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QU to offer sports journalism master’s program
Quinnipiac will be the first university in the Northeast to offer a master’s program in sports journalism starting this fall.
Quinnipiac will join Indiana University as the only two universities with this program.
The decision to offer a graduate degree specifically in sports journalism was based on Quinnipiac’s close proximity to ESPN in Bristol and NBC Sports in Stamford and the expansion of media in sports, Lee Kamlet, dean of the School of Communications, said.
“Given the huge interest among students in sports journalism, and the fact that some of the best journalism today is being done in the sports world,” Kamlet said. “It made perfect sense for us to launch a master’s degree program specifically in sports journalism.”
Richard Hanley, associate professor of journalism and director of the graduate program, developed the curriculum for the master’s program in sports journalism.
“It is really connected intimately to professional practices as they are today and in the future,” Hanley said. “We expect this to separate Quinnipiac from the pack of schools in this area.”
Associate Professor of Journalism Molly Yanity will be the director of the new program, Kamlet said.
“It’s going to take her a bit of time to figure out all the mechanisms of it.” Kamlet said. “This will be a real good program for the school.”
The sports journalism master program is expected to last two semesters.
“We’re going to have a four-plus-one program in it, which means that a student could get a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years,” Kamlet said.
In addition to current enrollees, Quinnipiac will accept students who have received their undergraduate degrees from other universities.
Hanley said the master’s program will prepare students for sports journalism.
“All the courses are based on a paradigm that is ruthlessly professional,” Hanley said. “Most of the courses are based on professional training for entry-level positions in the sports journalism field, which is everything from ESPN, to local television news, to The Postgame, Grantland, or any of the other notable sites that produce original works of journalism about sports.”
Hanley said the graduate journalism program had previously offered a sports concentration and that the new graduate program makes sports journalism its own field of study.
“It is designed to facilitate careers for students who are interested in specifically in the sports industry; broadcast, multimedia, or writing,” Hanley said.
Hanley said the choice to form a sports journalism master’s program gives the university a more pronounced presence in an area of intense interest to its students and in such a superior geographical area.
“Sports broadcasting alone has grown over 200 percent in this decade,” Hanley said. “Very few industries have that sort of growth trajectory. We want to be able to take advantage of that growth trajectory in addition to our geographic location within that trajectory to tee it up for students to succeed in sports journalism in its many varieties.”
The graduate program in journalism has offered a sports journalism concentration for a couple years, Hanley said.
“We decided to extract that and make it into its own field of study,” Hanley said. “That meant we had to go through a process that took a little over a year to get approvals at the [journalism] department, School [of Communications,] university and state levels.”
The state of Connecticut approved the program on March 5.
“We’re happy that we went through that process and are proud that we are only the second university in the nation to offer a graduate degree specifically in sports journalism,” Hanley said.
Dean Kamlet said the new graduate program will make others notice the university.
“It’s just another measure of our efforts to raise the profile of the School of Communications and the university.”