The Best Online Journalism Schools: List of Universities

Dec 19, 2019

A journalism program may focus on written journalism, broadcast journalism or other key aspects of modern-day journalism. A small number of universities in the U.S. have journalism programs that can be completed online. Get ranking information and program details for the best schools with online journalism programs.

Although programs are relatively uncommon, students can find schools that offer undergraduate and graduate-level training programs in journalism online. These programs are ideal for students with scheduling constraints who seek the flexibility of an online education.

School Overviews

Three of the best schools for studying journalism online are the University of Massachusetts (UMass) - Amherst, the University of Missouri (MU) and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Each of these schools earned a high ranking from U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

University of Massachusetts - Amherst in Amherst, MA

School Highlight: Named a Program of Excellence by the national University Continuing Education Association.

UMass - Amherst was ranked 74th among national universities in 2017 by U.S. News & World Report. UMass - Amherst offers an online bachelor's degree with a concentration in journalism studies through its distance learning program. The online program includes coursework in digital journalism, online research, sports and travel writing, war reporting and interviewing skills.

University of Missouri in Columbia, MO

School Highlight: The Missouri School of Journalism at MU was the world's first journalism school and remains one of the best known.

MU's distance learning graduate program in journalism is directed toward professionals with at least three years of journalistic experience and offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Journalism. Students of the 37-credit-hour program can select from 4 areas of concentration, including Online Health Communication, Online Interactive Media, Online Media Management and Online Strategic Communication. The school was ranked #111 among national universities and #51 among public schools by U.S. News & World Report in 2017. It was also ranked #104 for providing the best online graduate education programs.

University of Nebraska in Lincoln, NE

School Highlight: The school offers an online M.A. program in journalism and mass communication, with specialization options in integrated media communications, media studies and professional journalism.

The online M.A. in Journalism program at UNL is designed for experienced media professionals who want to advance in the field or expand their knowledge, as well as business professionals or educators who want to redirect their careers toward journalism. Depending on the specialization they choose, thesis and non-thesis options are available. The program has been accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism & Mass Communications. As of 2017, UNL was tied with the University of Missouri among national universities (#111) and among public schools (#51).

Top Online Journalism Programs

Here are a few more universities that offer strong online programs in journalism-related fields:

  • The University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND, offers an online Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Communication with areas of focus in interpersonal communication, organizational communication, public relations, advertising, print journalism and media studies.
  • Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ, offers an online B.A. in Mass Communication and Media Studies.

There are undergraduate and graduate-level options for students who want to study journalism in an online format. Programs are available through several well-regarded schools.

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