10 Best Journalism Schools of 2021

September 26, 2021

There's a piece of news coming out every minute in this world; the number of news channels is also increasing. Not only Television and print, but the information is now on every platform. Some of them are Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube. 

The importance of journalism has grown to a new level. Thus, considering journalism as a career is a good option for the present and the future too. But it's even better if you study journalism in the best journalism school. Studying Journalism in the best journalism schools will give you an extra edge. It will broaden your outlook and enhance your reporting abilities. But what makes a journalism school best? 

Few things make a school better to study journalism. It shows how prestigious the college and how a college prepares a student for his career. 

This article will show:

The Ten Best Journalism Schools and Their Admission Requirements

1. 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. This university has various college program to prepares students for journalism career like:

Journalism residency: 

This program allows you to work with professional journalists. You will work as a public relations specialist and reporter for one quarter. Medill’s media partners provide this opportunity. You will produce content, writing, and reporting for various media platforms like CNN. Here you learn a new skill and experience the actual working environment of a journalist. Everything will happen under the guidance of faculties. They will make sure you enhance your skills from the opportunity given to you.

Global journalism residency:

It's the same program as a journalism residency; global exposure the only difference. You will work as a public relations specialist or a reporter. You will do it in countries like Argentina, South-Africa, and Qatar.

Medill on the hill:

This program gives you the necessary experience to cover U.S. politics. It also covers the white house and federal policies from the Washington newsroom. Students learn real-time deadline reporting. They need to update stories using social media platforms like Snapchat, Twitter. Publications will later post the eligible stories.

Medill Investigative Lab:

As the name says, the investigative lab program trains for investigative journalism. You will learn to work as an investigative reporter. You will experience how to think, write, and research like them. You will work on the investigation of national importance with veteran journalists.

Admission requirements at this journalism school for the undergraduate journalism program are:

  • Common Application 
  • Official secondary school transcript and a school report 
  • Counselor recommendation 
  • At least one teacher recommendation 
  • SAT/ACT scores ‍
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores 
  • Non-refundable application fee of $7

For more information about admissions at this school: 

https://admissions.northwestern.edu/apply/requirements.html

The acceptance rate at this journalism school is selective at 10.7%. Your high school GPA must hover around 4.0, which means you must be an A-grade student. 

Financial Aid for international students is negligent at Medill. International students are eligible for Medill scholarships. But they must prepare to bear the total cost of study at Medill.

For more information about tuition and financial Aid at this journalism school:

https://www.medill.northwestern.edu/journalism/undergraduate-journalism/tution-financial-aid/index.html

Notable alumni at this university: Stephen Colbert, David Schwimmer, Carlton Heston 

For more information about admissions at this school: 

https://www.medill.northwestern.edu/journalism/index.html

Watch a video:‍

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWDcXRjXOHg

2. University of Southern California:

Founded in 1880, the University of Southern California is the oldest in California. It is the USA's second-best journalism university. This private research university on the West Coast ranks 24th in National Universities. Ranking based on its performance and excellence of the school. 

USC offers a journalism program through the Annenberg School of communication and journalism. You will learn to produce and write for online, print, and broadcast mediums. Students will learn skills like digital storytelling, editing, and production. Students will perform it across various media through media center experience. In the end, students will create a personal website and digital portfolio. It is to feature the work they did at the school.

The school also allows participating in internships. The average student in Annenberg school participates in 3.4 pieces of training.  It gives students professional experience in journalism. ABC News, Business Insider, CBS Sports are the media outlet which offers internships.

Admission requirements at this journalism school for the undergraduate journalism program are:

  • Online Application 
  • SAT/ACT scores 
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores

For more information about admissions at this journalism school:

https://annenberg.usc.edu/admissions/undergraduate-applicants

The acceptance rate at this university is around 16%. Your high school GPA must be 3.76, so you must be an above-average student to get accepted. 

Merit-based scholarships and other departmental awards are available for international students. 

For more information about tuition and financial Aid at this journalism school:

https://financialaid.usc.edu/general/international-students.html

Notable alumni at this university: George Lucas, John Ritter, Will Ferrell 

For more information about University’s journal course: https://annenberg.usc.edu/journalism

Watch a video:

https://www.youtube.com/user/USCAnnenberg

3. Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA: 

It's challenging to beat Washington and Lee University if you want to pursue journalism as a major. Washington and Lee is a small private, not-for-profit school located in the town of Lexington. A Best Colleges rank of 25 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Washington and Lee is a great college overall.

With 14 undergraduates, Washington and Lee University is one of the most popular colleges to study journalism in the United States. Washington and Lee University journalism majors receive $6,752 more than the standard journalism student.

Journalism is one of the most preferred majors in the communication & journalism program at Washington and Lee University.

Washington and Lee come in the top 5% of the country in this field of study. It is also ranked #1 in Virginia.

For more information about admissions at this journalism school:

https://www.wlu.edu/admissions/

For more information about tuition and financial Aid at this journalism school:

https://www.wlu.edu/admissions/scholarships-and-aid/

For more information about University’s journal course: 

https://www.wlu.edu/academics/areas-of-study/journalism-and-mass-communications/

4. Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts

Emerson College is situated in Boston, just a few blocks from the statehouse. The program strives to be dynamic in embracing technological advances in the field—it adopted a new multimedia curriculum in 2011. Aside from journalism, other popular majors at Emerson include marketing, film, and digital communication.

The college has various award-winning on-campus media outlets, which include newspapers and radio stations. There is a wide array of exciting student groups, including spec (a group dedicated to the art of screenwriting), Captured Emotion (devoted to documentary and nonfiction work), and Wax on Felt (a student record company).

5. University of Texas, Austin:

The third best school for journalism in the USA is Austin's University of Texas, founded in 1883. In 2020, the university ranked at 48 in National Universities. The school has an excellent journalism curriculum. It teaches you skills like journalistic sensibility, writing, and new digital tools. You also get the opportunity for an internship here from Austin fit magazine, ABC 13 Houston, etc.

6. George Washington University, Washington, DC

GWU is a large private, not-for-profit school located in the city of Washington. According to the Best Colleges rank, GWU ranks 115 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means GWU is an excellent college overall.

Besides its bachelor's programs, GWU offers a Master's Degree in journalism. George Washington University journalism majors make $5,352 more than the average journalism student.

Journalism is one of the majors in the communication & journalism program at George Washington University.

Journalism Degrees Available at GWU are

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism
  • Master’s Degree in Journalism

According to the College Factual's most recent rankings for the best schools for journalism majors, GWU came in at #6. This puts it in the top 5% of the country in this field of study. It is also ranked #1 in the District of Columbia.

7. University of Maryland - College Park, MD

Situated in the College Park suburb, UMCP is a public college with a relatively large student population.

For students interested in something more advanced, UMCP also offers two different higher degree levels in journalism, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Grads of the journalism program report an average early career income of $37,100.

Journalism Degrees Available at UMCP:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism
  • Master’s Degree in Journalism
  • Doctorate Degree in Journalism

According to College Factual's most recent rankings for the best schools for journalism majors, UMCP came in at #8. This puts it in the top 5% of the country in this field of study. It is also ranked #1 in Maryland.

Admission requirements at this journalism school for the undergraduate journalism program are:

  • Online Application 
  • SAT/ACT scores 
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • Essay
  • Short Answers
  • Non-refundable application fee of $90 for international students
  • Include a resume and letters of recommendation(optional)

For more information about admissions at this journalism school:

https://admissions.utexas.edu/apply/freshman-admission

The acceptance rate at this university is around 36%. Your high school GPA must be 3.8 on a scale of 4.0, so you must be an A student to get accepted. 

For information about tuition and financial Aid at this journalism school:

https://admissions.utexas.edu/afford/undergrad-aid

Notable alumni at this university: Owen Wilson, Matthew McConaughey, Laura Bush 

For more information about University’s journalism course:

https://journalism.utexas.edu/

Watch a video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhu5LKa8OzU

8. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill :

Founded in 1795, the fourth-best journalism school is the University of North Carolina. The school teaches journalism to students with an intent to keep society informed. They do it with the help of non-fictional storytelling by utilizing media tools. The university curriculum focuses on storytelling, critical thinking, and data analytic.

Admission requirements at this journalism school for the undergraduate journalism program are:

  • Online application
  • Resume with detailing communications and related experience 
  • Unofficial transcript(s), required from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • Statement of purpose (presented in Statement of Purpose section 400-500 words.

For more information about admissions at this school:  http://hussman.unc.edu/ug

The acceptance rate at this university is around 22.7%. Your high school GPA must be 4.6 on a scale of 4.0, so you must be an A student to get accepted. 

For information about tuition and financial Aid at this journalism school:

http://hussman.unc.edu/funding

Notable alumni at this university: Dan Ashley, Furman Bisher, Hayden Carruth

For more information about University’s journalism course:

http://hussman.unc.edu/

Watch a video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6ZYZ6IKHb0

9. Boston University:

BU is the 5th best journalism college, founded in 1839. This private research university with over 33,000 students. And with 3,800 faculty members, it is Boston's largest employer. It ranks 42 in National Universities. 

The university has students from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds. This journalism school is re-inventing traditional communication industries by introducing the latest technologies. The college is also known for winning 24 Pulitzer prizes.

The undergraduates get many areas to focus on in college. It includes magazine and online journalism. Often, you will get internship opportunities from news organizations like the Boston globe. 

Admission requirements at this journalism school for the undergraduate journalism program are:

  • Online Application
  • Original Secondary school records
  • SAT/ACT scores are optional but preferred
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • Documentation of financial support
  • Copy of the photo page of your passport

For more information about admissions at this journalism school:

http://www.bu.edu/admissions/apply/international/

The acceptance rate at this university is around 22.1%. Your high school GPA must be 3.71 on a scale of 4.0, so you must be a high school topper.

For information about tuition and financial Aid at this journalism school:

https://www.bu.edu/com/admissions/graduate/financial-aid/

Notable alumni at this university: Geena Davis, Julianne Moore, Jason Alexander 

For more information about University’s journalism course:

https://www.bu.edu/academics/com/courses/journalism/

Watch a video:‍

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkD5N71GZhA

10. Northeastern University Boston, MA

Situated in the large city of Boston, Northeastern is a private, not-for-profit college with a relatively large student population.

A popular major for journalism undergrads, approximately 63 individuals, are studying this program at Northeastern. Northeastern University journalism graduates make $4,952 more than the typical journalism student.

The Journalism major is part of the communication & journalism program at Northeastern University.

Journalism Degrees Available at Northeastern are:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism
  • Master’s Degree in Journalism

Northeastern comes in the top 10% of the country for journalism. Also, it was ranked #9 out of 143 schools by College Factual.  It is also ranked #2 in Massachusetts.

Conclusion: How To Choose The Right School

The rank doesn’t matter. What matters is whether the school offers everything you're looking for in a journalism program. Follow the below tips to find out which of the best journalism schools listed above might be the best match for you.

Check Out the Curriculum

If you have particular interests, you should check out the core classes and the available electives for each program. Different schools offer several concentrations within their journalism degree program—if that's the case, explore those other options.

You don't need to get excited about every course, but you need to look for a school whose curriculum is aligned with your interests.

Know About Relevant Student Groups

When pursuing a degree in journalism, it's crucial to get professional experience as a student—this will help prepare you for your job search. Is there a particular type of media that you're interested in working in outside of your classes? Is there a specific subject you're passionate about working on? Student-run media is the place to do this.

Some of these schools have more student media options than others. This won’t create any issue if a program already has a group you're interested in, but if not, you might want to check out other programs.

Research on the Faculty

The people who will be teaching you will make a massive difference in how much you get out of your education. Always know about the type of work they have been doing—many top profs in journalism programs have achieved some severe professional success.

Always Think More About the School in General

A journalism program is only a part of whatever school you attend—your overall experience will also depend on the school more generally. What's the student body like? Where is the school situated?

If you aren't happy with these crucial aspects of student life at a school, chances are you won't be satisfied in the journalism program. To know what you should prioritize when looking for a college or university, check out our Step by Step Guidelines to Choose Best College. 

In the end, remember that it's possible to pursue journalism at almost any school, regardless of whether it has a formal program. The most vital thing is that you find opportunities to gain professional experience. You can also do this by working at campus media outlets like magazines, newspapers, or websites or seeking work off-campus as a student writer.

You Might Also Like

Free College Essay Guide

  • Strategies required to write a stellar college essay
  • Exploration Worksheets to help you brainstorm
  • 3 Exemplar Personal Statements
  • Framework to help you Audit your College Essays
Download the College Essay Guide