Where to Study Journalism
You are on your way to study journalism. How can you do it? You have definitely located the best journalism schools, but you cannot decide which of them suits your interests. At the same time, you cannot move ahead without making a decision. The problem becomes particularly serious for international students, who are located at a distance and cannot simply go and take a look at different journalism courses. Besides, with the United States being one of the largest countries in the world, it can be quite challenging to review all journalism schools currently working there.
Thus, you will need to do some extensive research to identify a list of journalism schools you could potentially enter. However, do not forget about your own self. The fact that the journalism school of your choice is the best in the world does not necessarily imply that it is the most suitable for you. Also, consider what skills and background knowledge you might need to get in, since you may simply have none. Finally, what are you looking for? Do you want to study theory or become a practitioner? Do you want to work as a reporter or become a professor in journalism? These are all different venues, and the answers to these questions will greatly influence your choices.
Area of Interest
You understand where to study journalism; you will also need to determine your area of interest. For example, you want to work in a magazine. You may also wish to report live news on television. Your area of interest will determine the list of the most appropriate institutions to apply to. This is why you should not forget about your area of interest. Students choose to specialize in different areas of journalism, including international reporting, sports and athletics, healthcare journalism, writing and editing, etc. You will find most of these programs in almost all journalism schools, but you will need to sure that the school of your choice provides a program that fits in your area of interest.
It is may happen that you are not sure what exactly you want to do when you become a journalist. You may have hard times choosing your specialization, since a single journalism program includes dozens of areas of interest. However, no one prevents you from making a decision during the second or third year of your studies. You may also opt for choosing another university or program by the time you reach the point of specialization.
Consider the opportunities for journalism internship that are available from your selected institution. Journalism is all about practice, which is why it is essential that you learn how the course of your choice will benefit your practice skills. Many on-campus models were developed to engage students in journalistic activities such as news making and news reporting. Universities such as Northwestern or Northeastern offer some of the richest spaces for internship for those students who decide to devote themselves to journalism. If you find out that the school you plan to enter does not have any internship programs, you can still try to find some part-time internship programs for you. Review the magazines and newspapers that are published locally and send your resume to them, requesting a chance to become a volunteer or an intern. This may ultimately become your first employment!
Professors and Supervisors
Now it is time to see who is going to teach you the basics of journalism. Consider professors’ experiences, specialization, and credentials. You want to be taught by experienced and still practicing journalists. This is the key factor of your future success in this profession. Scan student forums and see what other students say about these professors and the courses they teach. See how much experience they have in journalism and how many students in their courses have won awards or degrees in journalism.
You will find most journalism schools in the U.S. to be quite expensive. However, you should understand that such universities invest their resources in developing and improving their learning base. They have state-of-art premises and use advanced methods of study. Besides, many students can receive scholarships and funding, while being able to use the latest technology and knowledge from the field of journalism delivered by experienced practitioners.
Professional and Student Organizations
As you are choosing the best journalism school for yourself, see if there any professional groups or student organizations that could help you launch your career in journalism? Membership in professional organizations is extremely important for any student who wants to excel in his or her profession and career. You may find it relevant to link to national professional organizations, although membership in such organizations is provided for a fee. However, these are minor expenses compared to the benefits you get in return.
A Double Major in Journalism
The most prominent journalists have graduated from the best colleges and universities. However, only in the United States you can find a university offering the so-called double major. It means that you will specialize in two different areas at once. This will give you a strong competitive edge when you are looking for a job. A double major will also expand your career and personal growth opportunities. You will have enough time to explore journalism and something else that will help you excel in your area of interest. As a journalist, you need to know everything about the world, and a double major will let you accomplish this mission. For example, if you want to become an economic reporter, you may wish to get a double major in journalism and economics. If you want to investigate political issues, you will benefit from getting a double major in journalism and politics. Consider the schools which offer a double major and don’t lose a chance to save your time and money. It will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to become a great journalist. Of course, not all schools provide a double major. It may happen that you will major in journalism and minor in political science, and vice versa. In any case, review the information provided by your selected school and make a decision.
Now it is time to forget about courses and instructors. Think of anything else. For example, consider the location of your college. Remember that if you enroll in an undergraduate program, you will have to spend more than 4 years away from home. You should feel comfortable and motivated to study and thus, the location is an important consideration. This is why, apart from reviewing programs and professors’ portfolios, you should also think of a place you want to be part of for the next few years.