Sports Journalism Graduate Programs by Level

Sports journalism programs teach students how to report on sporting activities across all forms of media. General aspects of journalism, such as methodology and ethics, will be covered, as well as research skills specific to sports journalism.

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Essential Information

A master's degree program that is focused on sports journalism is suitable for individuals who are interested in reporting on sports for broadcast, print, radio and digital outlets. The majority of the courses in a sports journalism graduate degree program place an emphasis on journalism and communication studies. Any master's degree program in journalism typically requires that incoming students have already completed a bachelor's degree in communication, English, journalism or a related field, as well as completing the GRE exam and providing the minimum GPA requirement. There are some bachelor's degree programs that offer an emphasis on sports journalism that might segue directly into a master's degree program in the subject. Most graduate programs also require incoming students to have a grade point average of at least 2.5 and to take the GRE.


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Master's Degree in Sports Journalism

Most master's degree programs in journalism take approximately two years to complete, and they combine seminars with a final research or thesis project. Students are also expected to complete an internship at a newspaper, radio station or television station prior to graduation.

Enrollees prepare to become proficient at writing news articles, tracking down leads and editing stories. However, they are also responsible for learning about the rules, regulations, associations and players of various sports so that they might become well-versed in the field of sports journalism. The courses in a graduate program in sports journalism focus on journalistic methods and ethics, as well as the intricacies of sports reporting. Some specific core course topics might include the following:

  • Interviewing
  • Sports writing and reporting
  • Broadcast sports journalism
  • Sports in the television newsroom
  • Journalism ethics
  • Radio and Internet sports

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

A sports reporter can work for several different media outlets, including television, radio and magazines. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't have specific data for sports journalists and sportscasters, it does report that reporters and correspondents in general held about 41,050 jobs in the United States in 2015. The BLS anticipated employment in the field to decline 8% between 2014-2024, due to the continued loss of publication readers and television viewers. The annual median wage for reporters and correspondents in 2015 was $36,360 (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education Information

Ph.D. programs in sports journalism are unlikely to be available. However, students interested in becoming sports journalism professors might consider pursuing a Ph.D. in Mass Communications. This doctoral program is widely offered by the journalism schools of colleges and universities. The program typically focuses on topics like communications theories, media integration, mass media technologies, media ethics and research methodologies. Students might be able to choose a topic related to sports journalism or sports media for their individual research and dissertation.

A sports journalism master's degree program takes two years to complete and covers the writing, research and editing skills required to become a sports journalist. Graduates will be prepared to work in both broadcast and print media, although the industry is extremely competitive.

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