Do you love sports? Whether you are an athlete or not, you might thrive working in a sports-related field. There are lots of U.S. colleges that can prepare you for such a career.

You don’t need to be a world-class competitor to major in a sports field — maybe you just love competition or helping others to pursue excellence. In fact, professional athletes make up only a small percentage of those employed in the business side of sports. People with other skills and talents, ranging from an empathetic personality to a knack for science, do well in these fields.

Here are four undergraduate majors that will prepare you for a career where the action is:


Kinesiology is the study of physical movement and its effect on health. A combination of physiology and health science, a kinesiology major usually includes classes such as anatomy, exercise physiology and motor development. Kinesiology majors go on to careers in teaching, coaching, fitness training, physical and occupational therapy as well as public health.

The American Kinesiology Association maintains a database of kinesiology programs at U.S. colleges.

Sports management

Sports is big business, and sports management is all about the place where business and sports meet. Sports management is an interdisciplinary field, bringing together economics, marketing, law and communications.

The Princeton Review, a college-preparation company, lists a range of institutions offering sports management programs.

College graduates with degrees in sports management generally pursue careers as agents for professional athletes, managers and team publicists.


Sports psychology

A handful of U.S. universities offer an undergraduate major in sports psychology, which studies the behavioral components of athletic performance. In addition to core psychology courses, the degree includes courses in biology and anatomy as well as motor learning and stress management.

The Association for Applied Sports Psychology has a directory of schools that offer sports psychology.

Sports psychologists work in private practice and are also employed by professional teams and college athletic departments.

Sports journalism

Whether it’s a secondary school soccer match or the Super Bowl, sports makes news. Many journalism programs in the U.S. offer concentrations in sports journalism (sometimes called sports communications or sports media). Courses focus on reporting on live sporting events, videography and sports photojournalism.

Graduates with a concentration in sports journalism pursue careers in radio, print, digital and broadcast media.

Next steps

Once you’ve found the sports-related area that interests you, research schools that offer degrees in that field. Find out their application and financial-aid deadlines as well as any standardized tests required for admission. To begin, go to your nearest EducationUSA Center.

Find out more about sports in the U.S. on ShareAmerica — from how they’re played to how they influence the language — as well as the growing international popularity of American football.