3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Ivies and Communication

Hi everyone!

Does anyone know why the Ivies and most Public Ivies don't offer Communications as a major? I know only Cornell and Penn offer it, and Stanford (even though it isn't an Ivy)...

I really want to do Communications and I think I have some sort of chance of getting into an Ivy, but I'm not sure at all.

Also, does anyone know any good alternatives to Communications (aside from Public Relations and Journalism)?

Thank you!


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3 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

This is an excellent question. I do want to mention that Brown has a department of "Modern Culture and Media," which I believe is quite related to communications. Other elite private schools like Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Northeastern, Boston University, and NYU have a variety of communications programs - Northwestern and BU even have their own colleges of communications! Many elite public schools - University of Michigan, Ohio State, University of Florida, and more - have excellent communications programs as well.

In terms of why some schools don't offer this major, this depends very much on the given school. Harvard, for example, prides itself on offering its students a "liberal arts" education, and this means they don't have specialized pre-professional majors outside of engineering. Given that Harvard doesn't offer any undergraduate concentrations in business, accounting, nursing, journalism, or hospitality, it shouldn't be so surprising that they also don't offer communications. I believe many other liberal arts-focused schools are somewhat similar in this respect.

In terms of what might be a good alternative, it depends on what most interest you. Communications is typically a very interdisciplinary major, so some facets of it may be more appealing to you than others. If you're interested in media, then journalism does make sense, as you've already mentioned. If you're interested in marketing/public relations/advertising, in sales, or in HR, you could look to pursue an undergraduate business degree or a specialized degree in one of these fields. If you're interested in writing about politics or working in diplomacy, you might consider studying political science, international relations, or government. If you're interested in understanding people, you might pursue psychology or sociology. If you're interested in creative writing, but not necessarily in journalism, you might pursue a degree in English.

Finally, I just want to note that going to an Ivy usually isn't a bad choice even if your preferred major isn't available. If you're interested in working in business or finance, for example, going to Harvard or Columbia and pursuing a quantitative major like economics, mathematics, or statistics, can be better than doing an undergraduate business degree at nearly any school.

Hope this helped!

3 years ago

So from my rudimentary understanding ivies are much more in the mathematical side of humanities for example ivies arent known for journalism and teaching, but economics business certainly. Also while they probably have the demand to sustain it; it would detract from their main area. Think of Walmart selling cars people would probably buy them but its not something they want to get into.

For example, agriculture isn't offered at any ivy if I remember correctly while Nebraska Lincoln has a great one because Nebraska cares more about farming.

Some decent alternatives to communications are the business areas like marketing or even business administration as you could potentially try to become a spokesman through that. Also your major doesn't matter so much as what you learn there. My mom majored in psychology but now she does sales. Ivy degrees would likely accelerate that and you could always gain experience through internships and the like.

Hope this helps!

3 years ago

I know this isn't an Ivy, but Syracuse has a really good communications and journalism program at Newhouse!

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