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In a “FakeNews” world, why would anyone want to go into journalism? After all, the industry has been largely discredited. It’s definitely not an easy path to riches. Plus, if you tell the truth at most papers, you’re most likely to be shown the door. If you understand all this, however, and still feel that pressing, noble calling to tell the truth to a weary world that hates you, then you just might have what it takes to enroll in one of our 10 best journalism schools.


Journalism FAQ

We asked the noted journalists on our own staff to shed some light on frequently asked questions most new journalism students have. After sitting down with them, we’re pleased to present their insights with you!

lady in front of the camera reporting about the best journalism schools

It’s never been a crazier job market. Across all industries, colleges like the 10 best journalism schools are flooding the market with candidates. So if you desire to succeed in the field itself, you’re going to have to be the best at what you do.

You also have to personally subscribe to a rather liberal political agenda and be willing to promote it 24/7. If you’re not willing to push the agenda of your boss, you’ll probably end up writing articles like this for about $5 an hour. Don’t ask us how we know.

4. How Do I Choose the Best Journalism School for Me?

Like any educational experience, journalism school is what you make of it. As with any college search, choosing the right one is a mix of searching for an experience that matches your values as well as choosing the place that will best equip you to succeed. And by the way, we won’t be offended if you pick another school that didn’t make our 10 best journalism schools list.

Any of the 10 best journalism schools on this list have the potential to help connect you with the right people to shoot you to the top of your news organization, but keep in mind that many attempt to succeed and few actually make it. Those who do are often unhappy and wish they could make money doing something else, but by then it’s too late.

How We Reviewed the 10 Best Journalism Schools

We checked out the campuses, the lessons, the internship programs, and the overall reputation within the journalism industry. The resulting list we’ve compiled for you are the 10 best journalism schools according to those in the industry who know. We consulted hiring managers, industry insiders we just happen to know, and journalists out there pounding the pavement in the real world to come up with this list that they all think will position you for a career.

How Much Do the 10 Best Journalism Schools Cost?

Be prepared to shell out a ton of cash. We mean upwards of $200K. Sure, you can take out loans, but be forewarned that the debt collectors are merciless, so borrow wisely. Remember, you’ll pay now or pay later. Many journalism majors end up waiting tables. The approximate costs for each school below generally do not figure in room & board or any applicable activities or lab fees. Again, these costs are all estimates.


What We Reviewed

  • Emerson College
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Missouri – Columbia
  • Northwestern University
  • New York University
  • Boston University
  • University of Maryland – College Park
  • George Washington University
  • University of Southern California
  • Northeastern University

Emerson College

Boston, Massachusetts

Emerson College as one of the best journalism schools

Program Description

Although Emerson might not be an instantly recognizable name nationally, within Boston, Massachusetts, it’s known as something of a top communications school. It’s also known for churning out starving artists – you know, like that social justice warrior in Rent who was always filming everything. Did we mention that rent in Boston is not cheap? To be fair, the field of journalism is not for the faint of heart. Those who attend know what they’re signing up for.

  PROS   

  • Great network opportunities
  • Great internship opportunities

PROS 

   CONS

  • Tuition is very expensive
  • There’s not much financial aid available
  • Students report a lack of a community feeling, which is often found on rural campuses

Tuition

Emerson’s tuition was about $46K/year in the 2018-2019 academic year.

The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, Texas

UTA as one of the best journalism schools

Program Description

Don’t mess with Texas, and definitely don’t mess with the Moody College of Communication at UT at Austin! The website boasts, “The world converges here.” The UT at Austin Communications program boasts real, comprehensive breadth endorsed by many leading publications in the communications world.

Perhaps none of these accolades is higher than USA Today’s having ranked [email protected] the #2 Best Journalism Program in the United States in 2015. The college scored big again in 2017 when Testive granted it #3 status in the category of Best Journalism School for Undergrads. Needless to say, the journalism world and everyone else has noticed how [email protected] is shaking up the field.

PROS  

  • Very diverse campus
  • Government-school tuition rates
  • Huge football culture

PROS 

   CONS

  • Government-run
  • Students report that sometimes ideology is more important than academics
  • Not very selective

Tuition

If you’re a Texas resident, tuition for the ’18-19 school year only cost you just over $10,500. If you’re an out-of-stater, you’re paying a relatively modest $39K/yr.

University of Missouri – Columbia

Columbia, Missouri

university of missouri as one of the best journalism schools

Program Description

The School of Journalism at University of Missouri is committed to practical experiences. That’s important since real-world journalism is so different from the classroom and the media lab. The University of Missouri stresses global reporting with features like KBIA-FM, the school’s own NPR affiliate station. The school even owns a commercial television station which is an affiliate of a major network. Talk about practical experience!

PROS   

  • Only university-owned commercial TV station and major network affiliate in the United States
  • Recognized throughout the industry as a journalism training leader
  • Also offers experience on the advertising side of TV journalism and more

PROS 

   CONS

  • Favors establishment media culture which means bias for some Americans

Tuition

The latest tuition figures available to us pegged Missouri residents at $11,252 for tuition, and non-residents at $27,090—both per year. As a reminder, we’re not including room, board, and other miscellaneous fees that can sometimes add to the cost of education.

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois

northwestern university as one of the best journalism schools

Program Description

The Medill School of Journalism promises to help you stay atop the unprecedented changes in the evolving media industry. Its brand of journalism is hardly objective, though. It has become infamous, even in the media, for the Innocence Project which advocated the freeing of inmates from death row.

PROS   

  • Reputation for academic excellence in some circles

PROS 

   CONS

  • Medill advocated for the release of some prisoners under the Innocence Project, thus advocating biased journalism
  • Medill school is no longer accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications

Tuition

Be prepared to spend as much as $65K a year on tuition, by the 2018-’19 figures.

New York University

New York, New York

new york university as one of the best journalism schools

Program Description

Many schools talk about having a great academic reputation. NYU is synonymous with artistic greatness in a way that few other names are. NYU doesn’t have to talk about their reputation because they’ve got it. In particular, our editorial staff appreciates that NYU professor, Neil Postman, wrote the landmark media theory book Amusing Ourselves To Death which demonstrates a thorough understanding of the very nature of media that few have.

We’re not sure how true NYU has remained to Dr. Postman’s brilliant deconstruction of the cult of media that we all belong to in this day and age. However, we know that some of the most successful players in the media industry have come out of NYU. It may not be a stretch to call NYU the Julliard of all things media. No matter what you believe about the media, if you desire to be a part of it in any way, cash spent here is a good investment by any historical indicators.

Part of one of the most prestigious schools in one of the most prestigious cities, the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute may not be famous in its own right, but the NYU brand, if nothing else, carries it far. We couldn’t leave it off our list of the 10 best journalism schools.

  PROS   

  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
  • Great location to gain experience in a wide variety of cultural contexts
  • Campus is “book smart and street smart,” proud of super-urban environment

PROS 

   CONS

  • Not an Ivy League School

Tuition

Be prepared to spend upwards of $50K per year on tuition alone.

Boston University

Boston, Massachusetts

boston university as one of the best journalism schools

Program Description

Our editorial staff is intimately familiar with Boston University, which is generally considered a rather pedestrian educational institution. BU girls provide hours of experience for inexperienced MIT nerds and thereby prevent them from turning into Mark Zuckerberg. After all, it’s a product of its environment—one of the most biased journalism communities in the country.

But it makes our list of the 10 best journalism schools because BU is a gigantic school for such a small town, despite the fact it’s gotten involved with a former Boston Globe editor. If you know anything about the Globe, biased reporting is basically its middle name. That said, we love it anyway, and hey, if you can’t figure out where to go, pick BU because everyone else is doing it. Speaking of which, BU went generic with the name: it’s called the BU College of Communication.

  PROS   

  • Operates an NPR-affiliated radio station
  • Faculty includes best-selling authors Mitchell Zuckoff and Dick Lehr

PROS 

   CONS

  • Hotbed of hardcore feminism

Tuition

Students paid about $53K for the 2018-2019 academic year in tuition alone, but fees add a significant portion here not to be ignored.  Boston gets more expensive every year with no slowdown in sight.

University of Maryland – College Park

College Park, Maryland

university of maryland as one of the best journalism schools

Program Description

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland is serious about journalism. Internship opportunities abound, particularly with their new Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, and Washington, D.C. is just a stone’s throw away.

  PROS   

  • Proximity to Washington, D.C.
  • Real commitment to journalism
  • School devoted to investigative journalism within the Merrill College
  • Diverse campus
  • Competitive admittance
  • Impressive for a government school

PROS 

   CONS

  • Excessive partying

Tuition

2018-2019 tuition teetered around just $11K (not including other costs) for Maryland residents. Non-residents paid about $36K in tuition for the same school year.

George Washington University

Washington, D.C.

george washington university as one of the best journalism schools

Program Description

The School of Media and Public Affairs functions under the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and advertises that, as a student, you will study with award-winning journalists in what it calls “the world’s most newsworthy city.”

  PROS   

  • Proximity to prestigious think tanks
  • Proximity to banks, agencies, and other influential organizations
  • Stylish student body

PROS 

   CONS

  • Difficult to escape urban life; campus very connected with D.C.

Tuition

Expect tuition to start at $55K/year.

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

university of southern california as one of the best journalism schools

Program Description

The Annenberg School for Journalism has invested in state-of-the-art labs which emulate agencies at the forefront of the broadcast and cable news games today. Also, USC is one of the most well-reputed private universities in the United States today.

  PROS   

  • Students believe they’re trying to change the world for the better
  • Well-reputed as a top dog in the communications game

PROS 

   CONS

  • Parking is reportedly a problem

Tuition

Students paid tuition totaling $56K for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts

northeastern university as one of the best journalism schools

Program Description

Our editorial department is sure fond of Boston, Massachusetts as a destination for journalism schools. We can’t state enough that Boston is a culture that lends itself to extremely opinionated reporting compared to the rest of the nation, and this has a big impact on the way journalism is taught anywhere in Boston. While Boston journalism schools may not necessarily be as objective as most, they certainly are sensational, like the history of journalism itself.

Northeastern University’s College of Arts, Media and Design, including The School of Journalism, isn’t necessarily looking to set any records, but rather to “keep pace with the way news is delivered and consumed in today’s digital age.” That’s the official line, anyhow. What does set Northeastern University apart is its plethora of cooperative business apprenticeship-like experiences and internships.

  PROS   

  • Excellent apprenticeship/internship program
  • Online “Showcase” allows students and faculty to show off their work

PROS 

  CONS

  • Located in the epicenter of Boston’s highly biased news culture which editorializes often

Tuition

$51,000 is what Northeastern students paid for the privilege of attending this year—and that was only the tuition.

The Verdict

We report, you decide! But seriously, making the choice of which journalism program to enroll in is a complicated one involving your much larger goals. Thoroughly investigate every single school you’re seriously considering, and once you’ve decided, don’t let anything stop you from enrolling in any one of our 10 best journalism schools!

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