Best Undergraduate Journalism Programs

Learn about the best undergraduate journalism programs in the nation. Get school rankings, degree options and university locations, and compare similarities and differences among schools to find the best fit for you.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, as of 2016, there are nearly 350 public and private, not-for-profit schools nationwide that offer programs leading to a bachelor's degree in journalism.

School Overviews

Northwestern University, Washington and Lee University and New York University are three top schools in the U.S. that offer bachelor's degree programs in journalism. These schools are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report and offer students the opportunity to specialize in topics like mass communications or broadcast journalism.

Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

School Highlight: In 2014, the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) named Northwestern one of the top three journalism schools in the nation.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Northwestern University the 12th best university in the country. The university's Medill School of Journalism has been heralded as a distinguished choice for journalism undergraduates due to its experiential opportunities, professional affiliations and sponsored accolades, such as the Ida B. Wells Award. This Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) top-ranked school offers a Bachelor of Science in Journalism program that allows students to study broadcast, magazine, newspaper and online journalism. A master's degree journalism program is also offered at Northwestern University.

Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia

School Highlight: In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Washington and Lee University 11th on its list of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation.

As one of the top twenty liberal arts college ranked by U.S. News & World Report, this small 4-year private school is one of the few liberal arts universities in the country to offer an accredited undergraduate journalism program. Undergraduate students at Washington and Lee can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications, with pre-professional sequences offered in journalism, business journalism and mass communications.

New York University in New York, New York

School Highlight: In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked New York University 36th on its list of best national universities.

NYU's metropolitan location gives undergrads access to numerous professional publications as well as the university's own webzines. A 4-year private, not-for-profit school, NYU is the largest private university in the United States. The school offers bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as a postgraduate certificate in journalism. Students seeking a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism are required to pursue a double major from within the curriculum of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Top Undergraduate Journalism Programs

Here are a number of other schools that have top-ranked undergraduate programs in journalism.

  • Ohio State University is located in Columbus, OH, and in 2017 was ranked by U.S. News & World Report to be 16th in the list of top public schools in the country.
  • Pennsylvania State University, in University Park, PA, offers embedded journalism courses that include experiences in foreign countries; past courses have traveled to areas like China and South Africa.
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, in Champaign, IL, notes that students have the opportunity to join the Society for Professional Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists.
  • The University of Maryland, which is located in College Park, MD, offers students the option to work in a Capital News Service bureau in Washington, D.C.
  • The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI was ranked 4th on U.S. News & World Report's 2017 list of top public schools.
  • The University of Texas at Austin was ranked 18th on U.S. News & World Report's 2017 list of top public schools.
  • The University of Washington at Seattle, WA, is unique in that the school offers a Journalism Foreign Intrigue Scholarship, which allows a journalism student to work as an intern for a foreign media organization.

While graduate degrees are offered in journalism, bachelor's degrees are much more common. At some high-ranking schools, you may have the opportunity to serve an internship either in the United States or overseas.


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