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2021 Best Colleges for Communication & Media Studies in the Great Lakes Region

Approximately 66,279 communication and media studies degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a daunting task finding the best fit for you. This year's Best Colleges for Communication & Media Studies in the Great Lakes Region ranking analyzed 87 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in communication and media studies. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 13 schools for Communication & Media Studies students in the Great Lakes Region.

Choosing a Great Communication & Media Studies School

Best Colleges for Communication & Media Studies in the Great Lakes Region Your choice of communication and media studies school matters. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. When choosing a school we recommend considering some of the following factors:

A Great Overall School

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To take this into account we include a college's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a combination of various factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 10% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 9%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 158 to 55 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Above Average Earnings After Graduation

Communication & Media Studies graduates from colleges on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. While the average communication and media studies bachelors degree from Great Lakes colleges results in an average starting salary of $32,111, graduates of colleges on this list average $37,769.

Starting Salary  ( 33897 to 39902 )
$0
$43,000

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 full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for Communication & Media Studies students in the Great Lakes Region.

Best Schools to Study Communication & Media Studies in Great Lakes

The following list ranks the best colleges and universities in the U.S. for a Communication & Media Studies degree. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list. Of the 87 schools analyzed, only 13 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 13 Best Communications Colleges in the Great Lakes Region

#1

DePauw University

Greencastle, IN

DePauw University is a great option for students pursuing a Communication & Media Studies degree. Located in the town Greencastle, DePauw is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 50 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means DePauw is a great college overall.

With 89 students enrolled, DePauw University is one of most popular colleges to study communications in Great Lakes. Communication & Media Studies graduates from DePauw University get a earnings boost of around $6,912 above the average earnings of communication and media studies graduates.

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#2

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

It's difficult to beat Northwestern University if you want to study communication and media studies. Located in the small city Evanston, Northwestern U is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 12 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Northwestern U is a great college overall.

With 170 undergrads, Northwestern University is one of most popular colleges to study communications in Great Lakes. Communication & Media Studies students from Northwestern University earn a boost of approximately $6,512 above the typical income of communication and media studies majors.

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#3

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN

It's hard to beat Purdue University - Main Campus if you wish to study communication and media studies. Purdue is a very large public school located in the small city of West Lafayette. A Best Colleges rank of 84 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Purdue is a great school overall.

There are roughly 431 communication and media studies undergrads studying this degree at Purdue. Students who graduate from this degree report average early career wages of $36,100.

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University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign is among your top options if you want to study communication and media studies. Located in the small city Champaign, UIUC is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 92 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means UIUC is a great college overall.

There are approximately 296 communication and media studies undergraduates studying this degree at UIUC. Graduates from the communication and media studies degree program at University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign make $2,012 more than the average college graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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U of Michigan is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized city of Ann Arbor. A Best Colleges rank of 38 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means U of Michigan is a great school overall.

There are approximately 241 communication and media studies undergrads studying this program at U of Michigan. Communication & Media Studies majors from University of Michigan - Ann Arbor receive an earnings boost of about $5,412 above the average income of communication and media studies majors.

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#6

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

Michigan State is a very large public school located in the small city of East Lansing. This college ranks 12th out of 266 colleges for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

There are roughly 486 communication and media studies undergrads studying this degree at Michigan State. Students who graduate from the communications program earn about $36,200 in their early career salary.

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Located in the small city Bloomington, IU Bloomington is a public college with a very large student population. This school ranks 17th out of 266 colleges for overall quality in the state of Indiana.

There are about 450 communication and media studies undergraduates enrolled in this program at IU Bloomington. Graduates of the communications program state that they receive average early career earnings of $35,200.

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Ohio State is a very large public school located in the large city of Columbus. This college ranks 25th out of 266 colleges for overall quality in the state of Ohio.

There are about 483 communication and media studies undergraduates studying this program at Ohio State. Students who graduate from the communications program make around $37,900 for their early career.

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Wisconsin is a fairly large public school located in the city of Madison. A Best Colleges rank of 76 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Wisconsin is a great school overall.

There are about 309 communication and media studies undergraduates studying this program at Wisconsin. Graduates of the communications program make about $32,800 in their early career salary.

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#10

University of Dayton

Dayton, OH

Located in the medium-sized city Dayton, U of Dayton is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. This school ranks 21st out of 266 schools for overall quality in the state of Ohio.

With 140 students enrolled, University of Dayton is one of most popular schools to study communications in Great Lakes. Graduates from the communication and media studies major at University of Dayton make $2,412 more than the standard graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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#11

Saint Mary's College

Notre Dame, IN

Located in the suburb Notre Dame, St. Mary's College is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This school ranks 23rd out of 266 colleges for overall quality in the state of Indiana.

With 39 undergrads, Saint Mary's College is one of most popular schools to study communications in Great Lakes. Graduates of the communications program make an average of $36,200 in the first couple years of their career.

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#12

Denison University

Granville, OH

Denison is a small private not-for-profit school located in the small suburb of Granville. This college ranks 13th out of 266 colleges for overall quality in the state of Ohio.

With 58 undergrads, Denison University is one of most popular colleges to study communications in Great Lakes. After graduation, communications students typically earn an average of $36,900 in the first five years of their career.

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#13

Wheaton College Illinois

Wheaton, IL

Wheaton College Illinois is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Wheaton. This school ranks 14th out of 266 schools for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

With 52 undergraduates, Wheaton College Illinois is one of most popular colleges to study communications in Great Lakes. After graduation, communications students typically make about $36,000 at the beginning of their careers.

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Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for in the Great Lakes Region Communications students that almost earned our Best Colleges for Communication & Media Studies in the Great Lakes Region award.

Rank College Location
14 Lake Forest College Lake Forest, IL
15 Augustana College Rock Island, IL
16 Illinois State University Normal, IL
17 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
18 Marquette University Milwaukee, WI
19 University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati, OH
20 DePaul University Chicago, IL
21 John Carroll University University Heights, OH

Best Communication & Media Studies Colleges by State

Explore the best communication and media studies schools for a specific state in this the Great Lakes region.

State Colleges Degrees Awarded
Michigan 305 1,806
Ohio 303 2,186
Illinois 299 2,144
Indiana 283 1,753
Wisconsin 267 1,269

One of 5 majors within the Communication & Journalism area of study, Communication & Media Studies has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Public Relations & Advertising 3,677
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 3,288
Journalism 2,175
Communication & Journalism (Other) 354
Publishing 3

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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