2021 Journalism Degree Guide
Journalists need to be up to date on current events and have a nose to sniff out a story. Curiosity and good investigative skills are necessary. If this field piques your interest, consider majoring in journalism.
Journalists have the ability to investigate stories, interview sources, and share this information with readers, viewers, and listeners. As a journalism major, you will receive a well-rounded education and learn everything you need to know about transferring information through all types of media outlets. Not only will you take classes in writing and editing, but you will be educated in history, science, professional ethics, libel, and culture. Journalists cover a wide variety of topics and must do so fairly and correctly.
For those who are interested in television, there is the option to concentrate in Broadcast Journalism or you can learn to tell your story through pictures with a degree in Photojournalism.
Journalism Degrees Decreasing
Journalism was the 62nd most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 15,466 degrees in this year alone. This 448 less than the prior year, a decrease of 2.9%.
Approximately 425 colleges in the U.S. offer a journalism degree of some kind. Our 2021 Best Colleges for Journalism ranking analyzes 143 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for journalism students. Explore this or one of our many other custom journalism rankings further below.
Journalism Degree Requirements
Journalists love to write. They are always working on a new story to provide the public with information. This career is best suited for people who are detail oriented and enjoy research. You must cover every detail of breaking stories and ensure all information is shared and accurate. A career in journalism also requires a strong sense of social perceptiveness and a constant awareness of current events.
News can happen at any time. Although journalists work full time, work hours are not always consistent. You may have to work late hours or on weekends to make a deadline or report a breaking story.
The best way to get involved in journalism is through experience. Get involved with your campus newspaper, news studio, or radio station. This will give you the opportunity to write your own articles and sharpen your skills before joining the job force. Internships are also a great way to gain experience. Working at a local news outlet will teach you about real reporting and give you an advantage when trying to find a job after graduation.
Getting Accepted Into a Journalism Program
New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Specific journalism careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.
Journalism Degree Types
There are various different levels of journalism degrees. You can get anything from a associate's degree in journalism to the highest journalism degree, a research/scholarship based doctorate. How long it takes to complete some common journalism degree levels is shown below.
|Degree||Credit Requirements||Typical Program Length|
|Associate Degree||60-70 credits||2 years|
|Bachelor’s Degree||120 credits||4 years|
|Master’s Degree||50-70 credits||1-3 years|
|Doctorate||Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation||At least 4 years|
A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to journalism, with approximately 52.7% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for journalism workers below.
|Level of Education||Percentage of Workers|
|Some College Courses||11.0%|
|High School Diploma||8.9%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||6.3%|
The education level required is different depending on the journalism career you are seeking.
Career Opportunities for Journalism Majors
A degree in Journalism leads to many possible careers in news reporting. Options include trade magazines, news stations, local or national newspapers, Internet news sources, or working as a freelance writer. Some journalism majors don't go into news reporting and instead pursue careers in other communications areas, such as public relations or even advertising.
Steady Demand Projected for Journalism Careers
Want a job when you graduate with your journalism degree?
The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to journalism.
|Occupation Name||Projected Jobs||Expected Growth|
|Writers and Authors||141,200||7.6%|
|Reporters and Correspondents||40,200||-10.1%|
|Film and Video Editors||40,000||17.0%|
Journalism Degree Salary Potential
Recently graduated journalism students earned an average of $31,042 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $5,200 to as high as $48,000. As you might expect, salaries for journalism graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.
Highest Paid Journalism Careers
Salaries for journalism graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers journalism grads often go into.
|Occupation Name||Median Average Salary|
|Broadcast News Analysts||$91,990|
|Film and Video Editors||$86,830|
|Writers and Authors||$73,090|
Getting Your Journalism Degree
With over 918 different journalism degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased journalism school rankings to help you with this.
Top Ranking Lists for Journalism
Journalism Related Majors
Journalism is one of 5 different types of Communication & Journalism programs to choose from.
Majors Similar to Journalism
|Related Major||Annual Graduates|
|Communication & Media Studies||68,301|
|Public Relations & Advertising||20,156|
|Radio, Television & Digital Communication||16,150|
|Communication & Journalism (Other)||1,784|
Southern New Hampshire University
You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs ... Learn More >
Building on Purdue’s mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized online experience that’s tailored to working adults. By opening the doors to adults who need flexibility to fit learning into their busy lives, we make it possible to achieve a high-quality education from the prestigious Purdue University system—completely online ... Learn More >
Grand Canyon University (GCU)
With a spotlight on intellectual creativity and innovation for the 21stcentury, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education. It blends the study of traditional humanities in a modern context. Through academic inquiry and beyond the box thinking, the college advances our society and its accomplishments ... Learn More >
Northcentral University (NCU) was founded to provide accessible, high-quality, online graduate degrees to working professionals. As a regionally accredited, online university, NCU serves students worldwide, focusing on Doctoral and Master's degree programs in the Schools of Business and Technology Management, Education, Psychology, and Marriage and Family Sciences ... Learn More >
Colorado Technical University (CTU)
CTU could help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional community, aculty who are real-world professionals, and innovative technology ... Learn More >