B.A. in Media - Sports Media

The concentration in Sports Media is an option for the Bachelor of Arts in Media degree, offered by The Media School, part of The College of Arts and Sciences. When pursuing the concentration in Sports Media, you will work with faculty who are deeply engaged in how media in its various forms are used as communication tools in the sports industry, through both research and direct professional experience in that industry.

The Sports Media concentration will help you understand how processes of media communication work in the world of sports. You will develop a depth of knowledge about how sports media messages are created, communicated and received by audiences, and how those audiences are influenced by those messages.  Most importantly, you will have many opportunities to apply this knowledge extensively in many hands-on learning experiences beginning early in your college career.

For students who wish to pursue more targeted ways of studying media issues, The Media School offers minors of interest.

Coursework

Getting started

Your starting point for Sports Media is the introductory course for all of the Media majors: MSCH-C 101, Media. This course provides twice-weekly lectures by faculty, including expert guests, and an opportunity for small group discussion. In MSCH-C 101, you learn to:

  • Better understand what is meant by “media” and the many complex ways media work in our society
  • Assess your specific interests in the study of media and Sports Media in particular
  • See more clearly what you will study in the upper-level courses, and how the subject matter of Sports Media compares to other possible areas of study in media

After the introductory course, you take three more courses to satisfy requirements in the Media School Core: Making Media, Thinking Media, and Managing Media. If the introductory class confirms for you that Sports Media is your strongest interest, then you will want to complete the Making Media requirement. 

These courses provide knowledge and skills that are important for the upperlevel required course Sports Media Literacy (MSCH B 330). 

Tracks and concentrations

The coursework in the Sports Media concentration is made up of five courses that allow student to gain skills in their particular professional interests: Sports Writing, Sports Casting, Sports Media online, Sports Media production, or Sports Media management. Sports Media requires an internship for credit as one of the five required concentration courses. 

Upper level coursework

Students complete their study of Sports Media by choosing one area of specialization. It requires three upper-level courses in an area of interest, allowing you to develop advanced skills and in-depth knowledge in a subject you find most interesting and helpful to your professional goals. The Media School features sports media-specific courses in broadcasting, writing, social media, management, production, and social media, all taught by a combination of industry professionals and faculty experts.

The choice of a specialization is flexible and based on your developing interests. The Sports Journalism specialization is the most obviously relevant choice, meeting the needs of most current Sports Media BA students and allowing them to expand and apply the skills and knowledge learned in the concentration.  But others are possible: Media Advertising, Public Relations, Media Persuasion, and Media Psychology are examples of specializations that can enhance the knowledge and skills you gain in the Sports Media concentration.

The flexibility of the Sports Media concentration allows plenty of space for experiential coursework, opportunities to apply what you have learned from all of your major courses. Here are some examples:

  • an internship for credit toward the concentration, required for some focal areas
  • a major project in one of the classes you take for the concentration or specialization
  • faculty-guided readings and independent projects
  • Regular opportunities to assist in the media coverage of IU sport events, made available to students on the Sports Media listserv.

As you advance within Sports Media, your instructors, academic advisor, and course experiences will help you choose your specialization.

 

Commonly pursued majors, minors and certificates

Your major represents almost one-third of your degree requirements. With the help of academic advisors in The Media School, you may be able to combine several areas of interest with additional majors, minors, or certificates. Any subject of interest that provides a different perspective and develops your ability to use language effectively is a good choice.

Students who complete the Sports Media concentration may consider minors in many different areas, depending on their areas of focus in the major.  Students planning careers in sports writing or broadcasting might consider minors in theater and drama, English literature/creative writing, or history.  Others might find value in minors in Business, Marketing, Psychology, or any foreign language of interest. Check your bulletin for more information about these minors. You may also choose an additional concentration in the Media B.A., and along with that, a second specialization.

Enhance your major

Working with faculty

When pursuing a degree in Sports Media, you have the opportunity to work with faculty who have expertise and experience in the field. Take advantage of office hours to talk with your instructors about your performance in class, the content of assignments, and how the course helps you work toward your goals. 

Sports Media faculty take the importance of hands-on learning experience very seriously, and are in touch with many opportunities in athletics and around the campus generally.  On a regular basis, lists of such opportunities (some paid, some volunteer, all good for applying your classroom learning in real situations) are circulated to students who are declared for Sports Media.

Honors

The Media Scholars honors program offers many enriching opportunities to top-achieving students who are directly admitted to the Media School: honors-level coursework in the major, a variety of travel experiences, and direct engagement with media professionals, both faculty and visiting luminaries from a range of media professions.

High-achieving students may be recognized for Academic Excellence in the College of Arts and Sciences, or be eligible for admission to the Hutton Honors College.

Undergraduate scholarships and awards

The Media school offers a variety of scholarships and awards for both freshmen and current students who show academic promise, or who perform with academic distinction. The Media School website maintains a current list of such scholarships with details about eligibility criteria and more information about the generous friends and alumni of the school who underwrite them.

Internships

Internships offer you a chance to develop both technical and transferable skills while making vital professional contacts with others in the field. While most internships are completed by students with sophomore standing or higher, it is a good idea to explore opportunities, including overseas study programs with internships, as early as your freshman year.

You can also learn about your interests by observing professionals at work in the areas you may wish to pursue. Job shadowing is an early way to experience the kinds of work that media professionals do and make contacts that may lead to your first internship.

Students pursuing careers in media often do multiple internships before or shortly after graduating. The Sports Media major especially emphasizes the importance of internships by requiring an internship for credit in the Sport Writing, Sports Casting, and Online tracks of the concentration; internship for credit can also count in the Sports Journalism specialization. Media school faculty and career coaches offer extensive support to students in their efforts to find and successfully complete internships relevant to their major and professional interests.

The Media School website offers helpful resources for thinking ahead to this very important form of preparation for your professional life:

Finally, learn more about internships, including the possibility of receiving credit through The Walter Center for Career Achievement, where you will find many resources for both domestic and international internships.

 

Foreign language study

As sports organizations, like other industries, extend their reach globally, the importance of multilingual communication increases. A Media B.A. degree requires two years (four semesters) of study in a single foreign language of your choice. By doing so, you establish a basic ability with the language that you can choose to develop further as a minor or second major.

As one of the premier institutions in the U.S. for the study of languages, IU Bloomington offers courses and resources in over 60 languages.

Below is a sampling of language study resources available to students at IU Bloomington:

Overseas study

Study abroad is an important part of undergraduate education in our increasingly interconnected world. Sports Media students often pursue language study and other coursework through the following exchange programs:

  • Bogazici University – Turkey
  • Budapest-CIEE Semester Program – Hungary
  • Istanbul-CIEE Semester Program – Turkey

The College of Arts + Sciences also directly hosts a variety of study abroad programs, some even featuring IU faculty, that might be right for you. Learn more about study abroad opportunities and locations through conversation with Media School faculty, your academic advisor, and through the Office of Overseas Study. 

Countries where students might spend a semester (or a summer) include Spain, England, Italy, Australia, Denmark, France, Israel, and the Czech Republic. International internships are also an increasingly popular component of overseas study.

Media School students have a unique opportunity to extend their coursework through field experience by choosing a travel course or experience, such as a semester-long class that includes a travel component during spring break or the summer, or a spring break service learning trip.

Learn more about study abroad opportunities and locations through conversation with Media School faculty, academic advisors, and through the Office of Overseas Study.

Student groups

The Media School offers many opportunities for students to join in groups and activities that allow them to apply their classroom knowledge and develop professional skills. The most important for Sports Media majors is the National Sports Journalism Center, a Media School-affiliated program that unites students with interests in sports media and draws upon IUB’s resources as a Big Ten university to give those students a wide range of experiences that develop communication skills in settings for which they feel a natural affinity.

Other examples of student organizations related to sports and to the Media School in general:

  • Big Ten Network Student U televises over 100 IU sporting events every year, and students participate in all phases of production, including on-air broadcasting positions.
  • IU Student Sports Media connects students interested in all aspects of sports media to relevant campus media, internship, and job opportunities. Students in the organization have special access to IU alumni working in the field, who often visit campus and meet with students.
  • The Indiana Daily Student (IDS) is IU’s longest-running student media outlet and provides sports media students with a place to get their careers started by learning how to report, edit, and photograph sports. IDS reporters cover every varsity IU sport, as well as special events such as the Little 500.
  • IU Student Television (IUSTV) provides students opportunities to learn hands-on skills in video production, editing, anchoring, and reporting in news, sports, and entertainment. IUSTV features two sports-specific television shows, along with numerous opportunities for students to operate as reporters covering varsity sporting events.
  • WIUX, the student radio station for Indiana University, has a large and active sports broadcasting division. The station provides play-by-play opportunities for a variety of sports, including IU men’s basketball and football, and also offers opportunities for students to host and produce sports talk radio shows.
  • Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has an IU chapter, and they have an active sports public relations committee which engages in a variety of activities on campus.
  • Media School Ambassadors are the friendly student face of the Media School.
  • The Media Living Learning Center is a residence hall community specifically reserved for students who wish to study and pursue careers in media.
  • Multiple student media opportunities in television, radio, print and online journalism will give you the chance to create, produce, and manage media activities during your time at IUB.

Explore beINvolved to connect with any of the 750+ student organizations that already exist, or to start a new one.

Volunteer opportunities

There are numerous opportunities for volunteer engagement, allowing you to give back to the local community while developing useful job skills. Members of the Media School Student Services team work hard to provide all majors with valuable and enjoyable service learning opportunities.


The organizations below can help you connect with others from the university and beyond:

Sign up to receive weekly emails from the Bloomington Volunteer Network to learn about local opportunities and organizations.

Professional organizations

In the many fields and specializations of media, connecting with relevant professional organizations will depend on the paths of interest you follow in your degree and career. The following may be most relevant for students in Sports Media:

Use the Indiana University Library system to search for Associations Unlimited, an online directory of associations, professional societies, non-profit organizations, and much more.

Build your skills

Through the major

The major in Sports Media provides you with a set of skills and qualities that are relevant and transferable to many areas of study and work. These include:

  • Applied problem-solving: Identify problems that are central to the success of sports media organizations and help develop solutions.
  • Communication and leadership abilities: Plan and oversee sports media projects from conception to completion by facilitating effective communication.
  • Expertise in collaboration and teamwork: Interact with members of a team to meet project goals.
  • Competency in using language and imagery persuasively: Study and employ all the strategies that constitute effective methods of branding and product promotion for sports media organizations.
  • Critical thinking and analysis: Study and understand the specific characteristics of potential consumers of sports media messages that make them receptive audiences.
  • Writing skills: Respond with speed and efficiency to draft/revise copy that speaks effectively to the needs and interests of sports media audiences.
  • Creativity: Design effective messaging for sports media organizations and evaluate the effectiveness of existing messages in order to innovate more successful methods.

Through a College of Arts and Sciences degree

Your coursework provides many opportunities to develop the following five foundational skills that will serve you well in every career path:  

  • Question critically
  • Think logically
  • Communicate clearly
  • Act creatively
  • Live ethically

These foundational skills will aid you in landing your first job and advancing professionally throughout your working life. Not only are these the skills that employers say they value most in the workplace, they provide the best preparation for lifelong success in a world of complexity, uncertainty, and change.

Skills desired by employers

Each year, the National Association of Colleges and Employers asks employers what skills and qualities they are looking for in recent college graduates.

The following abilities are sought in the job market across many employment sectors:

  • Communicate effectively with persons both inside and outside the organization

  • Work in a team structure

  • Make decisions and solve problems

  • Plan, organize, and prioritize work

  • Obtain and process relevant information

  • Analyze quantitative data

  • Create and/or edit written reports

  • Obtain technical knowledge related to the job

  • Proficiency with computer software programs

  • Create and edit written reports

  • Ability to persuade or influence others

As you explore various career fields, pay attention to specific job descriptions and requirements. If there are areas where your skills or knowledge are lacking, talk with your academic advisors and career coaches about how you can develop in those areas while you are at Indiana University.

Media School academic advising and your Media School career coaches can also help you find ways to strengthen and deepen the knowledge you already have, becoming more prepared for whatever path you select after your college career.

Launch your career

Plan your search

A good career exploration starting point is an appointment with the Media School career coach.

The Walter Center for Career Achievement offers job search resources, career courses, job fairs, information about internships and full-time jobs, and help with social media networking through professional organizations. Get advice about how to write your resume, ask for letters of recommendation from faculty and workplace supervisors, and prepare for job interviews, too.

Explore and enroll in Career Communities to learn more about industries relevant to your interests. These offer unique information about each field, including alumni spotlights, opportunities and resources, and in-person events.

You might want to take a career course to help you maximize your time at IU. College of Arts and Sciences students should consider taking ASCS-Q296 College to Career II.  The purpose of this course is to teach students strategies and provide tools necessary to successfully market their qualifications gained through an Arts and Sciences education, achieve career-related goals, and plan for lifelong career development.

The job market

A major in Sports Media prepares students for work in a variety of sport and entertainment areas, including: sports reporting, broadcasting, online media, advertising, video production, public relations, communications, digital media, and management.

Students in Sports Media learn broad skill sets in communication, audience analysis, copywriting, digital media, marketing, video production, and reporting.  This knowledge will allow students to take on a variety of career paths within the changing world of sports media.

Graduates with the degree have become sports commentators, social media managers, videographers, sports agents, consultants, content creators, reporters, advertising executives, statisticians, and research analysts.

Talk with the Sports Media faculty, the academic advisors, career coaches and other students to gain insights into the variety of career paths taken by graduates of the Media School and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Want to see where your fellow majors go right after graduating from IU? Check out the Walter Center’s First Destinations survey!

Need more ideas? The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics offers career information about hundreds of occupations.

Post-graduate short-term experiences

After graduation, a short-term experience or internship can help you make connections, gain life skills, and assess your interest in future careers. Talk with your career coach and use these and other resources to find opportunities that are a good fit with your educational experience and career goals:

Fellowships for post-graduate study

Fellowships are temporary post-graduate opportunities to conduct research, work in a field, or fund graduate school. Most opportunities can be found through universities, nonprofit, and government organizations.

Good resources for finding fellowship opportunities include:

Graduate and professional study

When applying to graduate or professional schools, you'll need letters of recommendation from faculty members who are familiar with your work. Make a practice of attending office hours early in your academic career to get to know your professors and discuss your options for advanced study in the field.


A B.A. degree in Sports Media can prepare you for entry into graduate programs in a wide variety of fields, such as communications, management, business, consulting, politics, and research.

With careful planning, and in consultation with the Health Professions and Prelaw Center, you could also prepare to enter law school, medical school, or other programs in the health professions.

Students who pursue graduate studies after earning the Sports Media B.A. degree have gone into careers with top sports marketing firms, advertising agencies, talent management companies, sports reporting, and video production.

You might consider these Indiana University graduate opportunities:

Alumni connections

Talk with Media School faculty, academic advisors, career coaches, and other students to gain insights into the career paths taken by graduates of the Media School.

The IU College of Arts and Sciences organizes Alumni events. Check out the IU College Luminaries program, which connects students with the College's most influential, successful, and inspiring alumni.

Join the Walter Center Success Network to remain in touch, network directly with College of Arts +Sciences Alumni, and let others know where your path takes you.


Is it for you?

Sports Media attracts students from a variety of backgrounds and interests. They typically have some of the following qualities:

  • Ability to imagine the audiences of sports media messages and understand what motivates them
  • Creativity in designing the components and contents of sports media messages to appeal appropriately to those audiences
  • Interest in applying traditional journalism skills, such as broadcasting or news writing, to sports news or sports industry organizations
  • Motivation to understand how cutting-edge skills in social media, media production, and media management apply in today’s sports media environments
  • Desire to participate extensively in applied, hands-on training experiences, including internships, as an integral part of the learning process in the major
  • Concern for the impacts of sports media messages and their ethical use

Learn more

Contact Media School academic advising and schedule an appointment to explore the full range of options you have for paths through this major. Complete information about the requirements of the major can be found in the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.

Department website
Advisor email address
mschadv@indiana.edu