Top 10 Journalism Schools in the U.S.

Calling all aspiring journos! Do you want to be the next Christiane Amanpour, Barbara Walters, Susan Orleans, Jon Stewart or Hunter S. Thompson? You have to start somewhere. A great start-off point is going to school to learn the tools of the trade and get the kind of exposure you need to make waves.

Journalism is no longer just about radio, television and print. Digital technology has broadened the field, and there is something for everyone. Journalism schools have programs that not only introduce you to generic concepts but also teach you the best way to use various media to your advantage. Most programs include real-world experience; you could get to work in a campus newsroom, write or edit journals and newsletters, make documentaries, and even host your own radio show. There is the added advantage of meeting those who’ve walked the path before you and learning from them.

Best Journalism Schools in the USImage courtesy: Flickr

When you begin scouting for a j-school, some indicators to identify a good school include its accreditations. Check if it offers fields of study that you’d like to specialize in, and how they are rated. You can also look at its alumni and find out the industry’s favorite hunting grounds. That apart, this is a list you could start with; these universities have time and again made the list of top universities for journalism.

Emerson College

Emerson College’s courses train students to tell stories with traditional and new media. Highlights include the state-of-the-art Journalism Television and Multimedia Facility, and a Journalism Production Center. Faculty includes professionals from WSJ and CNN. It offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in journalism. Courses span basics of journalism to specializations like environmental journalism.

Learn more about Emerson College’s journalism programs.

University of Missouri School of Journalism

Known to be one of the first journalism schools in the world, the University of Missouri prides itself on a multidisciplinary approach. Its programs are comprehensive, from undergrad programs with 30+ interest areas to graduate programs with 20+ models. Master’s degrees are available on-campus and online. There are doctoral and dual-degree programs. You can also customize courses based on interests.

Learn more about University of Missouri School of Journalism’s programs.

Columbia University

With over 100 years of teaching journalism behind it, the Columbia Journalism School is well-known for its intensive programs. A few highlights include the Columbia Journalism Review, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, and Brown Institute for Media Innovation. It is also known for presenting the prestigious Pulitzer Prize.  

Learn more about Columbia University’s journalism programs.

Northwestern University

Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications offers graduate and undergraduate programs in journalism along with an integrated marketing communications program. Classes are in Evanston, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco in the U.S., and Qatar in the Middle East.

Learn more about Northwestern University’s journalism programs.

Boston University

The Boston University’s College of Communications’ various programs are geared to provide you with the skills you need to progress in your chosen direction. Degree programs cover Advertising, Communication, Film & Television, Journalism, Public Relations and Emerging Media. Students can make the most of clubs and activities, and consider internships across the U.S. and overseas. Other highlights include the Center for Mobile Communication Studies and the Communication Research Center.

Learn more about Boston University’s journalism programs.

University of California – Berkeley

UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism is focused solely on journalism and has kept up with the changing trends as journalism has evolved. Its Master of Journalism course is rigorous, and includes online video production and multimedia storytelling. Courses are classified based on the media platform and reporting interests. There are shorter courses offered by the Advanced Media Institute.


Learn more about University of California – Berkeley’s journalism programs.

University of Texas – Austin

The University of Texas’ School of Journalism offers both undergrad and graduate programs in journalism. It also has a sports journalism program. Students get to put together the Daily Texan, and work in the Texas Student Television. It is also invested in research. Graduate students can get teaching assistantship and assistant instructor roles in the school.

Learn more about University of Texas – Austin’s journalism programs.

University of Southern California

USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism is committed to training 21st century journalists. To achieve this, it follows a multidisciplinary approach. A few highlights include the Annenberg Innovation Lab and Norman Lear Center. Programs offered here are Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in journalism and strategic public relations.

Learn more about University of Southern California’s journalism programs.

New York University

Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute New York University is known for its wide range of courses; you can learn culture, business and economics, and literary reportage, magazine writing, news and documentary, and Studio 20: Digital First that trains you to adapt your thinking to meet digital needs. Students are encouraged to get involved in the Washington Square News, Byline, and other projects.

Learn more about New York University’s journalism programs.

Arizona State University

ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is known best for its media outlet Arizona PBS with Cronkite News being aired to around 1.9 million homes in Arizona. You can opt for undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism. Sports journalism is available at a graduate and undergraduate level. Real-world experience is another aspect that’ll help make you career-ready.

Learn more about Arizona State University’s journalism programs.

Other universities that have journalism programs worth considering are Indiana University – Bloomington, Ohio University, Syracuse University, University of Florida, University of Maryland – College Park, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.