Alexis Bennett

Written by Alexis Bennett

Head Women’s Golf Coach | Updated & Fact Checked 2/9/23

Sports Management & Admin. Degree Programs in North Carolina


There are many different sports degrees available within the state of North Carolina. These programs teach you how to manage the careers and talents of both individual players and teams, as well as be a top executive in a sports organization. You’ll also learn the ins and outs of event and facility management. Examples of classes you’ll take include coaching, training, recruiting, managing, sports psychology, and many more. 

Jobs you’ll be qualified for upon completion include collegiate athletics administrators, sports marketers, events management staff,  and positions related to sports finance, contract negotiation, data analysis, and statistical and play-by-play information. Even recreational sports organizations like intramurals or community leagues require a sports management background to organize.

North Carolina is home to so many teams and sports organizations; you will have a myriad of opportunities awaiting you in finding a job after enrolling in and completing one of the state’s sports management degree programs from an accredited college or university.

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

Degree Timelines

The length of time it takes to complete your sports management degree in full will depend on the educational path you take.

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 Courses

While the curricula for most sports management Bachelor’s Degree programs include foundational business courses like accounting, finance, and management, many of the course requirements for sports management directly relate to the industry.  

A course that is sure to begin any sports management degree track is Introduction to Sports Management where an overview of the sports industry as a whole is provided. Course content typically covers areas like public relations, sports marketing, finances, accounting, and an introduction to the legal, ethical, and current issues facing the sports industry.

A more specific course example is Sports Media where students are exposed to various ways the sports industry promotes sporting events, teams, and individual athletes. Topics include sports reporting techniques, production methods for sports programming on television and radio, and multimedia internet sports news production.

Difference Between Sports Management & Sports Administration

Sports management graduate programs aim to focus more on the business aspects of sports organizations such as marketing, public relations, finance, and facilities management. While sports administration programs emphasize developing and managing talent. Think team managers, coaches, and agents. Topics could include making roster moves, signing new talent, and representing athletes.

What Are The Standard Entrance Requirements to Enroll?

A high school diploma or equivalent is almost always required for sports management degree programs and many schools will have a threshold for minimum GPA and SAT/ACT scores, depending on the competitiveness of the program. In addition, to serve in some sports management careers, special certification may be required above and beyond your degree.

Students applying for a graduate degree in sport management should obtain at least a Bachelor’s Degree. Prospective graduate students must also submit official transcripts, a resume, and test scores with their application. Some schools also ask for GMAT or GRE test scores. Most programs ask for letters of recommendation, too. Some of these requirements are waived in exchange for work experience, especially if it’s already in the area of sports.

Accredited Sports Management & Admin Programs in North Carolina

Sports Management Programs in the Triangle

The entire state of North Carolina is well-known for its density of collegiate athletics, with 18 NCAA Division 1 universities within its borders, there is no shortage of competition. The triangle, comprised of the cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill is especially rich in sports history. Within 30 miles of one another you have powerhouse departments in NC State, UNC, and Duke. 

North Carolina State University

BS in Sport Management

This curriculum provides 38 hours of credited coursework. Academic studies on campus are also supplemented by a 10-week internship with an approved sports organization or agency. Applicants who do not have college credit after high school graduation must submit official high school transcripts as well as official ACT or SAT scores while those who have earned college credit must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities they’ve previously attended. Those who are 21 or older or who have more than 30 college credits do not need to provide high school transcripts. Undergraduate tuition at North Carolina State University is calculated per credit hour and differs for North Carolina residents versus out-of-state residents. 

PRTM Online Masters Degree

This 31-credit program features an accelerated course format allowing working professionals to complete all degree requirements within two years while maintaining full-time employment. It offers students access to internationally-recognized faculty who are at the forefront of interdisciplinary innovation. This online master’s degree costs substantially less than its on-campus counterpart. 


  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)


University of North Carolina

BA in Sport Administration

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Undergraduate Sport Administration program provides students with coursework specific to sport-related business and prepares students to work in high-level competitive sports settings or to continue their education and attend graduate school. Course topics include communication, data analytics, economics, facility management, finance, licensing, ethics, law, media, sales, sociology, and sponsorship sales.

Master’s in Sport Administration

This online program can be completed in one calendar year and you can still work while pursuing this Master’s Degree. The admission requirements are as follows:

  • Possess (or be in the process of completing) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university or a comparable degree from a foreign institution
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 point scale) for the most recent degree earned or the current degree in progress

Note: the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is NOT a requirement for this specific program


  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)


East Carolina University

B.S. in Sports Studies

The four-year plan at ECU consists of 121 credit hours of courses in biology, kinesiology, sports psychology, physical education, coaching theory, biomechanics, fitness marketing, exercise science, and health promotion. The program culminates with a 12-credit, semester-long field internship at any sports-related organization, so long as it is approved by the faculty. A minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA and 32 credits of prerequisite education coursework are required for admission to the program. This degree requires students to declare an approved minor.

M.S. in Exercise & Sport Science – Sport Management Concentration

The basic curriculum plan for the Master of Science in Kinesiology (Sport Management program) requires a minimum of 36 credit hours and can be completed in three or four semesters. All degree candidates must pass a comprehensive examination related to the course content in order to obtain a diploma from East Carolina.


  • Commission on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (CoAES)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)


Western Carolina University

Sport Management, BS

This program requires students to complete a breakdown of 42 credit hours of liberal arts classes, 36 credit hours of business classes, 33 credit hours of sport management classes, and a minimum of 9 hours of electives. Before getting into sports-specific coursework, a subset of introductory classes require students to maintain a grade point average of 2.5 or higher. 

WCU requires at least two internships worth up to six credit hours each as part of their sport management curriculum. One of WCU’s greatest assets is its affordability, both for state residents and non-residents. 


  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)


Charlotte Area Sports Management Programs

Home to NASCAR, the Carolina Panthers, and the Charlotte Hornets, Charlotte is the largest North Carolina sports hub. Queens University in downtown Charlotte is one option for a slightly larger, more comprehensive program, look to Wingate just a short drive from the heart of Charlotte.

Wingate University

wingate logo

Bachelor’s in Sport Management

Wingate asks that students complete a few specific requirements before sports management majors. You must take three introductory courses and earn a C or higher in each one. That, paired with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher in the six key areas of prerequisite studies, officially makes you eligible to submit an application to enter the program. 

Also needing to complete an internship as a junior or senior like with WCU, the university prides itself on its ability to help students get placed working for the college, other universities, for a NASCAR racing team, or even with the NBA or NFL. 

This tuition at Wingate is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. Additionally, Wingate does not offer an online option for its sports management bachelor’s degree program at this time.

Master of Arts in Sport Management

Completing this program requires you to take courses in several key areas including sports finances, ethics, law, event venue management, and event marketing. Though classes take place on campus, Wingate also offers some online classes to help you finish your studies even faster and get to work in the sports management field quicker. 


  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)


Career & Salary Opportunities in Sports Management & Administration in North Carolina

Future Growth 

The good news for those studying in this field, regardless of educational level, is that sports management careers are expected to grow by 11.3% between before the year 2026.

Occupation NameProjected JobsExpected Growth
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors329,20010.0%
Coaches and Scouts311,70012.9%
Recreation and Fitness Studies Professors22,6009.7%

Salary Range

Salaries for sports management graduates can vary widely, particularly as it relates to the level of sports you work in, high school vs professional, for example, but also by the occupation you choose as well.

Occupation NameMedian Average Salary
Recreation and Fitness Studies Professors$72,190
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors$44,580
Coaches and Scouts$43,870

Other possible career paths include:

  • Athletics director
  • Promotions manager
  • Facilities director
  • League or conference commissioner
  • Sponsorship sales manager
  • Sport lawyer
  • Agent