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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Communication Studies

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Programs of Study

Undergraduate Studies

Communication plays a crucial role in shaping the world around us: from the most seemingly mundane interactions with friends and family, to presentations we give at work, to participation in democracy, to how we view ourselves and interact with communities and cultures, communication matters. Our communication contributes to the type of world we wish to live in.

Undergraduates pursuing a BA or minor in communication studies will study the range of communication contexts and get to know the ones that interest them the most in more depth. For instance, students can explore communication of all different types, including:

  • Families
  • Friendships
  • Schools
  • Workplace groups
  • Cross-cultural performances
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Social movements
  • Politics
  • Media

Students will hone their practical communication skills as they learn the foundation of ethical and effective communication. The topics we cover in our courses represent a wide range of interest, speaking to important issues that we all face in our personal, professional and community lives.

Courses help prepare students for future careers by teaching skills that typically top the list of what hiring employers want in their new employees, including integrity, the ability to relate well to others, analytic abilities, leadership and teamwork skills, and the ability to articulate your ideas.

This range is attractive to our majors and minors, who, in preparing for their futures, expect to change careers several times over, but know that no matter what career they choose, they will have to communicate in order to be successful. Studying communication offers excellent preparation for students interested in various careers. To just name a few, students can pursue:

  • Education and community assistance (for potential careers as a teacher, social worker, counselor, etc.)
  • Law (for potential careers as a lawyer, legislative aide, paralegal, legal assistant, etc.)
  • Politics (for potential careers as a campaign manager, legislative or political aide, etc.)
  • Business and management (for potential careers in nonprofit as well as retail/hotel/restaurant management, recruiting, etc.)
  • Writing and publishing (for potential careers as an author, technical writer, publisher, proofreader, copywriter, etc.)
  • Workplace and consumer relations (for potential careers as a public relations specialist/assistant, customer service representative, human resources administrator, etc.)
  • Marketing (for potential careers as a sales representative, advertiser, etc.)
  • Finances (for potential careers as a bank officer, stock broker, real estate agent, etc.)

Although communication studies addresses phenomena and artifacts that pervade our everyday lives, examining, interpreting and critiquing these ubiquitous entities is not easy. In fact, it often leads students out of their comfort zones, asking them to look at the implications of the norms that govern communication in everyday life. Specifically, students are encouraged to address issues such as race, class, gender and privilege and look at particular events, standpoints, artifacts, and identities from a number of different angles. Because of this, our courses challenge students to personally reflect and engage in a number of ways.

Take a look at our Brochure for additional information about a Communication Studies Major. (PDF)