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.
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
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
- Sports writing and reporting
- Sports analysis or research
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 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|
|Writers and Authors||$69,510|
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||$63,920|
|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|
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
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.
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
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
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?
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?
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?
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?
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 offers a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations with an emphasis in Sports Communication. The program offers internship opportunities and study under professors with real-world experience. The curriculum consists of courses like Understanding Audiences: Public Relations Research, Study of Persuasive Discourse, and Sports Economics.
Belhaven University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Florida Southern College offers a Bachelor of Science in Sports Communication and Marketing. The curriculum teaches theoretical knowledge but also emphasizes hands-on learning and industry applications. The program provides access to cutting-edge equipment and software and seeks to help students develop skills working with different forms of media. Graduates often pursue careers in broadcasting, management, and more.
Florida Southern College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Franklin University offers a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management that can be earned 100% online. Classes are offered in 6 and 12 week blocks. The curriculum consists of classes like Business Law, Sports Marketing, and Sports Communication and Public Relations. Classes are taught by instructors with real-world industry experience.
Franklin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Liberty University offers a residential program for a Bachelor of Science in Sports Journalism. All classes teach biblical principles, and their professors have real-world journalism experience. The program provides networking opportunities and requires students to participate in a practicum and an internship. Throughout the program, students are given the opportunity to build a professional portfolio of work to use when applying for jobs.
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
St. Bonaventure University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Media. The program offers on-campus media opportunities, and students are required to complete a 400 hour internship. The curriculum consists of courses like Newswriting and Reporting I and II, Digital Content and Engagement, Video Production, Media Law and Ethics, and Sports Commentary and Analysis.
St. Bonaventure University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of Florida offers a Bachelor of Science in Journalism: Sports and Media. The curriculum is cross-disciplinary and highly customizable. Students have opportunities to participate in practical and immersive experiences. The program is available online but is designed to provide the same education students can receive on campus.
The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Louisville offers a Bachelor of Science in Sport Administration. The program is flexible and 100% online. The curriculum consists of courses like Principles of Sport Administration, Issues and Ethics in Sport, and Sport Marketing. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for fall, spring, and summer semesters.
The University of Louisville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Texas—Permian Basin offers a BA in Communication with a Sports Media track. The degree can be earned in an asynchronous, 100% online format. Core coursework covers the fundamentals of mass communication. After completing the core coursework, students take curated electives that teach public relations and marketing skills as they apply to professional athletics.
UTPB is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
At the University of West Alabama, online students can pursue a BA or a BS in Integrated Marketing Communications. Students pursuing either degree may choose a Sports Communication track. Each course is 8 weeks long, and students can usually graduate in 3 to 4 years. The curriculum consists of courses such as Introduction to Mass Media, Web Design, and Media Ethics and Law.
The University of West Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Upper Iowa University offers a Bachelor’s in Sports Communication program that is designed to prepare students for careers in journalism, public relations, marketing, and more. The program is available online and aims to provide the same high-quality education students on campus can receive. UIU’s academic calendar consists of six sessions a year that are each 8 weeks long.
Upper Iowa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Bachelor of Sports Journalism 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.