3 Artists You Didn’t Know Majored in Communication

“A communications degree is fairly easy.”

Let’s put that myth to rest right now.

As a communication major, I can attest to the fact that the statement is false. Instead let’s replace that sentiment with, “People who pursue communication degrees continue to push the boundaries and trail blaze through their respective facets in the field of communication.” Did you know Matthew McConaughey graduated from the College of Communication at the University of Texas, with a B.S. in radio, television, and film?

But he’s not the only big name you probably didn’t know studied communication.

Here are some of the best examples of individuals who took their communications degrees and blew the roof off of film, television, and music.

  1. Jermaine Cole, also more famously known as J.Cole, graduated magna cum laude at St. John’s University with a major in communication and minor in business. J. Cole came onto the hip-hop scene as Jay-Z’s protégée, being the first artist to sign to Jay’s “Roc Nation” label.

J. Cole tearing up the stage at Bonnaroo 2016

Cole blew up with his sophomore album Born Sinner, which featured artists ranging from TLC to Kendrick Lamar. In 2014, J. Cole debuted his critically renowned record, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, which went double platinum as of June 2016.



2. Spike Lee, the visionary mind behind the films such as Inside Man and Malcom X, began his career with a B.A. in Mass Communication from Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia. To this day, the acclaimed director, actor, writer, and producer continues to create sociopolitical pieces that provoke the topics of urban crime, race relations, media in current society, and poverty.


Spike Lee on the set of his film, Inside Man, alongside Clive Owen (left) and Denzel Washington (right)

Lee has been nominated twice for an academy award; one for the documentary 4 Little Girls and another for his film Do the Right Thing. In 2016, Lee finally received an honorary award for being a creative powerhouse in film history.


3. Stephen Colbert, best known from The Colbert Report, graduated from Northwestern University School of Communication with his degree in Mass Communication. Colbert is famous for engaging a new audience with American politics and world issues while simultaneously poking fun at everyone.


Stephen Colbert bringing his sociopolitical satire to prime-time television

Colbert played his character, which is described by himself as a “well-intentioned, poorly informed, high status idiot”, on the self-titled show from October 2005 until December 2014. Colbert replaced David Letterman as host of “The Late Show” on CBS in September of 2015, and was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people, twice.

So you never know who in your communication class will be the next big artist. Sounds to me like one more reason to be friendly with all of your classmates in the communication department.



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