Best Colleges for Communications and Media Studies Programs

Social Media Follow Me Illustration for Communications and Media Studies top 20 colleges.

This is the ranking of the best colleges for Communications and Media Studies degrees. A major in communications or media studies focuses on how we in a complex society present ourselves to one another via the wide array of media available in the modern world. The top universities in these fields engage their students in analyses of how those media operate within their own organizations and in their outward face to the world. At some universities one or the other of the two names is used for the major – communications, and media studies, and in others the department uses both names.

In recent years, a communications major has become more popular, perhaps because of the growth of segmented forms of communication such as social media (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and so on), and an increasing array of broadcast channels via streaming services (Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Netflix and so on). In effect, everyone now can become a broadcaster, communicating their thoughts and interests and effectively developing a personal brand for themselves.

Ranking The Best Colleges for Communications and Media Studies Majors

This is our RealRank ranking of the best top colleges for Media Studies and Communications.

1University of TexasAustinTX
2University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaPA
3The Ohio State UniversityColumbusOH
4University Of WisconsinMadisonWI
5Michigan State UniversityEast LansingMI
6University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesCA
7Northwestern UniversityEvanstonIL
8University of MichiganAnn ArborMI
9University of WashingtonSeattleWA
10University of IllinoisChampaignIL
11Penn StateUniversity ParkPA
12Stanford UniversityPalo AltoCA
13University of GeorgiaAthensGA
14Cornell UniversityIthacaNY
15University of FloridaGainesvilleFL
16Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeMA
17Indiana UniversityBloomingtonIN
18University of ArizonaTusconAZ
19University of MarylandCollege ParkMD
20University of North CarolinaChapel HillNC
21North Carolina State UniversityRaleighNC
22Wake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemNC
23Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaGA
24Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteIN
25Arizona State UniversityTempeAZ
26University of California Los AngelesLos AngelesCA
27Florida State UniversityTallahasseeFL
28University of KansasLawrenceKS
29University of UtahSalt Lake CityUT
30University of AlabamaTuscaloosaAL
31Columbia UniversityNew YorkNY
32University of ConnecticutStorrsCT
33University of California - BerkeleyBerkeleyCA
34Virginia Polytechnic University (Virginia Tech)BlacksburgVA
35University of California - Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraCA
36Yale UniversityNew HavenCT
37University of IowaIowa CityIA
38New York University New YorkNY
39Vanderbilt UniversityNashvilleTN
40University of MinnesotaMinneapolisMN

What is a Media Studies or Communications Major?

A communications major at the top colleges for media studies and communications may cover a wide array of disciplines all related to both the old media and all the new. For examples topics covered in a top tier communications curriculum include:

  • Interplay of media, society and culture;
  • Personal presentation, including public speaking, nonverbal communication and effective presentation development.
  • Logical argument, persuasion and fallacy recognition.
  • Journalism, ethics and advocacy.
  • Media technology.
  • Media economics and business.
  • Digital media.
  • Communications public policy.
  • The interplay of censorship, propaganda and free speech.
  • Legal issues in communications and media.

Economic Value of A Communications Degree

Examples of Communications careers include:

  • Reporter / journalist.
  • Public relations.
  • Marketing.
  • Media technologies.
  • Social media consulting.
  • Event planning.
  • Brand management.

Communications Has a Mid-Range Earning Potential for Undergraduates

There is a high variability in the entry-level salaries for the the different types of jobs available to students coming out of college with degrees in communications and media studies. Generally speaking these salaries fall in the mid-range for recent college graduates.

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