List of Good Journalism Schools for Becoming a Journalist

The best journalism schools are those where classes are taught by respected and well-known journalists. These schools offer bachelor's and/or master's degree programs for journalists, along with many opportunities to get hands-on journalism experience.

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There are several schools in the United States with excellent educational offerings in the field of journalism. Read on to learn about the programs they offer and the features that make them special.

What Are Some Prestigious Journalism Schools?

The most reputable journalism schools are those with the most respected history and those with the most opportunities to offer to their students. The University of Missouri, 'the world's first school of journalism,' promotes a high standard of educational professionalism in the field, while Columbia University is a journalism school in the Ivy League tradition. Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism offers its students many opportunities in nearby downtown Chicago, as well as Washington, D.C. and abroad. Each of these schools was also ranked highly among national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

University of Missouri in Columbia, MO

At the University of Missouri, graduate students can earn a professional Master of Journalism degree. For journalists with at least three years of professional experience, there is also an online Master of Arts (MA) program through which they can build their leadership and communication skills. At the undergraduate level, students can earn a Bachelor of Journalism degree with a focus in one of six different subfields:

  • Convergence Journalism
  • Magazine Journalism
  • Photojournalism
  • Print and Digital News
  • Radio-Television Journalism
  • Strategic Communication

There are also a wide range of interest areas within each field that students can focus their coursework on, including news editing, sports journalism and multimedia production, among others. Journalism students can also complete internships in New York City or Washington, DC.

Journalism students at the University of Missouri can also participate in many professional organizations, including the Committee of Concerned Journalists, The Association of Health Care Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors and many more. 'Mizzou' boasts a variety of journalism contests and awards programs, such as the College News Design Contest, the Missouri Photo Workshop, and the College Photographer of the Year, among others. These competitions offer students the chance to get their work seen by a wide variety of other students and professionals within their field.

Journalism students also have opportunities to get real experience within their journalistic fields by participating in any number of student groups like the radio station, student-run newspapers and more. For 2017, the school was ranked #51 on the U.S. News & World Report list of the best national universities in the country.

Columbia University in New York City, NY

At this prestigious Ivy League university, aspiring journalists can earn a Master of Science (MS) in Journalism. In a full-time format, the program takes ten months to complete, although part-time options are also available. It culminates in a final master's degree project. Students may earn a general journalism degree or focus in one of three specialization areas:

  • Data Journalism
  • Investigative Journalism
  • Documentary Filmmaking

Experienced journalists can enroll in Columbia's Master of Arts (MA) program if they want to hone their skills in a particular subfield of journalism. They participate in seminars taught by expert professors, and they may even shadow professionals in the field. Before graduation, students must submit a master's thesis relating to their focus area. The four subfields from which MA students can choose are:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Business and Economics
  • Politics
  • Science

There are also dual degree programs for journalists who are interested in computer science, international and public affairs, religion or law. Fellowship programs for experienced journalists are also available. As of 2017, Columbia University was tied for #5 on the U.S. News & World Report list of the best universities in the country.

Northwestern University in Evanston, IL

Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism offers undergraduate and graduate programs in journalism. For undergraduates, it is possible to earn a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, which includes a set of standard courses and wide range of elective options. Students also choose a concentration outside of the field of journalism, such as computer science, political science, history or a foreign. Core journalism courses cover some of the following subjects:

  • Modern journalism philosophy
  • Writing and reporting
  • Multimedia storytelling
  • Media law
  • Media ethics

At the undergraduate level, a certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) certificate is available. Students can also enroll in a quarter-long residency program working as a reporter inside and outside the United States, including Washington, DC, Qatar and South Africa.

At the graduate level, Northwestern offers a one-year Master of Science in Journalism. Each master's student chooses to concentrates their studies in one of the following specialization areas:

  • Business, Money and Markets
  • Health, Environment and Science
  • Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Media Strategy and Leadership
  • Politics and National Security
  • Social Justice and Investigative Reporting
  • Sports Media

While earning their degree, graduate students can participate in newsroom experiences in Chicago and Washington, and international educational trips to places like South America, South Africa and Asia. There is also an optional Global Residency program, where students spend a fifth quarter working at a news establishment in a foreign country. As of 2017, Northwestern was tied for #12 on the U.S. News & World Report list of the best national universities.

Aspiring journalists may want to consider the University of Missouri, Columbia University or Northwestern University, all of which are prestigious schools that provide extensive educational and extracurricular options in the field.

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