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Degree Programs at Top Sports Schools

For some students, the colorful spectacle of college sports is one of the attractions of postsecondary education. It can be a lot of fun to attend a school that gets national attention for its athletic programs.

You may be a student-athlete hoping to play on a university team, and perhaps earn a scholarship to attend the institution. Or, you could just be a big fan of college sports and all the associated activities. Of course, you are not going to choose a university solely on the prowess of its athletics. The place where you pursue your studies must also offer a degree program in the field you plan to study.

The top 8 sports schools (in terms of revenue generated by their NCAA athletics) feature a wide array of undergraduate and graduate degrees. All of them provide majors in business, education, and engineering. They vary in some other respects.

1. University of Texas
With sports revenues of more than $163 million in 2013, the University of Texas heads the list. The Longhorns have won more conference championships than another other university since the Big 12 was established in 1998.

UT has captured four national football championships and ranks second in the nation in wins. In all, the school can claim 40 national titles (in football, baseball, and track and field). Other sports include men’s and women’s basketball, golf, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and cross-country. Additional options for women are softball, rowing, soccer, and volleyball. UT students and alumni have won 88 Olympic medals.

The university offers undergraduate degrees in 170 fields of study. In addition to business, education, and engineering, colleges include architecture, communications, fine arts, geosciences, natural sciences, liberal arts, nursing, pharmacy, and social work. The graduate school has 154 master’s degree programs and 86 doctorates UT’s law school awards a master of laws and a doctor of jurisprudence degree.

2. Ohio State University
Another school that gets plenty of national television coverage because of its sports teams is Ohio State University. The Buckeyes have won 28 U.S. men’s championships, including seven football titles. Women’s teams have captured 30 national championships, mostly in synchronized swimming. Individual titles have been won by 232 men and 95 women.

The university has teams for both genders in basketball, cross-country, fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, pistol, rifle, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Men play football and wrestle, while women may choose field hockey, rowing, softball, or synchronized swimming.

The school awards 175 majors, and hundreds of minors and specializations. Colleges include architecture, arts and sciences, dental hygiene, dentistry, environment and natural resources, food and agriculture, health and rehabilitation services, medicine, nursing, optometry, pharmacy, public affairs, public health, and social work. OSU has 115 master’s programs and 90 doctorate degrees.

3. University of Michigan
Teams have been competing at this school in Ann Arbor since 1865, capturing more than 50 national championships in 12 sports. There are programs for men and women in basketball, gymnastics, lacrosse, and soccer. Other sports are football, baseball, softball, men’s ice hockey, and wrestling.

The university‘s 19 schools and colleges feature about 250 degree programs. They include architecture, art and design, dentistry, information, kinesiology, law, literature, science, medicine, music, theater and dance, natural resources and the environment, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and public policy.

Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School offers 108 doctorate programs, 87 master’s degrees, and 34 certificate programs.

4. University of Alabama
Founded in 1831, the University of Alabama is particularly famous for its football program. Fifteen of the school’s 23 NCAA titles in team sports have been won on the gridiron. Other opportunties include basketball, baseball, gymnastics, rowing, cross-country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

Alabama provides 80 types of undergraduate degrees in more than 200 fields of study. Among its colleges are those devoted to arts and sciences, communications, health services, human environmental sciences, law, nursing, and social work.

5. University of Florida
The Gators have enjoyed success on the national level in several sports. They own a pair of championship trophies in both football and men’s basketball. In all, Florida can claim 31 team titles and 193 individual championships. Most of them have been in track, gymnastics, and tennis.

The school also is famous for its baseball program, which has produced numerous major leaguers. Other sports are softball, women’s basketball, rowing, cross-country, soccer, golf, swimming and diving, and volleyball.

This university, in Gainesville, consists of 16 colleges. Among their disciplines are agriculture and life sciences, dentistry, construction design and planning, fine arts, health, journalism and communications, law, liberal arts and sciences, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and veterinary medicine.

There are 40 master’s degrees, with hundreds of specializations available, at Florida. The school offers doctorate degrees in audiology, education, plant medicine, and philosophy majors from aerospace to zoology.

6. Texas A & M
Though football is king at Texas A & M, the university also has basketball, baseball, golf, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and cross-country. Other options for women are softball, equestrian sports, soccer, and volleyball.

This school, in College Station, has 16 colleges with multiple degree programs. Among them are agriculture, architecture, geosciences, liberal arts, rural public health, science, veterinary medicine, and biomedical sciences. (As is the case with all the universities on this list, there are also colleges of business, education, and engineering.)

7. Louisiana State University
The Tigers of LSU have won championships in several sports. Students play football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and sand volleyball. Other sports are cross-country, gymnastics, swimming and diving, and track and field.

Colleges and schools at LSU are dedicated to agriculture, art and design, coast and environment, humanities and social sciences, mass communications, music and drama, science, and veterinary medicine.

8. Penn State
Penn State is nationally recognized for both academics and athletics. Its Nittany Lions sports programs have been extremely successful, with the football team winning several national championships. The university has programs for men and women in basketball, ice hockey, soccer, and volleyball. Other men’s sports are cross-country, fencing, field hockey, gymnastics, lacrosse, track and field, rugby, and wrestling.

Colleges within the university include agriculture, architecture, communications, earth and mineral sciences, health, information sciences and technology, liberal arts, nursing, and science.

These are the postsecondary schools that raise the most money with their sports programs. While the amount of revenue is not the only method of rating programs, it is an objective way to do it. Everyone has their favorites, which likely include colleges not mentioned in this review.

The key is to find a university that meets your academic needs, while also affording the opportunity to indulge in your passion for sports.

The scoop on Journalism Schools

Numerous universities offer bachelor’s degree and graduate programs in journalism. Several of them have won acclaim for their academics, placing high in rankings compiled by various organizations.

All the schools on this list are recognized by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. A degree from one of these prestigious institutions may qualify you for a job with a leading newspaper, magazine, or broadcast company. Numerous graduates of the top-ranked colleges and universities have earned Pulitzer Prizes, Peabody Awards, and Emmy Awards.

While there is no definitive list of the best journalism schools, some programs have been received high praise from multiple authoritative sources. Here is a look at those that have placed high on several lists.

University of Missouri at Columbia

The first journalism school in the world, established in 1908, is the University of Missouri at Columbia. It topped a list of best journalism schools (published in December 2013 by NewsPro Magazine) that was based on a survey of 1,321 members of the Radio-Television Digital News Association. The school was third in rankings by Education Portal.

Missouri-Columbia placed fourth in a survey of 400 news professionals that took into account admissions standards, faculty quality, campus media outlets, professional publishing opportunities, and internships. The university’s journalism program was rated sixth-best in the country by College Magazine.

A staggering total of more than 30 undergraduate degree programs, more than 20 two-year master’s programs, and six doctorate degree programs are available. A pair of master’s programs are offered online.

Prospective students, to qualify for admission, must meet one of three requirements: placing in the top 10 percent of their high school classes, scoring 29 or higher on the ACT, or scoring 1,290 or higher on the math and verbal portions of the SAT.

Missouri-Columbia is famous for teaching the Missouri Method of journalism, which combines classwork with practical experience. Students work at the Columbia Missourian, a community newspaper and online news outlet; the nation’s only university-owned community television station and major network affiliate; and an FM radio station.

Northwestern University

The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University has operated in Evanston, Ill., since 1921. Its graduates include more than 40 Pulitzer Prize winners. The school ranked second on the NewsPro Magazine list and in the survey of news professionals. College Magazine placed it eighth.

In addition to an undergraduate program with multiple majors, the college awards more than 250 graduate degrees annually. Master’s program concentrations include interactive publishing, magazine writing and editing, reporting, and video-broadcast. Graduate students receive a year of practical experience in newsrooms in Chicago, Ill., and Washington, D.C.

Northwestern’s Global Residency Program, which involves more than 150 media partners, provides full-time employment and training for reporters and public-relations specialists.

University of Georgia

The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia has been graduating journalism majors since 1915. It is the home of the Peabody Awards, the top honors in electronic journalism. Grady was third on the NewsPro Magazine list and second in College Magazine’s rankings.

The school offers bachelor’s degrees in advertising, public relations, digital and broadcast journalism, mass-media arts, magazine journalism, public affairs, publishing management, and visual journalism. Master’s and doctorate programs in mass communication, as well as a new-media interdisciplinary certificate program, also are available.

The Grady College is a leading research institution, featuring studies in health and risk communication, political and policy communication, narrative storytelling, critical studies, and sports communication.

Syracuse University

The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication, founded in 1934, is one of the more exclusive journalism schools. Typically, only 350 of about 4,000 applications from prospective students are accepted. About 225 people apply for 800 spots in master’s degree programs each year.

This school placed first in the survey of news professionals, was ranked fourth by NewsPro Magazine, and came in 10th on the College Magazine list. About 1,800 undergraduates annually pursue majors in newspaper and online journalism, TV-radio-film, advertising, broadcast and digital journalism, magazines, graphic design, photography, and public relations. Students have opportunities to perform internships and study abroad.

Newhouse offers master’s of arts degrees in advertising, audio arts, broadcast and digital journalism, documentary film, print and online journalism, media studies, public diplomacy, and Tv-radio-film. There are also master’s of science programs in communications management, media management, photography, and public relations. In addition, Newhouse provides a doctorate program in mass communications.

Arizona State University

More than 1,600 students are enrolled in bachelor’s and master’s degree programs at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications in Phoenix. It was rated fifth-best by NewsPro Magazine and placed sixth in the survey of news professionals.

ASU features a student-produced television news broadcast, which airs on PBS; the Cronkite News Service, distributing multimedia news stories to more than 30 professional outlets in Arizona; a Washington News Bureau, providing opportunities for students to report on public-policy issues; a fellowship program, partnering with the Washington Post and NBC News; the New Media Innovation Lab; and a Public Relations Lab.

Nearly 600 internships are provided each year for Cronkite School students, whose instructors include award-winning journalists.

Columbia University

Ranked first by Education Portal, third by the surveyed professionals, and sixth by NewsPro Magazine is Columbia University in New York City. In 2011, U.S. News & World Report rated CU the fourth-best university overall in the United States. This is the institution that awards Pulitzer Prizes.

The Ivy League school was the first U.S. institution to award graduate degrees in journalism. Students choose from among master’s of science programs in journalism, which consist of classes, seminars, and workshops; master’s of arts journalism programs; and a doctorate of philosophy in communications.

University of California-Berkeley

The highest-ranked public university in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report, is UC-Berkeley. Its journalism school was rated second-best by Education Portal and placed eighth in the survey of news professionals.

Master’s program journalism students enter one of 13 tracks of study that include business, environment and science, international news, investigative reporting, newspapers, magazines, new media, politics, and radio and television.

Ohio University

The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, boasts 13 Pulitzer-winning alumni. It was ranked fourth by news professionals, seventh by NewsPro Magazine, and ninth by College Magazine.

Bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees in journalism are available. Internships are required. Students get experience working for thc campus newspaper, television station, and AM and FM radio stations. Academic tracks include advertising, broadcast news, magazine journalism, news writing and editing, online journalism, and public relations.

Other Universities

Placing eighth through 12th on the NewsPro Magazine list were the University of Florida, the University of Montana, Lyndon State College, the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland in College Park, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Among those making the top 10 in the survey of news professionals were the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School, New York University, and George Washington University.

College Magazine ranked the University of Florida’s journalism school No. 1. Indiana University was third; the University of Kansas, fourth; the University of Maryland at College Park, fifth; and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, seventh.

These are the most respected universities from which to receive degrees in journalism. Tuition varies widely, with some institutions charging high rates. However, scholarships and other financial aid are available.

Many factors need to be taken into consideration when deciding where to go to college. Students planning to pursue careers in journalism may want to put these schools on their lists of prospective universities.

6 Tips on Managing Admission Deadlines

While it’s exciting to begin a new chapter in your life, applying for college can quickly become overwhelming. Deadlines typically fall within the same week and there are different fees and requirements for each university. The best thing you can do when it’s time to apply for college is get organized. Sit down with your parents and plan out how you will work together to make the application process run smoothly.

Create a spreadsheet

Create a basic spreadsheet that includes columns for university name, essays, SAT or ACT scores, fee and deadline. Add columns as you need based on the requirements of the universities you decide to apply to. You may also add columns with a link to the online or paper application.

Create a contact list

You will likely have to contact each admissions office at least once in the application process.  Create another spreadsheet tab for contacts at each university. Add a column for the university name, contact name, phone number, email, date of conversation and notes about your discussion. This information will help you keep on track and eliminate confusion about which representative said what.

Note accomplishments

Your application is your time to shine, so don’t be shy about accomplishments. Start by making a list of all the extracurricular activities you participated in throughout high school. Note any sports, clubs, musical groups and student government. Don’t forget any special accomplishments such as leadership -groups or honor societies you were invited to join. If you completed volunteer work, make note of that as well. Advanced placement classes and awards based on grades, attendance and overall performance should also be noted, as should volunteer work. You can also note activities outside of school, such as Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, other advanced sports leagues.

Creating this list will provide you with a clear picture of your accomplishments. You will gain confidence in looking back at what you’ve done and you may find that these experiences help you in writing any personal essays that are required.

Plan ahead

You may need to request copies of certain documents from your high school. Some colleges may want references from teachers, while others require essays. Review your spreadsheet and plan accordingly. It may take a while to receive copies of all the paperwork you need, so find out approximately how long it will take to get those items and make sure you request them far enough in advance. Be respectful of others. Don’t ask a teacher to serve as a reference at the very last minute. Give them at least to weeks. Complete your essays in advance so you can have 2-3 people review them for mistakes and clarity.


Preparing for college means a lot of paper and emails. Create new email folders, computer folders and file folders to help you organize important paperwork or digital documents. This may include test results, certificates or awards, or letters of reference. Label them clearly. You can also create a master file for each university that

Set goals

It’s not uncommon to apply for up to five universities. Rather than applying for all of them on the same day, spread them out. There are often several pages for each application and you don’t want to make any mistakes. Applications require you to focus. Students and parents should sit down and schedule specific times to work on each application to avoid any mistakes that could result from rushing to do everything at the last minute.

Taking these steps will ensure the application process is less overwhelming. You will appreciate the freedom you have once deadlines aren’t hanging over your head.