Requirements | The Minor | Sport, Media, and Culture Minor | University of Notre Dame


Students With Professor Annie Coleman During A Class
Students with Professor Annie Coleman during a session of the Sports and American Culture course

The SMAC curriculum gives students the opportunity to study sport and issues of representation from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

In addition to coursework, students may take advantage of seminars, community engagement opportunities, and internships to gain practical experience while developing their academic and career interests.

The required capstone project, which asks students to synthesize and reflect upon their work within the minor in some public-facing way, gives students freedom to apply what they have learned according to their individual skills, interests, and professional goals.

The SMAC minor requires a minimum of 15 credit hours, as distributed below.

Required foundational course (3 credit hours)

AMST 30192 - Sports and American Culture 

Professor A. Coleman offers this course annually in the fall. Students should plan to take this course during their first semester in the minor but are not required to do so.

This class takes as its subject sports as a historical and cultural practice, from the mid-19th century to the present. Students will consider sport as: 

  • a physical performance, including issues of danger, drugs, spectatorship, and fandom
  • an expression of identity, including race, gender, class, disability, community, and nation 
  • a form of labor, with related issues of power and control, health, safety, and amateurism 
  • a cultural narrative shaped by athletes, writers, historians, the media, and fans

We will discuss historical sources, literature, images, journalism, and documentary film. Topics will range from Victorian bicyclists and early college football to Muhammad Ali, Masters swimming, the WNBA, and Notre Dame Athletics. This course fulfills the HIST requirement, and course assignments include reading, discussion, historical research, and the completion of four papers.  

Electives (11–12 credit hours)

SMAC students may choose their electives from a wide range of courses cross-listed with the minor. In addition to standard 3-credit academic courses, students may take up to 3 hours of community engagement (SSLP), CSC seminars, or internship for credit towards the minor.  

Depending on the student’s interest and course of study, the director may approve specific non-cross-listed courses to count towards the SMAC minor.    

Required capstone project (1 credit hour)

Capstone projects synthesize and reflect upon the student’s work within the minor in some public-facing way. They ask students to contribute to public discourses on sports, media, and culture. Each student will plan and develop a project with the help of the director and a faculty or staff mentor. Capstone projects may build from a course, senior thesis, internship, research project, or service program, or they may be a separate project. Capstone projects should reflect the student’s academic and professional interests, and may take a variety of forms such as a public poster presentation or talk, online digital humanities project, curated museum or library exhibit, print journalism, podcast, video, or the organization and introduction of public programming such as a panel discussion, film screening, or visiting speaker.