Sports Journalism Concentration

Are you interested in a career in sports journalism?

The UMass Journalism Department offers a specialized concentration geared toward students interested in sports journalism. The SJC is a unique focus of study, combining both in-classroom instruction with hands-on internship experience in the field. Learn how to cover a beat, blog, craft column and feature pieces, utilize multimedia and shoot sports photography.

Students also analyze the politics and issues in sports as well as the study of sports film and literature. The UMass Journalism Department is home to new multimedia facilities, a state-of-the-art studio and high-caliber equipment that foster an innovative environment for creating future journalists. 

How to apply:

  • If you are switching from another major on campus, you will want to fill out this form and check "yes" to join the Sports Journalism Concentration. 
  • If you are already a UMass Journalism student, email Beth Wallace or Abby Bliss, our academic advisors, to let them know you would like to join the SJC. 
  • If you are applying to UMass as a high school student, you'll mark Journalism on your application. Then you can let your advisor know you would like to join the SJC. 

Questions about what it's like to be in the Sports Journalism Concentration? Contact Steve Fox, Sports Journalism director. 

Sports Journalism majors must complete the following:

  1. Journalism 300: Newswriting and Reporting
  2. Journalism 332: Sports Journalism
  3. Journalism 341: Images in Sports
  4. Journalism 392T: Issues in Sports
  5. Take either Journalism 425: The Politics of Sport, or Journalism 428: Sports in Film, Journalism, and Literature (***NOTE: Only offered every other fall; alternates with Politics of Sport)
  6. Journalism 398: Practicum Internship (3 credits or more)
  7. One Multimedia course:
  • Journalism 301: Intro to Multimedia Journalism
  • Journalism 333: Intro to Digital Photojournalism
  • Journ 397DJ: Infographics and Data Journalism
  • Journalism 397G: Multimedia Journalism
  • Journalism 435: Web Design for Journalists
  1. Two of the following courses:
  • Journalism 320: History of American Journalism
  • Journalism 320H: History of American Journalism (Honors)
  • Journalism 312: Journalism & Law
  • Journalism 460: Journalism Ethics
  • Journalism 345: Media Criticism
  • Journalism 494MI: Media, Technology, and Culture

9. An academic minor in another department or program, except for communication. Another major or a certificate will also satisfy this requirement. For students who have joined the major during Fall 2015 or later, communication is a viable option for this requirement.  

SJC Faculty:
Faculty within the Sports Journalism Concentration provide our students with guidance and oversight from their experience as journalists. Whether it be ESPN, The Washington Post or The Daily Hampshire Gazette, our Sports Journalism faculty come from a range of backgrounds and media outlets, giving our students a quality learning experience.

Each semester, the UMass Journalism Department hosts guest speakers, seminars and presentations for our students. These events allow our students to listen and learn from professionals in the field and are held in both individual classes and as larger presentations. Students often get the opportunity to network with the speakers after events.

Some of our past speakers include:

  • Kate Fagan: Columnist and Feature Writer for ESPN, espnW and ESPN The Magazine
  • TJ Quinn: ESPN Investigative Reporter
  • Bonnie Ford: ESPN Enterprise Reporter
  • Jody Avirgan: Podcast Host and Producer for ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight
  • Jemel Hill: Co-host of ESPN’s His and Hers
  • Howard Bryant: ESPN Senior Writer, NPR Correspondent, Author
  • Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru: ESPN Investigative Reporters and Authors of League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis 

Student Work Opportunities:
Students are encouraged to gain experience through campus media outlets. Newspaper, radio, TV and multimedia outlets are available to journalism students and specifically give SJC students experience covering a beat or respective sport. Students interested in broadcast media can also gain experience in our studio with live shows.

Our campus media outlets include:

Amherst Wire
Amherst Wire is the digital-first student-produced publication of the Journalism Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. We cover topics of interest to today’s students, and our focus is on good storytelling, colorful multimedia, interactivity and fostering community dialogue on the issues that affect our lives.

Amherst Wire TV
Amherst Wire also has a broadcasting component, Amherst Wire TV. Those interested in broadcast journalism can pitch, shoot, write and edit their own video stories for the Wire as well.

The Massachusetts Daily Collegian
The Massachusetts Daily Collegian is the independent student-operated newspaper at the University of Massachusetts Amherst that has been serving the UMass community since 1890. It is published daily Monday through Thursday during the calendar semester. The Collegian has the most comprehensive print and online coverage of UMass news and campus-related events.

UVC-TV19, part of Student Engagement, is UMass Amherst's student-run television station. Our mission is to serve as a training facility for all facets of video production, while providing undergraduate students with a welcoming environment in which to learn. We broadcast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on HSCN channel 19 on the UMass campus.

WMUA 91.1 is “The Radio Voice of UMass Amherst.” It offers radio opportunities in news, sports and other areas of interest. WMUA is also the official voice of the UMass women's basketball team.

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