The Certificate in Sports Communication is a 12-credit program that provides students with practical skills training and knowledge for success in the growing professions of sports journalism/broadcasting and sports strategic communication (sports marketing communication, and media/public relations). The program also includes coursework on sports, media and society. This program serves both Journalism majors (as an elective sequence) and non-Journalism majors (providing an opportunity for them to take professional skills courses in journalism and strategic communication). Many of these courses can be taken online and over the summer to maximize flexibility for student schedules.

The certificate includes a required Introduction to Sports Communication, a choice of professional skills courses on either Sports Marketing Communications or Advanced Sports Communication and a Social Impacts course. Students will take a final elective course, which can be a professional enrichment course such as an internship, careers colloquium or directed study.

The Certificate in Sports Communication will be open to any University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate. Students may declare or cancel the certificate at any time in consultation with the School of Journalism and Mass Communication undergraduate advisor and administrative staff.

Requirements for the Certificate

The certificate requires 12 credits as follows:1

Survey Course:
JOURN 150 Introduction to Sports Communication3
One Skills course from the following:3
Sports Marketing Communications
Sports Reporting and Writing
Sports Marketing
One Social Impacts course from the following:3
Sport, Recreation, & Society in the United States
Mass Media in Multicultural America
Sports Media
Sports Controversies & Communication Professions
One Professional Enrichment course from the following:1-3
Internship in the Liberal Arts and Sciences
Colloquium in Professional Communication Careers
Directed Study
Field Experience in Communication
Second Field Experience in Communication
Elective credit from any course above to achieve 12 credits0-2
Total Credits12

Residence and Quality of Work

  • Minimum 2.000 GPA on all certificate-approved courses
  • At least 6 credits in the certificate must be taken in residence

 Courses taken on a Pass/Fail basis do meet requirements of the certificate.

Certificate Completion Requirement

This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

  1. Students will be able to convey information and express ideas pertaining to sports effectively in contemporary media.
  2. Students will understand the responsible and ethical use of mass media to disseminate information to sports-interested audiences.
  3. Students will be able to articulate the role of sports in culture and society and the media’s relationship to that role.
  4. Students will be able to think strategically, creatively and critically to meet the demands and challenges of informing the public about sports while understanding the norms of amateur and professional sports organizations.

Matt Hermann is the undergraduate advisor for the Sports Communication Certificate. Students are encouraged to meet with Herman when they have questions about the courses and requirements for the certificate. Contact him by email at mrhermann@wisc.edu.
The Sports Certificate Program encourages students to get involved in sports-related internships and career-building courses (see certificate requirements). Students seeking assistance in securing internships and/or planning their careers should contact Pamela Garcia-Rivera, Media, Information and Communication Career Advisor. Contact her by email at pgarciariver@wisc.edu.

L&S career resources

Every L&S major opens a world of possibilities.  SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students turn the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and other coursework into fulfilling lives after graduation, whether that means jobs, public service, graduate school or other career pursuits.

In addition to providing basic support like resume reviews and interview practice, SuccessWorks offers ways to explore interests and build career skills from their very first semester/term at UW all the way through graduation and beyond.

Students can explore careers in one-on-one advising, try out different career paths, complete internships, prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications, and connect with supportive alumni and even employers in the fields that inspire them.

Professors: McLeod, H. Shah (director)
Faculty Associates: Hermann