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Communications: USC Annenberg vs. Northwestern Medill?


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I was accepted to both USC Annenberg's Communication Management program and Northwestern Medill's Integrated Marketing Communications program...and now I have to actually make some decisions!


I'm more interested in strategic corporate communications/non-profit communications, which seem like areas better served by Annenberg's program, but I'm really not sure. Does anyone have any insights to share? Any ideas which program is better recognized/will be more useful professionally?

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I was accepted into both of those schools too! I'm not likely to attend either due to the lack of funding, but I would've gone to Annenberg for Strategic PR had the money been there. I attended the Prospective Student Visit Day at Annenberg back in November and sat in on the MCM session. Overall, what I felt I learned was that while MCM has their different specializations defined, their program is more "academic" and broad compared to the MSPR program which is more practical.


Meanwhile, the big letdown I have about Medill at Northwestern is that the IMC doesn't teach you anything with design and branding software. Don't get me wrong, their course selection is nice, but how can you teach me about "branded content" if you don't even cover the skills to create brands from scratch? Not to mention, it's more expensive than USC Annenberg although the program doesn't last as long (15 months compared to 2 years at USC).


If these were really my only two options, I would attend the MCM program at USC - mostly because of the opportunity for specialization, lower cost, and nicer weather.

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Thanks, CFBrown! I really appreciate it.


That is a good point about Medill, and something I found to be true about Annenberg as well: the opportunities for specialization are multifold. I'm also hoping to take more a strategic/corporate communications focus, which seems like it could be better served at Annenberg than Medill which seems to have a much more hard marketing focus.


A few wrinkles: I received a grant at Medill which would bring the cost down. It would still be more expensive than Annenberg, but only by about 5K in straight-up tuition dollars. On the other hand, I have a bunch of great friends in LA so I would already have a support system in place (my family is all based in Boston).


I can't tell which program has better placement/recognition...and the extent to which that even matters in this field!

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Yea, I know what you mean. It's tough to measure both programs' placement/recognition against each other, but I don't think you would go wrong either way. I too received a grant from Medill, but it's not nearly enough to change my mind from my preferred choice (Syracuse).


Either way you decide, feel free to keep in touch if you want. It'd be interesting to hear how life would've been like at either school I passed up!

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  • 8 years later...

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