Sport Studies Undergraduate Requirements

The sport studies major offers the best undergraduate preparation in the nation for students interested in continuing their intellectual interest in sport in graduate school. Students interested in this career path can put together a secondary area of strength in areas such as American studies, history, women’s studies, African American studies, or sociology.

The sport studies major also provides an excellent basis for the undergraduate student interested in the fields of sport management, sport journalism or sports information, and coaching. More details can be found in Section IV: Secondary Area. (updated 6/14/17)

Sport Studies Major Curriculum Requirements

I. Sport Studies Foundation (6 s.h.)

  • SPST:1074 Inequality in American Sport (3 s.h.)
  • AMST:1010 Understanding American Cultures (3 s.h.)

II. Sport Studies Core Courses (12 s.h.)

Students must complete one course from each of the four areas for a total of 12 semester hours.

Diversity in Sport

  • SPST:2078 Women, Sport and Culture (3 s.h.)
  • SPST:2079 Race and Ethnicity in Sport (3 s.h.)

International Dimensions

  • SPST:3170 Globalization and Sport (3 s.h.)
  • SPST:3176 Sport & Nationalism ( 3 s.h.)
  • SPST:3177 Sport in the Western World (3 s.h.)
  • SPST:3500 The Olympics (3 s.h.)

Contemporary Sport

  • SPST:3175 Sport and the Media (3 s.h.)
  • SPST:3179 Twentieth-Century American Sport (3 s.h.)

History of Sport and Leisure in the US

  • SPST:3178 American Sport to 1900 (3 s.h.)
  • SPST:2050 The American Vacation (3 s.h.)

III. Sport Studies Electives (12 s.h.)

Students must complete 12 s.h. of approved courses. These could include any additional courses from the sport studies core (above) or courses from the following list:

AMST:1065 Disney in America
AMST:1500 American Celebrity Culture
AMST:2000 Introduction to American Studies
AMST:2052 Fairs and Amusement Parks
SPST:1857 Hawkeye Nation: On Iowa and Sport
SPST:2084 Sport and Film
SPST:2500 Sport and Technology
SPST:3171 Baseball in America
SPST:3172 Football in America
SPST:2081 Theory and Ethics of Coaching
SPST:3180 Classics of Sport Journalism: From Jack London to Grantland
SPST:3181 The Business of Sport Communication
SPST:3182 Sport, Scandal, and Strategic Communication in Media Culture
SPST:3193 Independent Study
SPST:3198 New Media and the Future of Sport
SPST:3911 Sport Since 9/11
SPST:4900 Topics in Sport Studies
SPST:4999 Honors Project

IV. Secondary Area (15 s.h.)

Students may satisfy the Secondary Area requirement by completing a double major, completing a minor in another area, or taking 15 s.h. of coursework in another department of the student’s choosing. Three of the most commonly selected areas include sport journalism, sport management, and coaching. Additional details are below.

Sport Journalism in Sport Studies
The relationship between sport and the media has never been so pervasive, and the sport studies track provides a strong academic foundation for students interested in exploring that relationship within the field of sport journalism or sports information. Students can pursue this option by taking the sport studies core course SPST:3175/28:175 Sport and the Media and by fulfilling the Secondary Area requirement through coursework from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Options include a double major with the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (J-MC), minor in mass communication, or an individually designed concentration of courses from JMC.

Sport Management in Sport Studies
The sport studies track provides a strong academic foundation for students interested in the field of sport management. Students can pursue this option by taking the sport studies elective ECON:3690/06E:165 Sports Economics and by fulfilling the Secondary Area requirement through coursework from the Tippie College of Business. Options include a minor in Business Administration; a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management; or an individually designed concentration on courses in business.

Coaching Authorization in Sport Studies
Sport studies students who are interested in coaching can prepare themselves through additional coursework that also qualifies them for a Coaching Authorization from the State of Iowa. Students must complete 15 s.h. including four required courses and an additional 3 s.h. of elective credits:
Required courses:
• HHP:1100 Human Anatomy (3 s.h.)
• ATEP:2030 Basic Athletic Training (3 s.h.)
• HHP:3300 Human Growth and Motor Development (3 s.h.)
• SPST:2081 Theory and Ethics of Coaching (3 s.h.)

Suggested elective:
• HHP:3400 Fundamentals of Exercise Physiology (3 s.h.)

Students who successfully complete the requirements for the Coaching Authorization must submit an application to the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. For more information, visit: