Why Study Communication?

No matter what your plans are after graduation, good written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills are vital for your success.

What does free speech mean to you?

Are you interested in public advocacy and how individuals and groups craft and respond to messages? Do you have an interest in how identity and culture shapes our communication interactions? Do you want to better understand how organizations and groups manage communication? If so, a major in communication studies may be a great fit for you.

The department seeks to contribute to a broad, liberal education for majors and non-majors by raising students’ level of oral, visual, and written communication literacy, as well as their critical thinking abilities. Students develop an understanding and appreciation of human message exchanges and recognize how communication influences social, political, artistic and cultural existence. In addition to the communication studies’ programs, the department participates in an interdisciplinary approach to the discipline and thus offers cross-listed courses with theatre, cultural studies, African American studies, women’s and gender studies and IDFA.

Alumni work in areas including public affairs, corporate relations, law, religion, sales, lobbying, entertainment, human resources, conference and meeting management, training, health communication, teaching and consulting. The major also prepares students well for graduate or law school.

The faculty members of the department are committed to scholarly research and creative production in the department’s areas of expertise:

  • identity and culture
  • public discourse and advocacy
  • leadership and organizational communication

The department provides service to the university and the larger community in a variety of ways, including through service-learning courses, community engagement initiatives and through an affiliation with Pi Kappa Delta, the communication studies honorary society.

Internship Program Guidelines

The department has a successful and robust internship program. Students who meet the requirements for participation are encouraged to consider selecting an internship for course credit.

In order to be eligible for an internship, students must be a major, have junior/senior status and have met the following requirements:

  • completion of COMM 300
  • minimum GPA of 2.5
  • a 2.75 in the major

For information about internships, including application information and the approval process, see Career & Internship Support. All internship worksites must be approved by the internship coordinator.

Departmental Scholarships

The communication studies department is fortunate in being able to offer its majors a number of scholarship opportunities, including the Brian Billick Sports Communication Scholarship and two Jamie Parker Memorial Scholarships. Typically, scholarship applications are due in early February for the next academic year.

Departmental Activities

The communication studies department supports the Public Communication Center, a center to help students improve their public speaking and class presentation skills, and Pi Kappa Delta, the national honorary for speech and debate.

The department sponsors a communication studies “welcome back” event in the fall and three major events in the spring, including a campus-wide public speaking contest, the communication studies symposium, and a senior recognition event.