If you’re an international student interested in studying journalism in the United States, you’re in luck. There are a number of excellent journalism programs conveniently located all over the country. Identifying “the best” j-school (acronym for “journalism school”) is a formidable challenge. The journalism community can agree on which institutions are the best for the field as a whole, but assigning rankings is more contentious. Rankings of journalism schools are scarce compared to those of law and business schools.
If you have a degree in journalism, how do you evaluate it? by the quality of its alumni’s work in the field? Or by the relative quality of the programs offered by the various schools; and what would that even entail?
Finding a journalism school that has been recognized by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) is one option. As of their most recent count (January 2012), there are 110 US-based and 1 Chilean-based accredited institutions on their list. According to the ACEJMC, school accreditation “is a measure of the program’s compliance with basic standards and of how well the program achieves its stated mission. However, there are more than 400 colleges and universities in the United States that offer journalism degrees, so their list is far from comprehensive. They don’t rate schools or conduct mandatory reviews of journalism departments across the country. Participation in the ACEJMC’s accreditation process is entirely discretionary.
As an alternative, you could inquire as to which universities are regarded as the best in the field of journalism. It’s possible that, as an international student, you’ll feel overwhelmed by the sheer size of the search. There is a lack of a formal j-school ranking system despite the abundance of options. Fortunately, there appears to be some agreement among professionals about which institutions produce the best journalists.
The following are some of the best journalism schools in the United States; this list is in no particular order and certainly does not cover all of them.
Best journalism schools in usa
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is an excellent option for any student interested in pursuing a degree in journalism. The University of Southern California is a large, private, non-profit institution in Los Angeles. USC is a fantastic institution, as evidenced by the fact that it was ranked #18 on Best Colleges’ list of the best universities in the country (out of 2,241).
In the most recent available data year, about 115 students majoring in journalism graduated from USC. Journalists who earn their degree from USC earn an extra $8,122 compared to their peers who earn degrees from other institutions.
Columbia University in the City of New York
If you want to study journalism at a top school, consider Columbia University in New York. Columbia University in New York City is a massive private, nonprofit institution. Columbia University is an outstanding educational institution, as evidenced by its Best Colleges ranking of #14 out of 2,241 universities and colleges in the United States.
In the most recent data year, approximately 142 students majoring in journalism graduated from Columbia. Graduates of Columbia University in New York City’s journalism program start out with a starting salary $12,024 higher than the national average for journalism majors.
Boston University (Boston U) is a large, private, non-profit institution of higher education in the heart of Boston. Overall, Boston University is an excellent school, as evidenced by its Best Colleges ranking of #41 out of 2,241 institutions.
In the most recent available data year, approximately 132 journalism majors graduated from Boston University. If you major in journalism at Boston University, you can expect to see a salary increase of about $7,238 per year.
University of Maryland – College Park
College Park’s UMCP is a public university with a sizable student body, and it’s located right in the suburb. The University of Maryland, College Park is a fantastic institution, earning a Best Colleges ranking of #36 out of 2,241 institutions across the country.
In the most recent available academic year, UMCP awarded bachelor’s degrees in journalism to around 145 students. When they enter the workforce, graduates of the journalism program at University of Maryland – College Park earn $5,363 more than the average graduate with the same degree.
University of Missouri
In 1909, a master’s degree in journalism was offered for the first time, and in 1921 and 1934, the university awarded the first ever doctorates in journalism. The Missouri School of Journalism, or “J-School” for short, is still among the best in the business as of the present day. The J School is committed to the “Missouri Method,” which involves interning at real news organizations such as NBC affiliates, NPR member stations, and digital-first community newspapers, in addition to providing opportunities at other outlets such as advertising agencies.
University of Florida
In the University of Florida’s journalism program, students acquire the fundamental writing, reporting, and ethical practices necessary to become professional journalists. Social media, data journalism, and programming are just a few of the new media that students of journalism are learning about. Almost a dozen sub-fields of journalism are offered as two-course concentrations at the University of Florida, including photojournalism, narrative nonfiction, television, audio, and social media. More than two hundred students each semester work for the university’s seven broadcast stations, providing excellent opportunities for journalism students at the University of Florida to gain practical experience.
Arizona State University
Students at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication produce Arizona PBS, the largest media outlet in the world run by a journalism school; each night, it reaches nearly two million homes with the ASU student newscast. The journalism program at ASU uses a “teaching hospital” approach to education, in which students are not taught in a traditional classroom setting but rather are immersed in real-world journalism environments from the very beginning of their studies, all while being supervised by seasoned professionals in the field.
Ohio State University
Students in the Ohio State University School of Journalism develop into effective communicators and storytellers through training in both time-honored journalistic practices like writing, reporting, and interviewing and exposure to innovative new forms of journalism like social media, multimedia, and blogging. Every journalism major at Oregon State University completes an internship at The Lantern, the school’s award-winning and historically significant student-run newspaper that has been in publication since the 1880s.
A large number of departments, such as Journalism, Communication & Media Studies, and Digital Communication, provide valuable support for students majoring in Journalism at UT Austin.
All students in the Journalism program at UT Austin, which has produced 18 Pulitzer Prize winners, receive extensive instruction in the use of digital media. Journalists can get assistance in their job and internship searches from the school’s Specialty Communications Career Services Center.
ORANGE Magazine, UT’s student publication, and the University of Texas Association of Hispanic Journalists are just two of the many relevant student groups on campus.
The nation’s capital is home to American University and makes a great place for aspiring journalists to gain experience (especially those with an interest in politics). The Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts (BA/MA) program is an innovative addition to American’s already extensive undergraduate curriculum.
Undergraduates can customize their BAs to fit their interests by selecting concentrations in areas like investigative journalism, social justice, and emerging media.
Journalism complements the school’s other offerings in communication studies, film & media arts, and public communication.
Emerson is in the heart of Boston, only a few blocks away from the Massachusetts State House. The program is serious about being ahead of the curve when it comes to technology; in 2011, it implemented a new multimedia curriculum. Journalism isn’t the only well-liked Emerson major; film, marketing, and digital communication are also common choices.
The university is home to multiple award-winning student publications and broadcasting outlets. Among the many exciting student organizations are Captured Emotion (focused on documentaries and nonfiction), spec (a group dedicated to the craft of screenwriting), and Wax on Felt (a student record label).
Students interested in studying Journalism at Northwestern University need only specify their interest in attending Medill, Northwestern’s School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications, on their undergraduate application.
Keep in mind that Northwestern is a prestigious university with a competitive admissions process in and of itself.
Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism provides its students with a well-rounded education that includes a strong core curriculum, an outside concentration, and a wide variety of journalism electives. The following are a few of the advantages of this layout:
Essential abilities. Before delving deeper into the field of journalism, all first-year students at Medill are given a common foundation in the school’s core curriculum. Students interested in journalism but lacking practical experience may find this particularly useful.
Capabilities covering a wide range of topics. In the “outside concentration” section of the curriculum, students focus their studies on a topic unrelated to Medill. This not only encourages a well-rounded education but also gives students room to explore (and integrate) different ideas, interests, and skills into their journalistic practice.
Once students have a firm grasp of the fundamentals, they are free to pursue their individual passions through a variety of journalism electives.
The “Exclusive Opportunities” section of Medill’s website is a testament to the abundance of one-of-a-kind possibilities and resources available to students there. For those interested in gaining real-world experience in the field, there is the Journalism Residency program; for those interested in learning more about covering politics, there is Medill on the Hill; and for those interested in studying two different subjects simultaneously, there are the Double Major Opportunities.
Students looking to expand their knowledge or who crave a greater intellectual challenge can benefit greatly from these kinds of materials.
An accelerated master’s degree can be earned in five years at Medill. After finishing the program, students are awarded both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in journalism.
University of Missouri at Columbia – Missouri School of Journalism
J-School at the University of Missouri has two entry requirements. One option is for prospective students to include the School of Journalism application on their university’s general undergraduate application and then be accepted into both the university and the school (Directly Admitted Students).
High school GPA, scholastic honors, and standardized test scores are used to determine a student’s level of preparedness for college-level work in the case of direct admission.
The second option is for students to apply to and gain admission to the university as pre-journalism majors, where they can prepare themselves academically for the J-School.
Note that students who choose the alternative route cannot apply for Walter Williams Scholarships or receive J-School journalism scholarships.
The University of Missouri established the first school of journalism in the world in 1908 and also conferred the first doctorate degrees. Journalism students at J-School can pursue degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels, just like at Merrill. A J-School education has a long tradition and is held in high esteem by many.
J-School’s core curriculum does not mandate elective specialization. This could be a drawback for students who value a broad educational experience, but it could be perfect for those who want to hone in on a specific area of study.
In the first year of J-School, students are introduced to the fundamentals of the field; in the second and third years, they begin to specialize in a particular area of study; and in their final year, they bring everything they’ve learned to bear on a Capstone project tailored to their specific interests and abilities.
Broadcasting, Cross-Platform Editing and Producing, Photojournalism/Documentary, Reporting/Writing, Social and Audience Strategy, and Strategic Communication are the six specialized tracks from which students can choose to further specialize their education. Experiential learning is at the heart of career-focused curricula, providing students with invaluable opportunities to learn in the real world.
You might find a good fit at one of the aforementioned institutions if you’re considering a career as a journalist, reporter, or even filmmaker.
Don’t worry too much about your reputation. Fit is key! Consider where you would feel most at home academically and have the most fun socially.
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