While there are associate degrees in sports management, most professionals in the sports industry will tell you a bachelor's degree, such as an exercise science degree, is much more useful. Sports management is a large umbrella under which there are many areas you can choose from. A typical program is either housed in a school's business school or in the kinesiology department. Kinesiology is the study of human kinetics or the body's movement. So you are really deciding if you want to be at the physical end of the sports management arena or in the business/marketing area. For example if you are interested in being an athletic trainer, your bachelor's degree in sports management should have a concentration or emphasis in physical education, health, and/or sports. If you are thinking about a career in the business end of sports management, you would pursue a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a specialization or emphasis in Sports Management. There are many bachelor degrees that would fall under the sports management umbrella including a Bachelor of Arts in Sports and Recreation Management degree and Bachelor of Science in Sport Management degree with a concentration in Fitness & Wellness.
Curriculum for a Sports Management Degree
The curriculum for sports management is also based on the area you choose to concentrate in. Students would begin with general education classes such as math, English, and science with 101-level sports management classes. As you progress you would take upper-level courses more specific to the sports management concentration you are pursuing. For the business and marketing area you would focus on finance, marketing, and business management courses. If you are interested in the more physical area of sports management you would take courses in fitness and physical education.
Obtaining a Sports Management Degree Online
There are also online programs for students pursuing their bachelor's degree. Most online programs are geared towards students attaining a masters degree in sports management though.
Finding an Accredited Sports Management Program
The Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA) is an accrediting body whose purpose is to promote and recognize excellence in the education field of sports management educations. A student may want to look for programs accredited by COSMA.