Journalism Colleges in Arizona with Degree Program Overviews

Jul 29, 2019

Arizona has more than 20 schools that offer journalism programs. Learn about the degree and certificate programs, tuition info and program options for nine of the largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Individuals in Arizona have a good number of schools to choose from when searching for a program in journalism. They may earn an award in the field ranging from a certificate of completion to a doctoral degree. Undergraduate degrees include general education courses in addition to classes related to journalism. In order to gain entry into a master's program, a baccalaureate degree must already have been earned, though not necessarily in journalism; at least once school offers a combined bachelor's/master's program. Applicants to the doctoral program must have professional experience in the field. Additionally, an internship is offered by some schools.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe offers students a variety of journalism degree programs through its Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The bachelor's degree program includes courses in journalism ethics, media law and business, and high-intensity capstone experiences are also available. Required courses include mass communication law, news reporting, online media and editing. In addition, students can study public relations, television reporting, sports marketing, digital media entrepreneurship and photojournalism. Specializations are available in business journalism, Latino-specific issues and sports journalism. Students in the department can minor in public service and public policy, geography, sustainability or media analysis. A combined bachelor's and master's degree program is also available, which can be completed in only four years.

ASU also offers a master's degree program that includes 36 credit hours that are completed over 15 months of full-time study. Students can choose to work on daily stories through the Cronkite News Service, which provides extensive training for print and online media. Specializations are available in business journalism and Latino news. Most applicants to this program have no professional experience, so this program can be considered a 'boot camp' experience designed to bring students up-to-speed quickly.

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Journalism and Mass Communication is also available at ASU. This program uses original research and interdisciplinary experiences to train students for careers in business and journalism. Students can expect to take courses in critical thinking, research skills, philosophy and methodology. Applicants to this program must have professional media experience. The final portion of the program requires the completion of a dissertation.

Arizona Western College

Located in Yuma, Arizona Western College offers an associate's degree program in broadcasting that requires 64 credit hours. Students study radio studio operations, advertising, writing, management and journalism. The curriculum includes courses in broadcasting, graphic communication, news writing, public speaking and television production.

Cochise College

This school is located near the Mexican border in Douglas and offers an associate's program in journalism and media arts. This 64-credit transfer program gives students an opportunity to take courses in public speaking, mass communications and news writing. The rest of the curriculum is mostly made up of general education courses that can transfer to a four-year institution.

Glendale Community College

This 2-year school, located in Glendale, offers a Certificate of Completion in Journalism and New Media Studies program that requires 21 credit hours. This program may be of use to students who have a bachelor's degree as well as those who are just beginning their studies. Students can expect to complete courses in magazine, feature and news writing. In addition, the curriculum covers news production and online media. Students also must complete a journalism internship and create a publications portfolio.

Mesa Community College

This Mesa-based community college offers an associate's degree program in journalism that requires 62 credit hours and prepares students for entry-level positions in the journalism field. Required courses include persuasive writing, photo editing, copyediting, news production, photojournalism and feature writing. A variety of electives are available, including courses in Chicano literature, business communication, world religions, broadcast writing and human relations. Students also complete a journalism internship towards the end of their studies.

Northern Arizona University

Founded in 1899, Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff offers three undergraduate journalism programs through the school's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Journalism are required to complete 120 semester hours, including 54-57 hours of major courses. This program allows students to choose an emphasis in journalism or photojournalism/documentary studies. Journalism students may gain hands-on experience working at the university's TV channel, student-run radio station or award-winning weekly newspaper. Internships are also available with local, regional and national news organizations.

NAU also offers a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Political Science degree program that includes a 120-credit hour merged curriculum. This option requires students to take 30 hours of journalism courses and 30 hours of political science courses, including 14-15 hours of political science electives. Graduates of the college's journalism and political science program are prepared to work as reporters, writers and copy editors, as well as lobbyists and public information specialists.

Paradise Valley Community College

Located in Phoenix, Paradise Valley Community College offers a certificate program in journalism that can prepare students for entry-level positions in the publishing industry. The curriculum requires the completion of 21 credit hours, and required courses focus on writing for magazines, features, online media and the news. Students must complete a journalism internship and create a publications portfolio. Available electives include photo editing and broadcast writing.

Scottsdale Community College

Located in Scottsdale, this community college offers an associate's degree program in journalism that requires 62 credit hours. Required courses cover persuasive writing, photo editing, news writing and production, cultural diversity and copyediting. The program also includes a mandatory internship. Students who graduate from the program should be prepared for entry-level writing positions at a variety of media businesses.

University of Arizona

The University of Arizona is a large public research university located in Tucson. Journalism majors at the University of Arizona learn to research, write, edit and produce news stories, and they also have opportunities to report and write stories for local newspapers and radio and TV stations. Students can specialize in Internet, international, print or broadcast news journalism.

The university's Master of Arts in Journalism program prepares students to handle the ethical, legal, technological and managerial challenges facing modern journalists. Students must complete 36 units of graduate-level study, including a thesis or master's report. The school also has an international studies option that is designed to produce journalists with language aptitude and regional experience.

Career Requirements

Journalist may gain entry-level employment with an associate's degree in this field; however the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many employers prefer to hire reporters, correspondents, and news analysts who have a bachelor's degree in communications or journalism.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Journalism Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Arizona State University Four-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Journalism and Mass Communication,
Master of Mass Communication,
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Journalism and Mass Communication
$10,822 in-state; $28,336 out-of-state*
Arizona Western College Two-year, public; small city Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Broadcasting $2,720 in-state; $9,710 out-of-state*
Cochise College Two-year, public; distant rural Associate of Arts in Journalism and Media Arts $2,040 in-state; $6,240 out-of-state*
Glendale Community College Two-year, public; large suburb Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Journalism and New Media Studies $2,070 in-state; $7,854 out-of-state*
Mesa Community College Two-year, public; large city AAS in Journalism $2,070 in-state; $7,854 out-of-state*
Northern Arizona University Four-year, public; small city Bachelor of Science (BS) in Journalism,
BS in Journalism and Political Science
$11,564 in-state; $25,828 out-of-state*
Paradise Valley Community College Two-year, public; large city CCL in Journalism and New Media Studies $2,070 in-state; $7,854 out-of-state*
Scottsdale Community College Two-year, public; fringe rural AAS in Journalism and New Media Studies $2,070 in-state; $7,854 out-of-state*
University of Arizona Four-year, public; large city BA in Journalism,
Master of Arts in Journalism
$12,467 in-state; $36,366 out-of-state*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

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