Top Media Schools and Programs

Jan 03, 2020

Read about degree programs in media studies, through which students examine film, television and radio production techniques. Learn about degree options and special program features at four leading universities, and use the list at the end of the resource to find other schools in the U.S. with media studies programs.

Students in media programs can receive training in cinematography, film editing, lighting and sound; programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. At individual schools, students may attend seminars, participate in industry internships or work at a college radio station.

School Overviews

The four universities profiled below offer excellent training options for students interested in media studies. Each one was ranked in the top 150 national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2020.

University of California, Los Angeles

School Highlight: UCLA has the world's largest university-based moving image collection.

The University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public research university that ranked tied for 20th on the U.S. News & World Report list of best universities for 2020. The Department of Film, Television and Media Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Film and Television. Students take courses in film history and study the creative elements of moving images. UCLA also offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Cinema and Media Studies. Students in graduate programs attend seminars focusing on film, television and media history.

Florida State University in Tallahassee

School Highlight: Florida State has a 93% retention rate for freshmen.

Florida State University (FSU) is a research university that ranked tied for 57th on the U.S. News & World Report list of best universities in 2020. The College of Communication and Information offers a B.A. and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Digital Media Production. Areas of specialization include documentary and public affairs, narrative media or sports media.

Once enrolled, media production majors learn how to shoot digital videos and train in sound recording and lighting techniques. They can also earn a graduate certificate by completing an additional year of courses.

DePaul University in Chicago, IL

School Highlight: DePaul has a student-faculty ratio of 16:1.

DePaul University (DU), the largest Catholic university in the U.S., offers programs in media through its College of Communication. The college serves as home to a campus newspaper, television news program and radio station.

Media programs offered at DePaul include a B.A. and an M.A. in Media and Cinema Studies. Students take courses in radio and film studies, cinematography and lighting techniques. Media students have access to DU's control room, editing suites and digital equipment facility. In the M.A. in Media and Cinema Studies program, students also analyze the impact that media has on society. The school was ranked #125 among national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2020.

Brown University in Providence, RI

School Highlight: Brown is the seventh-oldest college in the United States.

The Modern Culture and Media Department at Brown offers a PhD program that combines research in the theory and analysis of media. Students have the opportunity to learn about media in different cultures and historical eras, focusing their studies on particular topics of interest. For undergraduates, there are two concentration options in Modern Culture and Media, as well as a fifth-year master's degree option. For 2020, Brown was ranked #14 among national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

Top Media Schools

Here are some more schools with great offerings in media studies:

  • Emerson College in Boston, MA, was one of the first colleges to offer undergraduate programs in broadcasting.
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck and Madison, NJ, is New Jersey's largest private university.
  • Michigan State University in East Lansing offers over 260 study abroad programs located in over 60 countries.
  • Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA, was ranked #57 among national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2020.
  • At Scripps College in Claremont, CA, all students complete core humanities curriculum.
  • Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY, was ranked tied for 54th among national universities in 2020 by U.S. News & World Report.

For students who want to pursue undergraduate or graduate-level media studies, some of the nation's best schools offer relevant programs.

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