Communication Studies

The Communication Studies major pursues an intellectually rigorous exploration of the theory and practice of communication. Because of this, the Communication Studies major is structured around general thematic areas, as opposed to a specific career focus. Students in Communication Studies can combine courses to explore communication in a manner uniquely suited to their interests. Possible programs of study include interpersonal communication, political communication, organizational communication, rhetoric and public culture, health communication, critical/cultural studies, and strategic communication, just to name a few. Students choose two courses from each of the following four areas:

  • Practices: Courses in this area focus on developing students' abilities to communicate in a variety of settings. Students can expect a significant level of skills training.
  • Perspectives: Courses in this area focus on understanding theoretical approaches to communication. Students can expect significant reading and discussion.
  • Contexts: Courses in this area focus on exploring the role communication plays in society, politics, health settings, and other realms. Students can expect specialized readings, discussion, and practical applications.
  • Analysis: Courses in this area focus on conducting original research into communication. Students can expect advanced writing requirements in most of these classes.

Because of the flexibility of this major, students are strongly encouraged to meet regularly with their advisor, who can help students choose appropriate courses for their desired profession.

While many graduates in Communication Studies choose to go to graduate school, law school, and seminary, others pursue careers in communication consulting, environmental advocacy, human resources, political campaigns, non-profit social service organizations, recreation and health care management, crisis communication consulting, and even public relations, advertising, and broadcasting (especially when combined with carefully chosen electives within the Department of Communication). Should you have questions about possible paths to take, you should feel free to contact one of the faculty who teach in the Communication Studies Program: Drs. Brewer (, Dehart (, Gray (, Gregory (, Moore (, Patti (, and Welsh (; and Ms. Poulos ( 

Program of Study

Here is the program of study.

Semester-by-Semester Four-Year Plan

The university provides a four-year guide that is a recommended semester-by semester plan of study for each major in the Department of Communication The four-year guide is meant as an example of how a degree can be completed in four years. Individual plans will be developed for each student in consultation with your academic adviser.