PhD in Sports Management

By Derick de Souza

Updated March 16, 2024

Derick de Souza

Derick is a business and education consultant working on various projects and scopes. With about 25 years of experience in different settings, he loves to tell others about “how not to be a failure” rather than “how to be successful.” Derick writes and edits articles on online learning, business, employment, and skill development, among others. His hobbies include photography, web design and development, and traveling.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.

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The sports sector has snowballed into a profitable industry with societal implications, boosting demand for sports business experts and pioneering academic research. For prospective academics with a passion for sports, numerous opportunities are available to carve rich and rewarding careers in sport. At a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41.3%, the global sports market is predicted to increase from $354.96 billion in 2021 to $501.43 billion in 2024. A Doctor of Philosophy or Ph.D. in sports management prepares students for a professor, teacher, and research job at the university level or senior roles in sports businesses. This comprehensive guide on PhD in Sports Management programs including online programs examines the various attributes of the programs, including coursework, specialization, career options and all details you will need.

PhD in Sports Management

Best PhD in Sports Management Programs
including Online Programs

The top sports management colleges offering doctoral programs should have a strong reputation, solid infrastructure, student support services, be approved by a reputable authority, and give students adaptable curricula and programs that meet their individual needs. It can be difficult for students to find the best sports management Ph.D. programs and universities based on these and other factors. Fortunately for prospective students, Find Best Degrees (FBD) has researched to find the best possibilities, saving students time. The following is a list of the best Ph.D. in sports management programs including online programs: *

Drexel University, founded in 1891, is a private research university with its main campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. By 2020, the university had over 24,000 students enrolled in over 70 undergraduate programs and over 100 master’s, doctoral, and professional programs. Drexel’s cooperative education program (co-op) is an important component of the school’s degree programs, allowing students to gain up to 18 months of paid, full-time work experience in a field related to their undergraduate major or graduate degree program prior to graduation.
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
Drexel University 3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 $36,234 71%

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to expect from the Ph.D. in
Sports Management Programs

Sport management is a rapidly expanding academic discipline in the United States and around the world. The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in sports management is a terminal degree that focuses on student comprehension and interpretation of current, theoretical, and applied studies in the field of sports management. The program’s goal is to prepare students for a variety of sport management-related careers, including but not limited to amateur or professional athletics, the professional sports industry, or higher education and research.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in sports management is the only Ph.D. program in the United States that is delivered primarily through online coursework. But many colleges offer full-time low-residency in-person programs that cater to those who prefer a more hands-on learning experience. Students receive extensive training in a variety of research approaches and learn how to apply comprehensive business knowledge to many aspects of the sporting world. Typically, students who attend class full-time and participate in all required coursework take between three and five years to acquire their doctoral degrees in sports management. They spend their last years in the program conducting research, writing a dissertation, and defending it.

Although each college may have varied requirements that students need to meet in their doctoral programs, here are some general ones they can expect in a Ph.D. in sports management program:


Doctoral students have many course options. In most instances, students can customize their course plans to meet their requirements and career goals.


At some colleges, teaching experience is no longer obligatory, although it is strongly recommended for students who are not Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) but want to become professors.


In some instances, students must complete some prescribed credit hours of graduate-level coursework unless they hold an assistantship. During this time, the student must study full-time. Before comprehensive exams, residency must be met.

Comprehensive Exams

Students are eligible to take comprehensive examinations when they have completed all coursework. Most students choose to write a manuscript on a topic of their choice and defend it orally before a committee of departmental, school, and/or university faculty members.


After passing the comprehensive exam, the Ph.D. applicant will work with their advisor to establish a topic that will advance the discipline. Examples include a scale to quantify organizational identity in sport personnel, sexism in sports organizations, an ethnography of a college football team’s culture, and interviews with college athletics executives about the importance of sport in their university.

Field Experience

Doctoral students are encouraged to participate in independent study research courses to combine and relate classroom theory with field activities. They can engage with communities through research and collate data from sports organizations and universities for this purpose.

The curriculum of the Ph.D. in sports management online focuses on educating students on how to conduct research, think critically, and be successful in the education sector and the sports industry. The Ph.D. program’s coursework takes an interdisciplinary approach to sports management designed to cater to each student’s specific interests. The program allows students to explore a wide range of opportunities and interests within the subject of sports management through areas of specialized coursework and doctorate seminars offered by well-trained and experienced sports management faculty members in finance, marketing, law, and organizational management of sports.

Students are required to complete between 45 and 65 credits of coursework (depending on the college and program), which may include classes in the student’s chosen minor, seminars on research theory and methodology, and research electives. Some of the courses prospective students can expect in a Ph.D. in sports management are:

  • Sport Economics
  • Sport Consumer Behavior
  • Sport Marketing
  • Sport Leadership
  • Sport Organizational Theory & Behavior
  • Sport Finance
  • Sport Sociology
  • Current Research in Sport Management

Areas of Specialization for Ph.D. in Sports
Management Programs

Specializations enhance the value of a Ph.D. by giving additional knowledge and skills in a specific subject area. A specialization can increase one’s employability and work opportunities in niche areas of the sports industry. Many Ph.D. sports management programs allow students to choose unique specializations and credentials that support emerging trends and meet the market need. Students can easily customize their education to their interests and future goals. Here are a few concentration areas for Ph.D. in sports management students to consider:

Area of SpecializationDescriptionCareer Options
Sports AnalyticsThis specialization prepares students for technical and leadership roles in sports team management and analytics. In today’s data-driven and data-intensive environment, it educates students on how to work in sports administration roles. It focuses on predictive analytics and data science, analytics and modeling, statistics, applied mathematics, probability theory, and programming. The specialization shows how analytic methods can be utilized to assess individual and team performance, as well as manage sports teams.Sports Analyst, Sports Data Analyst, Sport Marketing Consultant, Sport Operations Manager, Business Development Coordinator
Athlete DevelopmentThis concentration is for students who desire to work directly with athletes to help them develop as individuals throughout their athletic careers. This new field of study holds a lot of promise for athletes and others who want to help with professionalism, financial literacy, conduct, and career development.Athlete Development Specialist, Athletic Director, Fitness Manager, Sport Agent, Contract Analyst
Director of Racquet SportsTennis pros or enthusiasts wishing to enhance their careers will benefit from this expertise. This concentration prepares students for careers in the racquet sports industry, whether they want to manage a country club or league or start their own tennis business. Students learn practical sport management tactics such as sport marketing foundations, program development, human relations, and budgeting, among other things. Students who complete this concentration will also be prepared to become certified tennis professionals by the USPTA (United States Professional Tennis Association).Sports Coach, Sport Agent, Tennis Coach, Operations Manager, Personal Trainer (Racquet Sports)
High Performance CoachingThis specialization will help students who want to learn how to increase athletic performance by improving their understanding and application of cutting-edge science from the disciplines of coaching, kinesiology, physiology, and psychology. Coaches and athletic administrators can attain optimal performance in the administrative and athletic domains of their sport organizations by combining this specialty with core training in sport administration.Sport Agent, Athletic Director, Fitness Manager, High-Performance Coach, Athlete Development Specialist
Sports Management & Digital MediaThis concentration examines how sports companies connected with their audiences in the past through traditional broadcast media vs. today’s use of social media, video streaming services, and other technological innovations. Students learn how to use digital media successfully, and this specialization equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to manage, measure, and analyze the success of social media activities in sports in the digital era.Sport Public-Relations Manager, Sports Media Specialist, Sport Agent, Sports Marketing Specialist, Guest Relations Manager, eSports Event Manager
College Sports ManagementThis specialization focuses on the management challenges unique to American collegiate athletics. The $8 billion collegiate athletics industry is vital to the sports industry in the United States, as well as higher education, media, and social justice. College sports management Ph.D. students learn how to manage an athletics department’s internal and external operations, as well as the specific compliance, legal, human resource, marketing, public relations, sponsorship, and financial challenges that college athletic departments confront.Athletic Director, Athletic Coach, Athlete Development Specialist, College Athletics Manager, Sport Agent, Facilities Manager, Stadium Business Manager, Event Coordinator

Why should I do an Online
PhD in Sports Management?

Sports management is a rapidly expanding academic discipline in the United States and around the world. The Ph.D. in sports management online is a terminal degree that focuses on student comprehension and interpretation of current, theoretical, and applied studies in the field of sports management. The program is designed to help students develop the critical thinking, analytical, statistical, and research-based skills they will need to succeed in today’s sports industry. Students will gain these skills by participating in an integrated academic learning and research environment with well-known instructors.

The Ph.D. in Sport Management program is designed for two types of people: current and future sports managers, as well as future sports management educators. As a result, graduates will be able to apply research to the sports industry, contribute to the promotion and dissemination of scholarly research, and/or teach future sport managers. They will be able to solve the many challenges in training high-quality academicians with a sports management background within the industry and at educational institutions. Graduates will have the opportunity to create innovative theory-specific knowledge relevant to the sports industry and academia. As a result of such research-oriented initiatives, doctoral students will be able to be at the forefront of new developments in sports management.

A Ph.D. in sports management would ease the chances of individuals advancing to a higher executive position in their careers. The sports industry is ready to witness unprecedented growth primarily due to companies reorganizing their operations and recovering from the impact of COVID-19. The global sports market is expected to reach $707.84 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 9%, offering incredible potential to sports management Ph.D. holders.

As for the skills a Ph.D. in sports management will provide, graduates would have acquired a host of them, including the ability to:

  • use rigorous research procedures and methods to critically analyze major problems in sport;
  • prepare research for the presentation and/or publication of subjects within sports management;
  • recognize the importance of supporting learning environments and processes in higher education and sports organizations;
  • guide practice and policy, and develop theoretical models based on strong empirical research;
  • aim for social justice and organizational transformation when conducting research and working with institutions of higher education as well as sports organizations;
  • apply knowledge in sports management to the resolution of complicated problems, demonstrating sensitivity to important and contentious sports issues;
  • interpret and assess sport management research studies;
  • show expertise in both core and specialized sports management study areas;
  • analyze and apply the principles of sports management, methodologies, and rationales to real-world scenarios; and
  • conduct relevant and timely research in the sports business.

Free Ph.D. in Sports
Management Courses

Students pursuing an online Ph.D. in sports management can enroll in free courses offered by several reputable colleges across the world. While most free courses do not provide a qualification that is helpful in the job market, they are beneficial for Ph.D. students who want to extend their horizons, learn more about sports management, and seek some insights and help for their research. Here are a few websites that provide free courses and material:

CourseDescriptionProvided by
Various Topics Related to Sports ManagementThe United States Sports Academy (USSA) provides free sample courses to help people improve their sports knowledge and skills while also entertaining and enriching them. Participants in a free sample course do not have to be Academy students, as a result of which, USSA’s free courses do not provide academic or continuing education credit.The United States Sports Academy (USSA)
Various Topics Related to Sports ManagementSyracuse University has a wealth of free material Ph.D. sports management students can tap into, including journals, databases, research tools, case studies, and training programs.Syracuse University
Various Topics Related to Sports ManagementClass Central provides several sports-related courses at various learning levels. Some of the world’s best names in higher education, like the University of California, Irvine, Duke University, Northwestern University, University of Michigan, and others, are the creators of these courses. Some topics covered are Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Sports and Society, Prediction Models Using Sports Data, etc.Class Central

How to get admitted into Ph.D. in
Sports Management Programs?

To get into an online Ph.D. in sports management program, applicants are required to hold a master’s degree from a school that is regionally accredited or a university located outside the United States that has essentially matching criteria for a bachelor’s and master’s degree. They must also typically have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0. Here are some of the common admission requirements for a Ph.D. in sports management program:

Online Application & Application Fee

Completing an online application and paying the prescribed application fee.

Academic Transcripts

An official copy of academic transcripts from each college/university attended.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) Scores

An official copy of GRE scores no older than 5 years.

Graduate Résumé or Curriculum Vitae

The latest résumé or CV that provides personal information and work experience.

Personal Statement or Statement of purpose

A statement outlining how the program relates to the applicant’s career goals.

Letters of Recommendation

At least 2 letters of recommendation from those who can provide a thorough evaluation of the applicant’s abilities at the graduate level.

Proof of English proficiency

A document proving proficiency in English (for non-native English speakers).

Ph.D. in Sports Management
no GRE Programs

Most Ph.D. in sports management programs require the GRE or GMAT scores to be submitted during enrollment into the program. This is especially the case when the applicant does not have a master’s degree or adequate work experience. In some instances, colleges may waive the GRE/GMAT requirement if the applicant has an excellent Grade Point Average GPA or has considerable work experience in sports management. Here is an example of a no GRE Ph.D.:

Concordia University Chicago (CUC) – although not a sports management degree, CUC offers an entirely online 3-year Ph.D. in sports leadership that does not require a GRE score for admission.

How long does it take to complete Ph.D. in Sports
Management Degrees

How long is a Ph.D. in sports management? The sports management doctoral student will have a maximum of 8 years to complete their degrees, including fulfilling dissertation requirements, which is in line with other terminal degree programs at most universities. In most instances, a full-time student may be able to finish coursework in about 1.5 to 2 years, and completing a dissertation can take up to 2 years. As a result, students may be able to complete their Ph.D. in sports management in as little as 3 years. However, to do so, students must maintain regular contact with their major advisor.

Here is a quick overview of the timeline:

  • Minimum full-time Ph.D. in sports management online: about 3 years.
  • Maximum Ph.D. in sports management online: up to 8 years.

Accelerated Ph.D. in Sports
Management Programs

Accelerated Ph.D. programs in sports management are offered only by select universities in the United States. The accelerated pace of the curriculum in these programs will equip students to progress in their profession sooner, which may help them enhance their earning potential. FastTrack and accelerated doctoral degrees allow students to complete their Ph.D. in sports management in as little as three years, although some would require an additional year for their doctoral dissertation. Here are a few examples of accelerated Ph.D. in sports management:

The University of Kansas (KU)

offers a Ph.D. in Sport Management that can be completed in 3 years.

The United States Sports Academy (USSA)

offers FastTrack doctoral degrees that can be completed in 3 years.

Concordia University Chicago (CUC)

although not a sports management degree, CUC offers an entirely online 3-year Ph.D. in sports leadership.

Accreditation for Doctorate/Ph.D. in Sports Management
Online Programs

One of the most important elements to evaluate for prospective Ph.D. students is the school’s accreditation. Accrediting agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), or both, grant accreditation to educational institutions in the United States through a procedure that involves a thorough review of the school’s educational programs and student services.

Because a school’s accreditation determines whether students can transfer credits between institutions and whether they are eligible for federal financial aid, students should check to see if the institution offering the program has received national or regional accreditation from accrediting bodies like:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education(MSCES)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Although some colleges also offer accredited online sports management degree programs accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA) or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), Ph.D. programs may not necessarily be covered by them. A college’s accreditation status can be checked on the official USDE or CHEA websites.

Discover why accreditation is a critical component of college education in the Guide to College Accreditation.

How to Pay for Ph.D. in Sports
Management Programs

In most cases, institutions charge different tuition rates for residents of the same state vs. residents of other states. Students must also pay for their housing (if they are from another state), transportation, meals, books, stationery, and other expenses in addition to these different tuition fees. The most significant benefit for online students is that they do not have to worry about whether they are in-state or out-of-state, and they do not have to factor in the other listed educational costs. Despite this, with Ph.D. program fees in the tens of thousands of dollars, students are frequently left wondering – How to Pay for College? Here are some of the financial aid options available to them to help them pay for college:


Scholarships are often merit-based, meaning that the student’s academic record is the most essential factor in determining whether or not they are awarded. Financial requirements and achievements, in addition to academics, are sometimes considered as well. Individuals, community groups, for-profit corporations, non-profit organizations, and even colleges may award scholarships.


Grants, like scholarships, are available from a variety of sources, but instead of being generally merit-based, they are primarily financial need-based, with the applicant’s financial status and background taking precedence. Tuition and other educational expenses might be paid with grant money.


Ph.D. Fellowships (also known as Predoctoral Fellowships) provide financial aid to doctoral students who are in the process of completing their doctorate degrees. Ph.D. fellowships usually require students to complete a future assignment or use the funds for a certain purpose in exchange for the money they receive. There are several awards for outstanding success, but there are also fellowships to keep or attract the most highly regarded pupils. Fellowships are offered by a variety of organizations and individuals, including private businesses, universities, and even government agencies.


In exchange for a stipend or a fee reduction, many colleges enable students to assist lecturers in particular classroom activities or academic work. Graduate Assistants are part-time students who work part-time. Those who partake in teaching roles are Graduate Teaching Assistants, and those assisting research activities are Graduate Research Assistants.


Students can work part-time in non-academic jobs for their educational institution in exchange for perks such as free or reduced tuition, housing, or other expenditures. Work-study positions are available in several venues, including residence halls, fitness centers, libraries, and research labs, as well as off-campus sites. Although work-study may not be a possibility for online students, individuals enrolled in on-campus programs may want to consider it.

Student Loans

Taking out a student loan is another option for paying for a Ph.D. It is important to note that student loans come with interest, which, while lower than most other types of debt, contributes to the entire cost of school. Students must repay the loan, plus interest, in one payment or equalized installments over a set period. Read about Donors for Student Loans and Grants for Student Loans to learn how to qualify for loan forgiveness and perhaps avoid having to repay a loan from one’s pocket.


The Free Application For Student Aid, or FAFSA, is a federal financial aid application that all prospective and current college students must complete to determine their aid eligibility and obtain the best financial aid package possible. To learn more, consult the FAFSA Student Aid Guide.

Learn about ways of funding college in the What is Financial Aid? guide.

Ph.D. in Sports Management
Programs without Masters

Many students would prefer to jump into a Ph.D. program directly after their bachelor’s degree. Some universities allow entry into a Ph.D. in sports management without the applicant finishing a master’s degree. However, conditions and eligibility criteria will vary by college. Here are two options students have to complete their studies sooner:

Option 1

Students might choose to enroll in a combined Ph.D. program. An integrated Ph.D. program (sometimes known as an integrated master’s degree) is a four-year program. It is divided into two parts: a one-year master’s degree and a three-year Ph.D. program. If one wants to get a Ph.D. without a master’s degree but is having difficulties achieving the requirements, this could be a good option.

Option 2

Students can upgrade their current master’s degree. Upgrading a master’s dissertation to a Ph.D. dissertation is a very regular practice, especially in science-related academic fields. This may be a possible option for those who identified a potential research area during their master’s degree and believe it warrants a PhD-level commitment.

FAQs about Ph.D. in Sports
Management Programs

Is a sports management Ph.D. online?

Yes! A Ph.D. in sports management can be earned entirely online. For someone who works full-time and wants to earn this degree to change occupations or advance in their current ones, earning a Ph.D. online is a sensible option. Students at many online universities have the option of scheduling classes at times that are most convenient for them. In addition, online sports management Ph.D. students generally have the flexibility to tailor their programs to their individual needs and attend classes from anywhere in the world.

What background do I need to do a Ph.D. in sports management?

How long is a Ph.D. in sports management?

What is the difference between a Ph.D. in sports management and Ed.D. in sports management?

What can you do with a Ph.D. in Sports Management?

How much is a sports management Ph.D.?

Can I do a sports management Ph.D. without a master’s degree?

Is a sports management degree worth it?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after
Ph.D. in Sports Management Degree

The sports and leisure business as a whole is covered under the umbrella term “sports management.” Professionals in the field might pursue careers in sales, marketing, finance, facilities management, legal compliance, promotion, and business development. They may also work for equipment makers, sports marketing firms, professional sports clubs, sports leagues, or universities (in education or research). In terms of interests, hobbies, and aspirations, the field of sport management encompasses a broad spectrum. As a sports management Ph.D. holder, professionals are eligible for one of the following jobs in a senior position:

  • Corporate Partnerships Manager
  • Sports Researcher
  • Sports Policy Maker/Analyst
  • Sports Information Director
  • Sport Lawyer
  • Sports Marketing Director
  • Director of Fundraising and Development
  • Stadium Business Manager
  • Game Day Operations Director
  • Sports Management Professor
  • Athletic or Sports Director
  • Sports Agent
  • Director of Ticket Operations
  • Director of Operations
  • Professional Sports Event Manager
  • Contract Analyst

The sports industry is fast growing and appears to have a great deal of promise; there are a variety of job opportunities available both in the United States and elsewhere in the world. With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3 % since 2014, the global sports market reached almost $488.5 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach roughly $614.1 billion by 2024, with a CAGR of 5.9%.

Here is a breakdown of some promising sport management occupations with some statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Payscale (salaries for Ph.D. holders will generally be higher than the quoted figures):

OccupationJob DescriptionSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)
Director of SportsA director of sports leads a company’s or organization’s sports programs, ensuring revenue, profit, and an enhanced brand image. They create teams to handle various tasks and oversee all activities related to sport while focusing on management and business aspects as well.Organizational skills, decision-making skills, leadership skills, interpersonal skills, analytical skills$93,433NA
Management Analysts (Sport)Sport management analysts give recommendations for improving the efficiency of a sports company. They give leaders advice on how to make the company more profitable by cutting costs and increasing sales. They gather and compile data about issues that need to be resolved or procedures that need to be improved. Financial and other information, such as revenue, spending, and employment reports, are also examined by management analysts, who make recommendations for new systems, processes, or enhancements to the firm.Problem-solving skills, analytical skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills, time-management skills$93,00014% (faster than average)
Marketing Managers (Sport Marketer)Sport marketing professionals are in charge of generating interest in the franchise or organization for which they work, as well as managing sponsorships that may have an impact on the team’s image. Overall, their purpose is to promote the club, its players, and whatever other stories or assets capture the public’s interest in order to raise sales and grow the organization’s voice.Organizational skills, creativity, analytical skills, decision-making skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills$133,38010% (as fast as average)
Postsecondary TeachersPostsecondary teachers, often referred to as professors, instruct students in a wide range of academic areas at the high school and above level. They can also do academic research and write and publish academic publications. Postsecondary teachers can focus on a wide range of topics and disciplines. They are generally grouped into academic departments, such as science, history, business, and even sport, according to their areas of specialization, for which they develop lesson plans and devise assignments for their students.Resourcefulness, writing skills, speaking skills, interpersonal skills, critical-thinking skills$79,64012% (faster than average)
Facilities Managers (Sport)Sport facilities managers are in charge of program development, human resources, and marketing. They create cost-effective programming that engages the target audience based on the facility’s clients. They also hire and educate employees to help the facility meet its objectives. Facilities managers must increase income in their businesses. This necessitates strong marketing that reaches out to the community and promotes the business while obtaining sponsors.Leadership skills, analytical skills, communication skills, detail-oriented$99,2909% (as fast as average)

Certifications and Licensing for Ph.D. in
Sports Management Students

Certifications always add value to a person’s education and qualify them for certain positions in their field. The requirements for certification and licensure in sports management vary widely based on the type of job, industry, and location. Postsecondary teachers, for example, may be required to be certified or complete mandatory education courses. Coaches who are also teachers must pass a background check as part of their state licensing requirements, which vary by state. Certification programs for sport management graduates may be offered by organizations dedicated to certain sports, such as golf, football, or tennis. For the most up-to-date information on certification pertaining to the sport, students can contact the sport’s national governing organization.

Here are some certifications for marketing PhD holders to explore:

Sport Specific Training Certification

The American Sports & Fitness Association (ASFA) designed and developed the Online Sport Specific Training Certification for fitness professionals who desire to expand their knowledge by studying sport-specific elements on their own and then completing an online sport-specific training certification. When applying for this certification, candidates must select the appropriate fitness and sports instructor training certification. ASFA’s sport-specific training certification was developed mainly for fitness practitioners by fitness industry professionals.

National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Certification Program

The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Certification Program is a free professional service for athletic administrators based on the ideas of ongoing education, professional growth, and program development in the field of interscholastic sports administration. It recognizes and promotes the Leadership Training Institute’s professional development opportunities. NIAAA professional certification requires completing a comprehensive self-improvement plan that will improve the athletic administrator’s ability to better serve the school, community, and profession. Certifications include:

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCA) Basketball Certification

Participation in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCA) Basketball Certification procedure is permitted only for Division I student-athletes and/or Division I coaches, who can attend and observe potential student-athletes participating in the activity through League Certification and/or Event Certification.

Certified Sports Nutritionist by the International Society of Sports Nutrition (CISSN)

The Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN) program, offered by the International Society of Sports Nutrition, is designed for health, fitness, and medical professionals who work with athletes or active people and want to learn more about the adaptive response to exercise and the role of nutrition in acute and chronic exercise responses.

Certified Sport Security Professional (CSSP)

The Certified Sport Security Professional (CSSP) program was designed by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) to improve the sports safety and security business by recognizing competence in a variety of specialized areas. This certification for sports safety and security professionals will teach them the fundamentals of public safety and how to apply those skills in the particular environments that entertainment venues and events provide.

Additional Resources for Ph.D. in
in Sports Management Students

Students and graduates of a Ph.D. in sports management can join several professional organizations that can assist them in furthering their careers and providing support. While still pursuing their doctoral degrees, being a member of one of these organizations might increase one’s chances of gaining unique insights into the subject as well as opportunities to network. Attending conferences, meetings, and seminars, networking with others, and sharing opinions and ideas in forums can also benefit students and working professionals in sports management. The following are some of the resources available:

College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA)

The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) was founded in 1957 as a national organization of information professionals and sports communicators. It now has over 3,100 members involved in collegiate athletics in the United States and Canada. CoSIDA provides professional development training, promotes advocacy, stimulates career advancement, and assists members in pursuing leadership roles in the sports industry.

National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA)

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) is the oldest and largest association of collegiate athletics administrators, founded in 1965. Throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada, it has more than 22,000 individual members and close to 2,200 institution members. Athletics directors, conference commissioners, and other individuals serve as members of this organization. NACDA provides educational opportunities, a vast network of peers, and an information-sharing mechanism with others in the field. It also conducts events, has a job center, and publishes the Athletics Administration journal.

North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM)

The North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) is an organization that provides active support to individuals employed in sports, recreation, and leisure activities. NASSM promotes research and professional development and encourages academic writing in sports management. The Journal of Sport Management is published by NASSM, which provides insights into both academic and practical aspects of sports management.

Sport Marketing Association (SMA)

The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) was founded in 1893 as a non-profit organization to advance engineering and engineering technology education. ASEE has a vibrant engineering community, a fellows academy, engineering courses, publications and media, and much more.

National Association of Sports Agents and Athlete Representatives (NASAAR)

The National Association of Sports Agents and Athlete Representatives (NASAAR) aims to provide information to the public and the industry, as well as monitor legislative and regulatory activity affecting sports agents and athletes at the state and federal levels. It also provides data on sport-related enforcement actions, judicial proceedings, and other regulatory matters.

Author Bio:

Derick de Souza

Derick is a business and education consultant working on various projects and scopes. With about 25 years of experience in different settings, he loves to tell others about “how not to be a failure” rather than “how to be successful.” Derick writes and edits articles on online learning, business, employment, and skill development, among others. His hobbies include photography, web design and development, and traveling.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.