Best Journalism Schools at U.S. Colleges and Universities

50 Best Journalism Schools and Programs at U.S. Colleges and Universities [Updated for 2013]

A faculty colleague in another field recently asked me what journalism schools I would most recommend for her college-bound son, who is apparently an aspiring newshound.  Below is a listing of the ones I offered her in response AKA what I consider to be the best college and university journalism schools nationwide AKA places I would strongly consider enrolling if I woke up tomorrow back in high school.

The list is NOT meant to be all-inclusive or objective.  It is based on nothing more than my personal knowledge of various schools’ and colleges’ reputations, faculty, affiliated student media, classes, and feedback I’ve received in spurts from students and (mostly younger) alums.

It is strongly biased in favor of schools that are exciting me in the digital journalism realm and that are in some way aligned with quality campus media or professional publishing opportunities.  It is biased against journalism programs and departments (only schools included here) and certain schools I simply do not know enough about (although in some respects the fact that they have not crossed my daily college media blogging radar is a sign).

In alphabetical order, here are what I consider to be the best j-schools in the country:

Arizona State University

Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication

Indiana University

School of Journalism

Iowa State University

Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication

Michigan State University

School of Journalism

New York University

Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute

Northwestern University

Medill School of Journalism

Ohio University

E.W. Scripps School of Journalism

Syracuse University

S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

University of Florida

College of Journalism & Communications

University of Georgia

Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication

Kansas University

William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications

University of Iowa

School of Journalism & Mass Communication

University of Maryland

Philip Merrill College of Journalism

University of Minnesota

School of Journalism & Mass Communication

University of Missouri

School of Journalism

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School of Journalism & Mass Communication

University of Oklahoma

Gaylord College of Journalism & Mass Communication

University of Oregon

School of Journalism & Communication

University of Southern California

Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

University of Texas at Austin

School of Journalism

Please let me know, politely: What other schools should be on the list???  Depending on their merits, I will add them immediately.  (To be clear again upfront, I did not include journalism programs, departments or graduate schools.)

54 Responses to “Best Journalism Schools at U.S. Colleges and Universities”
  1. I’m biased, but I consider the Drake University School of Journalism & Mass Communication to be beyond reproach. ;)

    • Dan says:

      Aaron- A perfectly valid comment. :) There are a number of ‘smaller’ schools left off this list that provide excellent j-education for their students.

      • Patrick says:

        Dan, would you mind listing a few of these smaller, yet reputable schools that offer Journalism & Mass Commnication? Please. Thank you.

  2. Husain Sumra says:

    San Jose State University. Feeds the Bay Area’s newspapers, websites and TV stations with young talent.

  3. Courtney Sisk says:

    W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University. Its students win many national awards for their college work before starting careers in print, broadcasting or public relations.

  4. Reblogged this on AJMBroadcastEducator and commented:
    A look at what one person considers to be the best journalism schools in the country. Anyone want to make an argument for a school not here?

  5. Beth Ryan says:

    Kent State University in Ohio is very good J-School. They embraced multi-media journalism early and it also had one of the very first HD college TV studios in the country.

    • Yes, I agree! I am a graduating senior from Kent State University’s J-School. I am surprised it is not on the list, because ALL of the faculty members have had successful careers in the industry before they became instructors.

  6. The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio should definitely be on this list. Many of its students win top honors in journalism competitions and its Student Media also place highly each year in national competitions.

  7. Lori Cantor says:

    Our outstanding and national-award winning student media group includes a daily newspaper, an online news site, a TV station, a radio station and five magazines. We owe our success to a top JMC program at Kent State University!

    • Chris McCue, APR says:

      Kent State definitely needs to be on this list. KSU has graduated large numbers of successful journalists in prominent positions (Rolling Stone, USA Today, Time-Warner, major TV stations, etc.). KSU has made Columbia Journalism Review’s list of top schools too.

    • Pam Creedon says:

      Lori, you are right on!

  8. Boston University’s J-School through the College of Communication is sorely missed on this list.

  9. singabob says:

    The list seems pretty solid to me.

  10. Anne D. says:

    I agree with adding Kent State University to this list. Kent State’s converged newsroom allows students to work in print, online and video formats. Various student magazines and an on-campus radio station support what students learn in classes. New additions such as the website Portage Trail Central have expanded opportunities for student participation, especially among freshmen. Portage Trail Central also serves the community by providing coverage of local high school sports.

  11. Jheri Rutter says:

    My mother attended U of Missouri, in her day the best journalism school, but I chose OU and not only became a journalist, I went on to own a PR firm in Denver with national clients because of my writing skills. Glad to see them both on your list today.

  12. Dan says:

    Ohio State has a very strong Journalism program. Early introduction into both the print and digital side of journalism. Also with a very good student paper, The Lantern, that is easy to get a job with and the people running it are incredibly nice. Also with one of the biggest schools in America, there is always something going on to report on.

  13. What about masters programs? Us News doesn’t rank them.

    • Dan says:

      I will accept that challenge! It’s a very fair request– Columbia, CUNY, UC Berkeley and others would be on the list. Check back for a separate post soon.

      • HackCandid says:

        Hi there,

        I just wondered if you ever wrote a follow up post on the best post grad schools/courses? As an international student, I’d really appreciate your expertise!


  14. Sam says:

    The University of Montana in Missoula has a great hands on and structured journalism program with some very succesfull alumni to prove it.

  15. varsha bansal says:

    How about American University School of Communications in Washington DC? Is that school any good for a masters in journalism?

    • Anonymous says:

      If you’re looking to move to DC, I would recommend George Washington University’s master’s program in the School of Media and Public Affairs.

  16. Catriona McCrory says:

    I’m incredibly surprised that Columbia didn’t make the list! I would highly recommend it, as this is my second year there.

  17. Kelly Jane says:

    Remember, the above article states that this is only the writers personal opinion. Obviously, the actual rankings based on all of the criteria that makes a top journalism university was not read or acknowledged by the writer. The University of Missouri was the first journalism school in the country and has a record of producing some of the country’s best journalism professionals; therefore has been ranked in the top 2, not where it is ranked by this writer. Pay no attention, it’s just media misrepresented :)

    • Dan says:

      Kelly Jane- Your comment made me giggle. :) Scroll through the list again. Notice anything? The schools are listed in alphabetical order! Mizzou isn’t ranked here, simply included, as it should be. Dan

  18. Trev says:

    I’m debating between Kent State and Depaul, what do you guys say?

  19. Victor says:

    Check out Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio as solid undergraduate school in creative writing. Solid faculty in a beautiful country-side setting.

  20. tonsungsook says:

    Great ! Go trojan !

  21. Andy says:

    How are Boston University and Columbia not on this list?

    • varsha bansal says:

      How good is Virginia Commonwealth University for masters in journalism?

    • Dan says:

      Andy- Two very strong suggestions. Neither university boasts an undergraduate school of journalism, which is the main requirement for inclusion on this particular list. Columbia has a wonderful grad school of journalism, not undergrad, and BU’s journalism program is within the larger College of Communication. I am thinking about putting together a follow-up list highlighting programs, instead of simply schools. These two would certainly be on it. Dan

  22. JW says:

    UC Berkeley?

    • Dan says:

      UC Berkeley boasts a fantastic graduate school of journalism, but not an undergrad one…

  23. DC says:

    Any more comments on DePaul? What about Duquesne Univ.?

  24. Jesucristo says:

    Northwest Missouri State University has a fantastic program. It’s a close second to Mizzou. And much more affordable

  25. Robertson dey says:

    How do i apply in one of the universities as a student

  26. Bonnie says:

    I’m looking for the best j-college in Texas. Any suggestions?


  27. HeyItsHales says:

    University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s J-School gets forgotten on most lists, but has been recognized at national conferences as one of the best schools in the nation. I’m slightly biased, but the awards are there to back me up.

  28. Sarah says:

    I spent three years studying health care classes before I got an internship and realized I strongly disliked it. I made a bold choice to change my degree even though I had already completed three years of college. I LOVE public speaking so I enrolled in Walter Cronkite Mass Comm. and Journalism at Arizona State University. The school is indeed amazing, but I’m kind of frustrated. There are so many requirements that it will take me three more years just to obtain a bachelors. I don’t mind most of the requirements because I enjoy school a lot. However, I’m supposed to take at minimum 2 years worth of Spanish classes (4 semesters total) but I do not plan on using Spanish after college and don’t necessarily have a passion for it. I’m considering transferring because I feel like I’m wasting my time and money on something I won’t use after graduation. Suggestions? Ideas? Anything will help. THANK YOU!

    • Courtney Sisk says:

      I had to take 4 semesters of a foreign language at Marshall University and that was 13 years ago. I think it would be tough to find a J-school that doesn’t require it in this day and age. I took mine entirely in summer school to get done faster.

      • Sarah says:

        Really? Darn. Thank you for helping! Did anyone go to a J-school that didn’t require so much foreign language? I don’t mean to sound apathetic; I just know the likelihood of me using Spanish after school is small so I’m annoyed with wasting time and money.. Thanks guys!!

  29. samPA says:

    What about schools in PA?

  30. Nikki says:

    I’ve heard some great things about U of Washington! Seattle is a great place. And DePaul’s, too.

  31. Jeff says:

    Can’t believe Columbia University is not on this list

    • Dan says:

      It doesn’t sport a j-school for undergrads specifically. Only reason not on the list. Coming out with an updated, expanded list soon casting aside that distinction. Columbia will absolutely be on it. D

  32. Whitney says:

    William Allen White School of Journalism!! Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Thank you for including us on the list :)

  33. Jess says:

    What about Yale????

  34. Ashley says:

    definitely ball state university

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