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2021 Best Communication & Media Studies Schools

616 Colleges
$32,728 Avg Salary
$24,931 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Communication & Media Studies School for You

Communication & Media Studies is the #15 most popular major in the country with 68,301 degrees and certificates awarded in 2018-2019.

There are lots of options to pick from today when trying to decide which program is right for you. With more and more schools offering online options, you could even register for a great program on the other side of the country. On top of that, there are a considerable number of trade schools that offer fast-track entry to many fields.

To assist you in seeing some of the education options that are available to you, Course Advisor has created its Best Communication & Media Studies Schools ranking. Our analysis looked at 616 schools in the United States to see which programs offered the best educational experiences for students.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best Communication & Media Studies Schools in the United States

The colleges and universities below are the best for communications majors pursuing a .

Top 25 Top Schools in Communications

#1

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Our 2021 rankings named University of Pennsylvania the best school in the United States for communication and media studies students. Located in the large city of Philadelphia, UPenn is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

Communications majors at UPenn take out an average of $19,500 in student loans while working on their egree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $202.

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#2

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Cornell University. It ranked #2 on our 2021 Best Communication & Media Studies Schools list. Located in the city of Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population.

After completing their degree, communications graduates from Cornell carry an average student debtload of $13,500. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $140, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#3

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Boston College. The school came in at #3 on this year’s Best Communication & Media Studies Schools list. Boston College is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Chestnut Hill.

On average, communications graduates from Boston College take out $15,500 in student loans while working on their degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $161, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#4

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

A rank of #4 on this year’s list means Northwestern University is a great place for communication and media studies students. Northwestern U is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Evanston.

The average amount in student loans that communications majors at Northwestern U take out is $32,012. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $363, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#5

DePauw University

Greencastle, IN

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend DePauw University. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Communication & Media Studies Schools list. Located in the distant town of Greencastle, DePauw is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

After completing their degree, communications graduates from DePauw carry an average student debtload of $26,000. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $270.

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#6

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Stanford University landed the #6 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best communication and media studies programs. Stanford is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Stanford.

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University of Michigan - Ann Arbor came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Communication & Media Studies Schools ranking. U of Michigan is a fairly large public school located in the midsize city of Ann Arbor.

The average amount in student loans that communications majors at U of Michigan take out is $16,374. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $170.

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Columbia University in the City of New York came in at #8 in this year’s edition of the Best Communication & Media Studies Schools ranking. Columbia is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of New York.

After completing their degree, communications graduates from Columbia carry an average student debtload of $69,497. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $810.

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#9

Drake University

Des Moines, IA

With a ranking of #9, Drake University did quite well on this year’s best schools for communication and media studies students. Drake is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Des Moines.

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#10

Villanova University

Villanova, PA

Villanova University came in at #10 in this year’s edition of the Best Communication & Media Studies Schools ranking. Located in the suburb of Villanova, Villanova is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

After completing their degree, communications graduates from Villanova carry an average student debtload of $26,921. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $279.

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#11

Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT

Fairfield University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for communication and media studies students. It came in at #11 on the list. Located in the large suburb of Fairfield, Fairfield U is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

The average amount in student loans that communications majors at Fairfield U take out is $26,975. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $280.

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#12

Northeastern University

Boston, MA

Northeastern University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for communication and media studies students. It came in at #12 on the list. Northeastern is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Boston.

Communications majors at Northeastern take out an average of $30,154 in student loans while working on their egree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $336, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#13

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, CA

Santa Clara University landed the #13 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best communication and media studies programs. SCU is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of Santa Clara.

After completing their degree, communications graduates from SCU carry an average student debtload of $18,742. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $195.

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#14

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC

Wake Forest University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for communication and media studies students. It came in at #14 on the list. Located in the medium-sized city of Winston-Salem, Wake Forest University is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population.

While working on their degree, communications majors at Wake Forest University accumulate an average of around $19,722 in student debt. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $205.

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#15

Boston University

Boston, MA

Boston University ranked #15 on this year’s Best Communication & Media Studies Schools list. Located in the large city of Boston, Boston U is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

While working on their degree, communications majors at Boston U accumulate an average of around $24,500 in student debt. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $254.

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#16

George Washington University

Washington, DC

George Washington University landed the #16 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best communication and media studies programs. GWU is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Washington.

Communications majors at GWU take out an average of $20,625 in student loans while working on their egree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $214.

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With a ranking of #17, University of St Thomas Minnesota did quite well on this year’s best schools for communication and media studies students. UST MN is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Saint Paul.

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University of California - Berkeley came in at #18 in this year’s edition of the Best Communication & Media Studies Schools ranking. Located in the city of Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public school with a very large student population.

While working on their degree, communications majors at UC Berkeley accumulate an average of around $15,000 in student debt. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $156.

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#19

University of Kansas

Lawrence, KS

University of Kansas did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for communication and media studies students. It came in at #19 on the list. KU is a very large public school located in the small city of Lawrence.

While working on their degree, communications majors at KU accumulate an average of around $22,045 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $229.

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With a ranking of #20, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities did quite well on this year’s best schools for communication and media studies students. UMN Twin Cities is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Minneapolis.

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#21

University of Delaware

Newark, DE

University of Delaware ranked #21 on this year’s Best Communication & Media Studies Schools list. Located in the suburb of Newark, U of Delaware is a public college with a fairly large student population.

Communications majors at U of Delaware take out an average of $24,000 in student loans while working on their egree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $249.

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Colorado State University - Global Campus ranked #22 on this year’s Best Communication & Media Studies Schools list. Located in the large city of Greenwood Village, Colorado State University - Global Campus is a public school with a large student population.

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#23

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University ranked #23 on this year’s Best Communication & Media Studies Schools list. Johns Hopkins is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Baltimore.

While working on their degree, communications majors at Johns Hopkins accumulate an average of around $36,282 in student debt. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $423.

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#24

Bryant University

Smithfield, RI

Bryant University came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Best Communication & Media Studies Schools ranking. Bryant is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Smithfield.

While working on their degree, communications majors at Bryant accumulate an average of around $27,000 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $280.

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#25

Saint Anselm College

Manchester, NH

With a ranking of #25, Saint Anselm College did quite well on this year’s best schools for communication and media studies students. St. Anselm College is a small private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized suburb of Manchester.

While working on their degree, communications majors at St. Anselm College accumulate an average of around $27,000 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $280.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Communication & Media Studies Schools

#27

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA
#28

Furman University

Greenville, SC
#30

Denison University

Granville, OH
#31

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA
#36

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, ND
#37

Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, TX
#40

Loyola University Maryland

Baltimore, MD
#41

University of Dayton

Dayton, OH
#43

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ
#47

North Central College

Naperville, IL
#49

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI
#50

Elon University

Elon, NC

Remaining Award Winners

This section shows the rest of the schools awarded a Best Communication & Media Studies Schools badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 616 different United States communication and media studies schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette, IN
52 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
53 Stonehill College Easton, MA
54 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
55 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
56 Central New Mexico Community College Albuquerque, NM
57 Gustavus Adolphus College Saint Peter, MN
58 University of California - Davis Davis, CA
59 University of New Hampshire - Main Campus Durham, NH
60 University of California - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
61 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI
62 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
63 Augustana College Rock Island, IL
64 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
65 Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA
66 Muhlenberg College Allentown, PA
67 Arizona State University - Skysong Scottsdale, AZ
68 St Lawrence University Canton, NY
69 Hobart and William Smith Colleges Geneva, NY
70 CUNY Graduate School and University Center New York, NY
71 University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
72 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
73 University of Georgia Athens, GA
74 Marist College Poughkeepsie, NY
75 Wheaton College Illinois Wheaton, IL
76 University of Washington - Tacoma Campus Tacoma, WA
77 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
78 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
79 Manhattan College Riverdale, NY
80 Metropolitan State University Saint Paul, MN
81 Randolph - Macon College Ashland, VA
82 Christopher Newport University Newport News, VA
83 John Carroll University University Heights, OH
84 American University Washington, DC
85 Lake Forest College Lake Forest, IL
86 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
87 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
88 University of Washington - Bothell Campus Bothell, WA
89 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA
90 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR
91 Iowa State University Ames, IA
92 University of Wisconsin - La Crosse La Crosse, WI

Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Communication & Media Studies Schools award.

Rank College Location
93 Elizabethtown College Elizabethtown, PA
94 Towson University Towson, MD
95 Ithaca College Ithaca, NY
96 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
97 California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA
98 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
99 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Denver, CO
100 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
101 Winona State University Winona, MN
102 Saint Mary’s College Notre Dame, IN
103 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
104 North Dakota State University - Main Campus Fargo, ND
105 Edgewood College Madison, WI
106 Marquette University Milwaukee, WI
107 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
108 University of Maryland - University College Adelphi, MD
109 Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA
110 Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia, PA
111 DeSales University Center Valley, PA
112 Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL
113 Pennsylvania State University - World Campus University Park, PA
114 University of California - San Diego La Jolla, CA
115 Saint Norbert College De Pere, WI
116 Truman State University Kirksville, MO
117 Concordia College at Moorhead Moorhead, MN
118 Creighton University Omaha, NE
119 Eastern Illinois University Charleston, IL
120 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, CO
121 Salisbury University Salisbury, MD
122 Fordham University Bronx, NY
123 Ramapo College of New Jersey Mahwah, NJ

Communication & Media Studies by Region

View the Best Communication & Media Studies Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Communication & Media Studies is one of 5 different types of programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Public Relations & Advertising 20,156
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 16,150
Journalism 15,466
Communication & Journalism (Other) 1,784
Publishing 297

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to UNU-WIDER from Helsinki, Finland.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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