Sport Studies Undergraduate Requirements

The sports studies major examines sport in its historical and contemporary cultural contexts. Course work provides students with the critical skills necessary to understand the cultural significance of sport as it relates to the media, the economy, the political system, and the educational system. A focus on the race, class, and gender differences in the sport experience is central to the major.

Many students use their experience in the program to prepare for graduate school. For others, the required second concentration area or minor serves as an introduction to careers in a number of fields, such as sport journalism, sport management, or coaching.

The Bachelor of Arts with a major in sport studies requires a minimum of 120 s.h., including 45 s.h. of work for the major (30 s.h. in sport studies and 15 s.h. in an outside concentration area or a minor). Students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 2.00 in all courses for the major and in all UI courses for the major. At least 24 s.h. of credit for the major must be earned at the University of Iowa. (updated 5/31/19)

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:2170 Sport and Globalization (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 in America

  • SPST:3175 Sport and the Media (3 s.h.)
  • SPST:3911 Sport Since 9/11 (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.)
  • SPST:3179 Twentieth-Century American Sport (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
SPST:1847 Hawkeye Nation: On Iowa and Sport
SPST:2077 Sport and Religion in America
SPST:2081 Theory and Ethics of Coaching
SPST:2084 Sport and Film
SPST:2500 Sport and Technology
SPST:3171 Baseball in America
SPST:3172 Football in America
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 (permission required)
SPST:3198 New Media and the Future of Sport
SPST:4900 Topics in Sport Studies
SPST:4999 Honors Project (permission required)

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. The following courses are recommended:
• 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.)

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 Coaching for Iowa K-12 Schools on the board's website.