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Miami strategic communication and journalism ranked nationally

Miami University’s strategic communication and journalism programs ranked highly in the GradReports 2020 Best Colleges report, making Miami the only Ohio university to appear on the lists.

GradReports uses in-depth student reviews and salary data from the U.S. Department of Education to generate its college rankings. According to its website, GradReports aims to make college data more “accessible, transparent and easily comparable” to help people make better decisions about their education. 

Among public universities, Miami’s strategic communication major came out on top in the public relations category among public universities. Against public and private universities, Miami’s strategic communication program ranked among the top 10 as number seven. Journalism was ranked 13th among public schools and overall ranked as 25th.

The rankings are based on median alumni salaries one year after their graduation. One year out of college, strategic communication majors from Miami make a median salary of $42,100, and journalism majors make a median of $34,400. 

Chair of the Department of Media, Journalism & Film (MJF) Bruce Drushel said it has been exciting to watch the strategic communication program grow. Drushel has worked in Miami’s MJF department for 33 years and has been chair since 2018.

“[The strategic communication program] has grown the most out of any of our programs, and the faculty are truly outstanding,” Drushel said. “[The ranking] demonstrates that our students come out of Miami equipped to compete successfully for very high-profile positions in the media industry. We’re a really good program because we’ve been growing and investing in the quality of the educational experience of the students.”

Justin Klatsky, a junior strategic communication major, said he has experienced a lot of diverse classes in the program. 

“I think the teachers prepare you well,” he said. “They’re tough graders, but they do that because they want us to be the best we can be in the workforce. The program prepares you well.”

The journalism program has graduated several students who have acquired jobs at high-profile outlets, like The Washington Post, The New York Times, Fox News and more in recent years. 

“These rankings are about employability,” said Christe McKittrick, chief advisor and assistant clinical lecturer of the strategic communication program. “We’ve made our program writing-centric, media-centric and we’ve pursued a career-focused program. We are putting students face-to-face with real professionals doing real work that they’re going to have to do as soon as they graduate.”

Patricia Newberry, area coordinator and associate lecturer of journalism, said the program has experienced “lots of changes in terms of structure” over the years. 

“We have the right combination of classes, out-of-class experiences and good student involvement in student media,” Newberry said. “We are happy to be in the company of other successful programs and are happy that our students are landing prestigious positions.”

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Miami’s journalism program has long had to compete with Ohio University’s Scripps Howard program in order to recruit Ohio students interested in journalism. But with these rankings, it seems that Miami may be upending that relationship.

“Reputations are long to build,” Drushel added. “We’re finally getting recognized for programs that have been serving students well for a very long time.”