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Top 10 Universities for Journalism

Top 10 Universities for Journalism

A journalist can turn the most mundane, unimportant thing into the most creative and engaging story. Journalists get to explore the world around them, be it crimes, concerts or clothes and convey it to the audience in the way that they perceive it. A career in journalism is dynamic, exciting and unpredictable. To help you find the right schools and make the most prospective decision, we have shortlisted the top 10 universities for journalism around the world and what they require for admissions. 

Why pursue Journalism?

  1. Express yourself the way you want to. Journalism is the best medium for one to express themselves and provide an alternative perspective to things. 
  2. With this career, you’ll be able to develop your network of like-minded individuals while also establishing your reputation, popularity, and fortune. 
  3. Additionally, there are lots of opportunities in this industry for exploring, learning, and broadening one’s perspectives through travel.

Here are some common requirements:

  • Students are required to have completed 10+2 years of education.
  • You must have a minimum of 50% in 12th from a recognised board (IB, A levels, CBSE, etc), and any stream (Arts, Science, Commerce)
  • For international students, most universities have the criteria which require candidates to possess good communication, reading and English skills, which can be tested through IELTS, TOEFL or the SAT. 

Subjects preferred for journalism:

While there may not be a particular subject requirement for journalism, there are some things that you can take up to kick it up a notch. 

  • While English if mandatory, you can take up IB English at a Higher level to strengthen your foundation further. 
  • You may also take up subjects like economics, political science and history to be well aware of current affairs and the world around us. 

If you’re looking for the environment to help you get one step closer to your dreams, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the top 10 universities for journalism. 

#1 University of Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam offers you: A world-class education in Media Studies ranked first in the world according to the QS World Rankings by Subject in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Amsterdam is a vibrant and creative cultural hub with a pioneering media scene. And, that is the reason why it comes first on the list of top 10 universities for journalism.

  • IB score: A minimum of 36 points is required. 
Test Minimum Score Recommended Score
TOEFL 100 100+
IELTS 6.5 7+

#2 University of Southern California

The Annenberg School of Journalism offers a transformational educational experience that encourages students to think critically, write effectively, and master the new and emerging technologies required for creative, compelling and impactful 21st-century journalism.

  • IB Score: A minimum of 37 points is required. 
  • Letters of Recommendations: One letter is required from either your school counselor or a teacher from your school.
Test Minimum Score Recommended Score
TOEFL 100 100+
IELTS 7 7+
SAT 1350 1450+
ACT 34 34+

#3 London School of Economics and Political science

The Department of Media and Communications is a world-leading centre for education and research in communication and media studies at the heart of LSE’s academic community in central London. They are ranked #1 in the UK and #3 globally in our field (2022 QS World University Rankings). It is one of the top universities for journalism degrees in the world.

  • IB Score: 37 points overall (with three Higher level subjects at grades 6 6 6) to 38 points overall (with three Higher level subjects at grades 7 6 6).
  • A personal statement is required.
  • Minimum scores required are: IELTS – overall score of 7.0 (6.0 in speaking and writing and 6.5 in listening and reading), or TOEFL – overall score of 107 (23 in reading and listening, 22 in writing and 20 in speaking.

#4 University of Texas Austin

  • IB Score: A minimum of 37 points is required. 
  • Letters of Recommendation:  Letters of recommendation are optional and you will be considered for admission whether you submit letters of recommendation or not. 

They offer a modern blend of fundamental basics, such as writing and reporting, along with an innovative curriculum to prepare upcoming investigative reporters, social media editors, and data analysts.

Test Minimum Score Recommended Score
SAT 1470 1500+
ACT 33 33+

#5 Nanyang Technological University Singapore (NTU)

The newly revamped MMC programme provides you with knowledge about the process of mass communication, the theories and methods needed to analyze and understand the media as social institutions.

In addition, it trains you in critical analysis, strategic thinking and audience research skills. Through the MMC programme, media professionals will be equipped for leadership positions in management, planning and policy. The MMC programme also offers students the opportunity to travel to a country in the region to understand the media and communication landscape through an overseas study elective with leading partner universities.

  • IB Score: A minimum of 37 points is required. 
Test Minimum Score Recommended Score
SAT 1250
ACT 30

#6 Stanford University

At Stanford and the broader Silicon Valley is changing the way stories are discovered, told, and transmitted. We are part of that transformation, empowering students to produce work that is multimedia, data-intensive, entrepreneurial, and influenced by design thinking.

  • IB Score: a minimum of 40
  • Letters of Recommendation: Stanford requires 2 letters of recommendations from 2 teachers and an additional letter from the college counsellor. They also expect a personal statement or multiple essays or both.
  • Stanford remains to keep the ACT and SAT test-optional due to the ongoing challenges created by the Covid 19 pandemic for the 2022-2023 admissions cycle. 
Test Minimum Score Recommended Score
TOEFL 100 100+
IELTS 7 7+
SAT 1520 1550
ACT 31 35

#7 University of Pennsylvania

Ranked at #2 in College Factual’s most recent rankings, UPenn is in the top 1% of the country for communication and journalism students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. It is also ranked #1 in Pennsylvania.

  • IB Score: a minimum of 38
  • Letters of Recommendation: Penn requires three letters of recommendation to allow the Admissions Committee to understand your presence, your interests, and your impact in the classroom and the community.
  • Penn Admissions will not require ACT or SAT test results for the upcoming application cycle, and students who are unable or choose not to submit test scores will not be at a disadvantage in the admissions process. 
Test Minimum Score Recommended Score
TOEFL 100 104
IELTS 7 7+
SAT 1560 1525+
ACT 35 35

#8 University of Wisconsin-Madison

One of the earliest communication programs in the country, the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication is also one of the best universities for journalism. They ground teaching in the liberal arts, preparing students not just for the jobs of today, but for the ever-changing media landscape of tomorrow. From the heart of a world-class university, they create critical thinkers, problem solvers, researchers and innovators.

  • IB Score: A minimum of 37 points is required. 
  • Letters of Recommendation: They require you to submit one letter of recommendation written by someone who can attest to your academic ability, such as a teacher, school counselor. 
Test Minimum Score Recommended Score
SAT 1390 1480
ACT 27 32

#9 Michigan State University

The undergraduate journalism degree offers thematic areas for writing, reporting and editing; broadcast journalism; environment, science and health; international reporting; sports journalism; media design; media relations; photojournalism; information graphics; and journalism education. Students can choose optional minors in animation and comics, public relations, documentary production, entrepreneurship and innovation, and sales leadership. 

  • IB Score: A minimum of 33 points is required. 
  • You must provide three letters of recommendation. Two letters must be from faculty members or instructors whose classes you have attended, and the third letter can be a professional recommendation from an employer or academic advisor.
Test Minimum Score Recommended Score
SAT 1310
ACT 29

#10 New York University (NYU)

The top-notch faculty, modern facilities, and the aura of creativity and innovation in the NYU campus is a life-changing experience for the students looking forward to kickstarting or upgrading their careers. Overall, Journalism at New York University is an excellent opportunity to grow into a learned professional and bring new developments in the world. 

  • IB Score: a minimum of 37
  • Letters of Recommendation: NYU requires first-year applicants to submit two letters of recommendation. One must be from a school counselor. The second must be from a teacher who has taught you.
  • NYU Will Be Test Optional for the 2021-2022 Application Cycle. In recognition of continued challenges applicants have with standardized testing during COVID-19, NYU is extending its test-optional policy to students applying for first-year or transfer admission during the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.
Test Minimum Score Recommended Score
TOEFL 100+
SAT 1370 1540
ACT 31 34


Also ReadTop 10 Universities for Law and Legal Studies

How can you stand out as an applicant?

To be a part of that small percentage of students that get selected into one of the top universities for journalism, the bare minimum won’t do. You will certainly need to go above and beyond to impress the admissions officer and be that 1%. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Extracurriculars. Remember, it is always quantity over quality. Ensure that you show consistency no matter what extracurricular you take up. Whether it be playing the piano or starting your own business. 

  • Service: Colleges will always appreciate social work. You can volunteer to help raise awareness regarding social issues by writing articles and publishing them. 
  • Passion: Do what makes you feel good. It may be sports, attending MUNs, writing short stories. You can enter writing contests and maybe even get published. What matters is that you show improvement over time. 
  • Career/academic: The final type revolves around building your knowledge and career. You can consider taking up a job with the local news organisation or even be involved with the school newspaper/magazine. 

2. Personal essays. Your personal essays need to reflect who you are as an individual and how you were influenced to take up journalism. Usually, this is the part where most students make up life experiences to show their passion for journalism. 

  • As an aspiring journalist, ensure that you show curiosity throughout your essays. An eagerness to learn is what they will find the most attractive, not the amount of knowledge you posses. 
  • Most students don’t realize that they can see right through you. So, make them real. Don’t try to be what you think the college wants you to be. If you are genuinely interested in journalism, your experiences and words will reflect it. Authenticity is valued more than anything. Be genuine when it comes to your essays and communicate YOUR story. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. 

3. Letters of recommendation. If you have interned at a media-based firm, you could receive a letter of recommendation from the company to further boost your application. One of the most difficult questions in the world could possibly be ‘how would you describe yourself?’. So have someone else do it for you instead. Sometimes an external point of view can be very beneficial in your application process. 

Now that you have the one and only guide you will ever need to apply to universities for Journalism, it seems like a good time to get started on your application and knock off their hats. Good luck!

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