The 10 Best Master’s in Journalism Schools in the US

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The 10 Best Master’s in Journalism Schools in the US
The 10 Best Master’s in Journalism Schools in the US

Journalism Schools : A graduate degree in Journalism has the potential to open up various career paths beyond writing for newspapers or television news bureaus. With the advent of online news sources, Journalism institutions have to provide training on technological tools, audience attention, perception, and different storytelling approaches to stay competitive.

Graduate programs in Journalism offer specific skills training and professional experience for individuals interested in news acquisition and delivery. Contrary to popular belief, many programs accept or even encourage degree applicants from subject areas outside of Journalism or English as long as it aligns with their selected journalism topic.

Choosing the right Journalism program involves deciding on a Professional track for students who aim to work as field reporters, correspondents, or writers. These courses often lead to Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) degrees. On the other hand, students who prefer to teach, conduct research, or venture into media management might consider a Research track. This approach is highly valuable considering the extensive market research, psycho-physiological study, and statistical analysis required in today’s media industry.

The time taken to complete a Master’s Degree in Journalism ranges from six months to two years, depending on the program’s nature and scope. Most graduate schools offer part-time classes for students who want to remain active during their studies. Quality Journalism programs are also available in hybrid or completely virtual formats.

Prospective Journalism students should consider the course delivery mode they prefer. The top schools employ the “teaching-hospital model” of study, which prioritizes practical learning over traditional classroom credit hours. Students in these programs get hands-on training from professionals, and benefit from career planning and contacts, internships, study abroad opportunities, and an idea of what to expect as a contemporary journalist. These institutions also take into account the future of Journalism, incorporating biometrics and gaming technology to deliver news excitingly and innovatively.

10 of the best Master’s in Journalism Schools in the US

Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications (Syracuse, NY)

Syracuse’s Newhouse School of Public Communications ensures its graduate students receive ample hands-on experience and professional resources before earning their diplomas. An impressive 89% of Newhouse graduates secure employment in journalism within half a year of graduation. The school offers both Professional and Academic degree models, with 11 Professional programs and online Master’s degrees in Communications and Communications Management. Unique concentration areas include media management, acknowledging the importance of a media presence for all businesses. Students have access to various student-run news publications, alongside radio and television stations and PR and advertising agencies. Additionally, students benefit from the Career Development Center, which provides job search assistance and connections. Newhouse establishes a solid foundation in journalism skills while fostering an understanding of diverse roles within the 21st-century journalism landscape. On-campus research centers and media projects provide invaluable experience opportunities while enriching the field itself.

Discover the 10 Best Colleges for Journalism In the US

Arizona State University Walter Kronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications (Phoenix, AZ)

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication offers a diverse range of degree programs for aspiring individuals hoping to enter the public eye, including print, television, and digital media. Their curriculum includes MA programs in Investigative Journalism and Sports Journalism, an MS in Digital Audience Strategy, and an MMC in Mass Communication.

Moreover, the school offers dual degrees in collaboration with other professional programs, enabling students to be uniquely qualified in their respective fields. For instance, the Alix School of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic provides the necessary coursework for the MD/MMC degree, whereas the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU supports the MMC/MLS Master of Mass Communication and Legal Studies degree.

The Cronkite School has campuses in both Phoenix and Los Angeles, catering to the students’ professional needs by providing them with strong communication skills and excellent prospects. Through its Cronkite News program, broadcast nightly across Arizona, students participate in creating news alongside the school’s ownership of Arizona’s PBS station.

The school consistently reinvents the practice and study of journalism, integrating immersive journalism with game technology to tell stories. The school plans to introduce a new graduate degree in Emerging Media and Narrative Storytelling. Additionally, the school’s Los Angeles bureau is based at the old Herald Examiner building, equipped with state-of-the-art studio equipment.

Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (New York, NY)

The Journalism School at Columbia University provides a diverse range of Master-level graduate degrees, offering 16 specialized areas of study. While the program offers traditional tracks in Data, Documentary, and Multimedia, it also stands out with its unique areas of focus, including Arts Journalism, International Journalism, and Science Journalism.

Students specializing in Documentary and Investigative Journalism can benefit from extended educational experiences, such as completing a short documentary film or receiving additional training at the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism.

Columbia University hosts multiple centers dedicated to Journalism practice and research. The Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights offers fellowships and awards annual prizes for reporting on Civil Rights issues. Additionally, the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, in partnership with Stanford University’s School of Engineering, provides resources for students to explore future forms of journalism through grants, seminars, training, and access to technology.

University of Missouri School of Journalism (Columbia, MO)

The degree program in Journalism originated at the University of Missouri at Columbia, making it one of the oldest graduate programs in the field. In 1921, Missouri granted its first Master’s diploma.

Missouri Journalism provides its graduate students with the flexibility of pursuing their academic program both on and off campus. Regardless of the location, the students are expected to develop and write publishable articles under the guidance of faculty and mentors.

Professional development opportunities are offered to students through The Reynolds Journalism Institute by sponsoring workshops, and competitions, and bringing in working journalists as Fellows. The institute also publishes various student works. The Frank Lee Martin Journalism Library offers well-furnished facilities, where writers groups, project meetings, and presentations take place.

Missouri’s PRIME Lab conducts research on psychophysiological response to media, providing students interested in data science with opportunities to conduct research, participate in conferences, and submit to academic journals. Five other labs within the mass communication and journalism programs further enhance the scope of research opportunities available.

Missouri has a strong legacy in the industry and significant connections to journalism professionals, providing students with unique access to the industry. Multiple organizations and facilities designed specifically for working journalists make Missouri an ideal destination for journalism students.

The School of Journalism’s first dean, Walter Williams, authored “The Journalist’s Creed,” which serves as a Hippocratic Oath for Journalism. The words from the Creed hang on the walls of newsrooms around the world and grace the National Press Club.

University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism (College Park, MD)

The University of Maryland is home to the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, which offers a flexible graduate program centered on data studies, investigative journalism, and sports journalism.

The program has two degree options based on the chosen track, MA for research and MJ for professional studies. As a requirement, the MA program necessitates a final thesis, while MJ wraps up with a portfolio review.

Students interested in information studies can opt for Data Journalism’s Master of Professional Studies track, a joint initiative from Merrill and the UMD College of Information Studies, and is available in both blended, online, and in-person formats.

Journalism coursework is comprehensive and contemporary, with a range of topics to choose from. Students can take classes such as Multimedia Storytelling, Audience and Analytics, Newsroom Management, and Mobile Journalism. This approach allows them to prepare for their future careers using realistic, practical methods.

Sports journalism students will find the Povich Center for Sports Journalism, one of the program’s highlights, particularly appealing. The center is unparalleled in its coverage of this area. Prospective political reporters will benefit from the program’s proximity to Washington, D.C., as well as its student-run news service, which is so successful that it now reports to the Associated Press.

Merrill provides an abundance of valuable experiences to its graduate students, such as its investigative journalism center, study abroad opportunities, and professional faculty, among others. Additionally, its retention rates, internship programs, and real-world approach ensure that students are prepared for a career in journalism.

Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism (Evanston, IL)

Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications is a highly reputable institution that offers a one-year Master of Science in Journalism with a variety of specializations. The school has campuses all over the world, offering students unique opportunities to explore different cultures while they study. Medill has a range of research centers that students can access for networking, customer engagement research, and more. The school has produced famous writers and journalists and continues to be a leading institution in the field of journalism.

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