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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degrees in Sports and Recreation Management

Majors Overview March 12, 2015

Sports and recreation management degrees feature a comprehensive study of athletics in professional, recreational, business, and collegiate contexts. Those interested should look into Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in Sports and Recreation Management.

Information on Sports and Recreation Management Degree Programs

Schools offer bachelor’s degree programs related to the management of athletics, sports facilities, or sports programs as sports and recreation management, recreation management, and sports management programs.

Coursework, however, is similar in the differently named programs and includes topic areas related to fitness and sports, in addition to business management. Schools offer the four-year programs in both online and on-campus formats.

Incoming students to some schools may be allowed to specialize or minor in areas such as project management, marketing, coaching, or finance. Students enrolled in many on-campus programs are also required to participate in internships or work stints in recreation or sports facilities, including a college recreation department, sports marketing company, professional sports team, or youth sports association.

Bachelor’s Programs in Sports and Recreation Management

Students enrolled in B.S. and B.A. programs in Sports and Recreation Management delve into the sports industry from financial, promotional, legal, and operational perspectives. Students learn about accounting, sports finance, community and collegiate sports programs, marketing, public relations strategies, and commercial and recreational sports facilities.

Additional coursework may include topic areas such as sports law, sports broadcasting and sports in the media. Students enrolled in most programs need to participate in a workplace co-op or internship, where they work for a television station, newspaper, collegiate program, or professional sports team.


General education requirements in writing, business communications, and software applications are usually featured in coursework related to sports management programs. Core coursework may include general subject areas in economics, statistics, and finance, in addition to areas such as sports accounting, media representations, and sports ethics. Commonly, coursework includes topic areas such as:

•Operations and ticket sales
•Sporting events management
•Sports ethics and law
•Athletic contracts
•Sports budgets and finances
•Sports law
•Sports facilities
•Writing and speaking about sports
•The Olympics
•Cultural, psychological, and sociological aspects of sports

Career Choices

Armed with B.A. or B.S. degrees in Sports and Recreation Management, students can seek entry-level careers in wellness promotion, athletic department administration, education, coaching, and business, with employers such as college, amateur, intramural, and professional sports programs, in addition to health clinics, resorts, schools, and athletic clubs. They may look into titles such as the following:

•Personal coach/trainer
•Sports event manager
•Recreation center director
•Sports broadcaster
•Health clinic administrator
•High school coach
•Youth program director

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program in sports and recreation management may opt for continuing education by earning a graduate degree, such as the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), and Master of Science (M.S.). Students that seek academic or research careers in sports management would benefit by enrolling in Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs.

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