Best Journalism Schools and Colleges

Read about professionally accredited programs in journalism, which can help students prepare for careers in broadcast, print or Web-based media. Learn about the academic options at four high-profile universities, and find a table with at-a-glance information about other schools in the U.S. that offer programs in journalism.

There are several public and private institutions that are considered top schools for journalism programs. Students interested in these programs can pursue undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in the field.

School Overview

The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) accredits more than 100 programs nationwide. Areas of focus can include radio and television broadcasting or newspaper journalism, as well as other forms of mass communications. The four universities profiled below have been approved by ACEJMC and include one Ivy League school. Northwestern, the University of Maryland and Indiana University offer journalism programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels; students admitted to Columbia University can earn a master's or doctoral degree. The schools have been nationally ranked by the U.S. News & World Report.

Northwestern University in Evanston, IL

School Highlight: Graduate students can work on news stories in both web and print from the Medill School's Chicago newsroom.

Northwestern University is a 4-year, private school that U.S. News & World Report ranked 12th in the nation in 2017. The Medill School of Journalism offers a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Journalism (BSJ) and a 1-year Master of Science in Journalism (MSJ) program. Once enrolled, students learn about journalistic ethics, multimedia storytelling and quantitative analysis.

Undergraduates work with print, Web, broadcast and digital media and have the chance to participate in the school's international residency reporting program. Hands-on reporting experiences begin as early as the sophomore year. Graduate students can specialize in magazine writing and editing, videography and broadcast journalism, reporting or interactive publishing.

University of Maryland - College Park

School Highlight: Students have access to internships with top media markets in nearby Washington DC.

A public institution and the flagship of the university system, the University of Maryland in College Park, ranked 60th among national universities according to U.S. News & World Report in 2017. The Philip Merrill College of Journalism offers a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Journalism, Master of Journalism and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Journalism. The master's degree programs are highly competitive and admit only 18 students each for the Fall and Spring semesters respectively. Although a prerequisite, completion of one of the programs may be waived for qualified Ph.D. applicants.

In addition to acquiring news writing and reporting skills, journalism students learn how to produce and edit content for different media. They can also participate in the Capital News Service, a daily wire service, and the school's cable television station.

Columbia University in New York, NY

School Highlight: Columbia's journalism program offers students a diverse selection of journalistic paths in which to specialize, such as broadcast journalism, data journalism, and investigative journalism.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Columbia University 5th among national universities. The university offers graduate programs in journalism, which can lead to a Master of Science, Master of Arts or Ph.D. Graduate students can also pursue dual degree programs in business, computer science, international affairs, law or religion. Additional programs features include the chance to study and earn an additional degree abroad.

Indiana University in Bloomington, IN

School Highlight:Indiana University has small journalism classes that take place in lab and seminar formats.

Indiana University is a public university that ranked 86th in U.S. News & World Report's 2017 rankings. The Media School offers bachelor's, master's and doctorate degree programs in journalism and/or media. The Media School also offers different centers and institutes that provide students with research and education facilities. Some of these centers even offer internships for hands-on learning experiences.

Top Journalism Schools

Here are several other top schools for journalism and some of their distinguishing features.

  • Ohio University is located in Athens, OH, and is home to the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. This school offers five undergraduate journalism tracks: news and information, news writing and editing, broadcast news, magazine journalism, and online journalism.
  • Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY, offers a 30-credit visual journalism program for members of the U.S. military on active duty.
  • The University of Georgia is home to the James M. Cox Institute for Newspaper Management, the New Media Institute and the George Foster Peabody Awards in Athens, GA.
  • The University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS, has been accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications since 1948.
  • The University of Missouri offers more than two dozen undergraduate interest areas in journalism, three master's degree programs and two online master's degree programs. The campus is located in Columbia, MO.
  • The University of Southern California in Los Angeles has the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, which is home to the Knight Digital Media Center, Annenberg Innovation Lab, Annenberg Program on Online Communities and California HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting.

There are several top-ranked schools across the country that offer undergraduate and/or graduate degree programs in journalism for interested students. Each school, such as Northwestern University and the University of Maryland, has distinguishing characteristics of its programs that can help students make an informed education decision.

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