Sports Communications Schools: How to Choose

Sports communication programs provide aspiring sports journalists, photographers, reporters and anchors with the necessary skills for future careers. Most careers in the field require the minimum of a bachelor's degree. Additionally, employers may prefer to hire professionals with previous experience that can be acquired through internships or participation in college papers and broadcast stations.

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Sports reporters, anchors, radio talk show hosts and photographers provide the public with information about different sports and sporting events. Training for these careers is available at 4-year schools across the country, and program options can include bachelor's and master's degrees in mass communication, journalism or media studies.

Ten Journalism Schools with Sports Communications Programs

Journalism, communications and sports communications programs are offered by these institutions.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015- 2016)*
Morehouse College Atlanta, GA 4-year Private Certificate $12,282** (Per Semester Full Time)
Springfield College Springfield, MA 4-year Private Bachelor's $34,455 (Undergraduate)
Columbia College Chicago Chicago, IL 4-year Private Bachelor's, Master's $24,344 (Undergraduate)
Marshall University Huntington, VA 4-year Public Bachelor's, Master's, Graduate Certificate $6,814 (In-state Undergraduate); $15,602 (Out-of-state Undergraduate)
Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK 4-year Public Bachelor's, Master's $7,778 (In-state Undergraduate); $20,978 (Out-of-state Undergraduate)
University of Maryland, College Park College Park, MD 4-year Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $9,998 (In-state Undergraduate); $31,144 (Out-of-state Undergraduate)
Boston University Boston, MA 4-year Private Bachelor's, Master's $48,436 (Undergraduate)
Indiana University--Bloomington Bloomington, IN 4-year Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $10,388 (In-state Undergraduate); $33,741 (Out-of-state Undergraduate)
University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX 4-year Public Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $9,806 (In-state Undergraduate); $34,676 (Out-of-state Undergraduate)
Indiana University--Purdue University--Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN 4-year Public Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's $9,056 (In-state Undergraduate); $29,774 (Out-of-state Undergraduate)

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); **School Website, (2016-2017)

School Selection Criteria

Students should consider several things when selecting a sports communication program.

  • An aspiring sports communication student should consider which type of communication he or she wants to pursue, such as specializations or study tracks like TV broadcast, editorial, radio and photography tracks.
  • Students may want to look for colleges close to big cities with a closer proximity to media outlets and organizations that might make it easier for students to find an internship or land a job after graduation.
  • Not all programs have a sports concentration or emphasis, and it may be necessary to review the course options to ensure that you can take courses in sports communications as part of a communications or journalism program to prepare to enter this field.
  • Some schools may offer assistance to graduates seeking employment; it is a good idea to review the graduate employment records to see how many students from each program are employed in their field after graduation.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Communications programs are more common than sports communications programs. Either major is acceptable for aspiring sports broadcasters or journalists; however, there are programs available that focus specifically on sports communications. Courses are similar to those found in a communications or journalism program.

Master's Degree Programs

There may be master's degree programs available in sports communications, but they aren't very common. Instead, students can pursue a master's degree in communications or a journalism program with a sports reporting focus. These degrees usually take 2-3 years to complete. Most universities prefer applicants with bachelor's degrees in similar subject areas, such as communications, sports communications or journalism.

Many institutions offer programs in communications and journalism, but some also offer a focus in sports communications for those interested in entering that particular field of study. It is important to consider the cost, location and program emphasis when choosing a school to study sports communications.

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