As aspiring journalists everyone has dreams, ranging from being the next big name after Woodward and Bernstein, to having a couple of Pulitzer awards to their credit. Journalism has been for years now, the preferred career for men and women who imagine themselves fighting for the rights of the downtrodden, exposing corrupt groups, and bringing about a change in society. Top schools go a long way in helping you achieve this dream. Most hardened journalists will tell you how you cannot learn journalism, and how whatever you learn at these schools will have to be unlearned as soon as you step out into the field. While this may be true, graduating from a top journalism school will help you get that big break you need to start off in the career of your choice in the mass media.
List of Best Journalism Schools
If you want to become a journalist, getting through to one of the top and most sought-after journalism schools in the country should be high in your priority list. In this article, we give you a list of those journalism schools that feature on the top of most rankings. This list is a compilation based on different rankings and studies as conducted by magazines and research groups. The top schools that featured on those lists have made it through to our list of most prestigious journalism schools.
University of Missouri
For several years now, the University of Missouri has been named one of the top 10 journalism schools in the country in several different independently conducted rankings. The School of Journalism affiliated to the university is the oldest journalism school in the country and was founded in 1908. The school offers six Bachelor's degrees and one Master's degree program with almost 20 different specializations to choose from. Students in the program are trained in radio broadcasting, television, digital media, and print media and work with several publications, the primary of which are Columbia Missourian and Global Journalist.
Students from almost all over the world dream of getting into this prestigious journalism school which constantly ranks among the best journalism schools in not only the country, but the world. It only has a graduate program in journalism with a ten month Master of Science in Journalism, a nine month Master of Arts in Journalism and a PhD program. With courses in digital media, news editing, writing, broadcast journalism, magazine writing, etc., the college also conducts seminars and workshops to provide students with practical exposure.
Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute
The Arthur L.Carter Journalism Institute is affiliated to the New York University and offers a graduate program in journalism for students who are looking for a career in journalism. They have specialized courses in business reporting, conflict reporting, and reportage focusing on different parts of the world. The college helps students get internships with different media houses that enables them to put their knowledge to practical use.
Medill School of Journalism
The journalism program offered by the Medill School of Journalism which is affiliated to the Northwestern University is a one year full-time Master of Science. The Master of Science has an option of a fifth quarter wherein students can do an internship in either Washington D.C or any foreign country. They are also allowed to choose a specialization that they can concentrate on and opt for electives like sports reporting, investigative reporting, etc. They do offer a shorter program but that is only for experienced journalists. The Medill school is a regular on lists of top ranking journalism schools in the country.
The Department of Communication of the Stanford University is one of the top schools of journalism in the country. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism and also has a PhD program that allows you to pursue a career in specialized areas of journalism. Being located in the Silicon Valley has ensured that the department has several courses in digital media and web journalism. Social and public affairs journalism though remains an integral part of the curriculum at Stanford university.
The SI Newhouse School of Public Communications offers Master's degrees in different types of journalism including arts journalism, broadcast journalism, newspaper and online journalism and also gives its students hands-on training in the field as reporters and editors. The college also offers help with internships and assists them in getting jobs after graduating from college. Students pursuing a course in broadcast journalism spend a month in Washington DC working with different television news channels honing their skills as reporters.
UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
The Graduate School of Journalism affiliated to the University of California Berkeley offers a two year program which is a Master of Journalism degree. This a full-time course and the school is widely considered to be one of the best journalism schools in California and the rest of the country. Students can choose from specialized degrees in photojournalism, world reportage, scientific journalism, investigative reporting, business reporting, environmental journalism, etc.
Other well-known journalism schools in the country are the Philip Merill College of Journalism affiliated to the University of Maryland, School of Journalism and Mass Communication of the University of North Carolina, and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication of the University of Wisconsin.
On my first day at journalism school, our dean told us that almost 70% of us would quit the field in less than 2 years. We laughed then. After all, this is all we had ever wanted to do. Today, just over four years later, he has been proven right. Most schools will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to enter the field but after that you are on your own. It takes a lot of perseverance, patience, and letting go of things you believe in, to survive in the cutthroat field of journalistic brilliance. Most famous journalists will tell you that. Like they will tell you that if you are in this field, let go of your ideals, dreams, and your social life, while telling you at the same time that there is nothing better than this. Horace Greeley, widely heralded as the greatest editor of his time, very famously said corroborating the same belief, "Journalism will kill you, but it will keep you alive while you are at it."