Top Schools for Journalism

Read about the top schools for journalism in the United States, which include high-ranking public universities. Learn about the degree options at four of the top schools, and find a list with at-a-glance information about other universities in the country with programs for aspiring journalists.

Undergraduate journalism programs are available at a number of highly-ranked schools combine coursework in liberal studies with journalism, through which students learn about news production, reporting and writing styles. Graduate-level programs are also available and focus on advanced journalism topics.

School Information

As of 2017, there are 111 schools in the United States that have been approved by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). Four of the top schools in this field are highlighted below. Each one earned high rankings by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

University of Missouri in Columbia, MO

School Highlight: Master's degree programs are available on campus and online.

The School of Journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia is the oldest journalism school in the world. As of 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university #111 among national universities and #51 among public schools. Students working towards a Bachelor of Journalism can choose from among 36 different concentrations, including magazine writing, news editing and radio-television producing, or they can design their own concentration. The School of Journalism also offers master's degrees and a doctoral program.

University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC

School Highlight: UNC offers a bachelor's degree in business journalism.

The oldest public university in the country, the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill ranked as the 30th-best overall university and the fifth-best public school, according to U.S. News & World Report as of 2017. All journalism students complete foundational coursework in news writing, ethics and communication law. Students choose additional classes from one of five concentrations, including multimedia, photojournalism and reporting. Graduate students at the university's School of Journalism and Mass Communication can also pursue specialized medical and science programs.

Northwestern University in Evanston, IL

School Highlight: Students can enroll in an honors program.

Northwestern University ranked 12th among top universities, as designated by U.S. News & World Report in 2017. Undergraduates in the Medill School of Journalism acquire a well-rounded education by taking three-quarters of their classes in areas other than journalism. Major coursework includes topics in writing, producing, multimedia and law. Students also take a reporting class that places them in diverse neighborhoods in Chicago.

Indiana University in Bloomington, IN

School Highlight: Journalism students can take 24 credit hours in another area of study.

The Media School at Indiana University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, and students can choose a concentration in public relations or newspaper reporting and editing. Students take 12 credits of core coursework and 9 credits in their specialization, in addition to more general liberal arts courses. At the graduate level, students can pursue a Master of Science in Media with a concentration in journalism. Prior to graduation, students concentrating in journalism must pass a comprehensive written exam and present an oral defense. For 2017, Indiana University in Bloomington was ranked #86 among national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

Top Journalism Programs

Here are some more of the best journalism schools in the country:

  • Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA, was ranked #50 among national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.
  • Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY, offers multiple degrees in different types of journalism.
  • At the University of California - Berkeley, Master of Journalism students can obtain a dual degree through the Asian studies, law or public health departments.
  • At the University of Florida in Gainesville, students can obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree through an accelerated program.
  • At the University of Maryland - College Park, students can apply for a Hubert Humphrey fellowship.
  • At the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA, graduate students in the specialized journalism program start with a one-month digital news immersion program and finish by writing a master's thesis.

Aspiring journalists can find excellent undergraduate and graduate programs at some of the country's best public and private universities. Many of these schools allow students to specialize in a particular subfield of interest.

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