Boston University vs. Syracuse vs. Northwestern

Carmen

New Member
I'm looking at schools to apply to for undergrad. I'm looking at Newhouse specifically for Syracuse. Which school is better for film and tv production but also just in general (environment, people, job opportunities, etc.)?
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Welcome to the site!

I'm a graduate of BU's COM but in 1999... can't believe it's 17 years ago. Boston's a great town to go to school at. The film program was decent at the time. I don't know too much first hand about the other schools unfortunately - but I've heard good things about each.

It's a cliche but film school really is what you make of it so for undergrad I'd see which school's campus and city appeal to you the most as well. Be sure to visit each campus and city... you're going to make a four year commitment! You need to know that you'll enjoy the city and the school itself.

Be sure to search the site for old posts on the schools until you hear from others. Below are the film school pages for them... please be sure to comment on and review them as you learn more about the schools.

Boston University - College of Communication (B.A. & B.S.)

Syracuse University - Newhouse School Of Public Communications

Northwestern University - School of Communication
 

Kira

MFA TV Writer @UCLA
Staff member
FilmSchool.org Writer
Hey Carmen! I am currently a student at BU, studying abroad with BU's Film and TV Internship program in London. I am biased, but BU is a terrific school and Boston is a great place to be (as a filmmaker and a student). I wouldn't go into too much debt for it (however, that is a comment on the general education system, not just BU. I'd say that about any school). As Chris said, film school (and university in general) is what you make it.

We do have our own student run TV network, which received multiple Associated Press, NATAS, Telly, and Webby Award awards... :p

If you have any questions, feel free to message me!
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
We do have our own student run TV network,
Does BU still own WABU Channel 68? I did my first internship there, did "man on the street" interviews and edited them together on an Avid... back in I think 1996 or 97.

I also edited for their Bay State soap opera on the student run channel. Is that still going? Edited that on 3/4 inch UMATIC tape to tape. :)

BU is a great school. Expensive (but they're all expensive) but a great school.
 

Kira

MFA TV Writer @UCLA
Staff member
FilmSchool.org Writer
Does BU still own WABU Channel 68? I did my first internship there, did "man on the street" interviews and edited them together on an Avid... back in I think 1996 or 97.

I also edited for their Bay State soap opera on the student run channel. Is that still going? Edited that on 3/4 inch UMATIC tape to tape. :)

I think it is called buTV10 now! That's so cool it was your first internshi :D & yes, Bay State is still a thing; I think it's the longest-running student soap opera in US.
 

Carmen

New Member
It's a cliche but film school really is what you make of it so for undergrad I'd see which school's campus and city appeal to you the most as well. Be sure to visit each campus and city... you're going to make a four year commitment! You need to know that you'll enjoy the city and the school itself.

Thanks! I visited Northwestern today. The school overall seems really great and I like that they encourage having multiple concentrations. Also I already live in Chicago so the area is nothing new. Still deciding whether that's a good or bad thing haha. I did check our their filming set however and I was a bit underwhelmed. I didn't check out their equipment really though and I guess you could film anywhere and not just a set so I'm still really considering it. I'm visiting BU and Syracuse this weekend. At first I was thinking I should ED to Syracuse because their communications school is amazing but after speaking with their rep I got the impression that it's mostly for news and journalism. Looking forward to checking out BU though!
 

Carmen

New Member
Be sure to let us know how it goes! :)

After visiting, I realized Syracuse is just not for me. Their communications school is amazing and the campus is beautiful but the vibe just isn't me. It's hard to explain. On the other hand I LOVED BU's communication school. I loved all the opportunities you can have starting freshman year and the amenities they have. I also love how their semester in L.A. sounds. But, I didn't feel the same about the school overall. Something about it didn't click and it's away from home. It's really strange because I feel the somewhat opposite about Northwestern. I loved the school overall, and even though I really liked the communications school, I loved BU's more. So, I'm kind of stuck now because the only way I have a chance at getting in to Northwestern is through early decision and that means if I get in I'm obligated to go. I'm just torn because I do love Northwestern, its highly regarded, and I feel like I would have an amazing time there (assuming I get in of course), but what if I would like BU or another school more? And also after a talk with my teacher, he kept saying how I need to be pushed out of my comfort zone and have new experiences (meaning I should go to a school in a different state), and that film is all about the unfamiliar. Which I agree with but I feel like I'm just not ready for that at 18. Maybe in a few years, but not right now. Or maybe that's the whole point and I should...argh. He also said I could get into NU w/o ED but I just do not agree.

Okay that was a lot. I just need to get that out because early decision deadline is Nov 1st so I really need to make a decision soon.
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
And also after a talk with my teacher, he kept saying how I need to be pushed out of my comfort zone and have new experiences (meaning I should go to a school in a different state), and that film is all about the unfamiliar. Which I agree with but I feel like I'm just not ready for that at 18. Maybe in a few years, but not right now. Or maybe that's the whole point and I should...argh

+100000

This is the time to do it without a doubt. Getting new experiences is half of what college is about... Heck I studied abroad for a year at BU and it was one of the best things I ever did.

Boston is a wonderful town to go to school at. If you loved the school and facilities then.... :)

I'm going to strongly encourage my kids to go to school in a different state to broaden their experiences and view of the country and the world. Also so they can experience real weather and seasons being that they're California kids. Haha.

In regards to COM vs the rest of the school... I only wen to the rest of the school to do some of my freshman sophomore requirements.

I also highly recommended dorming on the COM floors in Warren towers if you can. Then you'll be dorming with the other communication students and it's a blast. I still have many close friends to this day that I met there on the COM floor 18 years ago. :)

BU is huge but the COM school is a manageable size.

I don't know if any of this helps, but does this now mean it's now between Northwestern and BU for you?
 

Kira

MFA TV Writer @UCLA
Staff member
FilmSchool.org Writer
After visiting, I realized Syracuse is just not for me. Their communications school is amazing and the campus is beautiful but the vibe just isn't me. It's hard to explain. On the other hand I LOVED BU's communication school. I loved all the opportunities you can have starting freshman year and the amenities they have. I also love how their semester in L.A. sounds. But, I didn't feel the same about the school overall. Something about it didn't click and it's away from home. It's really strange because I feel the somewhat opposite about Northwestern. I loved the school overall, and even though I really liked the communications school, I loved BU's more. So, I'm kind of stuck now because the only way I have a chance at getting in to Northwestern is through early decision and that means if I get in I'm obligated to go. I'm just torn because I do love Northwestern, its highly regarded, and I feel like I would have an amazing time there (assuming I get in of course), but what if I would like BU or another school more? And also after a talk with my teacher, he kept saying how I need to be pushed out of my comfort zone and have new experiences (meaning I should go to a school in a different state), and that film is all about the unfamiliar. Which I agree with but I feel like I'm just not ready for that at 18. Maybe in a few years, but not right now. Or maybe that's the whole point and I should...argh. He also said I could get into NU w/o ED but I just do not agree.

Okay that was a lot. I just need to get that out because early decision deadline is Nov 1st so I really need to make a decision soon.

If you don't absolutely love Northwestern, then don't do early decision IMHO. Apply to many and see what your options are. Especially since November 1st is so close. I guess it depends on what you want from your university experience. For me, the strength of the program and opportunities available (internships, study abroad, location) were very important. I picked a school far from my Dallas home and have never regretted it.

Moving far away can be scary. Sophomore year, I studied abroad in Tokyo and now I am studying in London (all through Boston University!). Moving and living thousands of miles away from home can be hard, but it also teaches you so many things that you can't learn from classes. I feel like I am more mature and self reliant than most kids my age.

Everyone has their own expectations though. My roommate (when I am in Boston) is from the Boston area and goes home almost every other weekend. She can celebrate birthdays with her family and her parents can bring her whatever she wants (like a different jacket or whatnot). It's just a very different university life than I have.

While you don't want to be ill prepared, sometimes you just have to make the leap. I think moving to a new place will always have its trepidations, whether you are 18 or 38. Pretty soon (hopefully) I will make the move to LA to find a job. I am terrified (for a variety of reasons), but that's not going to stop me. Make sure you are fueled forward by your dreams and not held back by your fears. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me or just ask here :)
 

Carmen

New Member
Wow, so many supportive people on here. Well, I didn't get into Northwestern but it's okay. Now BU seems like it's my top choice. However, I am making a visit to NYU and so that might change my mind. Right now I'm just processing everything but I know that I still have amazing options. Rejection is just hard, you know?
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Wow, so many supportive people on here. Well, I didn't get into Northwestern but it's okay. Now BU seems like it's my top choice. However, I am making a visit to NYU and so that might change my mind. Right now I'm just processing everything but I know that I still have amazing options. Rejection is just hard, you know?
When's your NY visit?
 

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