Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Where's the best place for communication?

silver-ymssilver-yms Registered User Posts: 150 Junior Member
edited August 2006 in College Search & Selection
My sister will be attending college soon, and I'm trying to figure out on her behalf where the best places are for a communications major as an undergrad.

Post edited by silver-yms on

Replies to: Where's the best place for communication?

  • Csr43Csr43 Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    most well known journalism school is Northwestern in Chicago
  • Sam LeeSam Lee Registered User Posts: 9,449 Senior Member
    Northwestern is good for communication studies, communication science & disorder, and journalism.
  • gellinogellino Registered User Posts: 3,017 Senior Member
    Syracuse is pretty well known for it. A lot of TV broadcasters went there (Bob Costas, Dick Enberg, etc.)
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,851 Senior Member
    Communications is not the same as journalism FYI. Journalism might or might not be within a school of communications.
  • Cuse0507Cuse0507 Registered User Posts: 4,519 Senior Member
    Syracuse and Northwestern are the top 2! Someone else can give you a longer list (with Mizzou, UNC, etc.)
  • silver-ymssilver-yms Registered User Posts: 150 Junior Member
    My sister's going to Boston University. Have any of you heard anything about its communications program?
  • kinshasakinshasa Registered User Posts: 1,468 Senior Member
    Boston University's College of Communication is well known. Here's a link:
  • takeme2calitakeme2cali Registered User Posts: 1,224 Senior Member
    BU has an excellent communications program. I heard it's the school's hardest major to get into.
  • gellinogellino Registered User Posts: 3,017 Senior Member
    Howard Stern went there for it.
  • macnycmacnyc Registered User Posts: 227 Junior Member
    I would recommend studying journalism as opposed to communications or media studies. The reason is that the last two are widely perceived as easy majors and may not carry as much weight as journalism.

    Another thing I would recommend for a J-major is to double-major or do a strong minor. Good choices would be economics, science/technology, business, international relations, etc. The reason is that J-majors these days are seen as people who may have the skills to do the job, but not the background to really master a subject and report on it in depth.

    Obviously, the second major or the minor should be something that the student is passionate about.

    Better yet, major in something other than journalism and take a few courses in news reporting, researching, copy editing, etc.

    Keep in mind also that journalism is very popular, and because of that, some programs may have limited enrollment. For instance, you could be admitted to Syracuse, but not to its Newhouse School. The same goes for the University of Maryland and Ithaca.

    Here is a list of J-schools recently posted by dudedad:


    In my humble opinion (I work for a magazine), the top J-programs are Northwestern's Medill School, the University of Missouri (Mizzou), Syracuse's Newhouse, New York University, Columbia (graduate only), the University of Maryland's Merrill School (Jayson Blair's alma mater, for what that's worth), Boston University. These are not in order, except that Medill is No. 1 in my opinion. Quite a few of my colleagues have gone there, and they are well trained indeed. I may have left out a few schools, but dudedad's list is great.

    PM me if you want any more advice.
  • dadtimesthreedadtimesthree Registered User Posts: 167 Junior Member
    I've posted this before, but it's probably worth posting here again--the top journalism schools as rated by an adcom at one of the schools you listed (we were told this on a visit with my daughter, a rising senior interested in journalism) are as follows (alphabetical order in each category):

    Big School, First Tier--Missouri, North Carolina, Northwestern, Southern Cal, Syracuse

    Big School, Just a shade below--Miami (Fla), Penn State, Texas

    Big School, Very good with particular specialries at First Tier level--Illinois (advertising), Maryland (political reporting), Ohio U. (print)

    Smaller School--Boston University, NYU
  • carolyncarolyn Registered User Posts: 7,435 Senior Member
    Dadtimesthree, Your list of schools is fine, but Syracuse actually has slightly fewer undergraduates than either NYU or Boston U so I'm not sure how it fits in the "big school" category. :)

    I'd add Ithaca and Emerson to the list of small schools with good journalism/communications programs, but in reality there are many good programs out there. Sometimes working at a less well-known program that has good connections to the media in the geographic region you'd like to work in the future can be a fine choice too.

    Macnyc has given some good advice above, but I'd also add that it is VERY important to check out each school's:

    -- faculty (do many have some "real world" experience or are they strictly academics?)
    -- career placement/internships (both local opportunities and opportunities during the summer)
    -- student newspaper (you want as much opportunity to write for a GOOD paper during college as possible so you can build up a decent clip book for job interviews)
    --facilities (if the school's "journalism department" is still using Kaypro computers, look elsewhere - just kidding, but do ask about the integration of new media into the curriculum, the types of computers and their availability, access to wire services, etc.)

    I think it is also important to understand some of the differences between programs. Many "communications" programs and even some "journalism" programs are pretty theoretical in nature - the focus isn't on preparing students to work in communications/journalism related jobs, but on preparing students to go on to graduate school in the field. These types of programs will be heavy on courses with titles like "mass communications," "interpersonal communications," and "theories of persuasion." There's nothing wrong with these sorts of programs per se, but in reality you might as well just major in English or History or Biology for all they'll teach you about how to research, write and edit a decent article.

    If you want to work in a "journalism" job after college (or a related field such as public relations or advertising) and want to major in communications or journalism (not absolutely necessary to work as a journalist down the road), the type of program you should look for, in my opinion, is one that focuses on practical skills. You'll still take some of the basic theoretical course, but the catalog will include ample numbers of courses with titles like "investigative reporting," "news editing," "writing for magazines," "Photojournalism," and "editorial graphic design."

    I also would advise all journalism majors to take on a minor in a specific subject such as business, political science, environmental science, even home economics. That type of specific knowledge can give you an edge on the job market.
  • ubetteraccept_meubetteraccept_me Registered User Posts: 524 Member
    Reaches: Northwestern, UNC (oos), UCLA (oos), NYU...
    Matches: Miami (FL), UNC (instate), UCLA (instate), BU, USC, Syracuse, American...
    Safties: Miami (OH), Mizzou...
  • pateta00pateta00 Registered User Posts: 588 Member
    hello guys! I'm also interested in communications more specifically tv/film/radio .do you guys know good schools with that major?
  • Cuse0507Cuse0507 Registered User Posts: 4,519 Senior Member
    Syracuse's forte is TV and broadcast communications. They have massive hookups in that field (lots of ESPN broadcasters went to Syracuse). As a matter of fact (and I have said this before), the person who interviewed Terrell Owens in that controversial TV interview that got him booted off of the Eagles roster was in fact a freshman at Syracuse!
This discussion has been closed.