Online Master’s in Sports Communication Programs
Master's in sports communication programs combine a student's interest in communication careers with a passion for sports. With a variety of career options for sports communication professionals, programs may focus in journalism, broadcasting, marketing and PR, event production, or sports administration. Coursework may include sports event marketing and production, public relations, sports writing, athletic administration, digital media and production, sports globalization, and more.
A master's degree in sports communication can lead to a career in:
- Sports journalism for print, broadcast, or online media outlets
- Publicity for teams, individual athletes, or sports leagues
- Announcing for teams or broadcast media outlets
- Account management for sports marketing agencies
- Event coordination, production, and promotions
- Advertising and marketing
- Sports management and administration
The first step in making your career dreams a reality is choosing the right master's program for you based on your career goals, budget and availability to attend classes.
The majority of master's in sports communication programs are available in traditional on-campus formats. However, some schools offer courses online, in a hybrid combination of in-person lectures and online coursework, or during nights and weekends to accommodate working students. When researching prospective schools, there are a variety of factors of keep in mind including program accreditation, cost, length and coursework.
The first element to look for in a master's program is program accreditation. This is especially important for online programs, because a program's accreditation means it has met or exceeded the high standards of a third party organization. When a program has been accredited by a professional accrediting body, such as Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Commission on Sport Management Accreditation or Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, you can be assured that you will receive a high quality education.
Cost can vary widely from school to school, based on a number of factors including the size, type and reputation of the school, geographic location, a student's residency status, and the length of the master's program. In addition to the stated tuition cost, be sure to find out the estimated cost of mandatory fees, books and supplies, as well as room and board. These mandatory "extras" can make a big difference when calculating the actual total cost of a program.
Schools that offer online courses may be a better value for students, even if there is not much difference in tuition costs, as students will typically save money on commuting, parking and/or housing when taking classes online. As an example of program costs, the hybrid online/campus Master of Science in Communication Management and Media program at the College of New Rochelle costs $996 per credit hour for the 2018-2019 academic year, in addition to fees of $577 per semester for full-time students.
In general, a master's in sports communication program takes around two years to complete. Some may take more or less time to complete depending on whether the student takes a full-time or part-time course load, or if online courses allow the student to complete assignments on a self-paced schedule. One benefit to finding a program with online courses is that often online programs admit students on a rolling basis, allowing students to begin classes in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.
While admissions requirements may vary slightly from school to school, in most cases applicants will need to keep the following admissions requirements in mind:
- Completion of a bachelor's degree, ideally in communications, journalism, or a related field
- GPA of 3.0 or above in their undergraduate coursework
- Transcripts from all undergraduate colleges attended
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
- Resume including all relevant work experience
- Writing samples and/or portfolio of applicable work
Classes and Courses
Coursework will vary depending on school and whether there is a particular focus for the sports communication program (i.e. broadcasting, sports administration, event production, journalism, etc.). For an idea of coursework, below is a listing of some of the classes offered as part of the online Master of Science in Professional Communication in Sports program at Mississippi College:
- Practices in Public Relations
- Seminar in Journalism Ethics
- Communication Research
- Societal and Ethical Trends in Athletics
- NCAA Rules and Regulation
- Athletic Administration
- Basic Effective Leadership
While most master's in sports communication programs are offered as traditional classroom programs, it is worth seeking out a program that offers online courses, especially if you are planning to work full- or part-time while earning your degree. Online coursework offers working students or those with other time commitments and family obligations the flexibility to complete assignments or watch lectures whenever it is convenient for them. In addition, online classes may be more cost effective by saving students the cost of commuting, parking, and