Quinnipiac to launch master's program in sports journalism

Rich Hanley sports journalism
Richard Hanley, associate professor of journalism and director of the graduate program in journalism.

March 26, 2014 - Quinnipiac will introduce a new master of science in sports journalism program in Fall 2014, becoming the first university in the Northeast and second in the nation to offer a graduate degree in sports journalism. 

The 36-credit program, approved by the state of Connecticut March 5, will feature 11 core courses and one elective. 

Richard Hanley, associate professor of journalism and director of the graduate program in journalism, said Quinnipiac's School of Communications previously offered a master's degree in journalism with a sports track. The new master's in sports journalism program grew out of that and will have two paths of emphasis - broadcast/multimedia, which will be offered on campus, and writing, which will be available exclusively online. It will also be offered as a five-year program for Quinnipiac undergraduates.

"The sports journalism program is designed to position Quinnipiac University as the academic leader in what has now developed into the sports journalism economic cluster along I-95," said Hanley, referencing media outlets including NESN in Watertown, Mass., ESPN in Bristol, NBC Sports in Stamford and YES, MSG, MLB Network and SNY in New York City. "To us, it's just like Detroit with cars, Milan with textiles and Silicon Valley with computers. As a university, we are in the middle of an economic cluster that happens to focus on sports journalism."

Quinnipiac and Indiana are the only universities in the nation to offer a master of science in sports journalism program. 

"Some of the finest journalism in the country is in the area of sports," said Lee Kamlet, dean of the School of Communications. "Under the leadership of our faculty and staff, Quinnipiac University will move to the forefront in teaching the next generation of outstanding sports reporters. While other universities offer tracks in sports journalism at the master's level, we believe a master's degree specifically in sports journalism is warranted. This is just the latest example of our efforts to keep our journalism program at both the undergraduate and graduate levels on the cutting edge."

Quinnipiac will offer courses such as contemporary issues in sports, multimedia sports reporting, sports law and ethics, sports feature writing, producing sports for television and producing sports for radio. Hanley said the program will feature coverage of Quinnipiac's Division I athletic programs and use the TD Bank Sports Center as a key part of the student experience.       

"These are courses that give students the practical skill and knowledge they need to succeed in the field of sports journalism. It's a massive industry," said Hanley, citing a recent Nielsen ratings report that from 2001-13 there was a 232 percent increase in the hours of sports programs available on television. "This is right in our wheelhouse. We already have the pieces in place to give our students a chance for career success in this compelling profession."          

Hanley said there has been strong interest from prospective students, who will comprise an inaugural class of about 20.         

"The economic reality is sports is big business," Hanley said. "We happen to be positioned geographically to take full advantage of internship opportunities and to recruit working professionals from the highest professional level to teach."