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.
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 upper-level 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 students to gain skills in their particular professional interests: Sports Writing, Sports Casting, Sports Media online, Sports Media production, or Sports Media management.
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 sports events, made available to students on the Sports Media email 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 concentration 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.
You can get involved in research as early as your first year. Many incoming first year students apply to the Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Experience (ASURE) program. ASURE students experience project-based learning enhanced by a community of supportive faculty and peers. Choose an ASURE path in the arts and humanities, social and historical studies, or natural and mathematical sciences. Consider joining one that will deepen your skills and knowledge in an area related to your major or a different one to become a more well-rounded thinker.
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 offer you a chance to develop both technical and transferable skills while making vital professional contacts with others in the field. Many students begin exploring internship opportunities, including overseas study programs with internships, as early as their first 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 Sports 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:
- Read testimonials from IUB students who have completed internships in media fields
- View lists of internships with specific organizations recently held by IUB students in many areas of media
- Explore The Media School’s Semester in Los Angeles program.
Learn more about internships, including the possibility of receiving credit, through the Walter Center for Career Achievement, where you’ll 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 80 languages.
Below is a sampling of language study resources available to students at IU Bloomington.
- Arabic Flagship Program
- Center for Language Technology
- Chinese Flagship Program
- Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships
- IU Language Workshop
- Language Tables
- Project GO
- Russian Flagship Program
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 exchange programs in 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.
The College of Arts and 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 The Media School faculty, your academic advisor, and through the Office of Overseas Study.
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, internships, 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.
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:
- Bloomington Parks and Recreation
- Bloomington Cutters Soccer Club
- Bridges: Children, Languages, World
- Habitat for Humanity
- IU Corps
- Middle Way House
- Monroe County Public Library Volunteers in Teaching Adult Learners
Sign up to receive weekly emails from the Bloomington Volunteer Network to learn about local opportunities and 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:
- National Sports Marketing Network
- National Sports Media Association
- Sportscasters Talent Agency of America
- American Sportscasters Online
- North American Society for Sport Management
- The Center for Media Literacy
- The Association for Media Literacy
- Digital Media Association
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 concentration 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 key skills and qualities they are looking for in recent college graduates.
The following are some of the most commonly desired attributes across many employment sectors:
- Problem-solving skills
- Ability to work in a team
- Written and verbal communication skills
- Leadership skills
- Strong work ethic
- Analytical and quantitative skills
- Ability to take Initiative
- Being detail oriented
- Demonstrating adaptability
- Technical skills relevant to the field
- Interpersonal skills
- Computer skills
- Organizational ability
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 advisor and career coach 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 College.
- Launch your career
Plan your search
A good starting point for exploring your career options is an appointment with your 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.
Maximize your career preparation with a career course. Sports Media students should consider enrolling in ASCS-Q296 College to Career II: Navigate Your Arts and Sciences Experience. The section dedicated to media provides the opportunity for you to explore the relationship between your field of study and life after graduation, while developing an academic and career development plan for post-collegiate success. If you are considering continuing your studies after graduation, you may wish to enroll instead in the section dedicated to graduate school preparation. Regardless of the section you select, you will leave the class with your resume, a cover letter or personal statement, and a LinkedIn profile ready to go!
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.
Initial and long-term destinations for graduates include positions in many job sectors: sports commentators, social media managers, videographers, sports agents, consultants, content creators, reporters, advertising executives, statisticians, and research analysts.
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.
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.
Post-graduate short-term experiences
The beginning of your post-graduate career might be an ideal time to explore an international internship or other short-term experience through organizations such as these:
- NCAA Postgraduate Internship Program
- U.S. Olympic Committee Internship Program
- NBA Early Career Programs
- NFL Careers and Internships
- Independent Sports and Entertainment Sports Agency Internship
- College + Kelley program
Fellowships for post-graduate study
Fellowships are temporary opportunities to conduct research, work in a field, or fund your education. Most opportunities can be found through universities, non-profits, and government organizations.
Good resources for finding fellowship opportunities include:
- Ketchum Sports Public Relations Fellows
- Atlantic Media Fellows
- North American Society for Sport Management Research Fellow
- IU Fellowships and Awards
- Fulbright Programs
- USAID Payne International Development Fellowships
- Woodrow Wilson National Fellowships
Graduate and professional study
When applying to graduate or professional schools, you will 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 professional programs.
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.
Here are examples of graduate programs offered at IU:
- Media Arts and Sciences (M.A., M.S., Ph.D.)
- Maurer School of Law
- O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
- Kelly School of Business
- Information and Library Science
The IU College of Arts and Sciences has thousands of active alumni. Check out the 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 and 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
Contact Media School academic advising and schedule an appointment to explore your options. Complete information about the requirements of the major can be found in the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.
- Department website
- Advisor email address