Discover the 10 Best Colleges for Journalism In the US

Discover the 10 Best Colleges for Journalism In the US
Boston University College of Communication

The majority of successful journalists tend to have attended prestigious Colleges for Journalism. Although there may be variations, this theme remains prevalent.

You may wonder, what advantages can come from pursuing a major in journalism. In essence, journalism programs provide students with the necessary skills to have a significant impact on the public’s consumption of both news and entertainment content from all forms of media.

Within the United States alone, there are numerous reputable Colleges for Journalism whose graduates hold positions at some of the most prominent media corporations. However, only a few of these schools can claim to be among the best in their respective fields.

To compile this list, we have pooled the data from seven widely-read top 10 lists of the best journalism schools. Each school on the top 10 list was given a score based on its rank, and we formulated our list from this information. The sources used are provided at the end of this article.

Top 10 Colleges for Journalism in the US

The following represents the top 10 colleges for Journalism in the US, as well as three excellent honorable mentions:

1. Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications (Evanston, IL)

Ranked as one of the top 15 universities in the US, Northwestern University is a highly desirable school. Its prestigious status has resulted in Medill being considered the leading undergraduate journalism program in the country and one of the best graduate programs worldwide. As a Big Ten university, students can enjoy the classic university atmosphere that appeals to both undergraduates and graduates.

Northwestern has produced some of the most recognizable faces in journalism and media, including J.A. Adande, a 1992 graduate who is now an ESPN professor. Sheinelle Jones, an anchor for NBC’s “Today Show,” is another well-known alumna. Additionally, the university boasts the famous author of Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin, as a graduate.

One exceptional aspect of Northwestern’s program is its opportunity for global study abroad. The university has partnered with news organizations in Qatar, South Argentina, and South Africa, providing students the chance to work abroad for a semester.

With a vast alumni community of 16,000, Medill’s influence is undeniable. The program currently enrolls almost 1300 students across five campuses.

2. University of Missouri School of Journalism (Columbia, MO)

The University of Missouri School of Journalism is renowned for its prestigious program, which allows students to experience the world of broadcasting and journalism firsthand with the “Missouri Method.” With eight media companies on campus, such as AdZou and Mojo Ad, The Columbia Missourian publication, and Vox Magazine, students have numerous opportunities to acquire various skills.

One exceptional facility that the school possesses is the Reynolds Journalism Institute, established in 2004 with a $31,000,000.00 grant. It is focused on studying new journalism techniques and technologies. The program includes the “Futures Lab,” where business, journalism, and computer science are merged to test new forms of media and communication.

Additionally, alumni from the program include numerous prestigious individuals such as John Anderson, Sportscenter Anchor for ESPN, several Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalists/writers, and hosts from Fox News, CNN, and CBS News.

3. University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication (Austin, TX)

The journalism program at UT-Austin is widely considered to be one of the best in the South, consistently earning high rankings on various college journalism lists. One notable element of the program is its affiliation with the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, offering students the opportunity to experience study abroad programs in Latin America. Additionally, students have the unique opportunity to run two NPR affiliate radio stations, KUT and KUTX. The program has a notable roster of alumni who have gone on to succeed in journalism, including Pulitzer and Emmy winners.

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4. Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA)

Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA only grants graduate degrees in journalism, and their program is one of the most prestigious in the world. Based in Silicon Valley, the program has a data-driven approach to storytelling, where students learn Python and coding software alongside traditional media tools like Final Cut Pro X. With many tech companies within a 40-mile radius, a student interested in covering the latest on big tech companies has a lot to gain from an education at Stanford.

5. Arizona State University Cronkite School of Journalism (Phoenix, AZ)

The Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University in Phoenix, AZ is widely recognized as one of the most impressive centers for 21st century news media in the United States. What sets ASU’s Cronkite School apart is its focus on immersion learning, where students actively engage with the Arizona PBS media outlet that reaches a staggering 1.9 million people across three television stations. This program is hands-on and emphasizes digital journalism and broadcasting in Phoenix, Washington, and Los Angeles.

As a result, the school produces top-notch broadcasting and journalism professionals, as evidenced by their consistent top-10 placement at the Hearst Awards, one of the most prestigious awards for journalism worldwide. Notably, the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism offers Master’s degrees to students interested in watchdog journalism.

6. Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications (Syracuse, NY)

The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, located in Syracuse, NY, boasts one of the most innovative and progressive journalism programs in the nation.

Among the many appealing aspects of this major is its collaboration with ESPN, which focuses on ACC sports. Through this affiliation, a distinctive program called ACC Network Extra is broadcast on WatchESPN, the official ESPN app.

This exceptional program offers students the chance to cover ACC games in real time from the university’s studios.

Instead of solely possessing academic backgrounds, the school prides itself on having seasoned instructors to guide students, including broadcasters with hands-on experience covering live events, reporting internationally, and leading news teams.

As evidenced by the successful careers of alumni who have secured positions at CBS, CNN, ESPN, and Comcast, this higher education institution is one of the finest journalism programs in the world.

7. University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication (Los Angeles, CA)

Located in Los Angeles, California, the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California boasts a media center that is the heart of the program. This hub of activity includes TV and radio studios as well as other modern journalism technologies. Students have the opportunity to study with renowned scholars and journalists in Los Angeles, which is one of the top media capitals in the country.

The faculty includes Pulitzer-prize winners, DuPont and Emmy awardees, and other distinguished authors and reporters. Currently, there are around 300 undergraduate students in the program, and in 2016, 40% of undergraduate students participated in internships, highlighting the program’s strong connections to real-world news media outlets.

8. University of Georgia Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication (Athens, GA)

The University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, located in Athens, GA, boasts the Peabody award, a highly esteemed honor for electronic journalism. The university is widely regarded as one of the top journalism schools worldwide, having produced accomplished journalists such as Chip Caray, Maria Taylor, and Ryan Seacrest.

The college offers three major concentrations: journalism, advertising, and public relations. These concentrations cover various topics, including media innovation, entrepreneurship, and photojournalism. The program is selective, only accepting students who have completed their sophomore year at the University of Georgia.

9. Boston University College of Communication (Boston, MA)

It is considered one of the finest journalism schools in the country due to its location in one of the nation’s great metropolitan areas. This school is renowned for their Washington Journalism Center, where students can study journalism in the capital city, Washington DC, for a semester. The program offers a competitive edge for students seeking entry into political news, opinion, and analysis, as they are exposed to national news organizations profiling Congress. Additionally, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR-BU), which is located at the school, provides in-depth investigative research training to aspiring journalists. NECIR-BU has garnered worldwide attention and has millions of readers who follow their reporting. The program offers a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and minor in journalism.

10. University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism (Chapel Hill, NC)

It is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and is renowned for its prize-winning students. The school has produced national award-winning candidates, and the coveted Hearst Journalism award was awarded to more UNC students than any other school in the country. One prevalent myth about college journalism programs is that the graduates struggle to find employment. The alumni of this program, however, enjoy excellent employment opportunities, as over 90% of the class of 2016 were employed or enrolled in Master’s degree or equivalent programs.

The program at UNC has a multi-dimensional approach, offering a variety of classes such as advertising, public relations, sports marketing, graphic design, radio, politics, business journalism, and dozens of more broadcasting-related subjects.

The School of Media and Journalism (MJ) provides hands-on experience with a combination of “labs” and opportunities. The program offers over 24 clubs and organizations in the MJ school alone, providing students unparalleled opportunities to participate in newscasts, papers, design studios, and more. The school produces exceptionally accomplished alumni, such as Doni Holloway, who was named Student Journalist of the Year by NABJ, the National Association of Black Journalists, in the Class of 2018.


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