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2021 Best Colleges for Communication & Media Studies in Illinois

Communication & Media Studies is a popular major and Illinois is the 9th most popular state for students studying this major. 2,144 of the 66,279 Communication & Media Studies degrees awarded last year were given by schools in Illinois. 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 Illinois ranking analyzed 24 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in communication and media studies. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 3 colleges for Communication & Media Studies students in Illinois.

Choosing a Great Communication & Media Studies School

Best Colleges for Communication & Media Studies in Illinois 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 good education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To account for this we consider a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a host of different factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

Over 80% of the schools in this list are in the top 8% of our overall quality ranking while the lowest ranked school on the list is still in the top 7%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 148 to 35 )
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 Illinois schools results in an average starting salary of $31,972, graduates of colleges on this list average $38,900.

Starting Salary  ( 34728 to 41471 )
$0
$42,600

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 schools for Communication & Media Studies students in Illinois.

Best Schools to Study Communication & Media Studies in Illinois

The following list ranks the best colleges and universities in the U.S. for a Communication & Media Studies degree.

Top 10 Best Communications Colleges in Illinois

#1

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Northwestern University is a great choice for individuals interested in a Communication & Media Studies degree. Located in the city Evanston, Northwestern U is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 12 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Northwestern U is a great college overall.

There are about 170 communication and media studies undergraduates enrolled in this program at Northwestern U. Students from the communication and media studies degree program at Northwestern University earn $10,475 above the average college graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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Any student pursuing a degree in communication and media studies has to look into University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign. Located in the small city Champaign, UIUC is a public college with a very large student population. This college ranks 3rd out of 61 schools for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

There are approximately 296 communication and media studies undergrads studying this program at UIUC. University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign communication and media studies graduates receive $5,975 more than the typical communications grad.

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Wheaton College Illinois is a good option for students interested in a Communication & Media Studies degree. Wheaton College Illinois is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Wheaton. This school ranks 4th out of 61 schools for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

A popular choice for communication and media studies undergraduates, there are roughly 52 students enrolled in this degree at Wheaton College Illinois. Communication & Media Studies majors from Wheaton College Illinois receive an earnings boost of approximately $3,875 over the typical income of communication and media studies graduates.

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#4

Lake Forest College

Lake Forest, IL

Every student who is interested in communication and media studies has to look into Lake Forest College. Located in the suburb Lake Forest, Lake Forest is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This school ranks 13th out of 61 colleges for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

Lake Forest College is a fairly popular school to study communications in Illinois with more than 34 graduates last year. Lake Forest College communication and media studies graduates make $6,575 more than the average communications student.

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#5

Augustana College

Rock Island, IL

Augustana is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Rock Island. This college ranks 10th out of 61 schools for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

With 45 undergrads, Augustana College is one of most popular colleges to study communications in Illinois. Communication & Media Studies majors from Augustana College earn a boost of around $5,275 over the average income of communication and media studies majors.

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Illinois State is a fairly large public school located in the midsize suburb of Normal. This school ranks 15th out of 61 colleges for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

There are roughly 233 communication and media studies undergraduates enrolled in this program at Illinois State. Students who graduate from the communications program earn an average of $33,100 in the first couple years of their career.

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UIC is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Chicago. This school ranks 14th out of 61 colleges for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

A preferred major for communication and media studies undergraduates, there are roughly 94 students studying this degree at UIC. Students from the communication and media studies program at University of Illinois at Chicago earn $2,675 more than the standard college grad in this field shortly after graduation.

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#8

DePaul University

Chicago, IL

Located in the city Chicago, DePaul is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population. This college ranks 11th out of 61 colleges for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

A preferred major for communication and media studies undergrads, there are roughly 167 students enrolled in this degree at DePaul. Soon after graduation, communications students usually earn an average of $30,900 at the beginning of their careers.

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Loyola Chicago is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Chicago. This school ranks 9th out of 61 schools for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

With 37 undergraduates, Loyola University Chicago is one of most popular schools to study communications in Illinois. Communication & Media Studies majors from Loyola University Chicago earn a boost of around $2,175 over the typical earnings of communication and media studies majors.

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#10

Eastern Illinois University

Charleston, IL

EIU is a medium-sized public school located in the distant town of Charleston. This school ranks 25th out of 61 colleges for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

With 73 students enrolled, Eastern Illinois University is one of most popular schools to study communications in Illinois. Students who graduate from the communications program make about $33,000 in their early career salary.

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Best Communication & Media Studies Colleges in the Great Lakes Region

Explore all the Best Communication & Media Studies Colleges in the Great Lakes Area or other specific states within that region.

State Colleges Degrees Awarded
Michigan 305 1,806
Ohio 303 2,186
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 1,076
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 760
Journalism 668
Communication & Journalism (Other) 229

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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