Master of Arts in Sports Journalism

Do you want to take your passion for sports to the next level? Consider the Master of Arts in Sports Journalism. This degree is designed to equip you with the specialized skills needed to be highly qualified for landing a position in the sports world where you will work with websites, traditional media outlets, and sports teams, leagues and organizations locally, nationally and internationally.

As the first U.S. graduate program in sports journalism, you will benefit from established partnerships with national and local sports organizations such the Associated Press Sports Editors, the NCAA, the Indiana Pacers, the Indianapolis Indians, and IndyCar Series, to name a few. You will have the opportunity to participate in news bureaus, in which you will work in teams covering major sporting events, as well as internships.

This degree is ideal for graduating seniors with an extensive or very limited journalism background, and professionals that are early in their careers. You will receive top quality instruction on sports media from full-time and adjunct faculty that provide individual attention and guidance. The curriculum is a mix of skills and seminar courses that focus on the converging worlds of print and online journalism, public relations, advertising, documentary and emerging technologies as expressed in the new commercial reality of sport. Courses combine experiential and classroom learning and stress versatility and skill-building across platforms.

Courses are offered 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. The Master of Arts program is 30 credit hours and can be completed in less than a year.

Required Courses

JOUR-J501 Public Affairs Reporting

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-J510 Media and Society Seminar

This course offers an examination of structure, functions, ethics, and performance of communication and mass media, stressing a review of pertinent research literature. Students will analyze media policies and performance in light of communication theory and current economic, political and social thought.

JOUR-J540 Business of Sports Media

A history of how media have evolved from radio, network television and magazines into the multi-dimensional world of regional and national cable, the Internet, and the networks. The way media provide so much of the revenue for sports as an entertainment industry has made it the anchor for the sports industry.

JOUR-J541 Digital Sports Journalism

Students in this hands-on, practical course will learn how to envision, build, design and produce a sports website. Students will receive substantive training in the software used to produce web videos, podcasts and interactive graphics. And, students will be taught how to marry all of those elements into a compelling website.

JOUR-J542 Sports Journalism and Society

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-J543 Sports Law

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-J545 Sports Writing

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-J546 Sports Journalism Research

This course explores issues surrounding the highly lucrative nature of collegiate sports in America, such as which sports are the most and least profitable and the gap between men’s and women’s sports. Students will produce a research project in collaboration with a major media outlet.

JOUR-J547 Sports Broadcast Journalism

The course is an intensive, in-depth and practical instruction of sports broadcasting. This course will include instruction in everything from play-by-play broadcasting of live events to the art of interviewing for television to writing and editing long segments.

JOUR-J620 Media Coverage of Sports

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.


Regardless of what your undergraduate degree is in, you may apply at any time for admission to the Department of Journalism and Public Relations at IUPUI Master’s degree in Sports Journalism. This degree is a great way to expand on your professional writing and reporting skills while diving into the influential world of sports.

Key application dates

If you wish to begin your studies in fall, your completed application must be submitted no later than July 15. For spring entry, your completed application must be submitted by Oct. 15. To begin in the first summer session, submit your completed application by April 1.

In order to apply, complete the online application at the IUPUI Graduate Office website.

You will also need to submit the following materials:

  • A statement of purpose of approximately 500 words.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Superior record in the undergraduate major from a recognized university as demonstrated by university transcript.
  • A Graduate Record Exam score (within the last five years). Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better do not have to submit a GRE score.