Are you a news junkie with a knack for storytelling? Always up on today’s latest trends? If so, you might be interested in a future career in journalism. Here are the best bachelor’s degrees in journalism to help you begin!
If you’re interested in current events, and have a knack for writing, then a career in journalism may be perfect for you. Journalists aren’t afraid of being on the front lines, delivering stories from places that few others dare to go. They work on challenging the status quo and shed light on important topics in popular culture. Journalists are much more than just faces on your TV screen, they’re reporters who dive deep into their creative storytelling abilities. With the growth of emerging technologies and platforms, journalists are adapting to the times and working on more exciting projects than ever before.
What kind of journalism degree should you get?
If you are just embarking on a career in the news industry, a bachelor’s degree in journalism is an ideal place to start. However, if you already have some field experience and are further along in your career, you may want to consider a master’s degree. Many journalism majors choose specific minors or additional majors in a particular area of interest like political science or business. This path is recommended if you’d like to be a beat reporter who focuses on a specific industry through your reporting.
If you’re looking for a more flexible and affordable degree there are still plenty of options. Whether you have a job you can’t leave, or you want to attend a school that’s far from your home base, many universities now offer online programs. If you’re looking for an online journalism degree we’ve also ranked the overall Best Online Colleges and Universities.
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How much money do people make with a journalism degree?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reporters and correspondents make an average annual income of nearly $40,000. Of course, your pay will depend on the market you’re working in– big cities like New York and Los Angeles generate higher paychecks than smaller markets.
Additionally, there are plenty of other careers that a person with a journalism degree may pursue. In fact, some journalists can make upwards of $100,000 annually. If you’re looking to make more money, you’ll want to find a job in one of the top five markets including cities like New York, California, Florida, Texas, and Washington, D.C.
What can you actually do with a bachelor’s degree in journalism?
There is a lot you can do with a bachelor’s degree in journalism today. Once called a “dying major,” journalism has made an impressive comeback. In fact, with all of the growing technology and media platforms available today, our world needs qualified reporters now more than ever. Of course, those with journalism degrees don’t always become on-air reporters.
Other popular careers for journalism majors include news producers, news directors, careers in public relations and advertising, freelance writing, editing, book writing, publishing, and more. You can tailor your career options by taking specific courses in other subject areas as well.
What are the basic requirements for a bachelor’s degree in journalism?
Most of the below bachelor’s programs don’t require extensive portfolios or past work experience. As most of the applicants are high school graduates, it’s encouraged that students have excellent grades and substantial extracurricular activities on their resumes.
Once accepted into one of the below programs, requirements often include 120 hours of coursework as well as an internship experience. Some programs also require students to complete a final portfolio, thesis, or capstone project. Journalism students are held to the highest of standards and quickly become well-versed in all aspects of the First Amendment, as well as ethics in journalism.
What are the best journalism degrees?
We’ve found that the best degrees are those that offer not only fair prices, but ample flexibility and convenience as well! To find the best degrees for you, we look at the best schools in the country based on reputation, student satisfaction, program quality, and return on investment. Then we review the bottom line – just how much is this going to cost? Check out our methodology page for a more in-depth description of our data.
Founded in 1851, Northwestern is a private research university located in Chicago, Illinois. With a total endowment of nearly $10 billion and a dozen unique schools and colleges to choose from, Northwestern is a great choice for many. Interested students can now earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism through Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.
In this program students have the unique opportunity to attend classes at Northwestern University in Qatar. Required courses may include:
Global Perspectives in Strategic Communication
Magazine and Feature Writing
Media Law and Ethics
Sports Copy Editing
All students based in Qatar will be required to complete a portfolio based on an overview of their Middle East Studies coursework. In this program students are also encouraged to minor in Arabic Language or another Middle East language to enhance their studies.
All Northwestern undergraduates in this program must complete a 10-week residency program. All journalism students leave campus during the spring of their junior year to work full-time. In the past, undergraduates have worked alongside journalists at Al Jazeera, Condé Nast Traveler, EuroNews, and many other prestigious news and public relations organizations.
The University of Southern California was founded in 1880 making it the oldest private research university in the state. This private university is located in Los Angeles and boasts an undergraduate enrollment of nearly 20,000. Interested in the news? Check out USC’s Bachelor of Arts degrees in Print and Digital Journalism, Broadcast and Digital Journalism and Public Relations.
Offered through USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, each journalism major requires completion of a core curriculum and general education courses. Students will learn how to write and produce for print, broadcast, and online mediums. Required courses may include:
Television News Production
History of News in Modern America
Government and Public Affairs Reporting
Social, Legal, and Ethical Foundations of Public Relations
Many undergraduate students at USC earn double majors and minors. In fact, the Annenberg School offers minors in advertising, news media and society, nonprofits, philanthropy, and volunteerism. The school also provides a variety of international programs such as spring semesters in London, New Zealand, Paris, Prague, and Rome.
Learning is very hands-on at the University of Southern California. In fact, on-campus media outlets include the Annenberg TV News, Annenberg Radio News, and Neon Tommy, the school’s digital news site. USC has been ranked among the nation’s Best Value Schools and Most Innovative Schools by U.S. News and World Report.
Opening in 1883 as a research university, the University of Texas at Austin now enrolls more than 40,000 undergraduate students. Home to the Longhorn steer mascot, UT Austin offers over 170 unique fields of study across its more than 18 schools and colleges. Through the Moody College of Communication students may now earn a Bachelor of Journalism degree.
This undergraduate journalism program requires students to complete 120 credit hours. Required courses may include:
Digital Storytelling Basics
Fundamental Issues in Journalism
All students must also complete what’s called an independent inquiry course. This course can culminate in a capstone project, a performance, independent research, or a more traditional thesis. UT Austin also mandates that all students in this program take a global cultures course. The university offers many unique courses to cover this requirement, including Vampires in Slavic Culture.
Many journalism students at the University of Texas at Austin choose a unique minor to accompany their studies. Popular minors include Visual Media, Health Communication, Communication and Social Change, and Sports Media. Moody students often take part in travel programs across the US and around the world. From Los Angeles and New York to Singapore, Argentina, and more, UT Austin will launch your career across the map!
Named the oldest public university in America, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill opened its doors in 1795. Over 220 years later, UNC Chapel Hill remains one of the most prestigious universities with an undergraduate enrollment of over 18,000. Now, through its School of Media and Journalism, undergraduates can earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media and Journalism.
Students in this program may choose to pursue either a journalism curriculum or an advertising/public relations curriculum. Depending on your career goals, required courses may include:
International Media Studies
The Ethics of Peace, War, and Defense
Freedom of Expression in the United States
From Gutenberg to Google: A History of Media
Virtue, Value, and Happiness: An Introduction to Moral Theory
All students in this 120-credit program must complete a capstone course as well. UNC Chapel Hill also offers a BA degree in Business Journalism. Many undergraduates also participate in internships, research activities, and study abroad programs. There are a variety of campus publications including The Daily Tar Heel, Black Ink, Blue & White, The Siren, Synapse Magazine, and more.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is consistently ranked among the nation’s top universities. In fact, U.S. News and World Report have ranked UNC Chapel Hill among America’s Top 10 Best Value Schools, Top Public Schools, and Best Colleges for Veterans.
Founded in 1839, Boston University is a private research university that’s home to over 18,000 undergraduate students. BU is known for its many famous alumni, including Howard Stern, Jason Alexander, Geena Davis, Andy Cohen, Martin Luther King Jr., and many more. Looking to join the rankings? Check out BU’s Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism.
Offered through BU’s Department of Journalism, this program provides training across all areas of the industry including: editing, writing, design, production, and more. Required courses may include:
Restoring Lost Stories
The Human Storyteller
Law and Ethics of Journalism
Reporting with Audio and Video
History and Principles of Journalism
The university also offers specific courses for students to tailor their studies further. From sports journalism to politics, business, economics, and more! No matter your passion, this program will provide the proper training. All undergraduates must complete a professional core requirement as well. This can be a newsroom experience, a professional project, or participation in the Journalism State House Program.
Undergraduate students at Boston University will get plenty of hands-on experience prior to graduating. In fact, BU offers senior undergraduate students an opportunity to work at the university’s Washington Journalism Center in the nation’s capital. The New England Center for Investigative Reporting at Boston University is another excellent way for students to get involved and work alongside industry professionals.
Established in March of 1856, the University of Maryland is a public research university that offers over 90 unique undergraduate majors. UMD is a land, sea, and space-grant university that ranks among the top schools in the nation. Interested students can now earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism through the university’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
Journalism students at UMD may choose to specialize their studies in broadcast, sports, investigative reporting, and multiplatform journalism. Required courses may include:
Law and Ethics
News Writing and Reporting
Interactive Design and Development
Due to the university’s proximity to Washington, D.C., students have plenty of exciting internship and work opportunities. In fact, past students have worked at prestigious organizations including USA Today, National Geographic, SiriusXM Radio, and CBS News. There are many on-campus opportunities for hands-on experience at UMD as well.
Small class sizes at the University of Maryland ensure that all students receive the support they need during their pursuit of an undergraduate degree. U.S. News and World Report has ranked UMD among the nation’s Top Public Schools, Best Value Schools, and Best Colleges for Veterans.
The University of Florida is a public land, sea, and space-grant university located in Gainesville. With an undergraduate enrollment of over 35,000 students, UNF is a popular choice for aspiring leaders from all around the world. Looking to become the modern day Walter Cronkite? Check out UNF’s Bachelor of Science in Journalism.
This 124-credit program is offered through the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. Students may choose to specialize in either journalism or sports and media. Required courses may include:
Sight, Sound, and Motion
Magazine and Feature Writing
Data Literacy for Communicators
Ethics and Problems in Mass Communications
UNF makes an effort to keep up with emerging technologies and now offers courses in data journalism and coding for journalists as well. Undergraduates in this program will become well-versed in the First Amendment, as well as the art of researching, pitching, and developing a story across any medium.
The journalism program at the University of Florida is not a one-size-fits-all curriculum. In fact, the university is always updating and implementing the course of study given the world’s current trends. Graduates of this program have gone on to pursue careers at National Geographic, ESPN, The Washington Post, and many other prestigious organizations.
Located in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, Northeastern is a private university that was established in 1898. Renowned for its co-op program in which students leave campus to pursue full-time internships, Northeastern is an extremely unique school. Are you a self-proclaimed news junkie? Check out Northeastern’s Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism.
Students in this undergraduate program must complete 129 semester hours. Required courses may include:
Understanding Today’s News
Ethics and Issues in Journalism
Visual Storytelling in Journalism
The First Amendment and the Media
The History of Journalism: How the News Became the News
The university also offers a variety of unique dual-degree options, including journalism paired with political science, English, information science, interaction design, and more. Northeastern’s co-op program allows students in this program to open the doors into many of the world’s prestigious news organizations.
Graduates of this program have gone on to work at ABC News, NBC News, The Boston Globe, and plenty of other well-known organizations. While students don’t have to partake in the university’s co-op program, it is highly recommended. In fact, some students complete up to three co-ops during their undergraduate experience.
Founded in 1848, Wisconsin–Madison is the oldest and largest public research university in the state. With over 32,000 undergraduate students enrolled, the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers more than 9,000 courses and nearly 250 unique majors. Through its College of Letters and Science, students can pursue a Bachelor of Science or Arts in Journalism.
The university’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers two professional tracks for students in this 120-credit program: Journalism or Strategic Communication. Required courses may include:
Emerging Media and the News
History of Mass Communication
Communication and Public Opinion
Interpretation of Contemporary Affairs
Applications for this program are reviewed each Spring and Fall semester. Transfer students are welcome to apply as well. Admitted students are encouraged to choose a minor relevant to their career goals, and many students complete internships and participate in study abroad programs as well.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has been ranked among the nation’s Best Value Schools and Top Public Schools by U.S. News and World Report. It’s also listed among the Top 25 Best Colleges for Veterans. With 13 unique schools and colleges, it’s no wonder so many choose UW for their undergraduate studies.
The George Washington University is a private research university based in the nation’s capital. In choosing GWU, you’ll be joining the ranks of notable alumni including Kerry Washington, Colin Powell, Jacqueline B. Onassis, Chuck Todd, and more. Interested in journalism? Study at Brian Williams’ alma mater and check out GWU’s Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Offered through the university’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences this journalism program covers topics across all mediums. Required courses may include:
Race, Media, and Politics
Media, Technology, and Culture
Editorial and Persuasive Writing
Editing and Design for Print and Web
Data Analysis for Journalism and Political Communication
The university’s central location gives students ample opportunity for exciting internships and job opportunities. In fact, there are few other journalism schools better suited for someone particularly interested in political reporting. From The Washington Post to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, undergraduates have worked alongside veterans across the industry.
The School of Media and Public Affairs at GWU also offers a degree in Political Communication. The George Washington University is named as one of the Best Value Schools and Most Innovative Schools by U.S. News and World Report. This university continues to be a top choice among students worldwide.
Part of the California State University system, CSU Fullerton boasts a total enrollment of over 40,000 students and nine unique colleges and departments. Interested in pursuing a news-related career? Check out the university’s Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a Journalism Concentration. This program is offered through the College of Communications.
This 120-credit program requires both an internship and a capstone course. Required classes may include:
Mass Media Ethics
Mass Communication in Modern Society
Reporting on the Entertainment Industry
History and Philosophy of American Mass Communication
Electives within the journalism concentration range from magazine writing to television production and more. While many students choose internships based in Los Angeles, other undergraduates have taken jobs around the country, and even the world. Students may opt out of the Daily Titan News Capstone course if they take TV News Production instead.
Students at California State University, Fullerton may also choose to concentrate in advertising, entertainment and tourism, or public relations. The university’s Department of Communications is home to numerous labs, an internship center, several student media organizations, and more. The university also holds an annual event called Comm Week in which filmmakers, producers, media publishers, and more are invited to speak on campus.
Emerson is a private college that was founded in 1880 and is located in the heart of Boston’s downtown. With nearly 4,000 undergraduates Emerson is a smaller college known for its devotion to the arts. Now, interested students can join the ranks of famous alumni including Jay Leno, Bill Burr, and Bobbi Brown. Check out Emerson’s Bachelor of Science in Journalism.
The Department of Journalism at Emerson is dedicated to keeping up with the most innovative ways of storytelling. An entirely new curriculum was presented in 2011 and continues to adapt with the times. Required courses may include:
News Editing & Design
Advanced Audio-Video Journalism
TV News Magazine & Documentary
Topics in Critical Issues in Journalism
Additionally, all students must choose from one of three capstone experiences, including Broadcast Journalism, Backpack Journalism, or Multimedia Journalism.
Emerson College offers all journalism students access to what’s called the CreativityKit Program. Used as a way to standardize and enhance learning both in and out of the classroom, these kits include a laptop, an iOS device, and software like Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Creative Cloud. It’s no wonder Emerson ranked among the nation’s Top 10 Most Innovative Schools by U.S. News and World Report.
Founded in 1870, Syracuse is a private research university located in Central New York offering over 200 unique majors for students to choose from. Home to the Best Student Newspaper in the country, according to Princeton Review, many aspiring journalists continue to choose Syracuse for their undergraduate studies. Check out the university’s Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast and Digital Journalism.
Offered through the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, this program is ideal for those looking to work in radio, broadcast, and digital media. Required courses may include:
Race, Gender, and the Media
News in a Multimedia World
Broadcast and Digital Newswriting
Communications Law for Journalists
TV and Digital News Producing and Presenting
With a fully-equipped television studio available on campus and several campus media organizations run by students, there is no shortage of hands-on opportunities at Syracuse. Many undergraduates participate in internships and study abroad programs as well. Graduates of this program have gone on to work as news anchors, producers, news directors, and more.
Syracuse University also offers a major in Newspaper and Online Journalism for those interested in more traditional forms of reporting. The Daily Orange is an independent student newspaper at Syracuse where you can practice your pitch. Named a Best Value School and Best College for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report, Syracuse is consistently climbing the rankings.
Located in Central California, California State University, Fresno enrolls over 24,000 students and is home to the bulldog mascot. Fresno offers 10 unique schools and divisions with a huge selection of unique majors and minors. Now, the university’s Department of Media, Communications, and Journalism offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication and Journalism.
This comprehensive bachelor’s degree offers concentrations in advertising, public relations, multimedia production, broadcast journalism, and print journalism. Depending on your career goals, required courses may include:
Editing of Publications
Corporate and Nonprofit Media Projects
Grammar for Media and Communication Professionals
Multicultural Mass Communication and Media Stereotypes
Students have plenty of opportunities for hands-on experience right on-campus. In fact, CSU Fresno is home to a professional TV studio and a student-run news organization, The Collegian. Students may participate in the department’s two regular programs, including Fresno State Focus and Fresno State Serves. The students on campus also host a public radio station.
California State University, Fresno is conveniently located in California’s fifth largest city, providing students with ample internship opportunities. Nearly 80 percent of Fresno undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid. U.S. News and World Report has ranked CSU Fresno among the nation’s Top Public Schools.
Home to over 180 unique majors and programs, the University of Miami is a private research institution made up of 11 schools and colleges. With over 17,000 students and an annual research budget of over $320 million, UM is a top choice for many aspiring journalists. In fact, the university is home to an exceptional Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism.
Undergraduate students in this program can choose from one of four tracks, including Reporting and Writing, Visual and Documentary, Sports, Travel and Lifestyle Features, or Media and Journalism. Depending on your course of study, required classes may include:
Computer Assisted Reporting
Communication Law and Policy
Fundamentals of Newsgathering
Publication Planning and Editing
In-depth Journalism and Media Convergence
Additionally, UM offers bachelor’s degrees in broadcast journalism, electronic media, and media management. Graduates of these programs have gone on to secure jobs at Fox News, ESPN, CBS, The Washington Post, National Geographic, and many other prestigious outlets.
The University of Miami offers all of the latest technology that aspiring reporters will need to succeed. In fact, UM has a motion picture editing lab, state of the art digital editing suites, post-production suites, an audio lab, and a UX lab. Students can refine their skills and prepare for their careers in these various labs.
Located just half an hour from Los Angeles, California State University, Dominguez Hills was founded in 1960 and is now home to six colleges. With over 14,000 students enrolled, CSU Dominguez Hills is growing in popularity among aspiring news industry professionals. Join one of the many who are pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications at this university with a Journalism option.
This 120-credit program is perfect for aspiring writers, editors, bloggers, news broadcasters, and more. Required courses may include:
Law of the Mass Media
News and Information Literacy
Public Affairs and Editorial Writing
Introduction to Digital Media Production
Additionally, all undergraduates must complete an internship as well as a senior project in journalism. Internships can be completed outside of the LA area– the options are endless! The university is also home to a number of related clubs and organizations, including the Society for Independent Student Journalists and Hollywood by the Horns.
California State University, Dominguez Hills also offers bachelor’s degrees in Advertising and Public Relations, and Film, TV, and Media. All communications programs are offered through the College of Arts and Humanities. U.S. News and World Report has ranked the university among the nation’s Top Public Schools and Best Regional Universities in the West.
This private university located in the heart of Washington, D.C., offers more than 70 unique majors for undergraduate students. At American University, more than 94 percent of all faculty members hold the highest degree in their respective fields. Aspiring reporters can learn from the best through the university’s Bachelor of Arts program in Journalism offered by the School of Communications.
Students in this 120-hour program will learn from Pulitzer Prize winning faculty members. The major offers concentrations in investigative, political, social justice, emerging media, and broadcast journalism. Required courses may include:
Raking the Muck
Backpack Video Journalism
Contemporary Media in a Global Society
Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Media
All students must complete a minor or a second major outside the School of Communication. American also offers a combined bachelor’s and master’s program for those who plan to immediately start a master’s after graduating.
American University’s convenient location gives students access to internships at prestigious organizations including, The Washington Post, USA TODAY, National Public Radio, and more. American also offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Foreign Language and Communication Media. Ranked a Best Value School and Best College for Veterans, American is an excellent choice for students worldwide.
Lehman College is located in the Bronx, New York and is home to more than 14,000 students. With over 75 unique undergraduate majors offered across its five schools, Lehman is a popular choice for those looking for a well-rounded liberal arts college. Interested in keeping up with the latest happenings? Check out Lehman’s comprehensive Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism.
Students in this undergraduate program may choose between a concentration in either Journalism or Multilingual Media. Depending on your track, required courses may include:
Covering Race, Gender, and Ethnicity
Online News Page Design and Editing
The Bronx Journal Online Advanced Workshop
Interviewing for Mainstream and Ethnic Media
Additionally, all journalism majors must complete a foreign language course. A capstone is also required prior to graduation. Given its close proximity to New York City, Lehman College attracts many aspiring reporters and journalists. With access to top news outlets including ABC, NBC, FOX, CNN, and more, there are plenty of exciting internship opportunities.
Lehman College offers undergraduates plenty of hands-on opportunities right on campus. From the college’s television news magazine, Inside Lehman, to the student-run publication, The Bronx Journal, students can sharpen their skills before graduating. U.S. News and World Report ranked Lehman among the nation’s Top 40 Public Schools.
CSU Bakersfield opened in 1970 as part of the California State University system. With over 10,000 students and more than 50 unique degree programs, this university offers a motto of “Be Brilliant. Belong. Be CSUB.” Now, those students belonging to the university’s Department of Communications may pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. This degree offers a journalism emphasis.
Students in this program will take a variety of interesting courses, culminating in a final portfolio project to be presented prior to graduation. Required courses may include:
Public Affairs Reporting
Theories of Communication
Issues and Practices in Journalism
In addition to their coursework, students will be able to participate in many campus-run media organizations. The Runner is the student-run campus paper and is available online as well as in print. CSUB also offers a variety of electives for students to further tailor their degree to suit their individual career goals.
With many internship opportunities, on-campus labs, and research facilities, students are well-equipped to conquer the world of journalism. Small class sizes and highly educated faculty members also contribute to student success. California State University, Bakersfield ranks among the nation’s Top 40 Public Schools and Top 100 Best Regional Universities in the West.
Founded in 1867, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has graduated over 10 Nobel Laureates and more than 15 Pulitzer Prize winners. With a reputation like that, it’s clear why so many are choosing this university for their undergraduate studies. In fact, the university’s Journalism Department now offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism.
Students in this program receive hands-on experience through the university’s Richmond Teaching Studio newsroom. The student papers also allow undergraduates to try their hand at reporting and investigating top news stories. Required courses in this journalism program may include:
Journalism Ethics and Diversity
History of American Journalism
Newsgathering Across Platforms
Digital Photography for Everyone
All students in this major must complete a professional project as well as an internship seminar prior to graduation. Applicants should submit either ACT or SAT scores to be considered for admission into this program.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers unique travel courses and study abroad options. In the past, students have studied media in countries including Ireland, Austria, Spain, New Zealand, Holland, and more. U.S. News and World Report has ranked this university among the nation’s Top Public Schools, Best Value Schools, and Best Colleges for Veterans.
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