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2021 Best Journalism Schools

242 Colleges
$31,042 Avg Salary
$24,628 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Journalism School for You

In 2018-2019, 15,466 people earned a degree or certificate in journalism, making the major the #76 most popular in the United States.

Today's students have lots of options to pick from when considering higher education opportunities. You're no longer limited to schools in your local area, either, since online programs are becoming more prevalent. Or you may find the programs at a trade school to be a better alternative for you.

To assist you in seeing some of the education options that are available to you, Course Advisor has created its Best Journalism Schools ranking. This report analyzed 242 schools in the United States to see which ones offered the best programs for students.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best Journalism Schools in the United States

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

Top 25 Top Schools in Journalism

Our analysis found Washington and Lee University to be the best school for journalism students who want to pursue a degree in the United States. Located in the town of Lexington, Washington and Lee is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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#2

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Northwestern University. The school came in at #2 on this year’s Best Journalism Schools list. Located in the small city of Evanston, Northwestern U is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population.

On average, journalism graduates from Northwestern U take out $33,866 in student loans while working on their degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $385.

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#3

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

The excellent programs at Georgetown University helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best journalism schools in the United States. Georgetown is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Washington.

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You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Northeastern University. The school came in at #4 on this year’s Best Journalism Schools list. Located in the large city of Boston, Northeastern is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population.

The average amount in student loans that journalism majors at Northeastern take out is $21,901. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $227.

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You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend George Washington University. The school came in at #5 on this year’s Best Journalism Schools list. Located in the city of Washington, GWU is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

Journalism majors at GWU take out an average of $25,000 in student loans while working on their egree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $259.

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University of Minnesota - Twin Cities landed the #6 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best journalism programs. Located in the large city of Minneapolis, UMN Twin Cities is a public school with a very large student population.

The average amount in student loans that journalism majors at UMN Twin Cities take out is $19,873. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $206.

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University of Wisconsin - Madison came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Journalism Schools ranking. Wisconsin is a fairly large public school located in the city of Madison.

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University of Missouri - Columbia landed the #8 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best journalism programs. Mizzou is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized city of Columbia.

While working on their degree, journalism majors at Mizzou accumulate an average of around $22,125 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 $243.

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#9

Drake University

Des Moines, IA

Drake University came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Best Journalism Schools ranking. Located in the medium-sized city of Des Moines, Drake is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

The average amount in student loans that journalism majors at Drake take out is $16,000. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $166.

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#10

Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT

Fairfield University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for journalism students. It came in at #10 on the list. Fairfield U is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Fairfield.

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Columbia University in the City of New York did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for journalism students. It came in at #11 on the list. Located in the large city of New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

While working on their degree, journalism majors at Columbia accumulate an average of around $60,500 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 $705.

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University of Southern California did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for journalism students. It came in at #12 on the list. Located in the city of Los Angeles, USC is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population.

The average amount in student loans that journalism majors at USC take out is $34,522. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $390, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#13

Villanova University

Villanova, PA

Villanova University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for journalism students. It came in at #13 on the list. Villanova is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Villanova.

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#14

University of Kansas

Lawrence, KS

University of Kansas did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for journalism students. It came in at #14 on the list. Located in the small city of Lawrence, KU is a public school with a fairly large student population.

While working on their degree, journalism majors at KU accumulate an average of around $21,672 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 $225.

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#15

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY

Syracuse University landed the #15 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best journalism programs. Syracuse is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Syracuse.

While working on their degree, journalism majors at Syracuse accumulate an average of around $31,820 in student debt. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $354, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#16

Elon University

Elon, NC

Elon University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for journalism students. It came in at #16 on the list. Located in the midsize suburb of Elon, Elon is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population.

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#17

Boston University

Boston, MA

Boston University came in at #17 in this year’s edition of the Best Journalism Schools ranking. Boston U is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Boston.

The average amount in student loans that journalism majors at Boston U take out is $34,020. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $381.

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University of Connecticut ranked #18 on this year’s Best Journalism Schools list. UCONN is a fairly large public school located in the large suburb of Storrs.

The average amount in student loans that journalism majors at UCONN take out is $21,500. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $223.

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The University of Texas at Austin did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for journalism students. It came in at #19 on the list. UT Austin is a fairly large public school located in the city of Austin.

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#20

North Central College

Naperville, IL

North Central College ranked #20 on this year’s Best Journalism Schools list. Located in the medium-sized city of Naperville, North Central is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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With a ranking of #21, Indiana University - Bloomington did quite well on this year’s best schools for journalism students. Located in the city of Bloomington, IU Bloomington is a public school with a very large student population.

After completing their degree, journalism graduates from IU Bloomington carry an average student debtload of $19,500. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $202.

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#22

Quinnipiac University

Hamden, CT

With a ranking of #22, Quinnipiac University did quite well on this year’s best schools for journalism students. Located in the suburb of Hamden, Quinnipiac is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

On average, journalism graduates from Quinnipiac take out $27,000 in student loans while working on their degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $280, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#23

Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, TX

Texas Christian University came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Journalism Schools ranking. Located in the city of Fort Worth, TCU is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

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Georgia College & State University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for journalism students. It came in at #24 on the list. Located in the town of Milledgeville, Georgia College is a public college with a medium-sized student population.

Journalism majors at Georgia College take out an average of $24,625 in student loans while working on their egree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $256, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Southern Methodist University landed the #25 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best journalism programs. SMU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Dallas.

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Rest of the Top Best Journalism Schools

#26

St. Bonaventure University

Saint Bonaventure, NY
#29

University of Georgia

Athens, GA
#30

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI
#31

Ithaca College

Ithaca, NY
#35

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for Journalism students that almost earned our Best Journalism Schools award.

Rank College Location
37 Ball State University Muncie, IN
38 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
39 Pennsylvania State University - University Park University Park, PA
40 Marquette University Milwaukee, WI
41 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
42 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA
43 Arizona State University - Downtown Phoenix Phoenix, AZ
44 Baylor University Waco, TX
45 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
46 CUNY Graduate School and University Center New York, NY
47 Auburn University Auburn, AL
48 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, CO

Journalism by Region

View the Best Journalism Schools for a specific region near you.

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

Journalism is one of 5 different types of programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Communication & Media Studies 68,301
Public Relations & Advertising 20,156
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 16,150
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 Jfurrer.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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