So you want to study journalism? There are many wonderful colleges and universities across this country that can offer a degree in journalism, and finding a good one can be difficult. Choosing a good one can be even more difficult. So we’ve compiled this list of the ten best schools for journalism majors in the United States as a way to help you get started. Obviously, the choice you make depends highly on the programs and focus you want, and the programs and focus these schools offer. Of course, you also have to factor in the school’s reputation. The best US colleges for journalism majors must have strong departments that adapt to the ever-changing landscape of journalism. Moreover, these institutions should be able to provide you with all the necessary exposure and experiences to help prepare you. Without further ado, here are, in no particular order, ten of the best US schools for journalism majors.
1. Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois)
Northwestern University is one of the nation’s leading institutions for preparing future journalism leaders. They combine the rigors of a top-tier research university with journalism skills and technology. The faculty members of the institution have made it their purpose to help you sharpen your writing, reporting, and editing skills.
Northwestern believes that students learn best by doing. When you start at Northwestern University, you will obviously learn the basics of journalism, such as writing and reporting. Aside from the core curriculum, however, you will also select a concentration. This might include history, political science, and computer science, among others. Other programs of the institution include the Journalism Residency program, the Media on the Hill Program, and, unique to Northwestern University, the Medill Justice Program. Each of these is designed to help students prepare by immersing them in the world of journalism.
2. American University (Washington, D.C.)
American University in Washington, D.C. provides graduates with a strong skillset in reporting and writing, while at the same time curating an impressive multimedia portfolio. One of its hallmarks is its Media Innovation Lab. Their students can gain confidence both in front of and behind the camera as they receive top-notch training in current and emerging media technologies.
At American University, you will learn various concepts and skills from experienced professors. They will handle courses in writing, reporting, digital media, communication law, and journalism ethics. As you go through your studies, you will have the opportunity to connect with people in the industry, allowing you to begin networking before you have even graduated.
3. Emerson College (Boston, Massachusetts)
While it is the only college on our list, Emerson College still proves itself to be one of the best US colleges for Journalism majors. In the Department of Journalism, you will learn how to tell stories that aim to increase public awareness and understanding of current issues. Moreover, you will also receive the necessary training to adapt and shape your own personal skills within this rapidly-changing field.
Emerson College combines traditional practice with innovation, training students to be ethical journalists who write original stories for print, web, broadcast, and multimedia platforms. There are numerous opportunities to gain experience through internships, extracurricular activities, and class assignments. Emerson students have even had the opportunity to attend State House press conferences, and even provide coverage for the Emmys.
4. The University of Southern California (Los Angeles, California)
The Annenberg School of Journalism at The University of Southern California offers a transformative experience that allows students to write effectively and think critically. Moreover, the school lets students master the emerging technologies that they need for creative and impactful journalism.
What makes this institution one of the best US Colleges for journalism majors is its Media Center. The unofficial “hub” of the school, the Media Center provides students with opportunities to experience network-quality control rooms, radio studios, editing suites, and much more. You should also take note of the fact that undergraduate students can also earn minors in philanthropy, and advertising, among others, skills that can prove useful in several kinds of journalism careers.
5. The University of Missouri (Columbia, Missouri)
You may also consider a degree from the University of Missouri, which offers students the opportunity to jumpstart their careers by their senior year. Students can begin working in strategic communication agencies and professional newsrooms while they are still studying, giving them an edge over students from other journalism schools.
The University of Missouri uses what they call the “Missouri Method,” which allows students to gain hands-on experiences in a choice of six professional newsrooms and two advertising agencies. This philosophy helps create graduates who are great storytellers in their selected fields. By the end of their college career, students will have the skills they need to engage, inspire, and entertain their audiences across numerous platforms. Their activities include social media reporting, producing documentaries, and even covering SEC Championship Games.
6. Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts)
Boston University creates the next generation of storytellers thanks to its stellar instruction and programs. Students combine their liberal arts background with pre-professional training, which helps prepare them for careers as reporters, writers, and producers. Because Boston University believes in the value of a broad education, the school offers aspiring students opportunities outside the College of Communication.
The undergraduate programs of Boston University focus on areas such as Online Journalism, Magazine Journalism, Broadcast Journalism, and Photojournalism. They offer a large selection of classes, allowing students to select the courses that are best-suited to them. The foundations they will gain from Boston University will be essential to becoming future journalists.
7. The University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
The School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina provides a curriculum that offers a unique blend of practical skill and journalism theory. This helps produce journalists who are grounded in the present but trained to adapt and change to the needs of this extraordinarily competitive field.
8. Stanford University (Stanford, California)
What Stanford University prides itself in is that it is passionate about storytelling. They help students focus on building up sources and refining story ideas, teaching them to craft their stories with thorough reporting. What makes Stanford University one of the best universities for journalism majors is that it uses multimedia tools to train its students. Moreover, its faculty members bring to class a combination of academic accomplishment and industry expertise.
9. The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas)
The School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin began in 1914. Since then, it has become the home to many successful journalists in Texas. Students can even take courses that range from mobile app development to international reporting. The school has designed a curriculum that teaches students critical thinking skills and journalistic sensibility. The school also provides several experiences that help serve as a part of their resume, showcasing their talents and easing their entry into the professional world in the future.
10. University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
Completing our list is the University of Georgia. The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia prepares students for jobs in various news outlets and organizations. These jobs include broadcast reporting, producing, writing, editing, and others. Journalism majors from the University of Georgia often go on to work in various fields, such as video journalism, photojournalism, web and publication design, and social media. With the exposures, training, and experiences they receive at the University of Georgia, graduates will be ready to face the professional world.
So this is it, our list of the best schools in the US for journalism students. We hope this gives you a great place to start, but as with any list, do your own homework. Take a look at their websites, read about the faculty and, if possible, visit the campus. With that, we hope you find the perfect school for you, and we wish you the best for your future!