Communication Studies explores human communication. The academic discipline looks at communication of many sorts—interpersonal, group, organizational, public, and electronically mediated—and considers a variety of contexts in which communication occurs such as family relationships, cultural clashes, and political campaigns. The discipline uses rhetorical, critical, and social science methods to probe these areas of communication.
Communication Studies also instills in students strong speaking skills of several sorts, ranging from managing a conversation to conducting a group to giving a presentation to orchestrating a campaign.
Communication Studies is a strong liberal arts major, and, like other liberal arts majors, it opens the door to a wide array of careers. Communication Studies majors pursue careers in areas such as public relations, marketing, and personnel; they also pursue careers in many aspects of media. This major is excellent preparation for law school, and a Communication Studies major can, of course, pursue graduate work in communication. Coupled with another social science major, Communication Studies provides extra capital for careers in areas such as social work, counseling, politics, and management.
The major consists of four parts—a communication skills core; a communication theory and research methods core; advanced courses in rhetoric, interpersonal, and media studies areas; and a problem-focused capstone that pulls the different threads of the discipline together.
Students can begin work in the major with the communication skills core; however, communication theory and communication research methods do need to be taken early in the major—preferably during the sophomore or junior years.
The major is designed to be flexible. Students can focus more on rhetoric, more on interpersonal communication, or more on media. They can also give the major a more applied dimension through course selections and by pursuing an internship in lieu of an advanced communication course.
Students can also count methods courses in political science, psychology, and sociology—as well as cognate courses in these and other areas in the Communication Studies major. Communication studies can therefore be part of a double major. By adding a Communication Studies major to a more traditional one, students can create an academic profile highly attractive to prospective employers.
Learn more! Use the navigation on your left to further explore this course of study.