Marked by a joint passion for sports and business, the diverse field of sports management focuses on using evidence-based practices to create engaging and lucrative sports environments. A doctorate in sports management can support graduates in obtaining various research, teaching, or management careers in a growing scholastic field and booming industry. Graduates often become professors, facility managers, or sports marketers.
Professionals who earn a Ph.D. in sports management online often earn strong salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a median annual salary of $135,900 for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers. Read on to learn more about sports management Ph.D. program benefits, curricula, careers, and salaries.
Top 10 Online Affordable Doctorates in Sports Management Degrees
|University of Texas at El Paso
|University of North Carolina at Greensboro
|University of Idaho
|Indiana State University
|East Tennessee State University
|Middle Tennessee State University
|Ball State University
|Grand Canyon University
|University of Northern Colorado
What Is a Doctorate in Sports Management?
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of sports and athletics, sports management doctoral programs differ considerably in type, coursework, and career preparation. The Ph.D. in sports management often serves aspiring sports executives and researchers, while doctor of education programs in sports management often prepare graduates for sports management and exercise science teaching careers. Kinesiology doctoral programs often serve aspiring researchers or consultants.
Most doctoral programs in sports management feature core courses in statistics, research methods, and sports management, plus some specialization-related courses and a dissertation or capstone project. Depending on prior graduate credits, sports management Ph.D. programs often require around 65 credits and take about four years to complete.
Why Get a Degree in Sports Management?
Sports management degrees yield various personal and career benefits, including salary advancement, increased career opportunities, and expertise that enhances confidence and job performance.
- Salary Advancement: New or experienced professionals often use their doctoral degree to qualify for higher pay. BLS data suggests that doctoral degree-holders often make nearly twice the average wage of all workers.
- Promotion or Career Transition: Sports management doctorates sometimes serve industry professionals transitioning to teaching or research careers. Doctoral degrees also help professionals qualify for top positions in their field.
- Diverse Opportunities: Getting a doctorate in this interdisciplinary field can support careers in kinesiology, sports and exercise science, sports management, or human performance education.
- A Growing Career Field: A Ph.D. in sports management meets or exceeds educational requirements for many high-level careers in the lucrative and growing global market of sports.
- Increased Knowledge: Doctoral study empowers learners to create and answer interesting research questions and to provide expertise on various practices in their field and industry.
|What can a sports management degree lead to?
|This degree can help graduates pursuing sports-related careers in academia, research, or administration.
|Is sports management a good degree?
|Great for business-minded sports enthusiasts, sports management degrees provide skills and knowledge relevant to many potential career paths.
|Are sports management degrees in demand?
|Due to sports industry growth, sports management degrees can lead to many career opportunities.
|What jobs can you get with sports management?
|Common jobs for sports management doctoral graduates include professor, team manager, financial manager, and marketing director.
Accreditation for Online Doctorate in Sports Management
School and program accreditation confirms academic quality. Most schools only recognize degrees from equivalently or superiorly accredited schools. The federal government only offers financial aid to qualifying students at regionally or nationally accredited schools.
By undergoing a voluntary, ongoing evaluation process, schools earn and maintain accreditation through accrediting agencies approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Religious and vocational schools often hold national accreditation, while more academic colleges and universities typically maintain regional accreditation. Sports management degrees from regionally accredited schools typically warrant greater respect from potential employers. North America’s top sports management programs online also usually boast programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation.
Prospective students can determine program and school accreditation status by searching the U.S. Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.
Courses for a Doctorate in Sports Management
Most sports management doctoral programs train students in research methods, sports law or ethics, and management. Students often concentrate in areas such as financial management, marketing, or event and facility management.
Some Ph.D. programs require students to complete a dissertation project, which cultivates research, analysis, and writing skills useful for academic and research careers. Many other programs use more practical capstone projects relevant to other sport management career paths.
The sample courses below appear frequently in sports management Ph.D. programs, though program curricula differ considerably based on degree type, concentration, and school.
This course surveys laws, legal concepts, and potential legal issues in sports. Learners examine topics such as sports contract and labor law, discrimination, competition and trademark law, and antitrust law. Students also learn about the different roles played by commissioners, owners, agents, and players. This course gives sports executives and agents the knowledge necessary for negotiating contracts and avoiding legal trouble.
Financial Management for Sports Organizations
Particularly important for aspiring chief financial officers, accountants, and facility managers, this course explores financial regulation and management topics, including athletics-related operating procedures, financial statement preparation and analysis, accounting principles, and financial decision-making. Degree-seekers learn how to analyze the financial sports market and to conduct collective bargaining, budgeting, planning, and forecasting activities. Students also learn about public and private funding for sports and sports facilities.
A key course for public relations specialists and marketing managers in the sports industry, this course explains how sports communication models, advertising, and media fit into the industry. Learners review written sources — such as magazines, books, and broadcast media — including radio and television. This course also covers sport communications services and examines both personal and organizational factors at play in sports communication.
Sports Event and Facility Management
Often a core course in sports management master’s or doctoral programs, this course teaches aspiring managers and directors how to plan and oversee events and facility operations at sports and recreation-related facilities. Enrollees often learn about sport facility site selection, design, funding, and construction. The course also covers event bidding, venue selection, event planning, and risk management.
Sport Consumer Behavior
Exploring sport consumer behavior from both psychological and managerial perspectives, this course examines social and cognitive factors influencing consumer decisions. Core coursework caters to aspiring sports executives and marketing managers. As such, the course familiarizes learners with current research on sports fan and consumer behavior. Students also learn how to create and implement marketing strategies that attract consumer interest.
How Much Do Sports Management Majors Make?
Salary figures for sports management graduates depend heavily on position, employer, and experience credentials. Higher-level sports teams typically pay their employees well, while small sports teams may not. Coaching and scouting brings home an annual median salary of just $34,840, yet top professional sports coaches can earn millions yearly.
Professional experience and demonstrated success can qualify sports management Ph.D. graduates for high-paying leadership careers. Graduate-level executive careers often yield handsome salaries. Marketing directors, for example, earned a median annual salary of $135,900 in 2019, according to the BLS. Many top executives make over six figures, with a median salary of $104,690.
Public relations specialists and postsecondary teachers earn somewhat more modest salaries, but still take home median salaries of $61,150 and $79,540, respectively. The BLS projects above-average job growth for postsecondary teachers, coaches, and scouts between 2019 and 2029.
Career and Salary Outlook for Sports Management Majors
Many sports management doctoral graduates go on to become researchers or academics who teach sports management-related topics at colleges or universities. However, this advanced degree can also provide a competitive edge when pursuing highly sought executive positions that often require master’s degrees. Possible management positions include team manager, athlete manager, or coach, while other graduates work as marketing directors or public relations specialists.
- Advertising, Promotions, and Sports Management Managers: Often collaborating with advertising agents, financial managers, and designers, these managers may create budgets and marketing plans, design advertising campaigns, and choose media. They also meet with clients, negotiate contracts, make pricing decisions, and oversee staff. Other duties may include identifying opportunities by analyzing the market.
- Coaches and Scouts: Coaches guide sports teams by planning and overseeing practices, analyzing strengths and weaknesses and creating strategies, offering motivation, and making decisions during games. Additional duties include record-keeping, educating players on sport techniques and rules, and helping scouts recruit players. Often traveling for work, scouts identify and research talented players and offer incentives.
- Public Relations Specialists: Tasked with ensuring their employer’s public image, these specialists create press releases and social media content. Also sometimes called communications or media specialists, public relations specialists may educate the public, liaise with the media sources, schedule interviews, and compose speeches. These professionals regularly communicate with consumers, media professionals, and investors.
- Postsecondary Teachers: Typically employed by trade schools, colleges, or universities, postsecondary teachers produce scholarly research and teach core and specialized courses in various departments. Postsecondary teachers plan and teach courses, creating syllabi, delivering lectures, and grading assignments. These professionals communicate regularly with students and may offer career counseling and academic advising.
|Median Annual Salary
|Projected Growth Rate (2019-2029)
|Advertising, Promotions, and Sports Management Managers
|Coaches and Scouts
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
Scholarships for a Doctorate in Sports Management
There are many scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students, including sports management majors. Often awarded by professional organizations, nonprofits, private donors, or schools, scholarships help defray school-related expenses. Recipients qualify based on some combination of the following: underrepresented identity, field of study, academic merit, and financial need.
- Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship
Who Can Apply: SHAPE America members enrolled full time in health, recreation, or physical education-related graduate programs may apply. Eligible applicants need a 3.5 minimum GPA and must demonstrate good character and leadership. Applicants submit recommendation letters, official transcripts, and a biographical sketch.
- Walter Byers Graduate Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Each year, the NCAA awards this need-based scholarship to one male and one female full-time graduate student at NCAA member colleges or universities. Graduating undergraduate seniors also qualify if planning to enroll full time in graduate programs at accredited schools. Recipients need a 3.5 minimum GPA, a history of intercollegiate varsity athletics, demonstrated leadership and character, and a nomination by an NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) or designee. Applicants submit a personal essay, list of activities and honors, four recommendation letters, and official transcripts.
- NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Granted to 126 student athletes annually, these one-time, non-renewable scholarships go to FAR-nominated candidates previously or currently enrolled at NCAA member institutions. Successful candidates demonstrate campus and community service, leadership, and achievement in academics and athletics. Applicants must submit recommendation letters, official transcripts, and personal statements.
- Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarships
Who Can Apply: Student athletes graduating seniors at Pac-12 institutions with 3.0 minimum GPAs who demonstrate leadership, community engagement, and educational commitment may apply. Eligible applicants plan to enroll full time in graduate programs and must submit a personal statement and coach endorsement.
Amount: $9,000 per year for three years
- New York Women in Communications Scholarship
Who Can Apply: New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania women residents enrolled in pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in communications-related fields, including advertising and broadcasting, marketing, public relations, and journalism may apply. Eligible candidates maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 and demonstrate academic success, participation in the field, and financial need. Applicants must submit a resume, two recommendation letters, and a brief personal statement.
Most Affordable Online Doctorates in Sports Management
Programs are ranked by affordability, from lowest tuition rates to highest.
1. University of Texas at El Paso – El Paso, TX
The University of Texas at El Paso, located on the Texas-Mexico border, has been a force for education in the border region for more than a century. Founded in 1914 as a mining and metallurgy school, UTEP is rooted in the practical, applied sciences, and that continues to be the case today. UTEP is especially critical in health sciences, as the new Health Sciences and Nursing building demonstrates: a $60 million, nearly 140,000 square foot facility for UTEP’s nursing and health sciences programs. As one of the largest majority-Hispanic universities in America, UTEP also has a major impact on bringing Hispanic Americans into the medical field.
UTEP’s Interdisciplinary PhD in Health Sciences degree provides students with the opportunity to shape their program into an online kinesiology degree by working with kinesiology faculty. The Interdisciplinary PhD is headed by faculty from many departments, including the Kinesiology department, and students benefit from the direct guidance and leadership of the faculty. As a hybrid program, students will have to take some courses on-campus, but UTEP’s cutting-edge Health Sciences and Nursing building – one of the most advanced in the region – is a major benefit; PhD students have full access to several high-tech kinesiology labs. It’s a world-class online kinesiology degree that can carry graduates in many rewarding career directions.
Degree: Interdisciplinary PhD in Health Sciences – Kinesiology focus
2. University of North Carolina at Greensboro – Greensboro, NC
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro was founded in 1891 as the state’s only public women’s college, focused on preparing women for careers as teachers and skilled workers. Today, though UNCG has long been coed and expanded into a major public research university, the focus on practical, community value has never left. The UNCG of the 21st century is recognized for its exceptional community engagement, making a real impact on health and learning in the region. UNCG is also one of the South’s leaders in teacher education and in health sciences, two disciplines that come together in their online kinesiology degree.
The UNCG EdD in Kinesiology online program is developed specifically for working professionals with at least three years of experience in a related field. This fully online kinesiology degree is steeped in the most current research and learning in sports and exercise sciences, and prepares students for expert careers in teaching, researching, leadership, and public advocacy. All coursework is fully online, though students will need to visit campus three times over the 4 years of the program for an orientation and two summer sessions. Best of all, UNCG intentionally prices online courses at a lower rate than on-campus, and their commitment has built one of the top online degree programs in the South.
Degree: EdD in Kinesiology
3. University of Idaho – Moscow, ID
The University of Idaho is the state’s center of research and learning; founded in 1889, when Idaho was still a developing territory, UI is the flagship public research university and the largest campus in the state. In fact, until 1963, is was the only university in Idaho, meaning that UI for most of its history, UI had to do it all. The University of Idaho is still the state’s main force for research and professional education, especially in areas like law, engineering, and the sciences. The College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences is Idaho’s foremost program in the field.
The University of Idaho’s Doctor of Athletic Training degree is the first program of its kind in the nation. Offering advanced academic study, research, and clinical training in the field of athletic training, the DAT is built around applied research so that everything students learn can have direct and immediate use in their practice. The program is designed for working professionals in the field, whether in direct clinical care or academic positions, and residencies can be arranged in the student’s current workplace. Hybrid coursework and a 4-week summer residency makes the University of Idaho DAT a flexible option.
Degree: Doctorate in Athletic Training (DAT)
4. Indiana State University – Terre Haute, IN
Regularly ranked as one of the top regional universities in the Midwest, Indiana State University is a crucial part of developing Indiana’s professional workforce. Founded in 1865, ISU was originally a normal school providing teacher training for Indiana’s school system, but even after growing to a comprehensive research institution, ISU is still dedicated to the needs of western Indiana. Indiana State has been recognized for its service by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, and its known for outreach to the people of the state.
Indiana State’s Doctorate in Athletic Training degree was not the first DAT degree, but it is the first to be accredited by the CAATE. The DAT program is designed for working professionals who are already in the field, so the curriculum is built around a convenient hybrid model; all coursework is offered online, but students come to campus for 4-5 days each semester for intensive hands-on training. The 54-credit program can be completed in just two years of full-time work, and students from anywhere in the US are eligible.
Degree: Doctorate in Athletic Training (DAT)
5. Troy University – Troy, AL
From its beginning as a small teacher’s college in 1887, Troy University has developed into one of the most innovative and important public institutions in the Deep South. As a regional university, Troy has always focused on getting education to the people where they need it, leading the university to expand to four regional campuses across the state. Even more importantly, Troy has made its reputation in the 21st century as a leader in distance and online education, using technology to reach out even farther than its four campuses. Troy’s forays into online education have made it easier for Troy to reach out to nontraditional and military students.
Troy University’s Sports Management PhD degree is an innovative, fully online sports management degree that stands as the first developed in the US. Troy’s faculty is one of the most productive and knowledgeable in the field, who have written more than a dozen textbooks and hundreds of articles on sport science and management. The online Sports Management PhD is intended to help working professionals in the sports industry earn a credential that will open up the higher levels of executive careers. Students increase their critical thinking and strategic skills, while learning to use hard research analytically to make decisions, making Troy’s online sports management degree a real value.
Degree: Sports Management PhD
6. East Tennessee State University – Johnson City, TN
Founded as a teacher’s college in 1911, East Tennessee State University plays a crucial role in the life of Johnson City, TN, and the surrounding Appalachian Mountain region. As changes and development in the region created a demand for higher education, ETSU delivered, and today East Tennessee State is known for its community engagement and outreach. ETSU has earned national attention for preserving Appalachian culture with its unique programs in Appalachian Studies, Storytelling, and Bluegrass and Country Music. Just as importantly, ETSU is crucial to health care in the region, with one of the nation’s most influential medical schools (a leader in rural medicine), pharmacy, public health, and the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences.
ETSU’s Ed.D. in Global Sport Leadership is an innovative program bringing together business, sports science, and research into an online sports management degree like no other. One of the most exciting elements of the Global Sport Leadership program is the Global Experiences portion, which takes students on a 10-day trip across Europe in May of the second year. Students learn how management and leadership works in the worldwide athletics industry, incorporating management skills and cultural knowledge into a fully integrated education. A capstone project (rather than a traditional dissertation) brings it all together into one of the best online sports management degrees in the US.
Degree: Ed.D. in Global Sport Leadership
7. Middle Tennessee State University – Murfreesboro, TN
Like its sister institution in Johnson City, Middle Tennessee State University dates back to a 1911 teacher training school, and like ETSU, MTSU has become a center of research, culture, and learning for its region. Frequently ranked among the best regional institutions in the South, MTSU has grown into the second-largest university in Tennessee, and retains a focus on the diverse needs of central Tennessee, reaching out to meet the educational demand of the people. That includes leading programs in areas like education, computer science, construction, engineering, and health sciences.
MTSU’s PhD in Human Performance is one of the most influential programs of its kind in the US, training students to become world-class educators in all areas of human performance. Specialization in sports and exercise sciences, kismetrics, health and physical education, and other related areas allow students to focus their education on their career plans. MTSU’s human performance PhD combines the exceptional support and facilities of MTSU’s faculty and campus with convenient courses, including the Center for Sport Policy and Research, and the cutting-edge kismetric lab. It’s not a fully online program, but MTSU’s Human Performance PhD is a model for the field.
Degree: PhD in Human Performance
8. Ball State University
Ball State’s Human Bioenergetic PhD degree program is a unique exercise physiology program that combines a strong foundation in exercise science with a deep understanding of the chemistry and biology of the human body as well. As a PhD degree, the Human Bioenergetics program is heavily focused on research, and is primarily intended for students who wish to go into an academic career in exercise physiology or a related discipline. For students who already have a master’s degree, 60 credits are required, along with oral exams and a traditional dissertation.
Degree: PhD in Human Bioenergetics
9. Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University began in 1949 when Arizona Southern Baptists established a college with the intention of keeping Arizona Baptist students in Arizona for school, rather than having to travel to another state to attend a Baptist college. It’s a little ironic, then, that in the 21st century, Grand Canyon has become primarily known for its distance programs, attracting students from all over the US and the world to its highly-ranked online degrees. While financial struggles in the early 2000s led to GCU becoming a for-profit college, in 2018 the university began the process of becoming nonprofit again.
Grand Canyon’s PhD in General Psychology degree program offers a specialized emphasis in Performance Psychology for students who want to enhance their careers in the sports industry, such as management, business, marketing, and education. The Performance Psychology uses in-depth study and research in psychology and psychomotor performance, using theories of cognition and motivation to approach peak performance. While all coursework is online, students must attend two hands-on residencies at the Phoenix campus.
Degree: PhD in General Psychology – Performance Psychology emphasis
10. University of Northern Colorado
The University of Northern Colorado began in 1890 as a teacher-training normal school, where new teachers learned their craft in a real, functioning school. Notably, UNC opened the first kindergarten in Colorado, and the first school playground, the site of a pioneering research study. Teacher education is still one of UNC’s strong suits, but the university’s importance in Northern Colorado is also due to programs in health sciences, nursing, and sport and exercise science. With its commitment to the needs of the region, the University of Northern Colorado offers more than 200 programs, and has a growing reputation for online education.
The University of Northern Colorado’s PhD in Biomechanics degree program is one of the most exceptional and influential programs of its kind, a boon for students of kinesiology and biomechanics in the West. As a PhD, the Biomechanics concentration is deep and intensive in research, writing, and teaching, designed for students who intend to take their career in an academic direction. Students have access to some of the most cutting-edge tools in UNC’s state-of-the-art research facilities, as well as one-on-one mentorship from world-class faculty.
Degree: PhD in Biomechanics
11. Virginia Commonwealth University
From its very beginnings, Virginia Commonwealth University has excelled in the health sciences. Founded in 1838 as the medical department of Hampden–Sydney College, the college merged in 1917 with Richmond Professional Institute to become VCU. The university now offers a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as professional and certificate programs, both on campus and online. VCU is a large public research university, which operated a $275 million research budget in 2017. Over 20 VCU programs rank regularly in the top 50 of U.S. News and World Report, including several fine arts programs and many from health sciences departments.
The Ph.D. Program in Health-Related Sciences offered by the College of Health Professions at VCU is a broad scope of fields of study, in one convenient package. The unique doctorate program is the first of its kind in the U.S. because it combines several areas of study to produce professionals with a wide-lens view of healthcare generally. The program is further unique with a hybrid design that brings together distance-based models and traditional learning experiences, specifically designed for students who may not be able to interrupt their career or displace their families to complete a doctorate program. The first two and a half years of the four-year program is devoted to coursework, while the last year and a half is focused on the doctoral dissertation.
Degree: PhD in Health Science
12. California University Pennsylvania
California University Pennsylvania traces its roots to a community effort and the fulfillment of a dream. The community was the town of California, Pennsylvania, just south of Pittsburgh, and the dream was to provide kindergarten through post-secondary education to the young residents of the town. In 1852, by pooling tax money and funds raised by the community, such a school was born. It operated as a teacher’s college for over 100 years, eventually becoming the public liberal arts university it is today. The mere 35 miles CalU is from Pittsburgh adds a hard-working, steel town culture to the place, as many CalU Vulcans hail from the Steel City.
The Online Doctorate in Health Science and Exercise Leadership is an extraordinary opportunity to develop the skills necessary to become a changemaker in this dynamic and evolving field. The two-year long coursework portion of the degree focuses on the emerging professional areas of exercise science, wellness and fitness, and health science. Students will be encouraged to explore the professional shift from a “sickness-centric” culture to one that is dedicated to prevention and wellness, as well as the advancement in health and exercise science. Graduates will be poised to enter leadership roles in education or administration, as well as become advanced health practitioners or take on advanced technical or professional or positions in healthcare or sports management.
Degree: PhD in Health Science
13. Concordia University Chicago
Concordia University Chicago is a small, private liberal arts school, with strong Christian traditions and a background as a theological seminary. Originally founded by Lutherans as Addison Teachers Seminary, in Addison, Illinois, CUC now offers over 100 degree options to nearly 5,000 students in downtown Chicago. Much has changed since 1864, when the doors of the school opened for the first time, except for the strong Christian and liberal arts values that define the mission of education at CUC. These values include exploration into faith, the individual, and service to others, an educational undercurrent that is meant to provide a well-rounded education for students of all backgrounds, and coming from any faith or none.
The Health & Human Performance PhD in Leadership program is an opportunity for leaders in fields like athletic training and exercise physiology, to earn an interdisciplinary degree program meant to hone the qualities that make them a leader. Students become well versed in the academic, clinical, leadership, and/or research roles in their selected field of study. These could include exercise science, human performance, kinesiology, health promotion, or other closely related disciplines. Students will spend much of the degree program doing the research necessary to develop them further into scholars in the discipline, as they create and distribute new knowledge of issues in the overlapping fields of their research. Students will be required to complete 66 or 67 credit hours, based on research course selection. These hours will include coursework in exercise science, statistics, health, research, leadership, and a 9 credit hour dissertation course requirement.
Degree: PhD Leadership
14. Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions
Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions was founded in 1998 in Provo, Utah, as a graduate school, focused only on healthcare education. RMUHP offers master’s and doctorate degree programs in areas such as sports management, athletic training, exercise physiology, human performance, health science, nursing practice, physical therapy, and health education. With their uniquely blended on-campus and online opportunities, students are afforded the opportunity to advance their career, without disrupting their current one. The university offers 3 online master’s degrees in health science and medical assistance, and 7 hybrid or online doctor of health science degrees. They also have 4 focused post-graduate certificate options available. RMUHP boasts an 87% graduation rate across all programs, indicating student-supported education, and a dedication to success.
The Doctor of Science in Health Science program is the only online doctor of health science program of its kind. Students participate in an eight-semester, post-professional program that is offered in a low-residency format. This was folks who are already educators and practitioners to remain engaged in full-time work while earning their doctorate. Renowned instructors in Clinical Electrophysiology, Neurologic Rehabilitation, Athletic Training, Human and Sport Performance, Health Promotion, and Wellness guide students through coursework and student-driven dissertations. Each of the 5 coursework tracks is a bit different, but all follow a 65 credit hour curriculum, to be completed in 8 semesters (4 years), and no more than 7 years.
Degree: DSc in Health Science
15. University of Vermont
The University of Vermont has many distinct colleges that span disciplines, including their College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Their healthcare offerings have an expansive reach, though they all of an emphasis on extraordinary patient care, as well as health and wellness, the management of disabilities and chronic illnesses, and the prevention of injury and disease. They have a variety of degree offerings, undergraduate through doctoral, in disciplines such as Communication Sciences and Disorders, Medical Radiation Sciences, Exercise Science, Physical Therapy, Human Functioning, and Rehabilitation Sciences. UVM has a long-standing relationship to The University of Vermont Health Network, enabling students to get experiential learning opportunities at one of their six hospitals, their Level 1 Trauma Center, The Vermont Cancer Center, and the UVM Children’s Hospital.
The College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Vermont offers a hybrid Doctor of Philosophy program in Human Functioning and Rehabilitation Science. In this course of study, students get to the heart of psychosocial and biomedical elements that can contribute to holistic wellness for people living with conditions that critically impact their lives. Students in the program are brought to the frontlines of interdisciplinary research that explores ways to enhance the functioning of people living with disabilities and chronic conditions. Many graduates engage with postdoctoral fellowships, or immediately enter faculty positions, or move into a career in health sciences, bioengineering, or sports management upon the completion of the program.
Degree: PhD in Health Science
16. University of Medical Sciences Arizona
The University of Medical Sciences Arizona was established on the sheer mission to provide service and education that will make life better for those who live with disabilities. They provide many avenues for students to gain the skills to provide excellent patient-centered care and conduct research that innovates the field. Located in Avondale, students have opportunities to study on campus or online depending on the program. They are a fairly new institution that has made a lot of headway in a short period of time and continue to expand on their degree and continuing education programming. They have a variety of degree offerings that prepare students for fields in the health sciences including sports management degree jobs.
The University of Medical Sciences Arizona offers a PhD Program in Rehabilitation Sciences that is delivered entirely online. The course of study includes an emphasis on the impact of living with disabilities, impairments in human functional performance, and functional limitations. The academic elements of the program include heavy research that ensures students will gain the skills to create scholarly work in the field. Graduates of the program have the skills and credentials to teach and create discourse that is geared toward creating relevant change in the healthcare industry and works to increase the quality of life for people impacted by disability.
Degree: PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences
17. Temple University
The renowned Temple University College of Public Health includes 51 programs and 17 disciplines. Located in the heart of Philadelphia, they have many opportunities to bring students into experiential learning opportunities that enable them to reimagine a future that provides access and healthcare to all populations. Temple prides themselves on being both highly ranked, and one of the largest colleges of Public Health in the nation, with a student population that embodies diversity and departments that do the same. Some of the programs include Communication Sciences, Epidemiology, Kinesiology, Biostatistics, and Disorders, along with additional traditional public health programming. One of the school’s primary goals is service and community engagement which it a theme throughout student’s experience and research.
The College of Public Health has a variety of program offerings that are distinguished by multiple methods of course delivery. The Doctor of Athletic Training Program was designed for Certified Athletic Trainers who already hold a Master’s Degree and are interested in enhancing their clinical decision making and practice. The 36 credit hour program is delivered entirely online courses that provide the necessary flexibility for a working professional. The cohort model is supported in this program, centralizing peer relationships in synchronous class sessions and web-based activities. There are also many opportunities for students to engage with faculty and experience guest speakers.
Degree: Doctor of Athletic Training
18. Northcentral University
Founded in 1996, Northcentral University offers a model that is very rare and special. Following the encouragement from former President James A. Garfield, who said that the perfect university is one student and one teacher sitting together, the only thing NCU updated from this original sentiment is the use of the internet. They provide a one on one learning environment that allows a depth of education unlike any other. Located in San Diego, California, Northcentral University offers Online PhD and Doctoral programs, Online master’s degree programs, and bachelor’s and dissertation completion programs, as well as online certificates. Their mission is to provide an accessible opportunity for students to earn and complete well-respected degrees from an accredited institution.
For an online Education department, the NCU education graduate programs are dynamic and in-depth. The PhD in Sports Management online degree option is one that exceeds student expectations, allowing for the completion of a PhD-ED degree in 45 months, with no on-campus requirement. Students in the program will receive one-to-one mentorship from a doctor in their field of study, as the Education department features a 100% doctoral faculty. The Sports and Athletic Management option allows for a mastery in science-based academics, and research methods into the political, financial, marketing and legal aspects of the idiosyncrasies of the environment of college athletics. Graduates will have in-depth knowledge of legal needs, compliance, Title IX, and advisement programs for the student-athlete. These will provide both practical applications and research abilities in this field.
Degree: PhD in Sports Management
19. Rutgers University
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading public university in New Jersey. With three distinct campuses that share programming, students have the opportunity to participate in the types of program options and work with the faculty who are best suited to advise them in their particular area of focus or interest. Originally founded as Queen’s College in 1766, it is the eighth-oldest college in the United States. As a public research university, Rutgers at its Camden, New Brunswick, and Newark campuses offer students a high-level of engagement and a long-standing reputation for excellence. This comes in the form of partnerships with government, corporations, and community organizations that allow students opportunities for world experiences in their professional fields of interest.
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Health Sciences Program is offered to distance learning students through the Rutgers School of Health Professions (Rutgers SHP) Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. Two-thirds of the program can be tailored to meet individual research goals and career aspirations while collaborating with the advisor, and the other third introduces a clear and concise coursework portion. Within the coursework expectations, students will apply for their research and scholarship as the basis for identifying and exploring the current and future issues in healthcare delivery and education. Beyond the master’s degree, this online PhD in Education requires a minimum of 60 credits.
Degree: PhD in Sports Management
20. United States Sports Academy
The United States Sports Academy has several offerings in the sports management fields, including their extensive Doctor of Education in Sports Management degree program. The program is delivered entirely online for flexibility, and students can then study anytime from any location. The program is 66 credit hours in total, and there is no start date, enabling students to begin and complete the program at their convenience. The course of study is designed for working professionals in any sports management field, and recent graduates of applicable master’s degree programs. All students in the program will be required to take on what is called “mentorship,” offering hands-on learning opportunities in the sports medicine field.
Degree: EDD in Sports Management
21. Moravian College
Moravian College has very early beginnings, with its founding in 1742 by Moravians, established by descendants of Bohemian Reformation followers. They are actually the sixth oldest institution of higher learning in the nation and the first to offer admission to women. In fact, they were originally the first boarding school in the United States for young women. Currently, they are a private liberal arts school with a relationship to the Moravian Theological Seminary. The campus is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. They have a variety of majors and course offerings, the most popular being Business, Health Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, and Biological Sciences.
Moravian College offers a Doctor of Athletic Training Program (DAT) that develops experts in a variety of athletic training disciplines. The program is a hybrid of online learning and two one-week long residencies. The duration of the program is six semesters in length, which comes out to two years, and is facilitated by experts in the field from across the nation. Some of the focal points include Evidence-Based Interventions for the Spine and Upper and Lower Extremities, Performing Arts Medicine, Epidemiology and Informatics, Psychosocial Issues in Athletic Training, Advanced Therapeutic Modalities, and Advanced Neurologic Evaluation and Treatment. There are many online resources that make it feel like students are working in the on-campus state of the art facilities, including the virtual cadaver lab.
Degree: PhD Program in Sport and Performance Psychology
A.T. Still University’s name is recognized as the first Osteopathic Medical School in the world. Established in 1892, their main campus is located in Kirksville, Missouri, with an additional campus in Mesa, Arizona. Though their roots are in Osteopathic Medicine, they now have course offerings that span a wide array of disciplines in the health sciences. Between their two campuses, they have 200 acres of land that host six distinct schools with comprehensive programming in dentistry, osteopathic medicine, and health management. One of their newer programs brings osteopathic principles and training to a variety of community clinics in throughout the country.
A.T. Still University, often referred to as ATSU, offers a Doctor of Athletic Training (DAT) degree program that is offered entirely online. This course of study is designed for students who are interested in furthering their competency in the areas of Orthopedic rehabilitation, professional leadership, applied research, and clinical decision making. Graduates have the training for careers in higher education, administration, and as experts in clinical settings. Applicants to the program must have a 3.0 or higher in from their previous academic endeavors, and prove computer literacy and proficiency in the english language; they must also submit proof of board certification.
Degree: PhD Program in Sport and Performance Psychology
23. University of St Augustine for Health Sciences
The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences is a graduate degree-granting institution with a focus on high-quality education that taps into many Health Sciences related disciplines. Established in 1979, they were originally Georgia-based and was the first institution to offer a post-professional clinical program culminating in a master’s degree, as a proprietary independent school. Currently, they have locations in St Augustine, Florida, Miami, Florida, Austin, Texas, and San Marcos, Florida. In 1997, they bought a private hospital and subsequent 26 acres of land which is home to the St. Augustine Campus. Many of their course offerings are online, providing opportunities for students to study while maintaining their careers.
The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences offers a Doctor of Education (EDD) with a variety of specializations including the Athletic Training Specialization. The program can be taken almost entirely online, with two on-campus residencies required. These will offer students a deepening of the course material by incorporating face-to-face peer connection, and question and answer periods with guest speakers and faculty and administrators. The EDD program is a comprehensive program designed for those already pursuing higher education, and are interested in incorporating themes such as cultural competency, and evidence-based injury treatment as it relates to the exercise physiology and sports medicine. The culminating thesis project enables students to choose a real-world problem as a focal point and make a unique contribution to the field.
Degree: Doctor of Education
24. Drexel University
Drexel University was established in 1891, originally by the name Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry. It is located in the University City section of Philadelphia, just west of the city’s center, Drexel was created with the explicit vision to bring forth educational opportunities in the practical arts and sciences for women and men of all backgrounds. The campus is urban and expressly integrated into to the city that it works to serve. Drexel incorporated experiential co-op learning into their curricula early in their history, giving students who choose a co-op education an opportunity to alternate between classroom learning, and working in their field of study, as a way to gain hands-on experience.
Within Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions lives their PhD Program in Rehabilitation Sciences, offered in the on-campus/online hybrid format. In person, coursework utilizes their 9,000 square foot state-of-the-art research lab. This type of degree plan was designed to bring physical therapists and those in fields similar to sports management and exercise physiology to the next level of their career with research as the foundation. Students will learn the skills to become leaders in the field of rehabilitation sciences, by learning the mechanisms and effective interventions for rehabilitation care delivery. Each student will create a unique research agenda that will impact health and rehabilitation sciences as a discipline.
Degree: PhD Program in Rehabilitation Sciences
Annual Tuition: Key
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