25 Best Journalism Schools 2020 (2023)

25 Best Journalism Schools 2020 (1)

By the GradReports team | Updated 2/21/2020

The 25 schools on this list offer the top journalism bachelor's degrees, based on median alumni salaries one year out of college. With a median starting salary of $43,400, Washington and Lee University outranks the other schools on the list. Number two on the list, Northwestern University, has a median salary of $42,000 and the lowest median debt, at $15,500. The range of median salaries for the top 25 schools is $34,400-$43,400.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education

Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education

Rank School Location Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 Washington and Lee University Lexington (VA) Lexington (VA) $54,830 Not Reported $43,400
#2 #2 Northwestern University Evanston (IL) Evanston (IL) $56,691 $15,500 $42,000
#3 #3 The George Washington University Washington D.C. Washington D.C. $56,935 $25,000 $42,000
#4 #4 Northeastern University Burlington (MA) Burlington (MA) $53,506 $21,901 $41,600
#5 #5 University of Southern California Los Angeles (CA) Los Angeles (CA) $58,195 $19,500 $40,600
#6 #6 University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Minneapolis (MN) Minneapolis (MN) $33,325 $19,873 $38,200
#7 #7 University of Connecticut Storrs (CT) Storrs (CT) $39,894 $21,500 $37,700
#8 #8 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison (WI) Madison (WI) $37,785 $20,010 $37,600
#9 #9 University of Kansas Lawrence (KS) Lawrence (KS) $28,034 $21,672 $37,400
#10 #10 Milledgeville (GA) Milledgeville (GA) $28,710 $24,625 $37,400
#11 #11 University of Missouri Columbia (MO) Columbia (MO) $28,348 $23,250 $37,300
#12 #12 University of Maryland - College Park College Park (MD) College Park (MD) $36,891 $23,000 $37,100
#13 #13 Chapman University Orange (CA) Orange (CA) $54,924 $17,500 $36,800
#14 #14 Texas Christian University Fort Worth (TX) Fort Worth (TX) $49,250 $21,992 $36,600
#15 #15 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder (CO) Boulder (CO) $38,318 $18,500 $36,200
#16 #16 Syracuse University Syracuse (NY) Syracuse (NY) $53,849 $25,608 $36,100
#17 #17 Arizona State University Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others) Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others) $19,398 - $29,428 $21,250 $35,900
#18 #18 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington (IN) Bloomington (IN) $36,512 $19,500 $35,800
#19 #19 Baylor University Waco (TX) Waco (TX) $47,364 $25,000 $35,500
#20 #20 Drake University Des Moines (IA) Des Moines (IA) $42,840 $16,000 $35,400
#21 #21 Hofstra University Hempstead (NY) Hempstead (NY) $47,510 $26,000 $35,300
#22 #22 Auburn University Auburn (AL) Auburn (AL) $31,124 $19,900 $35,200
#23 #23 Southern Methodist University Dallas (TX) Dallas (TX) $56,560 $19,500 $34,900
#24 #24 Iowa State University Ames (IA) Ames (IA) $24,508 $23,500 $34,500
#25 #25 Miami University - Oxford Oxford (OH) Oxford (OH) $35,937 $25,300 $34,400

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Learn more about the top colleges for a Bachelor's in Journalism degree. You can also read student reviews of each school by clicking on the stars. Although student reviews were not used as a ranking factor in this list, we provide ratings and reviews so students can consider the experience of alumni in their decision-making process.



Washington and Lee University

Lexington (VA)

25 Best Journalism Schools 2020 (2)

Median Salary $43,400

Median Debt Not Reported

Annual Tuition $54,830

Graduation Rate 94%

Student Reviews

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Washington and Lee University features a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism in the school’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. The degree requires 128 credits, including 53 credits for the major. The major requires two internships of 100 hours each. The school also offers an option in Business Journalism, which focuses on journalism-related to business and the economy.

The program emphasizes research, analysis, journalistic ethics, and communication skills—especially writing for media. Students will learn the history of journalism and the importance of the press, evaluative research, ethics, and skills appropriate for a variety of media. A senior portfolio is required.

Courses in the degrees include Introduction to News Writing, Introduction to Digital Journalism, and Reporting on Business. Graduates often go into print, online, and broadcast media, as well as into public relations.

Washington and Lee was founded in 1749, making it one of the country’s oldest liberal arts colleges. A donation in 1796 by George Washington resulted in a name change. After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee became president of the college, which later adding his name. The school is located in Lexington, Virginia.

Visit Washington and Lee University’s website.



Northwestern University

Evanston (IL)

25 Best Journalism Schools 2020 (3)

Median Salary $42,000

Median Debt $15,500

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Annual Tuition $56,691

Graduation Rate 93%

Student Reviews

Northwestern University features a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. The degree is offered through the highly-rated Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications.

Uniquely, students are required to have a concentration in some academic field outside of journalism, such as economics or political science. The overall program focus is journalistic competency in a variety of media, a grounding in the history of journalism, the role of the free press, professional ethics and writing skills. Students will develop research, writing, and reporting skills, as well as an awareness of the importance of emerging media.

Courses offered include Philosophy of Modern Journalism, Journalism in Practice (which usually involves travel), Multimedia Storytelling, and Journalism in a Networked World. Internships are a key part of a student’s experience. Northwestern has media internship partners in Argentina, South Africa, and Qatar. Students may study at the school’s campus in Qatar or at a partner campus in China. There are also a wide variety of internship opportunities in nearby Chicago.

The school is located in Evanston, Illinois, just north of Chicago.

Visit Northwestern University's website.

Median Salary $42,000

Median Debt $25,000

Annual Tuition $56,935

Graduation Rate 82%

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Student Reviews

Through its Journalism and Mass Communications program, George Washington University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. The major requires 34 core credits, and a total of 53 to 56 credits depending on the courses chosen. There is an internship requirement, and also a capstone project in which students display their knowledge and skills.

The program stresses critical thinking and a mix of classroom and newsroom experience, with a particular focus on research and writing for all forms of media. Students learn the history and importance of the press, focus on writing skills, and develop skills and techniques for the range of contemporary media. The university’s location in the nation’s capital gives students a significant advantage in terms of internships and the ability to observe journalism in action. Recent students have completed internships in print, broadcast and internet media, political and lobbying groups, government, and nonprofit institutions and business.

Courses in the program include Journalism: Theory and Practice, Data Analysis for Journalism, Broadcast News Writing, and Photojournalism.

Visit The George Washington University’s website.



Northeastern University

Burlington (MA)

25 Best Journalism Schools 2020 (5)

Northeastern University offers four Bachelor of Arts and four Bachelor of Science programs in Journalism. The major requires 49 credits and the overall degree 129. Because of the unusually extensive requirement for co-ops (essentially, internships), programs usually take a full four to five years (including summer breaks) to complete. There is an option for no co-op experiences, but the program strongly advises the importance of the internships. Students complete internships in all forms of media, located in Boston, New England, and nationally. The experiences give graduates a significant competitive edge.

The BA options include Journalism, Journalism and English, Journalism and Political Science, and Media and Screen Studies and Journalism. The English option is a dual major with an emphasis on writing. The Media and Screen Studies option specializes in journalism covering film and entertainment. The BS options include Computer Science and Journalism, Data Science and Journalism, Criminal Justice and Journalism, and Journalism and Interactive Design. Computer and Data Science relate to digital news, while Interactive Design combines journalism with art and design.

Among the courses offered are Visual Storytelling in Journalism, The First Amendment and the Media, and Journalism and Political Science.

Northeastern is located in Boston.

Visit Northeastern University’s website.

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University of Southern California

Los Angeles (CA)

25 Best Journalism Schools 2020 (6)

Median Salary $40,600

Median Debt $19,500

Annual Tuition $58,195

Graduation Rate 91%

Student Reviews

Through its nationally respected Annenberg School for Communication, the University of Southern California features a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

A unique program feature is Annenberg Media, a student-run news organization. Students control operational and editorial aspects of the organization and gain real-world experience. Annenberg Media has its own media presence online. The program strongly emphasizes internship experiences in a variety of media. Students average 3+ internships in areas such as print media, broadcast media, magazines, internet, cable news, public relations, and business.

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The Annenberg School emphasizes professional competence, journalistic ethics, the importance of the press in American culture, and internship experiences. Students will be grounded in media history and ethics, and they will develop research, analytical and media writing skills. Annenberg seeks to produce politically literate and socially sensitive journalists. Courses offered include Engaging Diverse Communities, Advanced Media Storytelling, Law of Mass Communication, and Multi-Platform Editing.

USC is located in Los Angeles.

Visit University of Southern California's website.


What major is best for journalism? ›

We've handpicked the 10 best ones for your consideration.
  • General Journalism. If you want to be a journalist, it makes sense to earn a degree in journalism, right? ...
  • Broadcast Journalism. ...
  • Photojournalism. ...
  • Radio, TV and Digital Broadcasting. ...
  • Publishing. ...
  • Communication and Media Studies. ...
  • Public Relations and Advertising. ...
  • Media Arts.

Which Ivy League school has the best journalism program? ›

1 Columbia University

The university has the oldest graduate program in journalism in the world, and the Pulitzer Prizes are awarded there. The school has programs in new media, as well as electronic media, print media and broadcast journalism for radio and television.

Is Medill the best journalism school? ›

Northwestern University, Illinois. Northwestern University Illinois is a private research university founded in 1851. It's the best journalism school in the United States. High school, undergraduate, and graduate journalism programs available at the Medill School.

Is a journalism degree worth it? ›

Journalists are indeed in high demand. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the job outlook for the industry to grow by 6% by 2030, which is quite fast compared to other industries. So, majoring in journalism now could pay off later and even open doors to jobs that pay over 300k a year.

Is journalism a good career? ›

With the growing numbers in the communication channels, the numbers of audiences have also increased at a huge rate. Presently in India, journalism has become a prestigious career choice for many students. Journalism is a challenging field and it is playing a key role in the development of the nation.

What are the 7 types of journalism? ›

Types of journalism Regarding Hard News
  • Investigative Journalism. ...
  • Political Journalism. ...
  • Crime Journalism. ...
  • Business Journalism. ...
  • Arts Journalism. ...
  • Celebrity Journalism. ...
  • Education Journalism. ...
  • Sports Journalism.
25 Mar 2022

How hard is a journalism degree? ›

A journalism degree is about as hard as any other liberal arts degree. Liberal arts majors are generally easier than STEM majors so this can give you a relative idea of the difficulty involved in a journalism major.

What degree is similar to journalism? ›

The communication and journalism program area contains 5 different majors.
Other Communication & Journalism Majors.
MajorAnnual Degrees Awarded
Communication & Media Studies66,787
Public Relations & Advertising21,099
Radio, Television & Digital Communication17,669
Communication & Journalism (Other)1,128
1 more row

Are journalists in demand? ›

Employment of news analysts, reporters, and journalists is projected to decline 9 percent from 2021 to 2031. Despite declining employment, about 4,900 openings for news analysts, reporters, and journalists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

What communication degree is best? ›

Here are the best colleges with a Communications Major
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Harvard University.
  • Stanford University.
  • Yale University.
  • University of Chicago.
  • Johns Hopkins University.
  • University of Pennsylvania.
  • California Institute of Technology.

What skills do you need to be a journalist? ›

Key skills for journalists
  • Enthusiasm.
  • Stamina.
  • Determination.
  • Confidence.
  • Perseverance.
  • Excellent oral or written skills.
  • Interpersonal skills.

Is Newhouse the best journalism school? ›

In the Society of Professional of Journalists' Mark of Excellence Awards, Newhouse students took home the top prize in six distinct categories.

What is Northwestern's acceptance rate? ›

Who is Medill named after? ›

Description. The Medill School was founded in 1921, and named after Joseph Medill (1823–1899), owner and editor of the Chicago Tribune, which was then run by his grandsons Robert R. McCormick and Joseph Medill Patterson.

Are journalists happy? ›

Journalists rate their happiness above average. At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, journalists rate their career happiness 3.4 out of 5 stars which puts them in the top 35% of careers.

Is journalism a difficult career? ›

Yes, it is hard being a Journalist. The role of a journalist is one of the hardest jobs going around. In a fast-paced environment, journalists have to deal with deadlines, demanding editors, and the pressure of coming up with headlines and stories.

Is journalism a good career in 2022? ›

According to the Muck Rack report on The State of Journalism 2022, reporters are covering more beats this year than they did in 2021. With an average of 4 beats per reporter, modern journalism is a great option for people who have diverse interests and enjoy a fast-paced career.

How can I become a successful journalist? ›

Along with your degree, it's important to have a flair in writing and communication. To improve your writing skills, create a blog and upload your works there. You can also do freelance writing to enhance your writing skills. Always read what you want to write about, this will help you to become a better writer.

Is it easy to study journalism? ›

The general consensus is that journalism is not a particularly hard degree to earn. As a matter of fact, it is #7 in the Top Easiest Majors by CollegeVine.

How can I be a successful journalist? ›

If you are aspiring to make a career in journalism, you should have these qualities.
  1. A Way with Words. ...
  2. Thorough Knowledge. ...
  3. Investigative Skills. ...
  4. Effective Communication Skills. ...
  5. Professionalism and Confidence. ...
  6. Persistence and Discipline. ...
  7. Ethics are Important Too.
5 May 2022

What course should I do to become a journalist? ›

You must first obtain a Bachelor degree in Journalism and Mass Communication (BJMC) after completing Class 12th examination in any stream from a recognized board. You can also pursue a Master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication after graduation.

How do you know if journalism is right for you? ›

Follow these steps to decide if a career in journalism is right for you:
  • Establish your career goals. ...
  • Research potential careers in journalism. ...
  • Assess your writing and editing skills. ...
  • Consider the qualifications needed to become a journalist. ...
  • Network with other journalists. ...
  • Join a journalism organization.
5 Apr 2021

What do you call a journalist? ›

What is another word for journalist?
59 more rows

Is journalism a high paying job? ›

Journalism is certainly one of the most lucrative and challenging industries a person can enter. There are many careers you can pursue in this field, and they all have their unique highlights. However, to enter this industry, you must have the necessary qualifications.

Is being a journalist stressful? ›

Journalists are under a lot of pressure. We work long, sometimes unpredictable hours. We cover stories and topics that can take a mental toll and are hard to leave behind at the office.

How much money can you make with a journalism degree? ›

Journalism major graduates in the US make on average $53,479 annually or $25.71 hourly. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $28,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $100,000. Professional companies and technology companies have the most job opportunities for journalism major graduates.

What should I do after journalism? ›

Career and Job opportunities after Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication
  1. Content Writing. If you are good at writing, put your talent to the test. ...
  2. Public Relations. ...
  3. Event Management. ...
  4. Advertising. ...
  5. Social Media Executive. ...
  6. Television & Film Production. ...
  7. Digital Marketing.

Which is better communications or journalism? ›

The field of communications covers a broad range of disciplines and often is targeted toward a narrow audience. Journalism presents a more narrow approach to the types of information included, usually focusing on news and current happenings, but it often is targeted toward a more broad audience.

Should I study journalism or English? ›

Again, the answer depends on your career path. An English degree program is very much focused on the language and a journalism program is very much focused on the industry. Both may make you excellent writers, but writing styles vary from role to role.

How many hours do journalists work? ›

Most journalists work a full-time, 40-hour per week schedule. However, the schedule of a journalist may vary based on the needs of their assignment. Some journalists may need to work weekends, evenings and overtime to gather the information they need for a story.

Is journalism still a career? ›

Is journalism an in-demand career? Journalism jobs are more varied than ever before, with many graduates also going into public relations and content writing positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020 there were approximately 46,700 people employed as news analysts, reporters, and journalists.

What are the pros and cons of being a journalist? ›

Top 10 Journalism Pros & Cons – Summary List
Journalism ProsJournalism Cons
You can meet many new peopleYou will be away from home quite often
Journalism can help you to spread your ideasJournalists often work long hours
Being a journalist never gets boringBeing a journalist can be dangerous
7 more rows

What do journalism majors study? ›

During a bachelor's degree in journalism, students gain insight into topics like interviewing techniques, multiculturalism and the media, and communication ethics. Learners may also study media relations, copy editing, and advertising.

Can you make a lot of money with a communications degree? ›

Communication majors can make anywhere from about $36,638 to $176,126 a year depending on the career path they choose. Since communications is a broad discipline, graduates are prepared for an array of careers in the media, marketing, sales, business, or government.

What do communication majors do? ›

A communication degree can help you land jobs in media, including online and print marketing, journalism, and public relations. Communication majors study mass media, technical communications, and advertising. They learn how to write press releases, long-form articles, and technical documents.

What does a journalist wear? ›

Television reporters dress appropriately for the story they are covering. If they are an anchor, they wear business attire. However, if they are reporting from the field, they may wear anything from business attire, protective weather gear, or a local sports team's jersey.

What is the difference between journalist and reporter? ›

Definition. A reporter is someone who gathers information through various sources and presents them to the audience, while a journalist is someone who investigates, and gathers information in the form of text, photos, or audio, processes them into a news-worthy form, and distributes it to the public.

Who is a good reporter? ›

A good reporter must be fair, accurate and objective in his news writing and reporting job. Fairness, accuracy and objectivity are news virtues, which the profession thrives on. Any attempt to compromise any of these values makes a mess of the reputation and credibility of the industry.

Is Newhouse the best journalism school? ›

In the Society of Professional of Journalists' Mark of Excellence Awards, Newhouse students took home the top prize in six distinct categories.

What is NYU known for? ›

Anchored in New York City and with degree-granting campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai as well as 12 study away sites throughout the world, NYU is a leader in global education, with more international students and more students studying abroad than any other US university.

How many years does it take to study journalism? ›

Bachelor of journalism and media studies degree (BJourn) (four years).

Where can I study journalism in USA? ›

Don't have an Account?
SchoolLocationJournalism Degree Programs
Arizona State UniversityPhoenix, ArizonaUndergraduate, Graduate, Doctoral
University of California (UC) BerkeleyBerkeley, CaliforniaGraduate
Columbia UniversityNew York, New YorkGraduate, Doctoral
The CUNY Graduate School of JournalismNew York, New YorkGraduate
10 more rows

How difficult is it to get into Syracuse Newhouse? ›

Newhouse admissions are very competitive. Our incoming students, on average, have a 3.8 GPA, SAT scores in the 1290 range (without the writing), and ACT scores between 28 and 30.

What communication degree is best? ›

Here are the best colleges with a Communications Major
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Harvard University.
  • Stanford University.
  • Yale University.
  • University of Chicago.
  • Johns Hopkins University.
  • University of Pennsylvania.
  • California Institute of Technology.

How hard is Syracuse to get into? ›

The acceptance rate at Syracuse University is 49.9%.

For every 100 applicants, 50 are admitted. This means the school is moderately selective. The school expects you to meet their requirements for GPA and SAT/ACT scores, but they're more flexible than other schools.

What GPA is needed for NYU? ›

Most students admitted to NYU have an unweighted GPA of 3.7 or above, so you'll need to have at least a 3.7 to be seriously evaluated.

Is NYU or Columbia better? ›

Both NYU and Columbia are well known and prestigious. Columbia is part of the Ivy League which is considered very prestigious in the US and abroad. Because Columbia has a lower admission rate than NYU, there is a general perception that Columbia is more prestigious than NYU.

What is the average GPA at NYU? ›

Average GPA: 3.69

The average GPA at NYU is 3.69. This makes NYU Strongly Competitive for GPAs. (Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

Which subject is best for journalists? ›

Whats subjects are needed to study journalism? There are of course some A-levels that will be helpful – including English literature, creative writing, media studies, politics, languages, economics and history.

What subjects does a journalist need? ›

These courses include subjects in the Humanities faculties such as English Language, English Literature, Historical Studies, Sociology, Communications and even law, depending on what type of journalism the student would like to go into.

What are the 7 types of journalism? ›

Types of journalism Regarding Hard News
  • Investigative Journalism. ...
  • Political Journalism. ...
  • Crime Journalism. ...
  • Business Journalism. ...
  • Arts Journalism. ...
  • Celebrity Journalism. ...
  • Education Journalism. ...
  • Sports Journalism.
25 Mar 2022

What skills do you need to be a journalist? ›

Key skills for journalists
  • Enthusiasm.
  • Stamina.
  • Determination.
  • Confidence.
  • Perseverance.
  • Excellent oral or written skills.
  • Interpersonal skills.

How do I become an international journalist? ›

To get a job in international journalism, you need the minimum qualifications of a bachelor's degree in journalism, international relations, or communication. A background in writing, reporting, or journalism is often a prerequisite to international journalist roles.

What does a journalism student study? ›

A journalism degree provides you with a range of core journalistic skills including researching, investigating, interviewing, reporting and writing, in addition to technical skills such as video, editing, shorthand, audio, content management and web design.


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