Introduction to Journalism Degrees and Programs

Journalism comprises the investigation and reporting of significant events through media channels such as websites, newspapers and broadcast television. In journalism degree programs, you’ll learn how to spot a story, conduct interviews and gather data, and write concisely so that the important elements of your story are comprehensible to both deep readers and headline skimmers. Journalism and the media are changing fast as the internet grows more accessible, and journalism degree programs are changing to accommodate new distribution paradigms. Any journalism program should include courses on web development, photo and video editing, and social media usage, as well as cornerstones like writing and the ethics of reporting.

Online Journalism Schools and Degrees

With blogs, social media, and bookmarking websites, communication is increasingly becoming dependent on the internet. Education is no different as more accredited schools are offering Journalism and Communication degrees through online programs. Click on any links found below to request free information on a school's tuition, programs, accreditation, and more.

Kaplan University — For aspiring journalists seeking a communications degree, Kaplan University offers two such programs, the BS in Communication/Organization Communication and the Advanced Start BS in Communications for students who have already earned an associate's or bachelor's degree. Students enrolled in online programs engage classes through the use of online communities of peers, multimedia, and hands-on assignments. Read more about Kaplan University.

Ashford University — Ashford's bachelor's degree program in either journalism & mass communications or communication studies is a good fit for anyone pursuing a career in business, communication management, media, journalism, or public policy. Upon completion of either program, graduates are highly valued and sought after in the job market in all of these industries. Ashford also offers a similar degree in English/Language Arts that is geared toward individuals interested in a liberal arts education. Read more about Ashford University.

Full Sail University — The MS in new media journalism from Full Sail University allows journalists to keep their skills sharp all while meeting the demands required by today's media consumers. The degree program combines traditional methods of journalism with emerging technology. You'll learn how to produce multimedia content, use social media to engage audiences and promote your work, and publish and distribute content across digital delivery platforms. Read more about Full Sail University.

Southern New Hampshire University — Southern New Hampshire University offers a MA degree in communication that combines courses in communication with a solid foundation in the liberal arts. Graduates of this program will be prepared to enter careers in advertising, business writing, corporate communications, journalism, and more. Read more about Southern New Hampshire University.

Kent State University — Kent State offers a master's degree of Journalism and Communication. This degree is specializes in Public Relations, preparing students for managerial positions or in-house PR positions with courses on social media, branding, strategy campaigns, and crisis management. This is one of only a few online masters of journalism programs available. Read more about Kent State University.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Journalism Degrees

What exactly is a journalism degree?


A journalism degree is a degree that can help anyone who is interested in covering news in a variety of different venues. Journalism colleges typically offer courses that entail a significant amount of writing. This is to prepare students for journalism careers in newspapers, magazines, or website publications. Depending on the type of degree, graduates can pursue careers in everything from print to broadcast journalism. Journalism degrees typically take anywhere from two to four years for completion. This time varies in accordance with the school and any previous credit the student may have.

What types of degrees are available in this field?

The vast majority of journalism degrees are centered around the development of communication skills. English and communication are two main focuses by many of the top journalism schools. There are also other related degrees that students can apply to the journalism career, such as public relations, graphic design, and digital film. Having a command of the English language is a must for any aspiring journalist. It is essential to evaluate alternatives so that students may choose the best journalism degree for long-term career goals. It is important to note, that in order to pursue these degrees, students should have at least completed high school or passed their GED. This is a basic prerequisite for any journalism program, online or traditional.

What is the average salary of someone with an online journalism degree?

Because of the sheer amount and variety of journalism positions available, salaries can vary widely. The median salary for news reporters and other correspondents was $45,530 in 2012, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For broadcast news analysts, the median salary in 2010 was $54,140. The median salary overall for the industry was $36,000 in 2010, so 50 percent of people in this field earned higher salaries than that, and the other 50 percent were below that mark. Salaries are very dependent on many factors, especially when it comes to this field. Careers can stretch over a wide range, so it is difficult to put down one cohesive salary for students to shoot for. For newscasters and reporters working for bigger networks, higher salaries can also be expected. Some of the factors that may affect a journalist’s salary include:

  • Position
  • Company
  • Location
  • Education
  • Experience

What schools offer journalism degrees?

There are many top journalism schools to choose from when evaluating options. Some schools offer only communications degrees, while others have specific journalism degrees tailored to fit the needs of their students. It should be noted that obtaining a journalism degree online is an excellent option for those who may have other commitments such as family or work. The online option allows for more flexibility where students can attend courses on their own schedule and submit assignments online, without having to show up to classes. The following schools offer excellent courses and degree programs for hopeful news leaders:

  • University of Phoenix: The University of Phoenix is one of the largest universities in the world, and students can benefit from vast resources as a result. For journalism, the U of P has an associate and bachelor level degrees in communications that students can work towards.
  • Ashford University: Founded in 1918, Ashford University has been helping students achieve their goals for almost a century. Aspiring journalists can enroll in degree programs for a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies, or English and language arts.
  • Walden University: Walden University is one of the premier online institutions offering degrees that can help journalists achieve their personal career goals. Walden offers a BS in Communication degree program that will cover courses essential to a journalist.
  • Full Sail University: Full Sail University offers students a wealth of different options for pursuing a degree in the entertaining and new media industries. Students can choose to enroll in a program online or on-site at the Florida campus.
  • Kent State University: This institution offers an impressive array of degree programs, both online and one of seven locations throughout Ohio. Kent State has received numerous awards for its state-of-the-art academic facilities and quality education.
  • Kaplan University: Kaplan University is a well-known university offering a variety of degree programs, including options for students interested in journalism and mass communication. Many of Kaplan’s programs are offered online or at one of their many campuses nationwide.
  • Southern New Hampshire University: SNHU offers degree programs online or on-site at their campus location in Manchester, New Hampshire. For those interested in pursuing a career in communication, SNHU offers an online bachelor degree program in communication designed for the busy student in mind.

There are many great options available to prospective journalism students. Each college or university has its own unique programs so it’s important to reach each school carefully to find one that will prepare you for your desired career. Online programs offer students the opportunity to focus on their studies while earning their degree. So if you’re currently working and need additional flexibility, you might want to consider distance learning. Check out our video to learn more about what a journalism degree can do for you.

What financial aid is available for schools offering online journalism degrees?

Degree programs carry with them a significant cost. For students interested in obtaining a journalism degree, this need only be an obstacle and not a barrier. There are a wide variety of avenues students can pursue to help finance the cost of an education. The first avenue, and one that every student should take, is to fill out the FAFSA. This is a free federal application that assesses a student’s financial assets in order to determine how much federal aid they qualify for. The other avenues are seeing what kinds of journalism scholarships and grants are available for journalism students. There are a variety of scholarships that can be awarded based on an essay, one’s racial background, economic status, history, and much more. Some of these scholarships include:

  • The Al Neuharth Free Spirit Journalism Scholars Grant
  • The Inter-American Press Association Scholarships
  • The Washington Post High School Writing Seminar and Scholarship Program
  • The Jack R. Howard Fellowships in International Journalism
  • The National Press Club Scholarship for Journalism Diversity
  • The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Find an online journalism school

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