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Information on Graduate Degree Programs in Sports Journalism

Majors Overview July 4, 2015

This article talks about graduate degree programs in sports journalism and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Graduate Programs in Sports Journalism

While many schools commonly offer graduate degrees in journalism, few, if any, offer degree programs with a specific focus on sports journalism. A master’s degree program in journalism or communication with an emphasis on sports reporting is commonly sought by most students with an interest in the subject.

Individuals interested in reporting on sports for print, broadcast, digital and radio outlets would benefit from enrolling in a master’s degree program with a focus on sports journalism. The emphasis of most courses in a graduate degree program in sports journalism is on communication studies and journalism.

Interviewing and reporting techniques are taught to enrollees. They are trained to develop proficiency in tracking down leads, writing news articles, and editing stories. However, they are also taught about the regulations, rules, players and associations of various sports to make them well-versed in sports journalism.

Students take about two years to complete most master’s degree programs in journalism. The program combines a final research project or research thesis with seminars. An internship at a television or radio station, or newspaper is also a requirement before they can graduate.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in English, communication, journalism or a related major. A few bachelor’s degree programs emphasize sports journalism; these could lead to a master’s degree in the major. Applicants for admission are also required to meet a grade point average standard of 2.5 and submit GRE scores.

Coursework

Coursework focuses on journalistic ethics and methods, in addition to the intricacies of sports reporting. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

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

Job and Wage Outlook

Program graduates can seek employment with diverse media outlets such as radio, television, and magazines. In 2012, about 57,600 individuals were employed as reporters and correspondents in the United States (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over 2012 – 2022, professionals in the field are expected to see a decline of 13% in job opportunities owing to the expected continued loss of television viewers and publication readers. In 2012, reporters and correspondents brought in an average annual wage of $37,090.

Continuing Education Choices

Few schools, if any, offer Ph.D. programs in Sports Journalism. However, a Ph.D. in Mass Communications could suit the needs of those seeking careers in academia. The journalism schools of universities and colleges commonly offer this doctorate program. The typical focus of the program is on topic areas such as media integration, communications theories, media ethics, mass media technologies, and research methodologies. A topic related to sports media or sports journalism may be an available choice for a student’s individual research and dissertation.

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