Why This Matters


    A master’s in journalism is a multi-faceted degree that prepares students for entry or advancement in a variety of roles, including reporting, editing, public relations, digital media, education, and more.


    The overall job outlook for employment in media and communications occupations is strong. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the economy will add 27,600 new jobs through 2028.


    A degree in journalism is excellent preparation for a career in public relations and communications. The BLS predicts employment in this field will continue growing at an average pace.

Our Research

This list focuses on master’s degrees in journalism, including Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS) degrees. Master of Science degrees are more research-focused, while Master of Arts degrees are rooted in a humanities framework. Your personal and professional interests will guide which type of degree you choose.

We primarily sought programs that are delivered fully online. Some programs are offered in an on-campus/online hybrid format, while others can only be completed on-campus.

All of the schools are regionally accredited, ensuring that they meet the highest standards for quality postsecondary education. The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) also accredits many of the programs on this list.

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

  • 81 hours to write this article
  • 143 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 274 education programs we compared

The Top 14 Online Master’s in Journalism Degree Programs

Best Online Master's in Journalism Degree Programs
Intelligent Pick
University of Missouri
Most Affordable
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Best Private University
Mississippi College
Best for Sports Writing
The University of Alabama
Best Business Journalism Emphasis
Arizona State University
Best Professional Journalism Emphasis
University of Nebraska
Best Certificate Options
Ball State University
Best Educator Emphasis
Kent State University
Best Accelerated Program
Emerson College
Most Military Friendly
National University
Best Digital Media Emphasis
The University of Memphis
Best Christian University
Regent University
Best Design Emphasis
University of South Florida, Saint Petersburg
Best Ivy League Program
Harvard University

What You Should Know About This Degree

The journalism industry continues to undergo major shifts thanks to technology, media mergers, and the rise of citizen journalism. One side effect of this is the decline of traditional news publications like newspapers and magazines, and, consequently, the loss of journalism jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of editors, reporters, and correspondents will continue to decline throughout the next decade, making this an increasingly competitive field.

Earning a master’s degree, particularly one that focuses on digital and interactive media skills, can give journalists an edge. However, this is a field where hands-on experience is also highly valued. Individuals who are already working in the journalism field should consider whether a graduate degree or additional work experience is the best path to achieving their career goals. Individuals who are looking to enter the journalism field by earning a master’s degree should seek out a program that will give them hands-on experience in the form of an internship or other experiential learning.

Within the journalism industry, the level of degree an individual holds has a minimal impact on their salary. According to Payscale.com, individuals with a master’s in journalism earn a similar wage to those with a bachelor’s in journalism, making return-on-investment another important consideration for those exploring master’s degree options.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Journalism programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Some master’s in journalism programs require students to have an undergraduate degree in journalism or a related field and/or relevant work experience. Check the program’s eligibility requirements before applying to make sure you have the necessary qualifications for admission.
  • Does this program offer the specialization I want? Specializations within journalism can focus on a particular type of journalism, such as business or sports, or cover certain skills, like digital media. If you are looking for a specific concentration as part of your degree, seek out a program that offers that option.

Another important step in this process is reviewing application deadlines and gathering the required application materials, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and writing samples. Each school may have different requirements, so be sure to look at their websites or contact their admissions offices if you have questions.

Now is also a good time to think about financing your master’s degree. If you are currently working, find out if your job offers employee tuition benefits. You can also research scholarships, assistantships, loans, and grants.