Top Journalism Master's Programs

Earning a master's degree in journalism may help you enter the world of communication and news media. Read on to learn what the top schools in this field are and what degree programs they offer. Schools offering Journalism degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Characteristics Make a Top Journalism School?

Consider programs that offer hands-on study opportunities in major metropolitan areas. Many of the best schools are ranked in multiple categories by U.S. News & World Report. Think about what type of journalism career you might pursue; many programs offer specializations in areas like magazine writing, news editing or broadcasting. Alumni from the best journalism schools often find work at well-known media outlets.

What Are Three Top Schools Offering Journalism Master's Programs?

Columbia University (CU) in New York, NY

Columbia offers journalism master's programs through its Graduate School of Journalism. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked CU third among national universities ( During the same year, U.S. News & World Report ranked Columbia sixth in its 'Best Value Schools' list. CU's journalism school administers the Pulitzer Prize and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award.

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Journalism program is designed for students with experience in the field who are interested in a particular subject area. Possible concentrations include arts and culture, health and science, business and economics or politics. The Master of Science (M.S.) program is designed for students interested in learning the fundamentals of journalistic research and writing. Four specializations are offered, including broadcast, magazine, newspaper or digital media. The M.S. program is offered in a full- or part-time format. Official degree titles are listed below:

  • M.A. in Journalism
  • M.S. in Journalism
  • M.S. in Journalism/Master of Business Administration
  • M.S. in Journalism/M.S. in Computer Science
  • M.S. in Journalism/Master of International Affairs
  • M.S. in Journalism/Juris Doctor
  • M.S. in Journalism/M.A. in Religion

University of Missouri (UM) in Columbia

The Missouri School of Journalism at UM was founded in 1908 and is reportedly the oldest journalism school in the nation. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked UM 129th among national universities. During the same year, the school was ranked 61st in U.S. News & World Report's list of top public schools.

Students in the journalism master's program can select from a variety of concentrations, including advertising, news editing, environmental reporting, convergence journalism, news reporting and strategic communication. You might gain hands-on experience through an internship in Washington, D.C. or New York. Program alumni work for companies like National Geographic, CNN and the Washington Post. Students interested in studying law and journalism may pursue a dual degree. Available programs include:

  • M.A. in Journalism
  • M.A. in Journalism/Juris Doctor
  • M.A. in Journalism/Master of Laws in Dispute Resolution

Northwestern University in Evanston, IL

In 2019, Northwestern was ranked 10th among national universities by U.S. News & World Report. The same organization ranked Northwestern 15th on its 'Best Value Schools' list in 2019. Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism sponsors three national prizes, including the Ida B. Wells Award, the John Bartlow Martin Award and the Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism.

The M.S. in Journalism program allows students to specialize in magazine writing and editing, videography/broadcast, interactive publishing or reporting. You might gain hands-on experience by working at the Medill newsroom in Chicago or Washington, D.C. Qualified students may work with news organizations in places like Israel, Egypt or Australia as part of the Global Journalism Residency program. Journalists with at least seven years of professional experience can pursue a master's degree in media strategy and leadership. Official degree titles include:

  • M.S. in Journalism
  • M.S. in Media Strategy and Leadership

Other Journalism Schools with Master's Degree Programs

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
American University4-year, PrivateWashington, DC$31,000
Boston University4-year, PrivateBoston, MA$53,000
Iowa State University4-year, PublicAmes, IA$10,000
Kent State University4-year, PublicKent, OH$11,000
Michigan State University4-year, PublicEast Lansing, MI$18,000
New York University4-year, PrivateNew York, NY$45,000
Temple University4-year, PublicPhiladelphia, PA$17,000
The University of Alabama4-year, PublicTuscaloosa, AL$11,000
University of Arizona4-year, PublicTucson, AZ$13,000
University of California-Berkeley4-year, PublicBerkeley, CA$14,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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