How Much Does Journalism School Cost?
Journalism School Prices
Journalists are often portrayed as a passionate bunch who are willing to go the extra mile to break a big story. In this sense, journalism may well be described as a calling rather than just a job. A journalism career, however, doesn't necessarily entail taking a newspaper, TV, or radio reporting job. The internet has redefined journalism, eliminating some traditional positions but also opening up new opportunities.
Becoming a Journalist
Anyone interested in a career in journalism should find the following information helpful.
Salary and Career Prospects
Chances are good that if you want to become a journalist, it's not strictly for the money. The salary statistics for journalists bear this notion out. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), reporters and correspondents earn a median annual income of $35,870. Using data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the average starting salary for journalism majors comes out at $38,400. Forbes, however, notes that journalists with a graduate degree earn $40,000 (2007 statistics).
But as alluded to above, journalism majors need not work in a conventional reportage role. This is partly because the Internet and the Information Age have rearranged the journalistic landscape. Whether or not journalism is dead is an ongoing debate. What's clear is that the core skills learned by journalism majors—verbal and written communications, information analysis, flexibility, objectivity, media savvy, editing, and research—are applicable to a variety of careers, including:
- Grant writer
- Technical writer
- Content producer
Prospective journalists typically earn a bachelor's degree in journalism with a focus either on print or broadcast journalism. Another branch of journalism—photojournalism—doesn't require a photography major or even a journalism major, although taking photo courses is virtually a must for would-be photojournalists.
At schools that don't offer an undergraduate degree in journalism, students may alternately major in communications. A related degree such as English or political science, along with relevant work experience (obtained, for example, through an internship or working for a college newspaper), may qualify you for some entry level journalism positions.
BLS notes that graduate programs in journalism and communications are geared towards students who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than journalism/communications. An advanced degree is also useful for specializing in a specific arm of journalism, such as multimedia journalism. Journalism programs at both the master's degree and graduate certificate levels are offered.
Journalism School Costs
The following tuition prices are estimates only based on national averages. Actual program costs can vary significantly. Contact individual schools for the most accurate tuition and student aid information.
- According to educational non-profit organization The College Board, tuition and fees per year at a four-year institution range from $8,655 - $21,706 (tuition and fees at public four-year institutions for in-state and out-of-state students, respectively) to $29,056 (tuition at a private four-year institution).
- Master degree programs average $7,000-$8,000 per year (tuition and fees, public master's in-state) to $25,000-$26,000 (tuition and fees, private master's).
- Room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and other expenses are not included in the above figures.
- A graduate certificate program in journalism might cost $6,000 to $12,000 or more in tuition and fees alone.
- Student aid, whether obtained at the federal or state level or from private sources, helps defray education costs. Learn more about paying for school at studentaid.ed.gov.
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