In an age where newspaper subscriptions are practically non-existent and many say that print media is a “dying industry,” what use could there be for a journalism degree? Fortunately, there are still plenty of reasons to study journalism in college. Plus, many schools are adapting their curricula to address the industry’s shift toward web-based content and social media. In fact, earning your journalism degree online could be a serious asset, as it could help show future employers that you are tech-savvy and comfortable with multimedia platforms.
This article in particular includes an incredibly varied assortment of programs. There isn’t a huge selection of options for online journalism majors, but we’ve managed to distinguish 10 schools that offer something unique in the way of value. Some are fairly expensive but incredibly high-quality, while others are almost unbelievably affordable, and you’ll notice that most of the scores cluster around the middle of the scale. This online journalism degree ranking also includes both undergraduate and graduate programs, so you’ll really find a little bit of everything!
Best Value Online Journalism Degree Offerings
10. Full Sail University
Online Master of Arts Degree in New Media Journalism
Full Sail offers an accredited journalism online degree for the 21st century. You’ll focus on the way news travels today and the variety of media we use to communicate, from broadcast television and online news sites to social media, websites, blogs, mobile apps, podcasts, and interactive media. This is a 12-month, online program that uses Full Sail’s exclusive learning management system and other tools developed specifically for the Mac. Choose from three tracks: Multimedia Content Development, Interactive Media Distribution, and Personal Branding. All tracks teach technical skills, like video editing and web development, and require a final capstone project on a topic of your choice. Responding to today’s changing media landscape, Full Sail also teaches self-branding with classes in Public Relations and Reputation Management.
9. Quinnipiac University
Online Journalism Degree–Master’s
Quinnipiac recognizes that traditional media, like local TV news, remain important even as the journalistic landscape changes. As such, this journalism online degree focuses on broadcast and multimedia news and is ideal for students who want to work as on-camera news reporters, news producers, and writers. Students acquire all the tools of the reporting trade. Classes cover story development, analyzing data and public documents, interviewing techniques, and video and audio editing. But this program’s top priority is teaching students to write with “discipline, poise, and creative vitality” – skills that are useful in any career. Although you can earn your accredited journalism degree online, some courses may be campus-only. But with so many tempting choices – including sports journalism, investigative reporting, and audio storytelling – you’re bound to find what you want.
8. University of Memphis
Online B.A. or M.A. in Journalism
Offering an accredited journalism online degree at both the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels, the University of Memphis stands out for its flexibility. You can complete all your courses online but are welcome to travel to campus for a course or two if you wish. You’re also encouraged to join the graduation ceremony when you finish your degree! The same faculty teach both on-campus and online courses, and since lectures are asynchronous, students can watch them whenever their schedule permits. Furthermore, academic advisors work with students throughout the program to ensure that they stay on track for graduation. And since Memphis was one of the first universities in the country to offer an online Master’s in Journalism, its faculty members are uniquely experienced in teaching the subject from a distance.
7. Harvard University
Journalism Online Degree
Offered through the Harvard extension school, an experienced leader in adult education, this is one of the best online journalism degrees for highly motivated students. Students begin by taking three “admissions courses” and officially apply to the program – which covers both traditional and digital media – before starting their fourth. You’ll gain reporting, writing, interviewing, research, and technical skills, while also studying the legal and ethical requirements of journalism. Professional journalists act as consultants during a final capstone project, helping students craft a portfolio of publishable work that will be sure to impress potential employers. Although the program is predominantly online, there is one on-campus course. Fortunately, Harvard offers intensive options (which are shorter in duration) each semester, including the summer.
6. University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism Studies
When you earn your journalism degree online through UMass Amherst’s University Without Walls (UWW), you can complete the entire program online or take some on-campus courses. The UWW has educated adult students for over 40 years and understands the importance of time, money, and efficiency in higher education. Upon admission, students meet with their own personal advisor, who helps them prepare a portfolio of transfer credits from past coursework, life experiences, and military training. Once enrolled, students get right to work, building on a foundation of introductory courses with specialty electives in such topics as travel, sports, or science writing. Other elective options include photojournalism, arts criticism, digital photography, health journalism, and more. Study full-time or part-time, and be sure to investigate the school’s financial aid options!
5. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Online Journalism and Mass Communications M.A.
When you earn your journalism degree online from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, you won’t miss out. Enjoy lectures from the same faculty who teach on-campus courses and benefit from career counseling through phone and Skype. This program offers three different tracks: Integrated Media Communications, Media Studies, and Professional Journalism. There are also thesis, non-thesis, and capstone project options that will appeal to a range of media professionals. This flexible online journalism degree is ideal for students who are seeking a new area of expertise, trying to advance in their field, or working as journalism teachers. Even individuals without prior journalism experience can benefit from this top-notch curriculum. All they need is motivation and curiosity!
4. Kent State University at Kent
Online Master of Arts in Reporting and Editing: Journalism Educator Specialization
This inexpensive journalism online degree caters to those who teach high school journalism and want to better prepare their students for 21st century media and reporting. The courses are entirely online but still hands-on and engaging. They include Reporting Public Affairs, Computer Assisted Reporting, Online Journalism, Legal Problems for Mass Media, Design for Cybermedia, and (of course) Teaching High School Journalism. Students can also pick from an interesting list of elective courses and will round out their studies by completing either a thesis or professional project.
3. Youngstown State University
Online Journalism Degree–Bachelor’s
The Anderson Program in Journalism at YSU is grounded in the liberal arts tradition, recognizing that “there are few companies today that don’t need the skills of a trained journalist” – critical thinking, research, interviewing, writing, and creative use of technology. Professors are tapped into emerging ideas and integrate them into their courses, preparing their students for careers across media platforms through a combination of core requirements and electives. Requirements include News Reporting, American Journalism, Law and Ethics, and Interviewing. A range of tempting electives only increases the appeal of this affordable online journalism degree. Choices include Sports Journalism, Political Reporting, and Foundations of Environmental Studies.
2. Wilmington University
Online Bachelor of Science in Communication: Media Communication
Wilmington has designed a relatively inexpensive online journalism degree for the 21st century that you can complete entirely online. Choose from two concentrations: Integrated Marketing Communication and Media Communication. Both of these options provide a solid foundation in relevant topics like computer science, technical writing, economics, and math. A communication core – covering subjects like visual communications and digital publishing – provides additional skills that are useful for a variety of career fields. By the time students graduate they’ll also have garnered a competence in information literacy and ethics that will serve them well in today’s increasingly fast-paced, digital, multimedia journalism industry.
1. Regent University
Online Master of Arts Degree in Journalism
A standout in our journalism online degree ranking, Regent offers exceptional flexibility: start in fall, spring, or summer, and study entirely online or in a hybrid online-campus program. You’ll study broadcast, print, and internet journalism and learn to write, edit, and produce content for a range of platforms. Regent graduates emerge prepared for careers in TV, public relations, video production, advertising and more. As a Christian university, it’s important to note that Regent teaches journalism “from a Christian worldview.” However, the required courses nonetheless cover all the same subjects as secular programs, from news writing and civic journalism to media law and technological tools.
By CVO Staff
This concludes our ranking of the top 10 values in journalism online degree programs.
See our methodology page for more information about how we calculated this ranking.