Sports Management & Administration Degree Programs in Kentucky


Given Kentucky’s love of sports, it should come as no surprise that there are numerous possibilities for earning a sports management degree there. Only a few people have the talent and aptitude to succeed at the professional level, and those who do need the help of sports management professionals to excel in their sport. Therefore, degree programs that provide students with the skills and knowledge required to succeed in this field would be advantageous for someone who enjoys a sport but is unable to participate at the professional level. 

The sports industry has a rising demand for qualified managers and administrators to plan, organize, or direct sport programs towards success. Graduates of sports management programs will be prepared to enter a wide range of in-demand and lucrative career paths, from coaching to marketing. So whether your dream job is promoting sporting events, managing sporting facilities, or representing athletes, sports management education will be an invaluable tool. Check out these accredited sports management degree programs in Kentucky.

What Will I Learn in A Sports Management Program or Sports Administration Program?

Full-time students typically take four years to complete a bachelor’s degree in sports management, though accelerated and part-time options are available. Some schools offer shorter course terms, as well as summer and winter sessions, which can impact study times. Transfer credits, prior learning assessments, and internships are all factors that can influence the overall length of the program.

Overall, the educational path you choose determines how long it takes to complete your sports management degree.

DegreeCredit RequirementsTypical Program Length
Associate Degree60-70 credits2 years
Bachelor’s Degree120 credits4 years
Master’s Degree50-70 credits1-3 years
DoctorateProgram-required coursework including thesis or dissertationAt least 4yrs

Curriculum and Example Courses

While most sports management bachelor’s degree programs include foundational business courses, many sports management course requirements are industry-specific.

Introduction to Sports Management is an example of a sports management course that provides an overview of the sports industry. Public relations, sports management marketing, finances/accounting, and legal and ethical issues are common topics covered in courses.

Sport Law is another course in a sports management program that can teach students about negotiation techniques, sport marketing contracts, the financial significance of media rights, labor law and antitrust issues, and intellectual property issues.

Difference Between Sports Management & Sports Administration

Graduate sports management programs focus on the business aspects of sports organizations such as marketing, public relations, finance, and facilities management. Sports administration programs place an emphasis on talent development and management. Think about team captains, coaches, and agents. Making roster moves, signing new talent, and representing athletes are all topics that could be discussed.

What Are The Standard Entrance Requirements to Enroll?

A sports management program’s admissions process is very similar to that of most other programs. High school transcripts, college entrance exam scores, college application essays, and letters of recommendation are typical requirements. Prospective students should carefully review the school’s grade and test score requirements; for example, some colleges require applicants to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

A bachelor’s degree or higher is required for students applying for a graduate degree in sport management. Master’s students must submit official transcripts, a resume, and test scores with their application. GMAT or GRE scores are also required by some schools. Most programs also require recommendation letters.

School NameCityStateProgram LevelProgram NameProgram URL
Campbellsville UniversityCampbellsvilleKentuckyMaster'sOnline MA in Sport ManagementClick Here
Campbellsville UniversityCampbellsvilleKentuckyBachelorOnline Bachelors in Sports ManagementClick Here
Campbellsville UniversityCampbellsvilleKentuckyBachelorBachelors in Sports ManagementClick Here
Kentucky Wesleyan CollegeOwensboroKentuckyBachelorBachelor's in Fitness & Sports ManagementClick Here
Morehead State UniversityMoreheadKentuckyBachelorOnline Bachelor's in Sport ManagementClick Here
University of LouisvilleLouisvilleKentuckyBachelorB.S. in Sport AdministrationClick Here
University of LouisvilleCampbellsvilleKentuckyBachelorBachelor of Science, Sport AdministrationClick Here
Western Kentucky UniversityBengaluruKentuckyBachelorOnline B.S. in Sport ManagementClick Here
Western Kentucky UniversityBengaluruKentuckyBachelorB.S. in Sport ManagementClick Here
Campbellsville UniversityCampbellsvilleKentuckyOnline Master of Arts in Sport ManagementClick Here
Eastern Kentucky UniversityRichmondKentuckyMastersMaster's in Sport AdministrationClick Here
Midway CollegeMidwayKentuckyMastersMBA in Sport ManagementClick Here
Morehead State UniversityMoreheadKentuckyMastersOnline MA in Sport ManagementClick Here
University of LouisvilleLouisvilleKentuckyMastersDoctor of Philosophy, Educational Leadership and Organizational Development (Sport Administration Specialty)Click Here
University of LouisvilleLouisvilleKentuckyMastersMaster of Science, Sport AdministrationClick Here
University of LouisvilleLouisvilleKentuckyDoctoratePh.D. in Educational LeadershipClick Here
Western Kentucky UniversityBowling GreenKentuckyMastersOnline M.S. in Recreation & Sport AdministrationClick Here
Western Kentucky UniversityBowling GreenKentuckyMastersM.S. in Recreation & Sport AdministrationClick Here
Eastern Kentucky UniversityRichmondKentuckyBachelorB.S. in Sport ManagementClick Here
Eastern Kentucky UniversityRichmondKentuckyBachelorONLINE B.S. in Sport ManagementClick Here

University of Louisville

B.S. in Sport Administration

The undergraduate program which is available in both traditional classroom settings and entirely online is intended to prepare students for careers in sports. It consists of 39 credit hours of required courses (including nine hours of career development and internship), nine hours of electives (from which students can choose from a wide range of options), and six hours of HSS department courses. Students are encouraged to pursue a minor in Business Administration, Communications, Community Health, Economics, Equine Business, Exercise Science, Finance, Management, or Coaching. The program requires 123-credit hours and an overall GPA of 2.25.

M.S. in Sport Administration

The graduate program seeks to prepare students for leadership roles in the diverse and ever-changing sport industry. The SPAD master’s program includes 36 credit hours of required courses (including three hours of internship) and nine hours of electives (from which students can choose from a wide range of options), allowing students to tailor their studies to their interests and career goals. Sport Management and Leadership, Strategic Sport Marketing, Sport Analytics, Sport Communication, Sport Policy, and Sport Finance and Economics are all required courses. International Sport, Athletics in Higher Education, NIL in College Athletics, and Managing Diverse and Inclusive Sport Organizations are some examples of elective courses. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to complete the program which  is available in both traditional classroom format and entirely online.

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development

Sport Management is a growing academic discipline, and this PhD is intended for those who want to teach Sport Management at a college or university level. Because the program’s discipline is very hands-on, candidates with previous work experience in the sport industry as well as a clear research focus are preferred. A full-time doctoral student typically needs two (2) years to complete all coursework and become eligible to take Comprehensive Exams. A dissertation typically requires an additional 1-2 years of research and writing. Students usually complete the program in three (3) years.


Western Kentucky University

B.S. in Sport Management

This program is designed to prepare students for successful careers in the sports industry. Students will complete the WKU required colonnade courses, as well as some prerequisites for admission to the degree program. Furthermore, students will take an additional 63 hours of major courses and then use the remaining hours to either 1) take other electives of interest to the student or 2) select a minor that best prepares them for entry level positions in the sport industry. Athletic coaching, facility and event management, broadcasting, business administration, finance, and marketing are examples of complementary minors.

Recreation and Sport Administration, Master of Science

This 33-credit hour program is designed to train professionals in Recreation and Sport Administration for a variety of jobs. General; Athletic Administration and Coaching; Facility and Event Management; Sport Media and Branding; and Intercollegiate Athletic Administration are the six concentrations available in the program.


Campbellsville University

B.S. in Sport Management

This program, which is available on-campus or entirely online, prepares students for a variety of administrative positions in the sports, business, tourism, and recreation industries. Graduates of this bachelor’s degree program will have an academic credential that allows them to continue their education with a master’s program or to enter the field immediately in positions such as athletic director, coach, sport facility manager, sports marketing manager, and more.

M.A. in Sport Management

The online master’s degree in sport management teaches students the fundamental business dynamics of the sports and entertainment industries, such as marketing, finance, facility development, ethics, and sports law. Furthermore, the program’s faculty provide industry insight based on their real-world experiences. This program consists of 30 credit hours. Students must select one of two concentrations: sports administration or sports marketing. Each course is worth 9 credit hours. The two-year program is made up of eight-week courses that can be finished in as little as one year.


Morehead State University

B.A. in Sport Management

This 120-credit hour sport management program’s mission is to provide high-quality educational experiences that develop students’ sport management, marketing, communication, and financial skills. These abilities are fostered in an environment that encourages sound decision-making based on social, psychological, and international foundations, recognized management principles, and the ethical and legal implications of such decisions.

M.A. in Sport Management

The 36-credit hour program is designed to give students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate the expertise and research skills required to make independent professional contributions in sport management. A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale from a regionally accredited college or university is required.


Career & Salary Opportunities in Sports Management & Administration in Kentucky

While there are no major league professional sports teams in Kentucky, college athletics are well-known and highly competitive. Furthermore, Louisville is home to a slew of major indoor and outdoor recreational and professional sporting events, including the Kentucky Derby, Ironman Triathlon, Kentucky Derby Festival, NCAA Championship Events, and Breeders Cup. Sports management majors could work for the Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, or Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Those who enjoy car racing may be interested in working at the Kentucky Speedway, which hosts the prestigious NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Among the exciting careers you can look forward to are:

  • Athletic director
  • Sports marketing manager
  • Sport facility manager
  • Sporting event manager
  • Coach
  • Scout

The demand for sports managers is expected to rise as a result of the growing interest in college and professional sports, as well as the ongoing public focus on physical activity. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of coaches and scouts is expected to grow 20% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the national average. If you’re still on the fence about pursuing a career in sports management, this is your cue.