Journalism is primarily the production of news reports, but it has recently also covered specials and features about sports events, lifestyle and people. It not only involves writing, but also reporting and photography in newspaper, magazine and online lay outs. Journalism schools offer courses that focus on print media, radio and TV broadcasting, as well as courses on photojournalism and online journalism.
There are various ratings for journalism schools and so far there has not been an official rating for the best school that offers journalism programs for undergrads and graduates. Defining which journalism university provides the best curriculum may be relative, since each school may have a "specialty" and produces graduates that excel on a specific field. However, in general, the following should be considered in determining which school has the top rating:
- school's facilities
- scope of curriculum
- duration of the program
- profile of professors
- quality of student publications
- time span between graduation and job acceptance
- GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) score
- student – faculty ratio
- cost of tuition and miscellaneous fees
- opportunities for on-the-job trainings
- alumni that are successful in the field of journalism
- affiliation with organizations related to broadcast journalism
- availability of online journalism programs
- scholarship opportunities
Comparison among schools may be relative, so it is important for you to personally rate a journalism university depending on what is important to you and what journalism program you are interested in.
- If you want to focus on magazine, photojournalism, and graphics which are very useful in advertising, Ball State University is a good choice since they have an award winning student publication that will enhance your skills in print media.
- If you also want a journalism degree that focuses on radio and television broadcasting aside from print media, the Missouri School of Journalism provides a good foundation, as its alumni show successes in broadcasting, gaining awards such as Pulitzer Prizes and Silver Anvils.
- The University of Maryland's College of Journalism also provides its students with an edge on print, broadcast and online journalism. It has graduates that have established careers in major newsprint and TV companies such as CNN, USA Today, The New York Times and other local news publications in different states.
- The Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University has been ranked among the top graduate schools in the past few years. It offers masters degrees and doctorate studies in journalism and communications. These programs span from 9 to 12 months.
- Another school that offers graduate studies in journalism is the Berkley Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkley. The programs focus on actual on-field experience, as students spend most of their time gathering reports on the road, police stations or city halls. Alumni pride themselves as having a lot of practical journalism experience when they go to internships or land jobs because of the kind of training they get at Berkley.
There are other journalism schools all over the country that you can consider. What is important is your passion for the journalism profession and your willingness to learn as you go.