The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication has long been a national leader in producing sports journalists. Grady’s innovative Sports Media Certificate program improves on that already strong template.
Open to all UGA undergraduates, the program launched in fall 2014 and awarded its first certificates in spring 2015. UGA was the first Southeastern Conference school to offer the certificate.
According to director Vicki Michaelis, who worked as a sports reporter for 20 years before coming to UGA, the program focused on learning in the field. “We require that students complete the majority of their class assignments in the real world—the press box at Sanford Stadium, the sidelines at Clarke Central High School, or postgame with the Atlanta Hawks—and those experiences prepare them for the future,” says Michaelis, the John Huland Carmical Chair in Sports Journalism & Society.
Students have covered both 2016 Summer Olympics and 2018 Winter Olympics, writing updates for the Grady website and covering some of the Games’ most memorable events, such as the US women’s hockey teams first gold medal in 20 years.
The curriculum includes six courses, totaling 18 credit hours, making it the most in-depth sports media program in the country. Students study the interplay of sport and media in society; learn how the relationships among athletes and media have evolved; and pick up the multimedia skills crucial for modern sports journalists so they can apply them in the field.