2022 Best Online Sports Journalism Degrees [Bachelor’s Guide]

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If you’re passionate about sports, a sports journalism degree let’s you combine storytelling and reporting with what’s happening on and off the field.

Best Online Sports Journalism Degrees

Writing the play-by-play of the latest game might be your calling, or you might be more at home in front of the screen as an anchor or broadcaster. Some sports journalists report on sporting events as well as on the lives of athletes and teams.

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An online degree in sports journalism can be quite versatile, helping you prepare for a number of opportunities in the fields of sports media and communication.

Online Sports Journalism Degrees

Man getting Sports Journalism Degree online

A sports journalism major allows you to explore many aspects of sports culture. This includes everything from teams, games, and athletes to the business world of sports.

Many schools offer sports journalism as a concentration for a journalism or communications degree. Since sports journalism is part of a larger communications degree, you will dive into this culture with a focus on news writing, feature writing, reporting, sports marketing, photojournalism, and more.

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Some of your courses will also focus on ethics in journalism, editing, and English composition. You may even be presented with internship opportunities with college websites, campus newspapers, sports radio stations, and more.

A sports journalism degree can help prepare you for work in a variety of sectors, such as:

  • Sports broadcasting
  • Sports photojournalism
  • Editing
  • Sports writing and reporting
  • Sports analysis or research
  • Production

Because of the program’s focus on multimedia reporting and strategic communications, it can also prepare you for opportunities in other fields of journalism and communication. Some graduates pursue positions in social media management, public relations, video production, or even sports marketing.

One of the benefits of a sports journalism major is that it allows you to dip your toes into the different types of news media. You may be able to develop skills not only in news writing but also in television reporting, radio, and even photojournalism.

Sports Broadcasting and Journalism Careers & Salaries

Sports Broadcasting and Journalism Careers & Salaries

Sports journalism graduates are often prepared to begin a career in various types of media, such as print, digital, radio, and broadcast.

Professionals in this field may work in sports writing, reporting, producing, television anchoring, social media, strategic communications, public relations, and more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median salaries of some of the career paths related to sports broadcasting and journalism.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Technical Writers $78,060
Writers and Authors $69,510
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists $63,920
Editors $63,350
Public Relations Specialists $62,800
Film and Video Editors $62,680
Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians $49,050
News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists $48,370
Announcers and DJs $45,810
Photographers $38,950

These careers are simply a sample of the options available to professionals who have a background in journalism and knowledge of different media.

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As the world moves increasingly into the digital media space, traditional journalism careers may become more digital-focused. They can even cross over into digital marketing or advertising fields.

BA in Sports Journalism Curriculum & Courses

Students taking BA in Sports Journalism

The curriculum of a sports journalism online degree program features core classes in journalism, reporting, and sports culture. Your coursework may include classes similar to the following:

  • Sports Feature Writing: This course covers the techniques behind writing print features for sports editorials and news pieces.
  • Multimedia Reporting: In this course, you’ll dive into reporting using different types of storytelling media, such as text, video, audio, images, or live television.
  • Sports Television and Film Production: This course teaches you the ins and outs of event coverage and film production.
  • Photography or Photojournalism: A photography course aims to prepare you to practice photojournalism, and it will cover equipment and photographic techniques.
  • Sports Media Relations: This course can help you develop strong media relationships and uncover the inner workings of public relations in sports.
  • Ethics in Journalism: This course covers the foundations of how to ethically gather, verify, and communicate information and stories.
  • News Writing: This course covers the basics of news writing in all of its forms, including how to write according to industry standards.
  • Sports Marketing: This course overviews sports-specific marketing techniques and trends, including how to frame marketing messages effectively to the public.
  • Communication Law: This course covers the legal aspects of working in mass media, including issues like copyright and privacy.
  • Portfolio Development: This course will help you create a portfolio of your work to showcase your experience to future employers.

In addition to coursework, some journalism programs also have you complete an internship. Whether or not your program requires one, internship opportunities are a strategic way to gain hands-on experience in the world of sports writing or broadcasting.

Admissions Requirements

Student preparing requirements for BA in Sports Journalism

Below are some of the typical admission requirements for a bachelors degree program in sports journalism:

  • Official high school transcripts or GED equivalent
  • Transcripts from any previous college-level work
  • ACT or SAT scores (only some schools require them)
  • Personal essay

Admissions requirements can vary by school, so it’s helpful to check the admissions pages on prospective schools’ websites. You can also contact a school’s admissions office for more information about their specific requirements.

Sports Journalism Programs Accreditation

University offering BA in Sports Journalism

When searching for sports journalism schools, it’s beneficial to only consider schools with regional accreditation. In general, regional accreditation is considered the most widely recognized accreditation status. It ensures that your school meets a standard of quality.

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Attending an accredited school is also a common eligibility requirement for receiving financial aid. In addition, some employers are more likely to recognize degrees that come from accredited institutions. You can verify your school’s accreditation status before applying through the website of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).     

Sports Journalism Majors Financial Aid and Scholarships

Sports Journalism Financial Aid

Many college students pursue financial aid to help cover upfront costs. There are a number of options you can explore, including:

  • Federal aid. The federal government offers different types aid, such as loans, grants, and work-study programs.
  • State aid. Most states offer some type of financial aid for residents. You can check with your state to see if there are any opportunities you qualify for.
  • Scholarships. There are a range of scholarship programs offered for various types of degree paths and individual situations.
  • Employer programs. If you will be working while you complete your degree, you can see if you’re able to receive tuition assistance from your employer.

You can see if you qualify for need-based aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA).

What Is a Sports Journalism Degree?

Broadcast Technicians doing live coverage of a sports event

A sports journalism degree is designed to prepare students to work in various types of media related to sports. These types of media could include print, digital, television broadcasting, photojournalism, radio, social media, and more.

Students in a sports journalism degree program may focus on interview techniques, reporting, news writing, photography, production, game commentary, and feature writing. Most schools offer sports journalism as a concentration or specialization within a larger journalism or communications bachelors degree.

Is Sports Journalism a Good Career?

Yes, sports journalism is a good career for many professionals. If you have a passion for sports and journalism, then a career as a sports journalist could allow you to report or write on amateur or professional sports.

Sports journalists could also have many different opportunities to report on sports. They might work as news anchors, broadcasters, feature writers, sports editors, photojournalists, radio broadcasters, and more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for news analysts, reporters, and journalists is $48,370 per year, though salaries can vary according to industry and level of experience.

What Can You Do with a Sports Journalism Degree?

Woman with Sports Journalism degree, working as PR Specialist

With a sport journalism degree, many graduates find work in different types of media. For instance, professionals in the field might work as sports journalists at the local or national level. While some may cover amateur or school sporting events for local news sources, others may write or report for national sports media publications.

A sports journalism degree can help you develop skills in digital media, print, and broadcasting, so you may be able to pursue different styles of reporting. Some graduates pursue work for a sports radio or sports magazine. Journalism skill sets can also translate to other fields, such as advertising, public relations, and broadcasting.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Sports Journalism Degree?

Woman pursuing her Sports Journalism Degree online

Traditionally, it takes 4 years to earn a bachelor’s degree if you follow a standard 16 week semester and enroll full-time.

You may be able to finish in less time, though, if you follow an 8 week semester and stay enrolled year-round, including during the summer. Some universities also offer accelerated programs, so you might want to check with your school to discover what options are available to you.

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Choosing to earn a sports journalism degree online can often provide you with more flexibility to earn your bachelors. This could be especially helpful if you also have other responsibilities, such as a job.

How Much Does a Sports Journalist Make?

Two announcers in a sports event

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for news analysts, reporters, and journalists is $48,370 per year, but earnings can vary depending on their employer, experience, and location.

Most news analysts, reporters, and journalists make between $29,210 and $120,590 each year, so the range is quite broad. A sports journalist’s salary also depends on which type of media they are working in, such as print, digital, television, and so on. Whether they are working at a local or national level may also impact their pay. The median pay for media and communication workers over all is $62,340 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Journalism Worth It?

Yes, a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism is worth it for many students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, media and communication occupations overall are expected to see 6% job growth over the next ten years.

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A sports journalism major is designed to prepare graduates to work in different types of media, and your developed skill sets could also be applicable to other communication fields. Professionals in the field may end up working in sectors such as sports media, broadcasting, advertising, or public relations.

Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Sports Journalism Degree Program

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Belhaven University

Belhaven University campus

Belhaven University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Florida Southern College

Florida Southern College campus

Florida Southern College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Franklin University

Franklin University campus

Franklin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Liberty University

Liberty University campus

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

St. Bonaventure University

St Bonaventure University campus

St. Bonaventure University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Florida

University of Florida campus

The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Louisville

University of Louisville campus 1

The University of Louisville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Texas – Permian Basin

University of Texas Permian Basin campus

UTPB is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of West Alabama

University of West Alabama campus

The University of West Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Upper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University campus

Upper Iowa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Getting Your Bachelor of Sports Journalism Degree Online

Man completing his Sports Journalism Bachelor's Degree online

Earning a sports journalism degree online may be a home run for you if you’re a sports fan who is interested in journalism.

Your online bachelors in journalism program might involve various formats of digital reporting, which could help prepare you to enter a world of journalism that is increasingly digital. Whether you’re interested in becoming a reporter, broadcaster, sports writer, or even a photojournalist capturing players in action, this degree may help get you in the game.

With a journalism degree, you may also qualify for positions in other communications sectors, such as advertising and public relations. If you love sports and are interested in developing versatile communication skills, you can start exploring accredited schools to find the sports journalism program that’s right for you.

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Megan Patiry
WRITTEN BY
Megan Patiry
Megan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Southern New Hampshire University, is a certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner with the Academy for Modern Applied Psychology, and is a published author. Her areas of research and interests include behavioral psychology, mental health, and publishing.