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Master’s Degree Programs in Sports Journalism Overview

Majors Overview July 4, 2015

Those with an interest in communication and competition should look into master’s degree programs in sports journalism. This article talks about master’s degree programs in sports journalism and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Sports Journalism

While few schools, if any, offer graduate degree programs in sports journalism, journalists with an interest in this highly competitive field could benefit from pursuing these programs. Coursework in a master’s degree program in sports journalism is devised to provide a comprehensive grasp of journalism techniques, ethics, and processes.

Students seeking to understand the role of sports reporting in the context of broader mass media must look into the history of journalism. A more thorough grasp of journalism techniques is available through studying and practicing other types of niche reporting, such as international or political reporting. An internship is usually available in a master’s degree program in sports journalism, whereby students can gain course credit while working as a news correspondent or entry-level reporter at a news organization.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold an undergraduate degree program from an accredited school. A minimum grade point average is also a requirement for admission to some programs. Applicants are also required to submit graduate test scores, undergraduate transcripts, an admission essay and letters of recommendation. They also often have to take a spelling and writing proficiency examination before they can enroll in the program.

Coursework

Coursework is often interdisciplinary, with courses from a variety of academic fields, such as business, communications, the humanities, and English. In most programs, a master’s thesis is required to be completed. Core coursework covers topic areas such as:

•Editorial writing
•Sports and mass media
•Communication methods and principles
•Journalism ethics
•Investigative reporting techniques

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2010 – 2020 decade, a moderate decline is expected to be seen in job growth for news analysts, correspondents and reporters (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, reporters and correspondents brought in an average annual wage of $37,090 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates seeking continuing education cannot avail doctoral degree programs in sports journalism. However, some schools offer doctoral degree programs in related fields such as communication theory that could lead to a career in research or academia.

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