Erudera's Complete Guide to Studying Journalism in The US
Studying journalism in the United States is beneficial because you will be part of a diverse environment that continually encourages professional growth. You will gain valuable communication and multimedia skills at top-ranked worldwide universities. Being the largest economy in the world, the United States education sector is equipped with valuable resources, which go towards excellent and comprehensive programs across all fields of study, including journalism. One can find numerous reasons why the US is a great study choice. Find some of them below.
Here’s everything you need to know about studying journalism in the United States:
Reasons to Study Journalism in United States
International Reputation in World Press and Media
The United States has one of the highest developed mass media in the world. When it comes to higher education, the US features advanced technology, innovation, and research. The academic staff are highly qualified and renowned in their field. Journalism programs and courses at United States universities attract millions of students within the States and beyond. One reason why so many students choose to study journalism in the United States is that American universities rank highest in worldwide university rankings. Regardless of where you decide to pursue your journalism degree in the US, you will highly benefit from the expertise US universities have to offer.
Employment Opportunities and Lucrative Career Paths
Studying journalism at United States universities will have a beneficial impact on your career in the international job market. Since US qualifications are highly valued around the world, employment opportunities will also be plentiful anywhere you decide to pursue your career. The study experience in the US will help build both your professional goals and your self-confidence to overcome any obstacle in the job market. Journalism careers in the United States are also rather lucrative. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reporters, correspondents, and broadcast analysts earn a median salary of $49,300 per year. Salaries increase with professional experience and differ from one career path to the other.
Exciting and Diverse Environment
The United States attracts some of the best students from all over the world, which means you will be surrounded by ambitious students and a myriad of cultures and perspectives. This will broaden your horizons, expose you to different languages and cultures, and provide you with a fresh perspective on the world around you. The excellent environment and the supportive universities will give you the chance to bring out the best version of yourself by encouraging you to really work towards your dreams. One of the main reasons to study journalism in the United States is, of course, the quality of education, but also the way this education system will shape you into a better journalist. You will obtain academic knowledge and expand your horizons, both of which will help you build a successful career.
Generally, prospective journalism students are expected to have good communication skills and be passionate about expressing themselves through writing. But, the academic requirements to study journalism in the United States typically include tests like the SAT or ACT. Moreover, journalism applicants whose primary language is not English are required to show proof of English proficiency through TOEFL or IELTS, depending on the higher education institution.
Higher education institutions will ask you to prove you have sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses for a minimum of one year. However, this requirement is only needed after you have been accepted to your chosen university. As an international student, you may need a visa to study in the United States. In this case, providing proof of sufficient funds will be part of the visa application process.
One important thing to remember when you decide to apply to university in the United States is that starting early is never a bad idea. You should allow enough time to gather all the necessary documents and sit for the required exams. You should also allow enough time to write a great admissions essay, apply for a student visa (for international students), and prepare for your trip. The application process can either be online or paper-based, but most students apply through the Common Application (undergraduate college admission application with more than 900 member colleges and universities).
The required application documents typically include:
- High school academic transcripts.
- Bachelor’s degree (for graduate students).
- SAT/ACT scores.
- English language proficiency scores (TOEFL or IELTS) for international students.
- Letters of recommendation.
Degree Duration: How Long Does It Take to Study Journalism in United States?
A bachelor’s degree in journalism in the United States takes four years to complete. Students learn anything from core journalism courses (such as writing, reporting, editing) to journalism history, ethics, and professional experience outside of the classroom during these four years. Students also have the chance to focus on their preferred subjects (print journalism, online journalism, photojournalism, blogs, social media, etc.), depending on their career aspirations.
A master’s degree in journalism at universities in the United States takes anywhere from one to two years of full-time study to complete. There is a wide array of master’s programs to choose from, meaning students can further their education in numerous fields, including journalism, communication management, digital media management, public relations and advertising, and specialized journalism, to mention a few. Some programs award MS (Master of Science) degree while others award MA (Master of Arts) degrees in journalism.
Tuition Fees: How Much Does It Cost to Study Journalism in United States?
The average cost of tuition for journalism undergraduate programs in the United States is $7,144 for in-state students and $24,532 for out-of-state students. You can expect to find higher annual tuition fees at prestigious universities in the US, while tuition fees at less competitive universities are generally lower.
For example, tuition fees per year (excluding other associated costs) at the top university for journalism in the US, the University of Southern California, currently stand at $60,446 per year. The University of Texas at Austin (public university) charges journalism students around $39,756 per year, whereas Texas residents pay $11,230 in tuition fees alone (excluding associated costs).
Journalism Career Prospects in United States
Career prospects for journalism graduates in the United States vary depending on the career path you intend to pursue. The skills learned in journalism school can be applicable in a variety of career fields. Journalism graduates may work as reporters, editors, technical writers, photojournalists, broadcast news anchors, public relations specialists, radio or sports commentators, etc.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, broadcast news analysts earn a median salary of $66,880 per year, while reporters and correspondents earn an annual median salary of $41,260. Journalism majors may even find employment in fields related to social media and writing. Due to advancements in online media, the need for PR specialists and writers is highly in demand.