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14 Best Master’s in Journalism Programs in 2021

August 6, 2021 | Staff Writers

Masters in Journalism
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BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Those seeking to earn a Master’s degree in journalism will find accredited programs listed below.  They are ranked according to a matrix using the cost, faculty to student ratio, and the graduation rate.  Institutions that are more affordable will rank higher.  Programs with a low student to faculty ratio will also rank higher.  Those with high graduation rates rank high as well.  With these three key items of information an overall ranking is taken for the school and their Master’s in Journalism program.   

Here are the 14 Best Master’s in Journalism Programs!

1. University of Missouri

A public research institution, the University of Missouri is a land-grant institution and is the largest institution for higher learning in Missouri.  The University of Missouri offers a unique opportunity for students training in journalism with the only network television station used to train students.  THere are a few paths for those seeking to earn a Master’s degree in Journalism; a traditional on campus MA in Journalism, Online MA in Journalism, and a MA in Journalism Accelerated Program.  Students also have access to programs in Washington D.C.,New York, and Brussels.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Columbia, Missouri
  • Resident Tuition: $7,442
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $7,442
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 67.9%

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

A public research institution, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers an education equivalent to that of an Ivy League.  Students can study full time on campus or online if they are professional working adults.  The journalism programs prepare students for careers in journalism.  Students will engage in courses across topics and platforms.  Students will learn more deeply the facets of research, writing, editing, and reporting.  A sampling of courses include media law, multimedia storytelling, advanced reporting, and more.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Resident Tuition: $7,442
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $15,726
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 14 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 91.1%

3. University of Maryland

A public research institution, the University of Maryland was established in 1856 and has since become a global leader in research and innovation, it is home to 41,000 students.  Those seeking to earn a Master’s degree in Journalism have two options at the University of Maryland, they can earn a Master of Arts in Journalism or a Master of Journalism.  The Master’s degree is a research oriented program that will culminate with a thesis.  The latter program does not require a thesis to complete the program and is designed particularly for working journalists.  A sampling of courses include New Videography, Mass Media History, Advanced Online News Bureau, and Long Form Broadcast Journalism.  

At A Glance

  • Location: College Park, Maryland
  • Resident Tuition: $8,772
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $19,500
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 18 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 85.3%

4. Stanford University

A private research university, Stanford University was founded in 1855 and has since become a globally recognized research and teaching institution.  Stanford University offers a Master of Arts in Journalism that utilizes a data driven approach.  With this multimedia approach using the latest technology students will participate in data collection and interpretation of their data. Courses include feature storytelling, news app building, data reporting, investigative reporting and more.  In addition to courses in journalism students will have opportunities to gain knowledge and skills in various software programs such as Python, WordPress, Jekyll, GitHub, and Final Cut Pro X.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Palo Alto, California
  • Resident Tuition: $18,105
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $18,105
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 5 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 94%

5. Columbia University

A private Ivy League research university, Columbia University was established in 1754 and is the oldest institution for higher learning in New York.  The Columbia Journalism School offers three Master’s programs; a Master’s of Arts in Journalism, a Master’s of Science in Journalism, and a Master of Science in Journalism.  Students of MA programs generally have a few years of experience behind them prior to applying for the program.  Those applying to the MS program have less experience or are individuals who are making a career change.  Students can customize their courses to meet their career goals.  Required courses will vary by degree program.   

At A Glance

  • Location: New York, New York
  • Resident Tuition: $49,968
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $49,968
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 6 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 95%

6. University of California Berkeley

A public research institution, the University of California Berkeley was established in 1868 and was California’s first land-grant University.  Students seeking a Master in Journalism degree at UC Berkeley will participate in a rigorous program with small class sizes.  Students will be mentored by professors that are practicing journalists.  Students must be prepared to participate in a summer internship where they practice the skills they learn.  Students have options to study various platforms such as narrative writing, audio, documentary, photo-journailsm, new media, and video journalism.  Students will take two years to complete this program.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Berkeley, California
  • Resident tuition: $13,998.75
  • Nonresident tuition: $20,121.25
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 4 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: ~100%

7. Northwestern University

A private research institution, Northwestern University was established in 1851 to provide quality higher education to the Northwest Territory.  Northwestern offers a rigorous Master of Science in Journalism with various areas of specialization.  Students can choose from the following areas to specialize; magazine, sports media, media, innovation and content strategy, health, environmental, and science and more.  Students can complete the program in one year and have the choice to participate in an optional fifth quarter where they go abroad and gain professional experience.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Evanston, Illinois
  • Resident Tuition: $56,691
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $56,691
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 6 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 93.5%

8. New York University

A private research institution, New York University was established with the intent to admit all based on merit rather than class or birthright.  New York University is home to the Carter Journalism Institute.  Students seeking to earn a Master of Arts in Journalism will find a unique program that allows students to study according to their topical or methodical interests.  Students will learn at the hands of experienced and accomplished faculty that have been and are currently active in their career as journalists.  A sampling of the possible concentrations offers include Culture Reporting and Criticism, Reporting the Nation and New York, Global and Joint Program Studies, and many more.  Students will also have opportunities to be actively publishing during their 16 months of coursework.  

At A Glance

  • Location: New York City, New York
  • Resident Tuition: $53,308
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $53,308
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 9 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 85.4%

9. University of Texas at Austin

A public research university, the University of Texas at Austin was founded in 1883 and has grown to become one of the largest and best institutes for higher learning in the nation. Students seeking to earn an affordable Master of Arts in Journalism will find two tracks to earn that degree.

The Professional Master’s Track is designed for three types of students: 

  • Students who have little journalistic background but want to switch careers entirely, such as from engineering, political science, or business to journalism.
  • Students who already have an undergraduate journalism degree and/or professional experience, who want to expand and focus their abilities, or switch career paths within journalism, for example, from daily journalism to foreign correspondence, or from writing to visual storytelling.
  • Students with journalism experience in non-U.S. media systems seeking to develop an understanding of the purpose, principles, and process of journalism in the U.S. 

The Master’s track in Research and Theory is recommended for people looking toward a Ph.D. program or who desire a strong theoretical grounding in the field

At A Glance

  • Location: Austin, Texas
  • Resident Tuition: $4,998/semester or $9,996/academic year
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $9,408/semester or $18,816/academic year
  • Faculty to (MA) Student Ratio: 2:1
  • Financial Aid: Yes*
  • *Primarily: Federal Student Aid, Secondarily: Limited Teaching Assistant opportunities
  • Graduation Rate: 80.8%

10. University of Illinois

A public research institution, the University of Illinois was established in 1867 and has since grown to become a leading institution in teaching, research, and public engagement.  Those seeking a Master’s degree in Journalism will find two paths, a MS in Journalism and a Master of Journalism.  The latter is a fifth year program offered to undergraduate students that are earning a bachelor degree in journalism.  Those applying for the MS in Journalism degree is designed for those with professional experience in the field.  Students enjoy a small college feel with all the resources of a large university.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
  • Resident Tuition: $13,980
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $29,268
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 85.2%

11. American University

A private institution, American University is a highly ranked institution that leads innovative student-led research.  American University offers a Master of Arts in Journalism and Public Affairs.  This program is designed to prepare students for careers as news and information professionals.  Students can focus their studies in one of three areas; investigative journalism, broadcast journalism, or international journalism.  Students will hone their skills though courses that involve intensive writing, editing, production, and research. Students can complete the program in as little as 11 months.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Washington D.C.
  • Resident Tuition: $1,812 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $1,812 Per Credit Hour
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 11 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 81%

12. CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY offers a unique and evolving program in journalism.  Established in 2006, programs are designed to meet the latest technologies and media outlets available in today’s world.  Students learn the latest storytelling, technology, and entrepreneurial skills along with the technical skills of reporting and writing.  Students have two master’s tracks to choose from — both are 16 months. There is also a bilingual program in English and Spanish. Students also complete a 10-week summer internship.

At A Glance

  • Location: New York City, New York
  • Resident Tuition: $18,330
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $27,480
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 14 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 53%

13. University of Wisconsin

A public institution, the University of Wisconsin was established in 1848 as a public land-grant institution that provides world-class education, research and outreach.  The University of Wisconsin is home to the top-ranked school of journalism and mass communication and is one of the oldest in the country.  Learning is grounded in the liberal arts developing critical thinking skills, research and innovation.  Graduates are prepared for careers in a fast paced and evolving world of communication and journalism.    

At A Glance

  • Location: Madison, Wisconsin
  • Resident Tuition: $807 Per Credit Hour
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $1,640
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 17 to 1

14. Syracuse University

A private research institution, Syracuse University was founded in 1831 in part by the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary.  Syracuse University is an innovative institution where students can customize their degrees both on campus and online.  Those seeking to customize a Journalism degree will enroll in the Master of Arts Professional Degree Program.  They can then tailor their degree to Art Journalism, Digital Journalism, or Magazine, Newspaper, and Online journalism.  Each degree will prepare students to work with the various forms of media available in today’s evolving world of journalism.  Students can expect to complete their degree program in 12 to 14 months.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Syracuse, New York
  • Resident Tuition: $30,294
  • Non-Resident Tuition: $30,294
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 82.1%

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BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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