10 College Majors for Students Looking for a Career in Sports - by Sarah Daren

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Sarah Daren is a featured writer on the Today Show website and has been a consultant for organizations across a number of industries including athletics, health and wellness, technology and education. When she's not caring for her children or watching the New York Yankees play, Sarah enjoys practicing yoga and reading a good book on the beach.

Sarah Daren
Sarah Daren

If you are interested in pursuing a career within the sporting world, there are literally dozens of possible undergraduate degrees you could choose that can help you begin that journey. Some may seem obvious, and some may surprise you. Whatever your natural skills and aptitudes, there is a place for you within sport.

Here are 10 top examples of college majors you can choose before entering the world of sport.

Coaching Pedagogy

"Pedagogy" is a fancy word for the way one teaches. Coaching pedagogy, therefore, is the study of how one teaches the concepts needed to excel in sport. This is a great choice for individuals who are interested in coaching athletes or teams. This degree can be useful whether you are interested in coaching at highly elite levels (pro teams or professional athletes) or coaching within younger levels of competition, like working at a school or academy.

Sport Administration

University athletic departments can require huge numbers of staff to manage and run their operations. These operations often require individuals that can employ a widely varied set of skills in their work. The teams and professionals that manage sport programs or work for the administrative team for sport organizations might be asked to contribute anything from financial skills and know-how to groundskeeping and facility management.

Sport administration is a great major choice for those with a wide range of skills and aptitudes or who are interested in the operational side of sport.

Athletic Training

Earning a degree in athletic training equips you to support individuals who are working towards athletic goals. Those goals could vary tremendously, from basic fitness resolutions to highly strenuous performance standards. Athletic training allows for a wide variety of career types. These might range from being employed by a team or fitness facility to operating an independent practice and maintaining a client base.

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Pre-Physical Therapy

Becoming a physical therapist requires postgraduate schooling and is a competitive area of practice. Physical therapists excel in biology and anatomical systems. They provide a clinical and movement-oriented approach to helping their clients and patients recover from injuries, maintain or increase mobility, diagnose problems, and much more.


How did accounting get on this list? For good reason - professional sporting organizations can sometimes employ up to hundreds of people and require all the varied skill sets that a complex and high-revenue organization would need. If your natural aptitudes are in the areas of finance or numbers and you are worried that you might not be able to find a job within sport, think again. Accounting and other financial opportunities are alive and well within the sporting world.

Physical Education

Interested in wearing a whistle and barking at high school kids for your living? Physical education falls within the education department at most universities. Contrary to stereotypes, earning a physical education degree does not grant you license to work at a school and only teach the "easy" subject. It's a fantastic career for those who are naturally teaching-oriented and would enjoy interfacing with children and youth in their daily routines.

Foreign Policy or International Relations

Sport's reputation as an effective tool for community development, societal interventions and initiatives, personal growth, and more is growing rapidly. The world of "sport for development" consists of a large number of organizations that use sport to accomplish personal, social, political, and policy changes. If you have international or policy-level ambitions, this could be an excellent direction.

Organizational Management

This is a fantastic choice for those who are leadership-minded or who would love to manage a sporting operation. From running facilities and sports venues to directing professional teams or sports foundations, an organizational management degree can open doors to a wide range of management-level opportunities and tracks within sport organizations.


Similarly to an organizational management degree, a business degree can be widely useful within a number of sporting entities. Every for-profit sport organization needs savvy business expertise to make strategic decisions and optimize its operations for business solvency. From backend administrative staff for sport franchises, to managers or directors for smaller operations, a business degree can be a hugely helpful asset for a large number of sport industry roles.

Pre-Med or Biology

The sporting industry employs some of the most sophisticated and specialized medical professionals in the world. If you are interested in medicine or anatomy, sports physicians or franchise medical team staff are highly medically trained professionals that exercise their skills in various sports contexts. This can be a highly lucrative and fulfilling career path.

Articles by Sarah Daren