Best Journalism Degrees

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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.

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Top 10 Best Journalism Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Northwestern University Evanson, IL
2 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
3 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
4 The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
5 Boston University Boston, MA
6 University of Maryland College Park, MD
7 University of Florida Gainsville, FL
8 Northeastern University Boston, MA
9 University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI
10 The George Washington University Washington, DC

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.

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.

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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.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Northwestern University
    Location

    Evanson, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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
    • Broadcast Production
    • 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.

    Notables

    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.

  2. University of Southern California
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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:

    • Investigative Reporting
    • 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.

    Notables

    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.

  3. The University of Texas at Austin
    Location

    Austin, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    This undergraduate journalism program requires students to complete 120 credit hours. Required courses may include:

    • Media Law
    • Reporting Words
    • Reporting Images
    • 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.

    Notables

    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!

  4. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Location

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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.

    Notables

    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.

  5. Boston University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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.

    Notables

    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.

  6. University of Maryland
    Location

    College Park, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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
    • Media Research
    • Feature Writing
    • 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.

    Notables

    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.

  7. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainsville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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:

    • Video Storytelling
    • 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.

    Notables

    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.

  8. Northeastern University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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.

    Notables

    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.

  9. University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Location

    Madison, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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:

    • Community-Based Reporting
    • 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.

    Notables

    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.

  10. The George Washington University
    Location

    Washington, DC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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.

    Notables

    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.

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