MISSOULA – The University of Montana School of Journalism was recently named among the top 10 in the country.

In a national survey, the Radio Television Digital News Association ranked UM’s j-school the eighth best college journalism program in the nation. The No. 1 theme voters cited in the survey was the program equipping students with real-world experience.

“Being in Missoula, Montana, provides something no one else can,” one survey respondent said. “It’s a mix of people, cultures, the great West, history and beautiful scenery.”

Voters praised the UM School of Journalism for both quality and location. Dean Larry Abramson said he’s thrilled the school has been recognized as one of the top 10 journalism schools in the country.

“The secret is out,” Abramson said. “Journalism students can get a big-city experience in a beautiful place. They can study with great faculty in a state-of-the-art facility, yet pay an affordable price. We have everything the competition has, except for the traffic.”

Another survey respondent noted the hidden-gem appeal of UM’s journalism program, calling it “the best under-the-radar school in the entire country,” noting UM “has this amazing mix of being a small school with national faculty and being in an incredible location.”

The Radio Television Digital News Association is a professional organization for reporters working in digital formats. RTDNA members include those working in the industry, as well as educators and students. NewsPro, a publication serving those in the news profession, also was part of the survey.

According to the website, the survey was sent to all RTDNA members. More than 1,300 people participated; of those nearly 43 percent were news professionals. Additionally, nearly 28 percent of respondents identified as students, nearly 19 percent reported they were non-news professionals and 10.5 percent said they were educators.