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2021 Best Colleges for Communication & Media Studies in California

Communication & Media Studies is a popular major and California is the 1st most popular state for students studying this major. 12,702 of the 66,279 Communication & Media Studies diplomas earned last year were given by schools in California. With so many options it can be a challenge finding the best fit for you. This year's Best Colleges for Communication & Media Studies in California ranking analyzed 41 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in communication and media studies. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 6 colleges for Communication & Media Studies students in California.

Choosing a Great Communication & Media Studies School

Best Colleges for Communication & Media Studies in California The communications program you select can have a big impact on your future. Important measures of a quality communications program can vary widely even among the top schools. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:

Quality Overall is Important

A school that excels in educating for a particular major must be a great school overall as well. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.

Over 80% of the schools in this list are in the top 6% of our overall quality ranking while the lowest ranked school on the list is still in the top 8%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 107 to 44 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Graduates Earn More After College

A communication and media studies degree from schools on this list typically translates into higher than average salaries after graduation. While the average communication and media studies bachelors degree from California colleges results in an average starting salary of $33,640, graduates of colleges on this list average $39,000.

Starting Salary  ( 34686 to 42413 )
$0
$43,800

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Communication & Media Studies students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other communication and media studies students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized communication and media studies related accrediting body.

Our complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for Communication & Media Studies students in California.

Best Schools to Study Communication & Media Studies in California

Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities to study communication and media studies.

Top 10 Best Communications Colleges in California

University of Southern California is one of the best schools in the United States for communication and media studies. Located in the large city Los Angeles, USC is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 40 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means USC is a great school overall.

There are approximately 562 communication and media studies undergrads enrolled in this degree at USC. Communication & Media Studies graduates from University of Southern California receive an earnings boost of about $4,652 above the average earnings of communication and media studies majors.

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Any student pursuing a degree in communication and media studies has to look into University of California - Santa Barbara. Located in the midsize suburb Santa Barbara, UCSB is a public college with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 16th out of 116 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There are roughly 457 communication and media studies undergrads studying this degree at UCSB. Soon after graduating, communications students generally earn around $36,300 at the beginning of their careers.

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#3

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, CA

Santa Clara University is a great decision for individuals pursuing a Communication & Media Studies degree. Located in the midsize city Santa Clara, SCU is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 68 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means SCU is a great school overall.

A popular choice for communication and media studies undergraduates, there are about 130 individuals studying this degree at SCU. Students from the communication and media studies major at Santa Clara University earn $8,452 above the standard graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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University of California - Davis is a wonderful option for students pursuing a Communication & Media Studies major. UC Davis is a fairly large public school located in the small suburb of Davis. This college ranks 11th out of 116 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There are about 323 communication and media studies undergraduates enrolled in this degree at UC Davis. Students from the communication and media studies degree program at University of California - Davis get $3,352 above the typical college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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Located in the medium-sized city Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 69 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UC Berkeley is a great school overall.

University of California - Berkeley is one of the most popular school to study communications in California exceeding 254 graduates last year. University of California - Berkeley communication and media studies majors receive $9,252 more than the typical communications grad.

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UCSD is a very large public school located in the city of La Jolla. This college ranks 12th out of 116 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

A popular choice for communication and media studies undergrads, there are approximately 312 learners enrolled in this program at UCSD. After graduation, communications students usually earn around $33,800 in the first five years of their career.

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#7

Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, CA

Located in the large city Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population. This college ranks 17th out of 116 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

A preferred choice for communication and media studies undergraduates, there are roughly 158 individuals studying this degree at Loyola Marymount. Communication & Media Studies graduates from Loyola Marymount University receive an earnings boost of about $2,052 above the average income of communication and media studies graduates.

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#8

University of San Francisco

San Francisco, CA

USFCA is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of San Francisco. This college ranks 26th out of 116 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

University of San Francisco is a fairly popular school to study communications in California with over 125 graduations last year. After getting their bachelor's degree, communications students typically earn an average of $32,700 in the first five years of their career.

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San Jose State is a fairly large public school located in the large city of San Jose. This college ranks 48th out of 116 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

A popular major for communication and media studies undergrads, there are about 258 individuals enrolled in this program at San Jose State. Graduates from the communication and media studies program at San Jose State University earn $5,352 more than the typical college grad with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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#10

University of San Diego

San Diego, CA

U of San Diego is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large city of San Diego. This college ranks 21st out of 116 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

A preferred choice for communication and media studies undergrads, there are roughly 105 students enrolled in this degree at U of San Diego. After getting their bachelor's degree, communications students typically make about $33,800 in the first five years of their career.

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Best Communication & Media Studies Colleges in the Far Western US Region

Explore all the Best Communication & Media Studies Colleges in the Far Western US Area or other specific states within that region.

State Colleges Degrees Awarded
Washington 293 1,277
Oregon 252 455
Nevada 190 292
Hawaii 162 264
Alaska 120 14

Communication & Media Studies is one of 5 different types of Communication & Journalism programs to choose from.

Majors Similar to Communications

Related Major Annual Graduates
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 2,615
Journalism 1,672
Public Relations & Advertising 719
Communication & Journalism (Other) 64
Publishing 1

View All Communications Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to UNU-WIDER from Helsinki, Finland. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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