The Pulitzer Prize medal.

The Pulitzer Prize medal.

Detail map of Manhattan, New York, New York, United States,Columbia, Missouri, United States

A: Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, B: Columbia, Missouri, United States

Joseph Pulitzer Offers to Found the First School of Journalism at Columbia University, But the Journalism School at the University of Missouri Precedes It.

1892 to 1912

In 1892 newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer offered Columbia University's president Seth Low $2 million to set up the world's first school of journalism. However, the university initially turned down the money, and on September 8, 1908 the first actual journalism school opened its doors at the University of Missouri, which, coinidentally, is located in Columbia, MO. 

Low's successor at Columbia University, Nicholas Murray Butler, was more receptive to Pulitzer's idea, and classes began at Columbia University's journalism school on September 30, 1912, with a student body of about 100 undergraduate and graduate students from 21 countries.

In 1935 Dean Carl Ackerman led the school's transition to become the first graduate school of journalism in the United States. Classes of 60 students dug up stories in New York City during the day and drafted articles in a single, large newsroom in the journalism school at night. In addition to graduate programs, the Journalism School administers several prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize and the DuPont-Columbia Award. It also co-sponsors the National Magazine Award and publishes the Columbia Journalism Review, essentially a trade publication for journalists.

(This entry was revised on 04-26-2018, thanks to Leslie Prothero of

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