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Degree Programs
Sports Journalism

The Master of Arts in Sports Journalism is a program of 30 credit hours of courses designed to produce highly qualified and educated graduates to fill positions with traditional mass media corporations as well as new-media outlets locally, nationally and internationally.

The degree has core courses to which specialized course work will be added. In addition, the program includes courses taken in other departments designed to provide graduates with a basic understanding of the general role of sports and journalism in society.

The program, ideal for graduating seniors and professionals with a few years of experience, focuses on the converging worlds of print journalism, electronic media, public relations, advertising, documentary and emerging technologies as expressed in the new commercial reality of sport.

Courses are offered in the evenings on IUPUI’s downtown Indianapolis campus, which is within easy walking distance of major sporting venues and a short drive of the state’s major newspaper, television and radio headquarters. No thesis is required and the program can be completed within two years.

Master of Arts in Public Relations, Master of Arts in Sports Journalism.

The M.A. program in Public Relations has three tracks: general management, sports management, and health. Both the Public Relations and the Sport Journalism programs are intended to prepare students for work in the field, across a variety of media, corporations, organizations and institutions.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate excellent oral and written communication skills using print, broadcast, digital, and social media.
  • Appraise and apply journalistic values and ethical standards and their use in both traditional news media and the evolving field of digital sports media.
  • Analyze and write about sports in a larger social context involving economic, legal, social, and political issues.
  • Evaluate the symbiotic relationship between sports and the media from historical and contemporary perspectives.
  • Assess the strategic differences used in communicating with news audiences on print, broadcast, and digital platforms.
  • Manage and implement new forms of sports journalism online, including blogging, tweeting, and streaming audio and video.

Special Departmental Admission Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, with an overall undergraduate point average of at least 3.0; an undergraduate major in journalism is not required, but applicants without such a background are required to take additional course work in journalism and public relations as part of their master’s program;
  2. Appropriate level of achievement on the Graduate Record Examination General Test (applicants with a post-graduate degree are not required to submit GRE scores);
  3. Three letters of recommendation; and
  4. A personal statement explaining how a master’s degree will fit into the applicant’s career goals.

Foreign language

There is no foreign language requirement for the degrees. 

Completion of 30 credit hours including:  

Fall Semester

  • JOUR-J 510: Media & Society Seminar (3 cr.)
  • JOUR-J 540: Business of Sports Media (3 cr.)
  • JOUR-J 541: Digital Sports Journalism (3 cr.)
  • JOUR-J 620: Media Coverage of Sports (3 cr.)

Spring Semester

  • JOUR-J 542: Sports Journalism and Society (3 cr.)
  • JOUR-J 545: Sports Writing (3 cr.)
  • JOUR-J 546: Sports Journalism Research (3 cr.)
  • JOUR-J 547: Sports Broadcast Journalism (3 cr.)

Summer Session I Semester

  • JOUR-J 501: Public Affairs Reporting, Capstone Course (3 cr.)
  • JOUR-J 543: Sports Journalism Law (3 cr.)


No grade below B- (2.7) will be counted toward this degree.

Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in journalism or a related field are required to take two undergraduate courses in sports writing and communication law (JOUR-J 345 and JOUR-J 300, respectively).


  • JOUR-J 501 Public Affairs Reporting (3 cr.) This course includes lectures and roundtable discussion of problems in covering public affairs issues at the national, state, and local levels. Emphasis is on reporting on government, social welfare agencies, elections, political parties, special interest groups and other areas of general public interest.
  • JOUR-J 510 Media and Society Seminar (3 cr.) Probing examination of structure and functions of mass media, stressing interaction among communication agencies and other social institutions. Critical analysis of media performance and policies in light of current economic, political, social, and intellectual thought. Comparative case studies of U.S. media with other national press systems.
  • JOUR-J 540 Business of Sports Media (3 cr.) This course will provide a history of how sports media have evolved from radio, network television and magazines into the multi-dimensional world of regional and national cable, the Internet, the networks and other entities. Students will also explore how decisions get made and the financial implications of those decisions.
  • JOUR-J 541 Digital Sports Journalism (3 cr.) Students will learn how to adapt their skills in traditional journalistic platforms to the new multimedia environment, including websites and mobile devices. The course will teach students the fundamentals of writing, editing, shooting video and recording audio content for a sports website.
  • JOUR-J 542 Sports Journalism and Society (3 cr.) This course provides a broad understanding of how social issues impact sports and how sports impacts society. Included will be a historical overview of sports, athletes’ rights, race and gender in sports, the Olympics and international sports, youth sports, the commercialization of sports and the influence of the media on sports.
  • JOUR-J 543 Sports Law (3 cr.) Students will develop a basic understanding of the relationship between sports and the law and of the basic concepts of major legal issues—antitrust, labor, contract and intellectual property—in sports today, while translating that knowledge into analytical reporting on those subjects.
  • JOUR-J 545 Sports Writing (3 cr.) This course is an intensive, in-depth and practical instruction on reporting and writing for print, magazines and the Web. This course will include a broad range of sports writing, from long-form narrative for magazines to twittering on the Web. It also will explore the essentials of beat reporting, with experiential learning at live press conferences and events.
  • JOUR-J 546 Sports Journalism Research (3 cr.) This course is all about learning the reporting techniques necessary to conduct effective research, and then distilling, evaluating and interpreting information to provide an accurate public service to readers.  The topic is sports, but these reporting, research and advanced analytical skills are necessary for any journalist aspiring to excellence.  The research results and database will be published by the end of the semester.
  • JOUR-J 547 Sports Broadcast Journalism (3 cr.) Sports Broadcasting has been an essential part of traditional media, but its skills are now transitioning into new forms of an on-line reporting through video and audio reports and features.  This class will examine the best practices of television and radio reporting, and analyze how those skills can be effectively translated to digital mediums.  It will focus on the differences between writing for audio and video broadcasts, examining how to use word pictures to develop imagery in radio, and developing narratives to complement video, not duplicate it.
  • JOUR-J 620 Media Coverage of Sports (3 cr.) This course will study sport policies, trends and issues.  From March Madness to the BCS, to Coach Crean, Coach Calipari, Mark Ingram and Brittney Griner, this course will examine athletes, coaches, events and sports media coverage.  It will focus on current events and controversies such as amateurism, competitive balance, debate over school mascots, gambling and problems in recruiting and the ensuing media coverage.