Best Journalism Schools In Canada

If you’ve ever considered a career in journalism, now is a great time to start thinking about following through on a path in that direction.

The world of journalism has expanded so much in recent years and continues to show signs of ongoing growth. With the increase of digital media and technology, there are more jobs popping up, many of which have never even existed in years before. Having a degree in journalism can set you apart from the other candidates in this competitive industry.

Gain skills in the art of storytelling, learn to communicate effectively in the industry and network like crazy. Canada boasts some impressive j-schools and it’s important to take into consideration what each has to offer, to best fit your lifestyle and career goals. Here’s a list of five Best Journalism Schools In Canada, in no particular order:

Don’t forget to check out our official student-generated rankings to get a perspective how universities rate across 55 criteria. See the rankings here.

Ryerson University

Undergraduate Degree Quality – 9/10

Ryerson takes pride in being hands-on and practical. As an undergrad in the journalism program, the professors send students out onto the streets on assignments on the first day. It’s all about getting out there as a real-life journalist, straight from the get-go. Professors are often working journalists in the industry, who enjoy sharing their passion and knowledge to aspiring journalists.

This is a four-year program that helps students gain valuable skills across media platforms that they can then take out into the workplace. Students have the option to finish their program with an internship at a professional news organization in any medium. The program accepts 150 incoming students each year.

Graduate Degree Quality – 9/10

Ryerson introduced its Master of Journalism program in 2007. The intensive, hands-on curriculum lasts for two years, providing students with training and preparation upon entering the professional media industry. You must complete a four-year undergraduate degree with a minimum ‘B’ average in the final two years of study to be eligible for the Master of Journalism program.

Reputation – 10/10

Ryerson University has developed a reputation as one of Canada’s top journalism schools. Many of the country’s top journalists are Ryerson alumni and the school has many connections in the industry. Some notable alumni include Robyn Doolittle (The Globe and Mail), Michelle Shephard (Toronto Star) and Tanya Kim (eTalk). Without a doubt, this is one of the Best Journalism Schools In Canada.

University Life 8/10

What sets Ryerson apart from many other schools is that the campus is integrated into a downtown core setting. Being situated in Toronto, the campus always has a special kind of buzz and attracts many people of a variety of backgrounds. It’s a well-known commuter school, so there are often complaints of a lack of community life but it really depends on how much you put into it. Make the effort to stay on campus, join clubs and take part in events. Take advantage of the opportunities that come along with living in the city.

Carleton University

Undergraduate Degree Quality – 8/10

Carleton offers a Bachelor of Journalism and takes a more traditional approach for its undergraduate program. The curriculum is intense and combines professional course work with traditional academic studies. There is a screening process after completing your first year, in which your academic standing will determine your admission to the upper years of the program.

According to the Carleton website, “To guarantee yourself a space in second-year journalism you will need a final grade of B+ or above in your first-year Journalism course and an overall first-year average of at least B.” Many students transfer to more hands-on institutions after their first year if they prefer a different learning style. Carleton is a bit more aimed toward students interested in hard news or political journalism, due to its location. If you are more interested in entertainment or fashion journalism, Carleton may not be the best choice.

Graduate Degree Quality – 8/10

Carleton has two different Masters of Journalism streams: a two-year program for non-journalists, and a one-year for either experienced journalists or those with degrees in the field. Both streams mix practical skills with academic theory and branch further into print, broadcast, and journalism studies.

Reputation – 9/10

Carleton is regarded highly as one of the leading journalism institutions in Canada. Notable alumni include Carolyn Mackenzie (Global Toronto), Edward Greenspon (The Globe and Mail, Bloomberg News), and James Duthie (TSN). It isn’t a discussion of the Best Journalism Schools In Canada without Carleton’s name being mentioned.

University Life – 8/10

Living in the nation’s capital is a great way to explore country’s history and current affairs, being situated within a few hours of Montreal, Toronto and Kingston. Ottawa is full of beautiful architecture and historic sites, and hosts many international events that you can experience as a student in the city.

University of British Columbia

Undergraduate Degree Quality – 5/10

Although UBC does not offer a Bachelor of Journalism, they do have a Bachelor of Media Studies currently pending approval from the Ministry of Advanced Education.

Graduate Degree Quality – 10/10

UBC has a fantastic Graduate School of Journalism, offering a full-time program that runs over five semesters, which includes a summer internship. With small class sizes and one-on-one attention, students have access to professors and resources that will help them with their media studies. Students gain valuable skills in all areas of the industry, from long-form writing to video and audio production.

Reputation – 9/10

UBC overall is ranked as one of the top universities in the country. For journalism though, it’s not always the first school that comes to mind, but it is a very highly regarded institution, especially for its graduate program. UBC Journalism alumni have found success at major media companies around the globe. According to their website, “86% say UBC Journalism was useful in getting a job.”

University Life – 9/10

UBC boasts the largest and most active Greek system in Canada, with more than 15 Greek organizations. Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in Canada and that is a major benefit for incoming UBC students. The campus life is vibrant, inclusive and active. The university also has a reputation as one of the biggest party schools.

University of King’s College

Undergraduate Degree Quality – 8/10

The King’s Bachelor of Journalism program takes four years to complete and consists of collaborative work in deadline-driven environments. Students learn to produce content effectively across platforms and will take part in an internship component of the program. Students also have the opportunity to pursue a Combined Honours Degree, blending journalism with another area of interest.

Graduate Degree Quality – 7/10

King’s offers a 10-month graduate degree program that includes a capstone project in the final term. This project will be completed with a mentor who is a leading journalist in their field.

Reputation – 7/10

The University of King’s College attracts students from across the world.

University Life – 8/10

If you’re looking for a smaller, community-based lifestyle on campus, King’s may be for you. Located in Halifax, you can experience an East Coast vibe. Nova Scotia is home to nine post-secondary institutions, which creates a lively university atmosphere.

Concordia University

Undergraduate Degree Quality – 7/10

Concordia offers a three-year undergraduate program that consists of three different options:

  • a 45-credit major in journalism
  • a 60-credit specialization A in journalism
  • a 72-credit multiplatform specialization B in journalism

For details on each, visit https://journalism.concordia.ca/undergraduateprograms/ Also note: “To qualify for graduation, journalism students must demonstrate a working knowledge of French,” as stated on the Concordia website.

Graduate Degree Quality – 7/10

Concordia’s two-year graduate degree program focuses more on the theoretical analysis of trends in journalism and research methods. This program is not ideal for students looking to gain professional training as a journalist. Note, on the Concordia website, they clearly state: “The MA in journalism studies is a program for students and mid-career journalists who are interested in studying journalism from a critical, scholarly research perspective, culminating in the writing of a thesis on an original topic pertaining to journalism as an institution and a practice.  The MA is not designed for those interested in becoming journalists.”

Reputation – 8/10

Concordia has worked hard over the past few decades to gain status as a recognized journalism institution. Graduates of Concordia’s journalism programs are working every medium worldwide.

University Life – 10/10

Montreal is a young, vibrant city that is a great spot atmosphere for university life. Montreal’s nightlife is rated one of the top in the world, not to mention the drinking age is 18. The city is diverse and full of culture and is a great spot for meeting new people.

Summary

Below is a summary of our rankings of the Best Journalism Schools in Canada.

Honourable mentions

  • British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • University of Regina
  • University of Western Ontario
  • University of Guelph-Humber

Christina Dunn

Christina Dunn

Christina is a Vancouver-born journalist living in New York City. She is a graduate of Ryerson University’s journalism program and is now pursuing her master’s degree at New York University. She has a weakness for shoes and bacon and is heavily dependent on coffee. She may be one of the only people who still watch Survivor.