Journalists, also called reporters, write news stories for newspapers, magazines, radio stations and television stations. Both public and private colleges and universities offer journalism degree and certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and students may want to compare important factors before selecting a program.
Top 10 Journalism Schools
The following schools are considered to have some of the best undergraduate journalism programs in the country, as listed on the USA Today College website in 2016:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||$50,277|
|Boston University||Boston, MA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||$48,436|
|Emerson College||Boston, MA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||$41,052|
|Northwestern University||Evanston, IL||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||$49,047|
|George Washington University||Washington, D.C.||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$50,435|
|New York University||New York, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Postgraduate Certificate||$47,750|
|University of Texas||Austin, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$9,806 in-state, $34,676 out-of-state|
|University of Missouri||Columbia, MO||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$9,509 in-state, $25,166 out-of-state|
|University of Maryland||College Park, MD||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$9,996 in-state, $31,144 out-of-state|
|Syracuse University||Syracuse, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||$43,318|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
College Selection Criteria
To choose the best college for pursuit of a journalism major, students must consider what level of education they desire, the curriculum offered by the degree program and the experience that can be gained at the school. Students may want to consider the following as well:
- Some schools offer more generalized programs of study, while others allow students to declare a formal concentration in a specific subfield, such as data journalism, photojournalism or investigative journalism.
- An on-campus school newspaper and other student publications can provide valuable extracurricular experience opportunities.
- Prospective students may want to look for schools that facilitate internships in the kind of journalism organization where they might like to work in the future, such as a cable news network or local newspaper.
- For students who are interested in broadcast or digital journalism, it can be helpful to look into the school's facilities, in order to ensure that students have access to the latest video/audio editing software and recording equipment.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Undergraduates can earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) in Journalism. These programs cover the basics of the media industry, providing a comprehensive overview of different types of journalism, including television, broadcasting, web-based and photojournalism. Students also complete general education requirements and have the opportunity to build a broad base of knowledge through a liberal arts curriculum. An independent study project or internship in the field may be required prior to graduation.
Master's Degree Programs
Graduate students can earn either a Master of Science (MS) or professional master's degree in journalism. In these programs, students take a core set of advanced journalism courses, as well as specialized electives in their field of interest. An internship may also be included in the curriculum, and students are typically required to submit a capstone project or thesis prior to graduation. For experienced journalists who want to advance their expertise in a particular area of journalism, some schools offer mid-career master's degree programs that allow students to design a program of study based on their career goals.
Doctoral Degree Programs
Individuals who want to dedicate their careers to journalism research and academic teaching may pursue a PhD in the field. Students in these programs take graduate-level coursework and write a doctoral dissertation in a particular area of interest within the field, such as media history, law, ethics, policy or sociology. They may also work as teaching assistants for undergraduate courses.
Undergraduate certificate programs in journalism are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some undergraduate certificates consist of a short series of general introductory courses in journalism, while others focus on a particular type of journalism, such as broadcast, community, outdoor or sports journalism. These programs may be offered in standalone formats or alongside bachelor's degrees. For experienced journalists and graduate students, some schools provide graduate certificates that include more advanced coursework. Some programs are designed to help professionals stay abreast of the field, covering journalistic trends such as social media use and multimedia reporting.
Undergraduate and graduate journalism programs can be found at schools around the country. Students may choose between programs based on specialized areas of interest and internship opportunities.