Best Bachelor's Degree Programs in Journalism

Oct 20, 2021

Journalism Degrees

Students who begin working towards a degree in journalism will find that the program focuses on the theory of gathering facts and presenting them to their audience in a variety of ways. According to NCES, this educational route may include a focus on news writing and reporting, ethics, research methods, and more.

The Top Bachelor's Degree Programs in Journalism

1. Arizona State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8900 80% 53% 97% Yes Yes AP Credits

2. University of Missouri-Columbia

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10477 81% 71% 89% Yes Yes AP Credits

3. Norfolk State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9622 92% 36% 78% Yes Yes AP Credits

4. Benedictine College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$30530 97% 65% 100% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

5. Flagler College-St Augustine

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$19500 65% 53% 96% No Yes AP Credits

6. Howard University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$27206 36% 65% 99% Yes Yes AP Credits

7. Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12744 91% 58% 91% Yes Yes AP Credits

8. West Virginia University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8976 84% 61% 94% Yes Yes AP Credits

9. Hampton University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28024 36% 60% 96% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

10. University of West Georgia

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$6395 59% 45% 94% Yes Yes AP Credits

11. University of Kansas

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11166 93% 67% 85% Yes Yes AP Credits

12. University of North Texas

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11044 74% 56% 82% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

13. Keystone College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$26070 79% 47% 92% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

14. SUNY at Purchase College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8953 52% 61% 84% Yes Yes AP Credits

15. Radford University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11350 75% 55% 88% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

16. Georgia State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9286 76% 55% 93% Yes Yes AP Credits

17. Morgan State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8009 68% 43% 94% Yes Yes AP Credits

18. University of Nevada-Reno

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8184 88% 61% 88% Yes Yes AP Credits

19. University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9063 80% 70% 96% Yes Yes AP Credits

20. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$15027 57% 83% 81% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

21. SUNY College at Brockport

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8680 55% 64% 92% Yes Yes AP Credits

22. Columbia College Chicago

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$27756 90% 50% 93% Yes Yes AP Credits

23. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$5785 36% 53% 95% Yes Yes AP Credits

24. University of Oregon

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12720 82% 74% 77% Yes Yes AP Credits

25. Middle Tennessee State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9070 94% 47% 96% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

26. Pennsylvania State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$18450 76% 71% 73% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

27. University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9512 66% 43% 95% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

28. Ohio University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11084 54% 86% 79% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

29. Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10543 83% 44% 92% No Yes AP / ACE Credits

30. University of Iowa

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9606 83% 72% 85% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

31. University of Arkansas

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9384 77% 66% 76% No Yes AP Credits

32. Olivet College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28692 No Available Data (2019-2020) 44% 100% No Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

33. Northern Kentucky University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10296 90% 46% 99% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

34. The University of Montana

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7354 94% 45% 88% Yes Yes AP Credits

35. University of Central Oklahoma

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7753 84% 36% 91% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

36. California State University-Fresno

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$6589 58% 56% 89% Yes Yes AP Credits

37. Western Washington University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8343 90% 68% 86% Yes Yes AP Credits

38. University of Nebraska at Omaha

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7980 83% 50% 85% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

39. Western Kentucky University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10802 97% 48% 98% Yes Yes AP Credits

40. SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8872 58% 68% 94% Yes Yes AP Credits

41. University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10725 54% 88% 61% Yes Yes AP Credits

42. Immaculata University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$27350 81% 67% 100% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

43. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9366 78% 66% 91% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

44. Indiana University-Southeast

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7527 82% 36% 83% Yes Yes AP Credits

45. New Mexico State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7087 55% 48% 99% Yes Yes AP Credits

46. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9943 28% 82% 63% Yes Yes AP Credits

47. University of Georgia

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12080 45% 87% 97% Yes Yes AP Credits

48. Ball State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10020 77% 67% 91% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

49. Grand View University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28678 96% 55% 100% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

50. SUNY at Fredonia

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8717 71% 64% 96% Yes Yes AP Credits

To get a more in-depth look at our school ranking methodology, please visit Study.com's ranking methodology page.

Tuition information is based on published tuition and required fees, per data by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

What Kinds of Journalism Degrees Are There?

Students who are interested in pursuing a degree in journalism will be able to explore different avenues as they begin working towards their overall goal. While some degree programs can be completed in two years, others will require more time. The length of the program will be determined in part by how deep learners hope to ultimately go in the chosen field. Below is an outline of the various degrees and certificates that can be obtained within the world of journalism and communication.

Associate Degrees in Journalism

An associate degree in journalism, can typically be obtained in two years. Students will be required to complete 60-70 credit hours. One viable pathway is completing an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Journalism. This will provide learners with markable skills so that they can successfully enter the workforce down the road. As a result of their educational background, students may later find career opportunities at magazines, newspapers, or television stations.

According to Payscale.com, students who complete an Associate of Arts (AA), Journalism Degree can earn an average annual salary of $56,484. As for learners who pursue an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Journalism, they can expect to make around $62,500, as stated by Payscale.com.

Bachelor's Degrees in Journalism

A bachelor's degree will, on average, take four years. After completing 120 credit hours, students will then be able to officially enter the field as a graduate. Exploring this path will allow learners to go through programs to earn specific degrees, such as a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism. This may include taking courses such as Visual Storytelling, Journalism History, and Video Storytelling with Cell Phones.

Students may also decide to complete a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree, which will give those who enter the program a chance to learn more about conducting research and clearly communicating through various platforms. Newswriting, Reporting in Depth, and History and Principles of Journalism are three courses that may be required to earn this degree.

Master's Degrees in Journalism

After earning a primary degree, students can then continue their education by completing a master's. These programs typically take between one and three years to complete and may take roughly 30 credit hours. In some cases, a Master of Arts in Journalism can fully be obtained online. Students who are looking for flexibility when continuing their education can either work ahead of the expected timeframe or take a bit longer if they are interested in part-time learning.

Obtaining a Master of Arts in Journalism will provide background knowledge when it comes to asking nuanced questions and digging deeper into subject-specific topics. Applicants should be experienced in storytelling, interviewing, and researching prior to entering the program. This degree may include courses such as Evidence and Inference, and may require a written thesis.

Doctoral Degrees in Journalism

A doctorate, which takes at least four years, is the highest designation one can obtain in the field. This path will involve a range of coursework, including a thesis. Doctoral students may find that they need to conduct research or collaborate with others in the field throughout their time in the program. Students will need to complete comprehensive examinations, a dissertation, and a range of other courses prior to graduation.

Learners who decide to work towards a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Strategic Communication or in Journalism Studies will gain a solid understanding of various aspects of journalism through a multidisciplinary approach. The knowledge that is obtained throughout this program will serve as a strong foundation when it comes to the field as a whole.

Certificates in Journalism

Working towards a Certificate in Journalism or a Certificate in Journalism and Newswriting will help students learn the art of impactful storytelling and verify that they have a solid understanding of their intended role. Those who are interested in pursuing a certificate may also be exposed to various forms of instruction, fieldwork, and presentation.

While these certificates are great for students within the field, they can be also a useful tool for aspiring journalists, nonfiction writers, or other media professionals. This certification may center around storytelling skills, investigative reporting techniques, and multimedia production. Students who pursue a certificate in journalism and newswriting will receive a well-rounded foundation after being exposed to field experience and a variety of courses, such as Newswriting: Writing Above the Fold or Feature Writing for Print and Digital Media.

Journalism Bachelor's Degree Concentrations

Obtaining a bachelor's degree will present several options when it comes to degree concentrations. At many colleges and universities, students can explore public relations or news reporting and editing. The concentration in public relations will combine the foundation of journalism with concepts that are needed to manage communication campaigns. As for a news report and editing concentration, students will likely be able to explore topics such as audio recording, photography, graphic design, and more.

Areas of concentration will likely differ between online colleges or universities. Some institutions may place the journalism concentration within communication studies, while a bachelor's at other schools may allow specializations within subfields. Checking the website of the preferred school will provide a clearer context of the available pathways.

Curriculum for a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism

Those who decide that a bachelor's degree in journalism is the right fit for them professionally will be required to complete an assortment of courses that are geared towards sharpening their skills. According to College Board, major-specific courses could include magazine writing, the history of American media, broadcast news writing, media law and ethics, and more. Those who are interested in learning more about the field may also want to consider taking free online journalism courses for credit or non-credit classes.

Among various bachelor's degree programs in journalism, a few common courses may include:

  • History of Journalism
  • Web Publishing and Design
  • Ethics of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Navigating Media and News in the Digital Age
  • Journalism and the Audience
  • Culture of Journalism: Past, Present and Future

Leading up to entering the collegiate program, having a background in speech, taking Advanced Placement (AP) English Language, and learning more about computer applications could prove to be useful once students begin advancing their education.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Bachelor's in Journalism?

Earning a bachelor's degree in journalism typically takes four years if students stay on the expected path. However, part-time students and those who enroll in online programs may experience different timeframes. At many colleges and universities, this degree requires 120 credit hours.

Accreditation for Bachelor's in Journalism Degrees

Attending an accredited college or university will give students the assurance that they are obtaining a quality education. Organizations such as the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) dedicate themselves to providing relevant information surrounding the practices and standards at various institutions. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) also serves as a national voice that focuses on higher education accreditation.

In order to receive accreditation, bachelor's and master's degree programs at four-year colleges and universities may apply. Professionals and educators will then review a set of standards in order to determine which schools should receive the designation. This process could include a self-study, curriculum assessment, and yearly review. Once students have completed their degrees from these institutions, it will likely prove to be a beneficial addition to their resume when looking for employment.

Journalism Licensure & Certification

While certification is not required to enter the field of journalism, it can help professionals stand out from other candidates when applying for a new job. The Journalism Education Association offers a Certified Journalism Educator (CJE) designation, which measures knowledge and acumen across essential areas of journalism. By passing an exam, those who take the test will earn professional recognition. It remains valid for five years and comes with the option to be renewed when needed. Following the CJE, the Master Journalism Educator status can give those who are interested a way to exhibit the highest designation.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism?

A bachelor's degree in journalism will offer an assortment of professional opportunities. Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts are three common careers. Each career focuses on informing the public of national events and works across a range of mediums, such as television and print. They will likely find themselves investigating news stories, conducting interviews, analyzing information, and writing articles. As stated by BLS, each of the aforementioned jobs earn an average annual salary of $46,270.

Becoming an editor is another viable option once students have completed their bachelor's degree. This job will include tasks such as correcting grammatical errors in various pieces of content, verifying facts, developing stories, and working with writers. As there are several types of editors, ranging from assistant to newspaper editor, there are many roles to consider. The median salary for this position is $61,370 per year, according to BLS.

According to BLS, jobs are expected to decline 7% from now through 2029. As a result, applicants may experience increased competition for roles at established publications.

How to Become a Photojournalist

Becoming a photojournalist is one way for students to apply their creative skillset to their desired field. Those who enter this arena will focus on using visual images to tell compelling stories. In many cases, photographs will accompany news articles, but they can also work as standalone pieces. Many who enter this specific area will also be expected to keep up with current events in order to tell timely stories.

Those who pursue this path may be able to do so without obtaining a degree. However, earning a bachelor's degree in photojournalism could increase the likelihood of employment, as doing so will allow students to dive deeper into the history of the field while also honing their skills. Licensure and certification are not required elements, but becoming a member of the American Society of Media Photographers could offer interesting resources and networking opportunities. On average, photographers, including photojournalists, earn $42,640 each year according to BLS.

According to BLS, employment in the photography field is expected to decline 4% through 2029 due to various factors, such as a reduced need for professionals and an increase in freelancers.

How to Become an Investigative Journalist

Another way that students can apply their learned skillset is by becoming an investigative journalist. This specific job often includes traveling to various locations in order to conduct research or to interview subjects. Those who are hoping to explore this career path will likely need to complete a bachelor's degree in communications, broadcasting, journalism, or a related field, as many employers prefer a strong educational background. Building a portfolio, working for a school newspaper, or obtaining other real-world experience may be useful ways to stand out from others. According to Salary.com, investigative reporters make an average of $63,139 every year.

While BLS does not provide specific data for investigative journalists, similar careers, such as reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts, are expected to see a decrease of 11% in available positions through 2029.

Financial Aid & Scholarship Information for Bachelor's in Journalism Degrees

Financial planning plays an important role for many students who have started looking ahead to their educational futures. Submitting a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application is one way to assess potential assistance that may be available. To receive federal student aid, students must meet several requirements, such as being a citizen or eligible noncitizen of the United States, possessing a valid Social Security Number, and enrolling in an eligible program.

While many scholarships are merit-based, others are centered around financial need, so speaking with a counselor, reaching out to various organizations, or contacting a college's financial aid office could provide additional guidance.

How to Choose a Journalism School & Bachelor's Program

Making a final decision about which college or university is the right fit is one that will likely not come easily for some students. As a result, potential enrollees may want to think about a range of factors before making a final commitment. Considering the location of the institution, length of time needed for completion, overall cost, and online flexibility are all factors that could be influential.

Finding out whether or not a preferred institution is accredited is another step that could provide helpful insight, as this will ensure future learners that the education they intend to receive is both rigorous and worthwhile when it comes to their specific goals.

Should I Get a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism?

Earning a degree in journalism can be a rewarding experience for a variety of reasons. Entering the field can also be beneficial due to the range of available positions, including sports journalist and broadcast journalist. As learners explore the world of news, they will be able to consider a range of sports journalism colleges, if so inclined, as they consider what institution is the best fit for their futures.

While these programs are ideal for those hoping to enter the world of news, they can also be transferable and useful to adjacent fields, such as marketing and communications. Due to the fact that journalist education requirements cover an assortment of topics, the acquired knowledge can be applied in many ways following graduation.

These programs may be a good match for those who are curious about the world around them, interested in conducting a range of interviews, comfortable with organizing information, and communicating learned knowledge in a clear and concise way.

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