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Why This Matters


    The field of media and communications is growing at 4% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth is expected to create 46,200 new jobs in the field by 2029.


    The public relations (PR) field is forecasted to grow 7%, which is faster than average. A degree in journalism is excellent preparation for a career in PR.


    Journalists who have a Master’s in Journalism earn an average yearly salary of $65,626, compared to an average salary of $60,128 for those who have a Bachelor’s in Journalism according to Payscale.

Our Research

We reviewed many Master’s in Journalism degrees, including both Master of Science (MS) and Master of Arts (MA) degrees. The former tend to be more research-heavy, while the latter focus more on the humanities side of journalism. Our list of programs includes on-campus, online, and hybrid programs. Online programs may have a brief in-person component.

Every program listed is regionally accredited, which ensures a common standard among programs. Many are also accredited through the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 55 hours to write this article
  • 52 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 161 education programs we compared

The Top 26 Master’s in Journalism Degree Programs

Best Master's in Journalism Degree Programs
Intelligent Pick
The University of Memphis
Best Public Research University
University of Missouri
Most Affordable
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Best Christian University
Regent University
Best Large University
Arizona State University
Best in the Midwest
Ball State University
Best Private University
Emerson College
Best in the South
The University of Alabama
Best Private Research University
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University
Best Ivy League Program
Harvard University
Best Mid-Sized University
Marshall University
Best in the Southeast
UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media
Best Master of Science Degree
Northwestern University
Best in the Southwest
University of Arizona
Best in the West
University of Colorado Boulder
Best for Self-Paced Classes
The University of Oklahoma
Best in the Northeast
Stony Brook University
Best Concentration Options
University of Arkansas
Best BS-to-MS Program
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Best Doctoral Prep Program
The University of Iowa - School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Best for Small Class Sizes
University of Maryland
Best Job Placement Rate
University of Southern California
Best Optionality
University of Wisconsin-Madison

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What You Should Know About This Degree

Shifts in technology and media are changing the landscape of journalism, and this is having a significant impact on available jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a decline in editor, reporter, and correspondent positions.

While these jobs are decreasing, however, new ones are emerging and growing. There remains strong job opportunities in public relations, digital media, and similar fields. A journalism degree is relevant in these fields as well as in more traditional news settings.

As you review different programs, keep these shifting trends in mind, and choose a program that will prepare you for the future of public relations, journalism, and reporting.

Journalism is largely a bachelor-level entry field, and most jobs require only a bachelor’s degree. Having a relevant master’s makes you more competitive in the field, and it may open up some managerial roles.

Experience is critically important in journalism, and many programs include an in-person component as a result. Even online programs may have an in-person internship that must be completed. Check whether a program has any in-person requirement before applying, and make sure your schedule allows time to complete it.

What’s Next?

Ask these questions as you research different Master’s in Journalism degrees:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Some of these programs require a bachelor’s degree in journalism or a related major, while others will admit students with any undergraduate degree. Find out what a program’s requirements are prior to applying, and make sure you meet those prerequisites.
  • How long does it take to complete this degree The majority of these programs are between 30 and 40 credits. This normally takes two years to complete when enrolled full-time.

When you have a list of potential programs, find out what the admissions process entails. You can learn what admissions materials are required and when they must be submitted from each program’s websites or by contacting the school directly.

Also give thought to how you’ll pay for a program. Talk with admissions officers about scholarship and financial aid opportunities. If you’re working, see whether your employer offers tuition reimbursement.

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