A national leader in collegiate athletics, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln attracts many students who have a strong interest in sports. The sports media and communication major provides students a unique opportunity to fulfill their aspirations of pursuing a career in sports without being a competitive athlete. Students start by creating a strong foundation of sports knowledge and skills from a variety of perspectives, including journalism broadcasting, and advertising, public relations, and marketing. Students then have the ability to add depth in their upper-level electives.

The college has offered sports courses for decades, including courses in sports broadcasting, sports writing, and sports media relations and promotion, and has produced highly successful alumni working in sports for major media organizations across the United States. Faculty have built relationships with sports media organizations that provide special learning opportunities for students, such as ESPN, FOX Sports University, BigTen Network, Special Olympics, as well as local stations and agencies.

The sports media and communication major offers a plethora of employment opportunities for students, including jobs in sports journalism, sports announcing, sports information, sports marketing, sports event planning, sports community relations, graphic and Web design in sports, multimedia storytelling in sports, and sports media entrepreneurship.

The faculty, with many professional contacts both locally and nationwide, actively help students find jobs within the state and throughout the country. Students interested in majoring in sports media and communication should contact the college office in 147 Andersen Hall, 402-472-3041.

College Requirements

College Admission

College Admission

The entrance requirements for the College of Journalism and Mass Communications are the same as the admission requirements for the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

These include:

  • English (4 units)
  • Mathematics (4 units)
  • Social studies (3 units)
  • Natural sciences (3 units), and
  • Foreign language (2 units)

One unit equals one year of high school credit. Students with one deficiency, two deficiencies but not in the same category, or two deficiencies in foreign language who receive a Deferred Admission or Admission by Review, may be considered for admission to the college. Students who are admitted through the Admission by Review process with core course deficiencies will have certain conditions attached to their enrollment at UNL. These conditions are explained under Admission to the University, Removal of Deficiencies. High school deficiencies must be removed during the first 30 credit hours of enrollment at UNL (60 hours for foreign language) or the first calendar year, whichever takes longer.

Admission Deficiencies/Removal of Deficiencies

You must remove entrance deficiencies in geometry and foreign language before you can graduate from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Removing Foreign Language Deficiencies

A student will need to complete the second semester of the first-year language sequence to clear the deficiency and the second semester of the second-year language sequence to complete the college graduation requirement in language.

Removing Geometry Deficiency

A deficiency of one year of geometry can be removed by taking two high school geometry courses by Independent Study or by completing a geometry course from an accredited community college or a four-year institution. Neither of these options will count for college credit.

Admission GPA

Any student transferring into the college must have at least a 2.0 GPA. A student with 12 or more hours of college credit must have at least a 2.0 GPA to be admitted or readmitted to the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.


A student who left the University not in good standing (below a 2.0 grade point average) may be readmitted in the Explore Center. Such a student would be eligible to reenter the College of Journalism and Mass Communications upon attaining a 2.0 cumulative GPA. This student would follow the catalog in effect at the time of the transfer from the Explore Center to the college.

Other Admission Requirements

Students from other Colleges

College of Journalism and Mass Communications courses will be restricted to College of Journalism and Mass Communications majors except where stipulated differently. Students from colleges and departments with a written agreement with the College of Journalism and Mass Communications will be exempt from this policy. Permission may be granted by an associate dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications in special circumstances following the directives provided by the faculty in these matters.

ESL Students

Applicants who speak English as a second language must present a TOEFL score of 70 or higher, which includes a subscore of at least 20 on the writing test. Additionally, broadcasting majors must present a score of at least 45 on the Test of Spoken English.

College Degree Requirements

College General Education Requirements

To graduate with a bachelor of journalism degree, students must complete requirements from the following areas:

  • the University ACE requirements
  • the requirements for a major offered by the college
  • the non-major requirements that are specific to the college

College Non-Major Requirements

The college non-major requirements (NMR) are designed to further the purposes of liberal education by encouraging study in several different areas. Courses satisfying these requirements may impart specialized knowledge or broadly connect the subject matter to other areas of knowledge.

Group 1

The college requires a second set of ACE 1 and ACE 3-9 courses beyond the ACE courses required by UNL. The ACE 4 course in group 1 must include a lab.

Group 2

Candidates for the bachelor of journalism degree must abide by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication accrediting guidelines, which require 72 semester hours be completed outside the college in subjects approved by UNL as liberal education/liberal arts courses and traditional liberal arts and sciences courses. All ACE courses from outside the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, and all traditional liberal arts courses (departments identified in the degree audit) will apply to Group 2, along with non-vocational ALEC courses, College of Business courses and College of Fine and Performing Arts courses and any from NUTR, HRTM, and TMFD, unless specifically excluded. These 72 hours of liberal education/liberal arts courses are identified as Group 2.

Students graduating with 120 hours can take a maximum of 48 hours in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Students may take additional hours in the college, but those hours will be in addition to the 120 hours required to graduate.

Group 3—Minor outside of the College

CoJMC majors must complete one minor outside the College of Journalism and Mass Communications as stipulated by the department offering the minor. Students may complete more than one minor if they wish.

Generally, CoJMC courses will not count toward a minor unless the department offering the minor approves the substitution. The CoJMC course that was substituted cannot be a required course in the CoJMC major and cannot count toward the total number of hours in the CoJMC major. 

Students have the option to complete an inter-college major in the College of Arts & Sciences in lieu of a minor or a dual matriculation with any other UNL college. Students who dual matriculate must fully complete all degree requirements of both colleges.

Group 4—Languages—Classical and Modern: 0-6 or 10 hours

A student who has completed the fourth-year level of one foreign language in high school is exempt from the languages requirement. All foreign language courses as well as American Sign Language courses will also count in Group 2.

Options for completion of language requirement:

  1. Regular four-semester sequence: 101, 102, 201, and 202 (5, 5, 3, 3 hours for a total of 16)
  2. Three-semester sequence: 101, 102, and 210 (5, 5, 6 hours for a total of 16)
  3. Students who have completed at least two years of one foreign language in high school may satisfy the college’s foreign language requirement by completing 101 and 102 in a different foreign language.
  4. Students who have not taken four years of the same foreign language in high school but who complete the Modern Language Placement Exam and are placed into 203 (or higher) of that language, are exempt from the foreign language requirement without credit toward the degree.

Students who have taken three years or fewer of a foreign language in high school should contact the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures for recommended placement.

A student who achieves a specified scaled score in the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) subject exam in French, German and Spanish, Levels 1 and 2, may be exempted from the language requirement and may also receive credit for the fourth semester course in the language. Students who want to exercise this option must receive permission from an associate dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

A student who has demonstrated acceptable proficiency in a language other than English is exempt from the foreign language requirement without credit toward the degree (for example, international students who completed high school outside the United States). The student's academic advisor will determine whether a placement exam administered by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures is necessary.

Group 5

At least 30 of the 120 semester hours of credit must be in courses numbered above 299.

Minimum Hours Required for Graduation

A minimum of 120 semester hours of credit is required for graduation from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Grade Rules

C- and D Grades

The college will accept no more than 15 semester hours of grades less than a C from any program outside the University of Nebraska system. No grades less than a C will count toward a CoJMC major. The college will honor minimum grade requirements stipulated by departments offering minors outside the college.

Pass/No Pass

The college will accept up to 24 hours of Pass/No Pass courses toward a bachelor of journalism degree, subject to the following limits:

All courses in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications must be taken for grade only, unless otherwise specified. This applies to both majors and non-majors.

The Pass/No Pass (P/N) option is designed to be used by students seeking to expand their intellectual horizons by taking courses outside the college in areas where they may have minimum preparation without adversely affecting a student’s grade point average.

  1. Neither a P (pass) nor an N (no pass) contributes to a student’s GPA.
  2. P (pass) is interpreted to mean a grade of C or better. A student who earns a C- or lower will receive a grade of N.
  3. P/N is not available to students on academic probation unless the course is offered only that way.
  4. The 24-hour college limit does not include courses offered on a Pass/No Pass only basis or AP credit. This limit does apply to transfer courses from UNO, UNK, UNMC, and other institutions.
  5. P/N hours can count toward fulfillment of group requirements up to the 24-credit hour maximum (if the course is eligible as a P/N course).
  6. Students may change from graded to P/N or vice versa only until half way through the course. In either case, they must speak with an advisor before doing so.


Students must complete at least 30 of the 120 total hours for their degree at UNL. Students must complete at least half of their major course work including 6 hours above 299 in their major, and 15 of the 30 hours required above 299 in residence. Students transferring hours into the advertising and public relations, broadcasting, or journalism majors must meet additional requirements, which are described under Transfer Credit Rules. To encourage participation in international study, the college accepts all prior-approved education abroad credits as hours in residence.

Transfer Credit Rules

The goal of the following policy is to ensure that students from other campuses meet the same standards required of students who take all their courses at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

The college will accept up to 6 hours in journalism and mass communications courses taken at institutions that do not have an accredited journalism and mass communications program. Students must take the remainder of the required hours in their ADPR, BRDC, JOMC or JOUR courses from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. In advertising and public relations, these courses must include one 300- or 400-level ADPR course and ADPR 429 Jacht Student Ad Agency, ADPR 439 Student Competitions or ADPR 489 Advertising and Public Relations Campaigns; and in broadcasting, BRDC 370 Broadcast News Writing and BRDC 472 Advanced Reporting or BRDC 360 Broadcast Writing and BRDC 462 Advanced Production. In journalism, the courses must include JOUR 302 Reporting II and either JOUR 401 Depth Reporting,  JOUR 450 News-Net-Nebraska, JOUR 446 Nebraska Mosaic or JOUR 497 Nebraska News Service. Students from ACEJMC-accredited programs may request equivalency reviews of the required courses at those schools. Degree candidates must accumulate 72 credit hours of non-journalism and mass communications classes. These are to be selected from ACE courses outside of journalism and mass communications courses or courses in disciplines listed as Liberal Education/Liberal Arts, which includes non-vocational ALEC courses, College of Business courses and College of Fine and Performing Arts courses.

Credit for courses taken at foreign universities and colleges will be transferred only after evaluation by the appropriate associate dean. This evaluation may include examination of the student over subject matter studied at the foreign institution.

ACE Requirements

All students must fulfill the Achievement-Centered Education (ACE) requirements. Information about the ACE program may be viewed at

Catalog Rule

Students who left the university in good standing may be readmitted to the College of Journalism and Mass Communications and they may choose the catalog under which they wish to graduate according to the following guidelines:

  1. Students must fulfill the requirements stated in the Undergraduate Catalog for the year they enter the College of Journalism and Mass Communications or in any subsequent catalog published while they are enrolled in the college.
  2. No returning student may use a catalog that is 10 years old or older. In addition, any student seeking graduation credit for a College of Journalism and Mass Communications course taken more than 10 years prior to graduation must demonstrate mastery of the material currently included in that course at the proficiency level satisfactory to the relevant associate dean and one or more faculty members qualified to teach the course in question. Students unable to demonstrate satisfactory mastery of the course material will be required to repeat the original course or a corresponding contemporary course designated by the college’s advisory committee, if the original course is no longer offered.

Learning Outcomes

Majors in sports media and communication will be able to:

  1. Understand and apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press as well as receive instruction in and understand the range of systems of freedom of expression around the world, including the right to dissent, to monitor and criticize power, and to assemble and petition for redress of grievances.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as appropriate, other forms of diversity in domestic society in relation to mass communications.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and of the significance and impact of mass communications in a global society;
  5. Understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity.
  7. Think critically, creatively and independently.
  8. Conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work.
  9. Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve.
  10. Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness.
  11. Apply basic numerical and statistical concepts as well as tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work.
  12. Apply current tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work, and to understand the digital world.

Major Requirements

The courses required for a 40-hour major in sports media and communication are as follows:

Specific Major Requirements
JOMC 100The First Year Experience1
JOMC 130Introduction to Design Thinking1
JOMC 131Visual Communication Core Modules I1
JOMC 132Visual Communication Core Modules II1
JOMC 133Visual Communication Advanced Modules1
JOMC 134Visual Communication Project2
JOMC 1503
SPMC 250Sports Writing3
SPMC 350Data Literacy and Analytics in Sports3
SPMC 450Sports Media and Communication Capstone3
ADPR 464 / SPMC 464Sports Media Relations & Promotions3
SPMC 487Sports, Media, and Society3
JOMC 486Mass Media Law3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 28
Select 12 hours of approved electives from advertising and public relations, broadcasting and/or journalism. At least 9 of the 12 elective hours must be at the 300 level or higher.12
Credit Hours Subtotal: 12
Total Credit Hours40

Students may complete additional majors in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications by completing all requirements for each major. However, the additional major(s) in the college will not take the place of a concentration or any of the 72 hours required outside the college.

Sophomore students also have to complete JOMC 20 Professional Development/Sophomore Experience . Graduating seniors also must complete JOMC 98 Senior Assessment. Typically, JOMC 98  is taken in the last semester. However, seniors who have completed all courses for the major may take it in the term preceding graduation.

Additional Major Requirements

Internship Policy

Students may be able to earn credit for internships under certain circumstances. Please go to the college website and find the Internship Policy under the Student Services tab.

Credit in Special Experiences

Students may earn up to 6 credit hours toward the degree in some courses: Jacht, National Student Advertising Competition, Bateman Competition, photojournalism reports, depth reports and others. Students may repeat the same course again for additional credit hours, but those credits will not count toward the degree inside or outside the major. Talk with an academic advisor for further information or specific questions.