Colleges with Music Journalism Programs: How to Choose

Music journalism is not commonly offered as a specific program, but students may enroll in bachelor's degree programs both in music and journalism, as well as master's degree programs in journalism, where an emphasis may be placed on music.

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Students may find that a bachelor's degree in music, when combined with journalism electives, can prepare them for a career in music journalism. Master's degree programs may appeal to students for the professional advantage they offer through higher education, as well as a focused arts curriculum.

Top 10 Journalism Schools

Below is a list of schools across the country that offer degrees in journalism:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Emerson College Boston, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $41,052
Northwestern University Evanston, IL 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $49,047
The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $9,806 (in-state); $34,676 (out-of-state)
Boston University Boston, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $48,436
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $50,277
University of Missouri-Columbia Columbia, MO 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $9,509 (in-state); $25,166 (out-of-state)
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $47,750
Washington and Lee University Lexington, VA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $46,417
Syracuse University Syracuse, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $43,318
American University Washington, DC 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's and Master's $43,103

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

The following are further considerations when searching for a school in this field:

  • Consider programs that offer professional assistance in obtaining internships and freelance positions, especially in the music industry.
  • Schools with active newspapers can provide valuable experience.
  • Search for schools in locations with thriving, diverse music scenes.

Bachelor's Degree in Music

Bachelor's degree programs in music can be combined with elective courses in journalism in order to prepare students for careers in music journalism. A music portfolio and a senior music project may be required.

Bachelor's Degree in Journalism

Bachelor's degree programs in journalism focus on journalism techniques, such as the structuring of articles, Associated Press writing style and journalism law, including copyright and libel. Students may be required to complete multiple news assignments, including reviewing music events. Internship experiences are often mandatory.

Master's Degree in Journalism

Master's degree programs in journalism allow students to focus on one of many artistic areas of emphasis within journalism, including music and theater. Students may be expected to complete multiple articles in their chosen area, engage in real-world internship and freelance experiences and complete a portfolio for graduation.

Students interested in music journalism can gain experience from undergraduate and graduate degrees in music or journalism. Schools with newspapers and internships within the music or journalism industries should be considered.

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