Top 11 Graduate Journalism Programs

There are lists upon lists for nearly every professional school spread across the internet, but for some reason it’s incredibly difficult to come across any definitive list of top graduate journalism schools in the country.

When I first started looking for a program a couple years back I couldn’t find any recent list of top performing, innovative programs with discernible information laid out.  I knew that I wanted a hands-on program, but I also wanted to attend an accredited and respected institution.

I came across a ton of “Top Undergraduate Journalism Schools” lists, but not much of anything for Graduate schools.  To help out those who find themselves in a similar position I’ve put together a list of the top graduate level journalism schools, to make the hunt a little easier.  I weighed the pros and cons of each school taking into account the success of alums, professors, and curriculum, to come up with a list of the 10 most groundbreaking programs.  They’re listed below in alphabetical order.

American University – Washington D.C.

The M.A. program is 11 months long and starts with a three-week boot camp.  Students hone their digital storytelling skills through intensive classes in writing, editing, production and research.

CUNY Graduate School of Journalism – New York, NY

The CUNY J-School is situated in midtown Manhattan a few blocks from Times Square.  The program offers three tracks with two one-and-a-half year M.A. programs in journalism and entrepreneurial journalism, and another year long program in social journalism.  Students also work a three-month long internship between their spring and final fall semester with a guaranteed $3,000 paid stipend.  (This is my alma mater.)

Columbia Graduate School of Journalism – New York, NY

The Columbia j-school is another example of an immersive program that allows students to hit the ground with reporting in multiple mediums.  Whether it video or writing, students are fully trained during the two-semester program to follow a story through from start to finish.

New York University – New York, NY

The j-school at NYU offers 10 courses of study including business and economic reporting, cultural reporting and criticism and news and documentary to name a few.

Northwestern University – Evanston, IL

There are two different programs offered at the Medill School at Northwestern, one in journalism and another in integrated marketing communication.  The year long program offers tracks in social justice, sports and global affairs reporting, to name a few.

Syracuse University – Syracuse, NY

The Newhouse School offers 13 professional tracks for students ranging from 12 to 14 months long, and 18 months for photography students.

UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism – Berkeley, CA

The j-school at the University of California offers a two-years masters program in journalism.

University of Maryland – College Park, MD

The program at the Philip Marrill School of Journalism is broken down into three tracks; multi-platform journalism, broadcast news and returning journalists for newsroom veterans.  The program culminates in either a master of journalism degree or a master of arts degree (thesis included) and range from 12 to 15 months long.

University of Missouri – Columbia, MO

The Missouri School of Journalism awarded the first masters and doctoral degrees in journalism in the world back in 1921 and 1934 respectively.  Since then, many students have gone through their doors to study one of the 20-plus two-years masters programs, two online masters programs or six doctoral programs, all in journalism.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Chapel Hill, NC

The school offers two master’s degrees and one doctoral degree in mass communication and journalism.

University of Wisconsin – Madison, WI

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication offer a handful of master and doctoral level programs for students interested in taking their learning to the next level.

Follow Sean on Twitter and Instagram @BuffaloFlynn.

About Sean Flynn

Sean Flynn is a recent graduate from City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. His work has appeared in The Buffalo News, Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Times 'Fort Greene Local', The Daily Meal, and
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