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Bachelor of Arts in Sports Communication

Several members of the media interviewing Clemson Football Head Coach Dabo Sweeny

Our undergraduate program features an innovative curriculum that prepares our majors for careers in the 21st century. From core courses in communication theory and methods, to emphasis areas such as media and mass communication, health communication, and strategic communication, the curriculum is forward-thinking and prepares students to compete for careers in the communication profession or to continue their education in graduate school. Our majors develop an integrated skill set in oral, visual, and written communication and learn how to present information and interact in a digital communication environment. This diverse skill set enables students to meet the challenges of the rapidly evolving communication profession.

Communication plays an integral part in the sports world, and it is imperative for sports professionals to have a strong communication foundation in order to be successful and competitive. Clemson’s sports communication major provides a multi-faceted and diverse approach to sports communication through examining areas such as social media, public relations, organizational communication and interpersonal communication. Our students gain a strong theoretical foundation that allows them to understand why certain messages work, and how to optimize communication in the sports context. During your time in this degree program, you’ll be enabled to develop a customized study plan that allows you to focus on your areas of interest. Our program also provides extensive opportunities to network with people who work in the sports communication industry.

  • Focused Plans of Study

    Students collaborate with faculty to prepare a focused plan of study in such contexts as:

    Interpersonal Communication: The study of communication behaviors in dyads (pairs) and their impact on personal relationships.

    Organizational Communication: The study and assessment of networks within organizations, including the design of training to improve supervisor-employee communication.

    Media and Mass Communication: The study of the uses, processes, and effects of mediated communication.

    Health Communication: The study of provider-client interaction as well as the diffusion of health information through public health campaigns.

    Public Relations: The study of the management of communication between an organization and its audiences.

  • Career Options

    Graduates from our program have found jobs in:

    Development (fundraising, grant writing)

    Media Production

    Political Communication/Campaign Management

    Public Relations

    Radio and Television Production

    Sales and Management

    Special Events Coordination

    Sports Production and Promotion

    Organizational Training and Development

    Hospitality and Leisure

    Human Resources

    Allied Health

    Social Work and Counseling

  • Apply

    Thank you for your interest in our sports communication major in the communication department. Our goal is to maintain our number of students to that which can be well served by our faculty resources. We strive not for quantity, but for quality in our group of student majors. The information detailed on this page applies only to currently enrolled Clemson University students who are seeking a change of major (e.g., changing from undeclared to communication, changing from psychology to communication, etc.). 

    We provide a comprehensive and diverse sports communication education, but tailor our program to individual students’ interests and talents. This requires our undergraduate students to have clear, compelling reasons for majoring in sports communication, while pursuing a variety of minors. As a potential applicant, you should carefully consider whether a sports communication minor (which requires no application) or major is right for you.

    Application Process

    A committee of faculty members will review applications twice a year, according to the schedule printed below. Late applications will not be considered.

    Semester: Fall 2023
    Application Deadline:
    Monday, August 28 at 4:30 PM
    Decision Date: Mid-September

    Semester: Spring 2024
    Application Deadline:
    Monday, January 15 at 4:30 PM
    Decision Date: Mid-February

    Minimum Requirements to Apply

    To be eligible to apply for admission to the Department of Communication, applicants must have completed 15 credit hours, including ENGL 1030 and COMM 2010 (with a B or better). Students must have a minimum GPR of 3.0 to apply. However, a GPR in that range is typically not competitive in the application process.

    In order for an application to be considered by the department’s Undergraduate Admissions Committee, it must include a completed online application, statement of purpose (a quality response to the prompt requesting an explanation for interest in pursuing a major in communication), a brief writing sample (e.g., a completed paper from a previous class with the grade removed), and an up-to-date resume. By providing all information listed in the application, the applicant agrees to a full review of all materials, including their transcript to verify the minimum course/GPA requirements are met.

    It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete. The Undergraduate Admissions Committee will not consider incomplete applications.

    The department will mail notification of acceptance or rejection to students on or about the appropriate decision date noted above. If there are any questions about this process, please contact Lori Pindar, Ph.D., at 864-656-5747 or

  • Curriculum Map

    Freshman Year

    First Semester (14 Credit Hours)
    • 1 – COMM 1010 Communication Academic and Professional Development I
    • 3 – ENGL 1030 Accelerated Composition
    • 4 – Foreign Language Requirement
    • 3 – Mathematics Requirement
    • 3 – Social Science Requirement
    Second Semester (17 Credit Hours)
    • 4 – COMM 2010 Intro. to Communication
    • 3 – COMM 2500 Public Speaking
    • 4 – Foreign Language Requirementi
    • 3 – Mathematics or Natural Science Requirementiii
    • 3 – Elective

    Sophomore Year

    First Semester (16 Credit Hours)
    • 3 – Arts and Humanities (Non-Lit.) Requirementiii
    • 3 – Emphasis Area Requirement
    • 3 – Foreign Language Requirementi
    • 4 – Natural Science Requirementiii
    • 3 – Social Science Requirementiii
    Second Semester (15 Credit Hours)
    • 3 – COMM 3010 Communication Theory or COMM 3020 Mass Comm. Theory or Critical Discourse Theory
    • 3 – Arts and Humanities (Literature) Requirementiii
    • 3 – Foreign Language Requirementi
    • 6 – Elective

    Junior Year

    First Semester (15 Credit Hours)
    • 3 – COMM 3240 – Sport, Communication, and Society
    • 3 – Emphasis Area Requirementiv
    • 6 – Minor Requirement
    • 3 – Elective
    Second Semester (15 Credit Hours)
    • 3 – COMM 3060 Discourse, Criticism and Soc. or
      COMM 3100 Quantitative Research Methods in Communication or COMM 3110 Qualitative Research Methods in Communication
    • 3 – COMM 3250 – Survey of Sports Communication
    • 3 – Minor Requirement
    • 3 – Emphasis Area Requirementiv
    • 3 – Elective

    Senior Year

    First Semester (15 Credit Hours)
    • 3 – Emphasis Area Requirementiv
    • 3 – Minor Requirement
    • 3 – COMM 4250 – Advanced Sports Communication
    • 6 – Elective
    Second Semester (13 Credit Hours)
    • 3 – COMM 4950 Senior Capstone Seminar
    • 1 – COMM 4980 Communication Academic and Professional Development II
    • 3 – Minor Requirement
    • 6 – Elective

    120 Total Semester Hours

    i The foreign language requirement is a proficiency requirement. Students must complete through 2020 in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish.
    ii EX ST 2220 or 3010 or MTHSC 2030
    iii See General Education Requirements. Six of these credit hours must also satisfy the Cross-Cultural Awareness Requirement and, if EX ST 2220 is not selected, the Science and Technology in Society Requirement.
    iv See advisor. Emphasis area courses consist of 12 credit hours at the 3000/4000-level that fit an approved theme. [6 or 9] credit hours must be Sports Communication courses.

    Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

    Upon graduation with a B.A. in sports communication, students will demonstrate mastery of the following:

    1. The history and distinguishing characteristics of the sports communication field.
    2. Relevant communication theory and its applications to sports contexts.
    3. Range of research methods used in sports communication research.
    4. Communication law and ethics as they apply to sports communication.
    5. How communication in sports contexts may be used to pursue long-term professional goals in communication within the student’s context of interest (e.g., mass media, public relations, workplace/business, etc.)
    6. Academic and professional writing characterized by elegance in presentation (i.e., mechanics and style) as well as intellectual and practical sophistication appropriate to a graduate of a B.A. program at a major research university.
  • Course List

    COMM 1010 - Communication Academic and Professional Development I (1 Credit Hours):
    Introduces students to General Education and Communication Studies major requirements, explains connections between general education and major courses, explores careers in communication, and prepares students to develop digital portfolios, resumes, and interview skills specific to communication professions and/or graduate school. To be taken Pass/No Pass only.

    COMM 2010: Introduction to Communication Studies (4 Credit Hours):
    Introduces Communication/Sports Communication majors/minors to and prepares them for continued study in the discipline by providing them with an overview of important issues, areas of study, and approaches to the field. Includes a writing laboratory experience. Preq: COMM 1010. Coreq: COMM 2011.

    COMM 2020: Communication Theory (3 Credit Hours):
    Students explore the breadth and depth of theories within the major frameworks of the communication studies discipline. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better.

    COMM 2030: Communication Inquiry (3 Credit Hours):
    Survey of communication modes of inquiry that expose students to the range of research methods for general understanding; culminates with student development of methods proposal. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better.

    COMM 2090: Communication Across Media Platforms (3 Credit Hours):
    Provides an overview of the communication convergence strategies and practices used across multiple media platforms, including print, broadcast, Internet and social media. Emphasis is placed on media law, ethics and communication practices used across multiple media platforms. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better.

    COMM 3240: Communication, Sport and Society (3 Credit Hours):
    Covers the cultural influence of communication about sports on society. Explores how communication enables cultural meaning and values to become associated and established within sports. Exposes students to the ways that factors such as race, gender and nationalism manifest and perpetuate via communication about sports. Preq: COMM 2010 with a Cor better.

    COMM 3260: Strategic Communication in Sports (3 Credit Hours):
    Spans strategic communication topics in sports such as public relations, media relations, sports information, and advertising. Theory-driven, but with a focus on applied exercises (e.g., press releases, media advisories, production of media guides, etc.) Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better.

    COMM 3270: Sports Media Criticism (3 Credit Hours):
    Students gain in-depth understanding of sports communication issues through critically analyzing actual media coverage of sporting events, addressing social issues involved in college and professional sports, and developing an understanding of sports promotion and advertising. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better.

    COMM 3280: Social Media and Sports Communication (3 Credit Hours):
    Covers the influence of communication and social media in sports and how these technologies are changing the communicative infrastructure of sports. Students explore how social media and emerging theories related to social media are re-configuring sports media, how sports organizations are managing social media, and how social media affects fan behavior and athlete communication. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better.

    COMM 3290: Sport News Media (3 Credit Hours):
    This course traces the historical development of the field of sport news media and immerses students in the contemporary landscape. Relevant communication theories guide students’ understanding of key concepts and issues, and students also are expected to produce high-quality multimodal sports media artifacts that demonstrate technical expertise. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better.

    COMM 3780: Communication and Sport Socialization (3 Credit Hours):
    Explores how individuals are socialized into, via, and out of sport. Spans how agents of socialization (families, schools, media, coaches, and peers) come to inspire sporting participation and fandom, what involvement in sports contributes toward human development and identity, and how the process of ending involvement in sport may be managed. Preq: COMM 2010.

    COMM 3790: Team Communication (3 Credit Hours):
    Explores the communicative theories, frameworks, and perspectives that relate to the function of sports teams. The course spans issues of coaching, athlete-athlete communication, and relations with external stakeholders (e.g., parents). Preq: COMM 2010.

    COMM 4250: Advanced Sports Communication (3 Credit Hours):
    Combination seminar and primary research class that explores contemporary sports communication issues. Students write position papers on seminar topics and conduct primary research on sports communication topics of their choice.

    COMM 4270: Communication in Sports Organizations (3 Credit Hours):
    Examines communication dynamics in sports organizations. Among other topics, may include identifying how sports organizations manage crisis communication, communication with stakeholders, sexual harassment, ethical issues, and dissent. Preq: COMM 2010 with a Cor better.

    COMM 4980: Communication Academic and Professional Development II (1 Credit Hour):
    Students reflect upon curricular relationships among general education, major, and minor courses. They complete and revise digital portfolios for presentation to the major, University, graduate schools, or potential employers. Students participate in resume building, job seeking, and interviewing activities. To be taken Pass/No Pass only. Preq: COMM 2020 and COMM 2030, each with a grade of C or higher; and Senior standing in Communication or Sports Communication.

  • Academic Advising

    Our academic advisors work with freshmen, sophomores, students changing majors, and transfer students. Services include:

    • Academic advisement
    • Course selection
    • Transferability of courses; and
    • Completion of various academic forms.

    Academic advisors are also available to meet with prospective students considering various majors within the colleges. All students are encouraged to make appointments with an advisor in their intended major.

  • Change of Major Application

    In order for your application to be considered, all information must be submitted/uploaded by the....

    DEADLINE - January 15th by 4:30 PM


    At the bottom of this page is a link to a form to submit for your change of major request. BEFORE filling out the form, you must submit a Statement of Purpose, Writing Sample and Resume. After uploading these documents, please fill out the form below. Note: Students can only apply to one program (Communication or Sports Communication) per application cycle. Attempting to apply to both programs will mark both applications ineligible for review.

    Submit Your Statement of Purpose

    Your statement of purpose should be no longer than 500 words. Your statement should make a detailed, compelling argument for your admission that addresses: your reasons for applying to the Communication/Sports Communication major, your coursework, employment, extracurricular activity, and/or community service in Communication/Sports Communication or related fields to date, your professional and/or personal aspirations that would be well-served by a Communication/Sports Communication education, your plan of study if admitted to the major (i.e., courses of interest to you), and your unique contributions to the department, if admitted.

    Submit a PDF file of your Statement of Purpose in the following format: LastNameFirstNameYearSOP.pdf

    Submit Your Writing Sample

    Submit a PDF file of your Writing Sample in the following format: LastNameFirstNameYearWS.pdf

    Please note ONLY ONE WRITING SAMPLE is permitted and your writing sample should come from the  COMM 2010 course.

    Submit Your Resume

    Submit a PDF file of your Resume in the following format: LastNameFirstNameYearResume.pdf

    Once you have submitted your Statement of Purpose, Writing Samples and Resume, please
  • Virtual Change of Major Meetings

    The Department of Communication will have virtual change of major meetings throughout the semester. These meetings are for current Clemson students who are interested in applying to Sports Communication or want to learn more about the Sports Communication minor. The dates are provided below along with the Zoom link. If you have any questions, please reach out to Kaela Gardner at


    • Friday, January 12th-9am, 11am, and 2:15pm
    • Tuesday, January 16th-11:30am, 2:30pm


    • Tuesday, February 6th-11:30am, 2:30pm


    • Tuesday, March 5th-11:30am, 2:30pm
    • Friday, March 8th-9am, 11am, 2:15pm
    • Tuesday, March 26th-11:30am, 2:30pm


    • Tuesday, April 2nd-11:30am, 2:30pm
    • Friday, April 19th-9am, 11am, 2:15pm

    Zoom Link:

  • In-Person Change of Major Meetings

    Thursday, December 7, 1pm-2pm in Edwards Hall 538

    Thursday, April 25, 1pm-2pm in Edwards Hall 538

Department of Communication
Department of Communication | 408 Strode Tower