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Colleges with Publishing Degrees: How to Choose

Many academic programs related to publishing are available, in areas ranging from those with a creative writing emphasis to those for the more business or technology minded. Students will want to select a program that can provide education in publishing fundamentals as well as the technological training necessary for this evolving field.

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Publishing encompasses editorial acquisitions, production, writing, editing, design, marketing, distribution and management; different programs offer different areas of focus, such as creative writing, journalistic writing, creative nonfiction, journalism or graphic communications. Schools help prepare students not only through coursework, but also through high-profile campus publications, symposiums, readings, internships and externships; graduates of technical schools with publishing-related degrees might work as production assistants, desktop publishers, production artists, content developers, Internet authors, technical writers or multimedia specialists.

10 Publishing Schools

The following list includes a number of public and private schools that offer publishing programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
Gateway Technical College Kenosha, WI 2-year, Public Associate's, In-state Undergraduate $4,090; Out-of-state Undergraduate $6,016
Emerson College Boston, MA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate $41,052; Graduate $28,728
Hofstra University Hempstead, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate $40,460; Graduate $21,456
Pace University - New York New York, NY Master's 4-year, Private Master's Graduate $28,080
George Washington University Washington, DC 4-year, Private Master's Graduate $27,810
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate $47,750; Graduate $38,592
Minnesota State University - Moorhead Moorhead, MN 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state Undergraduate $8,096; Out-of-state Undergraduate $15,232
Columbia University New York, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate $53,000; Graduate $42,280
Davidson College Davidson, NC 4-year, Private Master's Graduate $46,966
Northwestern University Evanston, IL 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate $49,047; Graduate $48,624

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

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School Selection Criteria

When considering a publishing-related program, students may want to consider several points.

  • Students should select a program that offers courses related to their area of focus.
  • Students might consider hands-on experiences and internships or other work-study opportunities when choosing a school.
  • Another consideration is school location; schools located in or near major publishing centers, such as New York City, might offer more opportunities for practical study and internships.
  • An academic advisory board can provide networking opportunities with authors, editors or publishing executives, as well as job placement help for students.

Associate's Degrees

An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Graphic Communications or another media-related discipline is one option. This degree might require courses in computer fundamentals and Internet and multimedia production. Pre-press, publishing production and professional development skills might also be emphasized.

Bachelor's Degrees

The numerous options available for publishing-related undergraduate degrees include a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.). Specific publishing degrees - such as a BFA in Literature, Writing and Publishing - are possible but they're not plentiful. Graduates of journalism, graphic design, English or even marketing programs could apply their education to the publishing world.

Master's Degrees

A 2-year Master of Science (MS) program in publishing typically includes one year of classroom coursework and a year of working on a thesis in which students research and analyze a problem in the publishing industry. Publishing graduate programs sometimes offer concentrations, such as packaging, information technology or business. Another option is a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Publishing. It might cover traditional book and journal publishing as well as online publishing and new technologies. A digital publishing practicum is sometimes offered.

Although only a few institutions offer degrees in publishing, it's possible to prepare to enter the publishing industry with an education in journalism or English, or other related subjects. A number of universities and colleges offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in relevant fields that those interested in pursuing a publishing career can choose from when deciding on postsecondary studies.

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