Top Communication Universities, Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Jul 31, 2018

Learn about the top colleges and universities for communications, which may offer programs in advertising, broadcasting, public relations or even video game studies. Learn about the degree options at four universities, and find out what other schools in the U.S. offer programs in communications.

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94% college-bound high school students
…said it was important to communicate with colleges during the search process. (Source: Noel-Levitz 2012 trend study)
  • 0:04 School Overviews
  • 0:46 University of Pennsylvania
  • 1:15 Massachusetts…
  • 1:57 James Madison University
  • 2:37 Cornell University
  • 3:18 Top Communication Programs

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School Overviews

Some of the best schools in the country provide undergraduate and/or graduate programs in communication. As communications is a broad field, many schools offer specializations.

Students who are interested in pursuing careers in communications can find undergraduate and graduate programs at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, both of which are Ivy League schools. Similar courses of study can be found at the highly competitive Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and James Madison University, in Harrisonburg, Virginia, which also offers two bachelor's degrees in the field. All of these universities are highly regarded by U.S. News & World Report, based on it's 2017 rankings.

1. University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia tied for eighth place on U.S. News & World Report's list of top national universities for 2017. The Annenberg School for Communication offers a Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Communication. Courses cover a variety of subjects, including media and politics, global communication and political communication. Study abroad opportunities around the world are also available to students.

Doctoral students receive yearly research and travel funds.

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge is a highly selective institution that only accepts 8% of all applicants. The university tied for seventh place among national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2017.

MIT's Comparative Media Studies Department offers a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Comparative Media Studies. The curriculum provides a distinctive approach to the traditional study of communications, incorporating technology with courses in video games and digital worlds.

MIT's School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences produces Said and Done, a monthly, photo-rich publication.

3. James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA

U.S. News & World Report ranked James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, the eighth-best regional university in the South for 2017. Additionally, the university made Kiplinger's Personal Finance's Top 100 'Best Values in Public Colleges' list for 2017. The School of Communication Studies offers both a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. Seven program specialties are available, including conflict analysis and intervention, public relations, health communication and organizational communication.

James Madison established a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society in 2010.

4. Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

For 2017, U.S. News and World Report ranked Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York, as tied for #15 among all national universities. It was also tied for #14 on the publication's list of most innovative schools and #16 on the list of best value schools.

The Department of Communication offers a Bachelor of Science in Communication and a Ph.D. in Communication. Doctoral students can choose between over a dozen research areas including communication and public policy, social influence and persuasion, media psychology and interactive media design.

The Cornell Daily Sun, the student newspaper, has been published since 1880.

Top Communication Programs

Outstanding communication programs are also available at a number of other schools:

School Name Distinction Location
Johns Hopkins University An online MA program is available Baltimore, MD
Northwestern University Graduate internships at university newsrooms in both Chicago and Washington, D.C. Evanston, IL
University of California - Los Angeles Seven alumni are Nobel Laureates Los Angeles, CA
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor Lecture about the changing role of women in the Middle East presented by the first Arab woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize Ann Arbor, MI
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Cited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications for its premiere reputation Chapel Hill, NC
University of Texas in Austin College of Communication houses radio, television and student publication services Austin, TX

Students who want to study communication at the undergraduate or graduate level can find top-notch programs at well-regarded public and private universities.

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