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2021 Best Colleges for Communication & Journalism

Approximately 116,224 communication and journalism degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many choices it can be a challenge finding the best choice. This year's Best Colleges for Communication & Journalism ranking analyzed 585 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in communication and journalism. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of schools for Communication & Journalism students.

Choosing a Great Communication & Journalism School

Best Colleges for Communication & Journalism Your choice of communication and journalism school matters. Important measures of a quality communication and journalism program can vary widely even among the top schools. 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 account for this we include 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.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 25% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 16%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 231 to 6 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Above Average Earnings After Graduation

A communication and journalism degree from colleges on this list typically results in above average earnings following graduation. Recent communication and journalism graduates from U.S. colleges with a bachelors degree earned an average of $31,358 in 2017-2018.

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 & Journalism students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other communication and journalism students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized communication and journalism related accrediting body.

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

Best Schools to Study Communication & Journalism in the United States

Explore the top ranked colleges and universities for communication and journalism majors. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

Top 25 Best Communication & Journalism Colleges

#1

Pepperdine University

Malibu, CA

It's difficult to beat Pepperdine University if you wish to study communication and journalism. Pepperdine is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Malibu. This school ranks 149th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, Pepperdine also offers a Master's Degree in communication and journalism.

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The University of Texas at Austin is among your best bets if you're planning on studying communication and journalism. UT Austin is a fairly large public school located in the city of Austin. A Best Colleges rank of 91 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means UT Austin is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UT Austin also offers 2 different higher degree levels in communication and journalism, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#3

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

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

There are about 858 communication and journalism undergraduates studying this degree at Northwestern U.

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It is hard to beat University of Southern California if you wish to pursue communication and journalism as a major. USC is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Los Angeles. A Best Colleges rank of 40 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means USC is a great college overall.

With 880 undergraduates, University of Southern California is one of most popular colleges to study communication and journalism in United States.

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#5

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY

Syracuse is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Syracuse. This school ranks 119th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

There are approximately 895 communication and journalism undergrads studying this program at Syracuse.

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#6

Boston University

Boston, MA

Located in the large city Boston, Boston U is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 49 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Boston U is a great school overall.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, Boston U offers a Master's Degree in communication and journalism.

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GWU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Washington. A Best Colleges rank of 115 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means GWU is a great school overall.

There are about 320 communication and journalism undergrads studying this degree at GWU.

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Located in the small city University Park, Penn State University Park is a public school with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 112 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Penn State University Park is a great school overall.

There are about 833 communication and journalism undergrads studying this program at Penn State University Park.

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#9

American University

Washington, DC

The American University is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Washington. This college ranks 164th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

For those interested in something more advanced, The American University also offers 2 different higher degree levels in communication and journalism, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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Washington and Lee is a small private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Lexington. A Best Colleges rank of 25 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Washington and Lee is a great school overall.

A favorite major for communication and journalism undergraduates, there are roughly 28 students enrolled in this degree at Washington and Lee.

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#11

University of Georgia

Athens, GA

Located in the midsize city Athens, UGA is a public college with a very large student population. This school ranks 143rd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Georgia.

There are approximately 826 communication and journalism undergraduates enrolled in this program at UGA.

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FIT SUNY is a moderately-sized public school located in the city of New York. This college ranks 433rd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

A favorite major for communication and journalism undergrads, there are roughly 596 individuals enrolled in this program at FIT SUNY.

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#13

Hofstra University

Hempstead, NY

Hofstra is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Hempstead. This school ranks 316th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, Hofstra offers a Master's Degree in communication and journalism.

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#14

Emerson College

Boston, MA

Located in the large city Boston, Emerson is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. This school ranks 240th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

A popular major for communication and journalism undergraduates, there are roughly 234 learners studying this degree at Emerson.

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#15

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

Michigan State is a fairly large public school located in the small city of East Lansing. A Best Colleges rank of 107 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Michigan State is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Michigan State also offers 2 different higher degree levels in communication and journalism, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#16

Ithaca College

Ithaca, NY

Ithaca is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Ithaca. This college ranks 156th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, Ithaca offers a Master's Degree in communication and journalism.

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Located in the city Phoenix, ASU - Downtown Phoenix is a public college with a large student population. This school ranks 365th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Arizona.

A popular major for communication and journalism undergraduates, there are approximately 393 individuals studying this program at ASU - Downtown Phoenix.

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Located in the suburb College Park, UMCP is a public college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 117 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UMCP is a great school overall.

There are roughly 451 communication and journalism undergraduates enrolled in this degree at UMCP.

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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 141st out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Indiana.

There are roughly 645 communication and journalism undergraduates studying this program at IU Bloomington.

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#20

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

UPenn is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Philadelphia. A Best Colleges rank of 9 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UPenn is a great school overall.

A preferred choice for communication and journalism undergraduates, there are about 109 students enrolled in this degree at UPenn.

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Located in the city Champaign, UIUC is a public school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 92 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means UIUC is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UIUC also offers 2 different higher degree levels in communication and journalism, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#22

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL

UA is a very large public school located in the medium-sized city of Tuscaloosa. This college ranks 305th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Alabama.

There are approximately 819 communication and journalism undergrads studying this program at UA.

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#23

University of Oregon

Eugene, OR

Located in the midsize city Eugene, UO is a public school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 272nd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Oregon.

There are approximately 735 communication and journalism undergraduates studying this program at UO.

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UNC Chapel Hill is a very large public school located in the small city of Chapel Hill. A Best Colleges rank of 60 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UNC Chapel Hill is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UNC Chapel Hill also offers 2 different higher degree levels in communication and journalism, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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Carolina is a fairly large public school located in the city of Columbia. This school ranks 224th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of South Carolina.

There are roughly 441 communication and journalism undergrads studying this degree at Carolina.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Colleges for Communication & Journalism

#27

DePauw University

Greencastle, IN
#28

Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI
#30

Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, TX
#31

Northeastern University

Boston, MA
#32

Temple University

Philadelphia, PA
#33

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL
#34

Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT
#36

Drake University

Des Moines, IA
#37

Chapman University

Orange, CA
#39

University of Miami

Coral Gables, FL
#40

Baylor University

Waco, TX
#42

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY
#45

DePaul University

Chicago, IL
#46

University of Denver

Denver, CO
#48

University of Kansas

Lawrence, KS
#49

Elon University

Elon, NC
#50

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

Additional Award Winners

This section represents the remainder of the colleges awarded a Best Colleges for Communication & Journalism badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 585 different United States communication and journalism schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
52 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
53 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
54 Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA
55 Fordham University Bronx, NY
56 Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL
57 Villanova University Villanova, PA
58 Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX
59 Washington State University Pullman, WA
60 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
61 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX
62 Samford University Birmingham, AL
63 Bradley University Peoria, IL
64 Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA
65 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, CO
66 Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA
67 University of California - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
68 Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette, IN
69 San Jose State University San Jose, CA
70 Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC
71 Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA
72 University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
73 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI
74 San Diego State University San Diego, CA
75 Auburn University Auburn, AL
76 Iowa State University Ames, IA
77 University of Houston Houston, TX
78 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
79 The University of Tennessee - Knoxville Knoxville, TN
80 Marist College Poughkeepsie, NY
81 Ball State University Muncie, IN
82 Loyola University Maryland Baltimore, MD
83 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
84 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
85 Ohio University - Main Campus Athens, OH
86 Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI
87 St. Bonaventure University Saint Bonaventure, NY

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Colleges for Communication & Journalism award.

Rank College Location
88 University of Portland Portland, OR
89 University of California - Davis Davis, CA
90 SUNY Oswego Oswego, NY
91 Xavier University Cincinnati, OH
92 Assumption University Worcester, MA
93 Illinois State University Normal, IL
94 Rider University Lawrenceville, NJ
95 North Central College Naperville, IL
96 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
97 Creighton University Omaha, NE
98 The College of New Jersey Ewing, NJ
99 Wayne State University Detroit, MI
100 University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA
101 University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati, OH
102 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
103 SUNY Fredonia Fredonia, NY
104 Appalachian State University Boone, NC
105 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
106 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
107 Saint Mary’s College Notre Dame, IN
108 Florida Southern College Lakeland, FL
109 University of Kentucky Lexington, KY
110 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
111 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge, LA
112 Canisius College Buffalo, NY
113 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ
114 University of Dayton Dayton, OH
115 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR
116 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
117 Colorado State University - Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO

Communication & Journalism by Region

View the Best Colleges for Communication & Journalism for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Communication & Journalism Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Communication & Media Studies 68,301
Public Relations & Advertising 20,156
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 16,150
Journalism 15,466
Communication & Journalism (Other) 1,784

View All Communication & Journalism Related Majors >

Majors Similar to Communication & Journalism

Related Major Annual Graduates
Education 306,739
Social Sciences 203,399
Psychology 177,655
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences 59,281
History 32,806

View All Communication & Journalism 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 Josh Hallett. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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