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Why Communication Studies?

Entering its 101st year as a department, the Department of Communication Studies remains committed to helping its students become better citizens, articulate communicators, critical thinkers, and able advocates. Our graduates go on to be successful in the fields of law, television, marketing, management, and human resources, to name only a few. Our graduates are in high demand for their versatility, their critical thinking, and, of course, their outstanding communication skills.

At the undergraduate level, our students choose one of four tracks of study:

  • Interpersonal and organizational communication
  • Creative industries/media production
  • Public advocacy
  • Media & social justice

Each track draws on and develops key communication skills including public speaking, small group communication, critical thinking, argumentation, media literacy, and rhetorical criticism. Our capstone courses challenge students to engage the role of communication in resolving relational and public problems. Capstone course options include but are not limited to environmental communication, political persuasion, rhetoric of civil rights, and family and marital communication. After graduation, the skills our students have developed in our department distinguish them in both the job market and graduate school applicant pools.

Our graduate program provides a closer investigation of communication studies as a mode of inquiry. Rhetoric, relational communication, and critical media studies are the tracks of study offered to graduate students, who may have plans to obtain a Master’s degree or their PhD. MA students in our program are invited to stay and continue for their doctorate after completion of their thesis. Graduate students in our department often supplement their degree with graduate minors in related fields, including IREL (Interpersonal Relationship Research), MIMS (Moving Image Studies), literacy and rhetorical theory, and feminist studies.