­lor of Arts in Sports Man­age­ment at Colum­bia Col­lege is an afford­able online sports man­age­ment degree. The col­lege pro­vides stu­dents in cours­es that will build up their knowl­edge of the sports indus­try. The pro­gram is 120 cred­its with cours­es of study in sports finance, social media, and sports and event mar­ket­ing. Some com­mon elec­tives are pub­lic rela­tions, sales pro­mo­tions, and orga­ni­za­tion­al behav­ior. Class­es are avail­able online and on cam­pus. For the BA-SM degree, Busi­ness ethics is required as well.

Colum­bia Col­lege was found­ed in 1851 and is affil­i­at­ed with the Dis­ci­ples of Christ. Its loca­tion between the big cities of St. Louis and Kansas City has made it a great choice for job place­ment. The school has a low stu­dent-to-fac­ul­ty ratio and pro­vides sev­er­al clubs or orga­ni­za­tions to get involved in as a new stu­dent. Reg­u­lar­ly ranked a top region­al col­lege for the Mid­west by pub­li­ca­tions like U.S. News & World Report and Forbes, Colum­bia Col­lege is also well known as the best val­ue for its rea­son­able tuition costs.

Degree: BA in Sports Man­age­ment

5. Eastern Kentucky University

The East­ern Ken­tucky University’s online Bach­e­lor in Sports Man­age­ment is an accel­er­at­ed and afford­able online sports man­age­ment degree pro­gram. Most cours­es are only eight weeks long and pro­vide the fun­da­men­tal class­es that pro­mote lead­er­ship and crit­i­cal think­ing skills. The pro­gram is 120 cred­its; how­ev­er, the stu­dent can trans­fer up to 90 cred­its from anoth­er col­lege. The tuition for the Bach­e­lor in Sports man­age­ment is kept low, thanks to EKU’s sta­tus as a pub­lic region­al col­lege. EKU is also reg­u­lar­ly not­ed as a mil­i­tary-friend­ly school.

East­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty was estab­lished in 1906 as a teach­ing col­lege for the region. EKU is locat­ed in the heart of Blue­grass Coun­try, in Rich­mond. It is about 100 miles from Cincin­nati, OH. Thanks to its loca­tion, many grad­u­ates of EKU’s sports man­age­ment pro­gram find careers with­in the sports indus­try as a high school coach, NFL team man­ag­er, or go to NASCAR, mak­ing it one of the top 10 sports man­age­ment col­leges in the nation.

Degree: Bach­e­lor in Sports Man­age­ment

Learn more about this afford­able sports man­age­ment degree!

6. Florida International University

Flori­da Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty’s BA in Recre­ation and Sports Man­age­ment excels in help­ing new grad­u­ates make head­way in their career. As the sports indus­try con­tin­ues to boom, so does many oppor­tu­ni­ties in sports. Many FIU grad­u­ates find posi­tions in sports mar­ket­ing, com­mu­ni­ty recre­ation cen­ters, or at sports are­nas. FIU’s afford­able online sports man­age­ment degree pro­vides cours­es in sports law, finance, and human resources.

FIU’s main cam­pus is locat­ed in Mia­mi, home of the Mia­mi Dol­phins, and its loca­tion is one of the biggest rea­son FIU is fre­quent­ly ranked as one of the top 10 sports man­age­ment col­leges. The school pro­vides a world-class cur­ricu­lum for all its degrees and cer­ti­fi­ca­tions. FIU is also rec­og­nized for excel­lence for oth­er rea­sons. It was ranked in 2018 as #1 in the nation for award­ing His­pan­ics a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and has been named one of the most diverse uni­ver­si­ties in the nation.

Degree: BA in Recre­ation and Sports Man­age­ment

Learn more about this afford­able sports man­age­ment degree!

7. University of Minnesota Crookston

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­neso­ta Crookston’s BS in Sport and Recre­ation Man­age­ment degree pre­pares stu­dents for a career in pro­fes­sion­al sports and com­mu­ni­ty involve­ment. Many go on to become ambas­sadors of the YMCA and oth­er non­prof­it com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions. The degree pro­vides team build­ing skills and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills. The SRM pro­gram is avail­able at any lev­el, whether it is for associate’s, bachelor’s and mas­ter’s degrees. Most stu­dents will find careers as prod­uct devel­op­ment offi­cers, ath­let­ic coor­di­na­tors, pub­lic rela­tions, and recruiters for sports teams. The pro­gram is 120 cred­its; how­ev­er, the school accepts trans­fer cred­its to speed up the process and cut costs.

Estab­lished in 1966, UMC deserves recog­ni­tion as one of the top 10 sports man­age­ment col­leges in the US for its afford­able pro­gram. UOM pro­vides men­tor­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to its stu­dents and low tuition costs. In fact, for neigh­bor­ing states, in-state tuition is also avail­able. Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­neso­ta is known for pro­vid­ing small class­room sizes and excel­lent job place­ment options for all stu­dents. The school also pro­vides intern­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties to stu­dents on all five campuses.

Degree: BS in Sport and Recre­ation Man­age­ment

Learn more about this afford­able sports man­age­ment degree!

8. University of Iowa

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Iowa’s BS in Sport and Recre­ation Man­age­ment degree is offered by the School of Health and Human Phys­i­ol­o­gy. The full degree is 120 cred­its, but stu­dents only need to com­plete 48 semes­ter hours, nine of them being field expe­ri­ence hours, at Iowa. The sports and recre­ation man­age­ment degree is con­cen­trat­ed in busi­ness stud­ies, sports instruc­tion, coach­ing, and ath­let­ic admin­is­tra­tion. The Sports and Recre­ation Man­age­ment degree is avail­able online, mak­ing it con­ve­nient for stu­dents to enroll from any­where. The tuition cost for UI’s afford­able online sports man­age­ment degree is one of the low­est among schools in the Big Ten.

Found­ed in 1847, Uni­ver­si­ty of Iowa is known as a major pub­lic research uni­ver­si­ty. Home of the Hawkeyes, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Iowa was the first state uni­ver­si­ty to accept both men and women. The school has thir­teen grad­u­ate pro­grams and prides itself on hav­ing a low stu­dent-to-teacher ratio of 16:1. Not only the top 10 sports man­age­ment col­leges for afford­abil­i­ty, UI also makes diver­si­ty and com­mu­ni­ty a priority.

Degree: BS in Sport and Recre­ation Man­age­ment

Learn more about this afford­able sports man­age­ment degree!

9. Colorado Mesa University

Col­orado Mesa Uni­ver­si­ty’s BS in Sports Man­age­ment pro­gram teach­es the­o­ret­i­cal and prac­ti­cal stud­ies in the sports indus­try. Cours­es touch on lead­er­ship and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills. The pro­gram is 120 cred­its; how­ev­er, up to 90 cred­its are accept­able from oth­er insti­tu­tions. Some com­mon places of work include youth pro­grams, sports recruit­ment cen­ters, or health clubs. Col­orado Mesa’s afford­able online sports man­age­ment degree pro­vides the stu­dents with knowl­edge of plan­ning, orga­niz­ing, and imple­ment­ing sports events.

Estab­lished in 1925, The Col­orado Mesa Uni­ver­si­ty is locat­ed in Grand Junc­tion, near the majes­tic Grand Mesa moun­tain­tops. As a pub­lic region­al uni­ver­si­ty, Col­orado Mesa is known for its stu­dent sup­port and out­reach, as well as its low tuition rates that make a degree acces­si­ble to all. Those in the Sports Man­age­ment degree can be eli­gi­ble for depart­ment schol­ar­ships, adding to what is already a seri­ous value.

Degree: BS in Sports Man­age­ment

Learn more about this afford­able sports man­age­ment degree!

10. Wilmington University

Wilm­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty’s BS in Sports Man­age­ment degree pro­gram edu­cates stu­dents on the busi­ness of the sports indus­try. Wilm­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty offers career advance­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties to its stu­dents while hir­ing the top experts in the sports indus­try as instruc­tors. The pro­gram pro­vides cours­es in sports mar­ket­ing, media rela­tions, team oper­a­tions, and fundrais­ing. Wilm­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty made the list as one of the most afford­able online sports man­age­ment degree pro­grams, and they stand by that promise.

Wilm­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty, estab­lished in 1968, is career-focused and a mil­i­tary-friend­ly envi­ron­ment. Their sports man­age­ment degree pro­gram is 100% online, but there are sev­er­al cam­pus­es in Delaware and in the state of New Jer­sey. In addi­tion to their BS in Sports Man­age­ment, Wilm­ing­ton offers sports-relat­ed cer­tifi­cate pro­grams as well, solid­i­fy­ing its sta­tus as one of the top 10 sports man­age­ment col­leges for value.

Degree: BS in Sports Man­age­ment

Learn more about this afford­able sports man­age­ment degree!

How Much Does it Cost to Get an Online Sports Management Degree?

Online sports man­age­ment pro­grams are a clear choice for work­ing adults who want to go into the sports indus­try, or for pro­fes­sion­als who are already in the field who need a degree to help earn advance­ment and pro­mo­tion. Some sports man­age­ment stu­dents choose online cours­es, due to the flex­i­bil­i­ty and avail­abil­i­ty they offer. How­ev­er, with col­lege tuition ris­ing, many will ask, can I find sports man­age­ment cours­es online free from the high tuition costs? Where are the cheap­est sports man­age­ment degree online programs?

The cost of an online sports man­age­ment degree depends on the student’s needs; if you already have an associate’s degree, the most eco­nom­ic approach is an online bachelor’s com­ple­tion pro­gram. The cheap­est sports man­age­ment degree online gets even cheap­er if you can trans­fer a lot of cours­es and cut down how many cours­es you need to take.

How­ev­er, if you’re start­ing from scratch, your costs will be high­er, since you will need all of the gen­er­al edu­ca­tion cours­es along with the major class­es. The most afford­able tac­tic would be to earn an associate’s degree from a com­mu­ni­ty col­lege before going on to a bachelor’s degree com­ple­tion pro­gram. Many com­mu­ni­ty col­leges today even offer all of their gen­er­al edu­ca­tion cours­es online, so com­bined with a bachelor’s com­ple­tion, you can get the cheap­est sports man­age­ment degree online possible.

Can I Get a Sports Management Degree for Free?

There are sev­er­al sites to help stu­dents find the cheap­est sports man­age­ment degree online. But can a stu­dent find any free online sports man­age­ment cours­es? Find­ing col­lege tuition in sports man­age­ment cours­es online free is near­ly impos­si­ble if you’re hop­ing for col­lege cred­it. While many col­leges offer free online cours­es in a vari­ety of fields, they are usu­al­ly non-cred­it con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion courses.

Find­ing the cheap­est sports man­age­ment degree online will help when mak­ing deci­sions on schools, but there is one oth­er way. Anoth­er pos­si­ble way to receive online sports man­age­ment cours­es at lit­tle to no cost is by being employed by the right per­son. Some­times employ­ers who see poten­tial in their staff will occa­sion­al­ly offer tuition assis­tance or reim­burse­ment to help pay for the high costs of high­er edu­ca­tion. Some employ­ers will even help pay tuition for even part-time workers.

Can I Add an Online Sports Management Certificate to My Bachelor’s?

Many work­ing pro­fes­sion­als who already have a bachelor’s degree can ben­e­fit from adding a cer­tifi­cate to their resume; if you’re inter­est­ed in mov­ing into sports man­age­ment, or need more cre­den­tials for the job mar­ket, an online sports man­age­ment cer­tifi­cate can make a big dif­fer­ence. Plus, hav­ing the cer­tifi­cate can help build on a stu­den­t’s self-esteem and appeal to employ­ers look­ing for more from the aver­age job seeker.

Online sports man­age­ment pro­grams are designed for the con­ve­nience of work­ing adults and can be a great way to start a career in sports man­age­ment. An online sports man­age­ment cer­tifi­cate pro­vides the stu­dent with advanced train­ing in a mat­ter of a few months. Cours­es of inter­est may include hos­pi­tal­i­ty man­age­ment and busi­ness lead­er­ship skills. Many online cer­tifi­cate pro­grams in sports man­age­ment have flex­i­ble sched­ul­ing and are afford­able to a prospec­tive stu­dent inter­est­ed in the sports industry.

Relat­ed Rank­ings:

25 Best Bach­e­lor’s in Sports Man­age­ment Degree Pro­grams
15 Best Online Sports Man­age­ment Degree Bach­e­lors Pro­grams
10 Fastest Online Sports Man­age­ment Degree Bach­e­lors Programs

15 Best Online Train­ing and Devel­op­ment Programs