Hi there! I am pretty sure I’m going to apply to Ithaca RD for Journalism. Do you know anything about this program or ones similar to it? Also, how would you best describe the environment on campus? (Crazy parties, super academic, lots of greek life? etc). any other info you have would be super helpful!! thanks so much
Disclosure - I’m not a journalism major, so I don’t really know every little detail about the program, but I do know a little bit about it from what I’ve gathered from friends.
That being said, all of my friends that are in the journalism major seem to be really happy with it! They take several journalism classes in their first year and even first semester (which is standard in Park), so they get a sense of whether or not they like it from the very beginning.
Just to briefly go over some “highlights”(in my opinion) of the program, journalism students are required to take on a minor outside of Park. Most students use this as a way to specialize. For example, some students want to be political correspondents, so they minor in politics. I’m not sure if this is standard or not in other colleges, but I personally thought that was pretty interesting. Don’t let the minor requirement scare you though, all students in the communications school, regardless of major, are required to take a certain amount of credits outside of Park (in journalism and most other majors cases, this requirement is 60 credits). In addition to the minor requirement, there is also a foreign language requirement, which I think is fairly standard for journalism programs. More information about the academic requirements for a journalism degree can be found here: http://catalog.ithaca.edu/undergrad/schools/park-school-communications/department-journalism/journalism-major-ba/.
Personally, I believe the true value of a Park education comes in the experiences you get outside of the classroom. Journalism has a ton of these opportunities. You can join ICTV or the Ithacan, which are both award-winning student media. For news, ICTV is primarily known for Newswatch, but there are a ton of other shows you can become involved in. The Ithacan does some very hard-hitting journalism at times, so it is also a great thing to be involved in. You can also study abroad or away during your time as a student at Ithaca. In Park, internships are a primary reason students leave campus, so you’ll gain real experience. Some examples of places you can go to are London, NYC, LA, and even Washington, DC through Cornell. If you plan carefully, you may even be able to study abroad for two semesters!
I would describe the environment at Ithaca as fairly laid back. There are some parties if that’s something you’re interested, but I don’t think many parties actually occur on campus (admittedly, I’m not a partier, so I’m not actually sure). There is no Greek Life on campus, with the exception being academic fraternities. I wouldn’t necessarily call Ithaca a super academic school, but I think students do tend to be super involved. This is especially true in Park, where a lot of students are heavily involved in the student media, and you’ll also find people working on side projects, freelancing, etc.
Ithaca is a great school, and I’m really happy there. Let me know if you have any more questions! Good luck with the rest of your admissions process, and I hope to see you on campus next year!
Thank you SO much!!
How is the food? Are there good healthy options on campus?
I’m glad I could help!
Hi! The food isn’t too terrible. I definitely miss my mom’s cooking at times, but I don’t dislike the food at school. Any complaints I’ve had about food at school have more to do with me getting tired of it than they have to do with the overall quality of the food.
If you find yourself missing the taste of homemade food and you’d like to prepare a few dishes for yourself, that’s definitely possible, as all of the residence halls have kitchens equipped with an oven, a refrigerator, and a microwave. Be aware that you do need to bring your own pots/pans/etc.
There are a variety of healthy foods on campus! All of the dining halls have foods that are safe for all dietary restrictions (gluten-free, dairy-free, etc.) In addition to that, there are a wide range of vegetarian and vegan foods available. Information as to whether the food is vegetarian/vegan or not is clearly labeled above all of the foods on the buffet, and Campus Center dining hall has a section that serves exclusively vegan foods.
Food in the dining halls is marked with various pieces of nutritional information, like what constitutes a serving, calories per serving, ingredients used to make the dish, etc., so you have the ability to be very aware of what is in the food and decide whether or not its something you want to eat.
Ithaca definitely makes it as easy as they can to continue eating healthy while in college!
Do you remember if regular decisions came out on a particular day or in waves? The website just says by April 15 at latest.
I have no idea if they changed things this year, but last year I’m pretty sure they released decisions in waves. I personally applied EA in like September, and I received my decisions in the first wave of acceptances (mid-November).
Thanks for starting this thread! I got into the Journalism program at the Park School which I’m pretty excited about. How is the weather like? I follow Ithaca’s instagram and there are always photos of campus covered in snow. Is it rough to move around campus on days where it is snowy? Might sound like a stupid question but I’m actually from Hawaii so 60 degree weather is actually freezing for us lol. Also, how is the diversity on campus?
Hi! Congratulations on your acceptance!
In regards to the weather, we like to say it ‘ithacates’. Pretty much, that means the weather is pretty weird, which is typical for upstate New York. The coming week is a prime example of this. The high today is 22 degrees, tomorrow is supposed to have a high of 41, Saturday is supposed to be a high of 46, and Sunday is supposed to have a high of 38. Of course, next Tuesday we’re supposed to be back down to 19 degrees, because it’s Ithaca, and we can’t have nice weather all of the time in January.
We do get a decent amount of snow, but mobility doesn’t tend to be too hard if you live on campus. Maintenance does a good job of shoveling and salting the sidewalks, so it’s usually fine. You’ll definitely want a pair of high quality boots (a LOT of students wear LL Bean), a warm coat, gloves, etc. to make walking around more comfortable though.
Ithaca College is a predominantly white campus (I’ve seen figures that say about 70% of the campus is white). I’m actually a student from a underrepresented minority group myself, and I can say I’ve never felt uncomfortable on campus. Ithaca is a really progressive town, and the campus represents that. The little comments I got at home (“you’re so articulate!” “can I touch your hair?”, etc) don’t really happen here, which is really, really nice. Also, there are a wide variety of clubs on campus that revolve around giving minority students a safe place, which is really nice too. I made a lot of friends that way.
Let me know if you have any other questions! I hope you choose Ithaca!
My S has been accepted to the film program. We have not yet visited. But how big does Ithaca “feel” to you. Not asking about # of students, just the feel of it to you as a student.
Great question! I had to kind of think about this one for a while.
To me, Ithaca College as a whole feels pretty mid-sized. I don’t think it’s small because I don’t recognize every single person I see when walking across campus, but I don’t think it’s huge because I can’t walk across campus without seeing someone I know or at least recognize.
Park, on the other hand, feels much smaller, which I think is pretty typical when students divide out into their primary academic buildings. I recognize a lot of people there, including professors. Most of my classes in Park are about 30 people, but I’m a freshman taking intro level classes, so that number will continue to get smaller. For comparison, most of my high school classes were 35-40 people, and I didn’t go to a large high school.
I hope this helped, and let me know if you have any other questions! Good luck to your son, and I hope to see him on campus next year!
It did. Thanks!
S19 is not certain what he wants to major in, but he is very interested and talented in photography. If he decides not to apply to Park as a freshman, would he be able to change majors easily later on if he decided to go into film/photography? What would he need to do?
What’s up with the student portal on the Ithaca website? Students who are seeking admission are encouraged to post on it. My son was deferred from Early Action, and one of the routes to demonstrate continued interest in the school was to engage on that website. I looked at some of the posts and they were very basic, such as “My name is X, I’m from Y, and I would like to study Z.” I don’t know how this very superficial level of engagement will demonstrate anything to their admissions office. It also seems a bit odd to encourage kids to get on a public platform as a means of demonstrating continued interest. Is Ithaca alone in this? Between my son and his twin sister, this is the only school that encourages engagement on an internal social media site that I’ve come across. Is this usual? Then again, when I went to college, we were still using typewriters.
@megan12 Sorry for the delayed response, I was swamped with school all week and then ended up sick, go figure.
If your son doesn’t apply to Park as a freshman, it is definitely still possible to transfer in, but it will be harder to transfer into Park than it would be to change from one communications major to another.
There’s an application process to transfer into Park from another academic building at the college. They don’t really say much about the internal transfer process, but they do say it is based primarily on GPA. Participating in ICTV or other relevant organizations definitely couldn’t hurt, either. I will say that some majors in Park are harder to transfer into than others, and unfortunately both film majors tend to be pretty competitive.
I hope this helped, and let me know if you have any other questions!
I’m not an official representatives of the Office of Admissions, so I unfortunately don’t have any insider perspective on what they want to see prospective students posting, but I can tell you how I used the portal/saw it used by others.
The portal (I believe you are referring to IC Peers, but please correct me if I’m wrong) does seem to be pretty unique to Ithaca. I don’t think any other school I applied/was accepted to had anything like it, and if they did, I was never made aware of it.
I noticed at the beginning the conversation did seem very superficial, but as time went on and people started to kind of get to “know” each other, things became more in-depth and less awkward. I would encourage your son to start more in-depth conversations on the portal. Commenting on people’s posts, making posts of his own (asking questions about campus/life at IC, posting about clubs on campus he may be interested in participating in, etc) are all good ways to potentially go about this. Remember, there are admissions officers on IC Peers, so posts are definitely noticed.
I think with IC Peers the Office of Admissions is trying to get a sense on the personalities of potential students, especially if they haven’t been admitted yet. The College definitely cares about the sense of community on campus, so this is a way to foster relationships between freshman before they even step foot on campus. It may seem weird and even mildly creepy, but I actually metrics’s a lot of my friends on IC Peers, so it can be good for that if nothing else.
Sorry if I didn’t really answer your question. Like I said, I really have no clue with what goes on in the Office of Admissions. Good luck to you and your son!
Just got an answer to my earlier question - looks like RD decisions may be rolling out. I have not gotten anything in the mail but just logged into portal to see if they had gotten my midyear report and it said I was accepted. Very excited!
@jpm1234 CONGRATULATIONS!!! It’s a wonderful day to be a Bomber! Do you think you will be enrolling at IC?
Thanks for starting this thread. IC does not get a lot of posts on CC.
My daughter is interested in applying and would be an athlete. I’m wondering what the culture is like for athletes. Some college students seem to feel like athletes are admitted with lower stats, and unfairly gain admission. At another school we heard someone say “We don’t have fraternities/sororities, but have sports teams” (meaning that they were the obnoxious partiers on campus, and maybe keep to themselves a bit). At yet another school, we saw lots of respect/comraderie with athletes and lots of students wearing college gear.
What’s it like at Ithaca?
Ithaca is a D3 school, so because of this, I haven’t noticed anyone saying athletes were admitted unfairly or have lower stats than anyone else.
Athletes do tend to kind of keep to themselves sometimes, but college athletics are a huge time commitment. It’s only natural they’ll be close with their teammates. These kids are together for hours daily. That being said, I have several friends that are college athletes, and they manage to have friendships outside of their sports.
I don’t think athletes have a reputation for being obnoxious partiers, but a lot of the off campus parties do tend to be hosted by athletic houses. We don’t have college-condoned greek life, so a lot of parties tend to be hosted by unaffiliated fraternities/sororities or athletes. I personally don’t party, but a lot of my friends appreciate the parties hosted by athletics teams because they feel safer there. They figure its better to be in a house a bunch of students from our school live in than at Cornell frats or random townies houses. It’s not even every team that has a reputation for parties, most of them don’t.
Ithaca definitely has a lot of school spirit, and there are always tons of students wearing IC gear on campus or in the Commons. Athletes here definitely aren’t disrespected, but at the same time we don’t have a hugely sports-oriented culture either (until Cortaca, that is). I think the best way to wrap up what I’ve noticed about student athletes is that they’re just treated like “one of us…” no better, and no worse.
Sorry if that didn’t answer your question! Let me know if there is anything I can clarify for you.