Central communication studies majors experience a broad education that prepares them to take their place in the professional world. Majors are working in diverse fields such as social and mass media, public relations, marketing, management and human resources, nonprofit services, healthcare, politics and law. Award-winning faculty are experts in the field whose connections help students reach their goals, including internships and jobs. Communication studies students develop skills in critical thinking, writing and speaking for a variety of audiences in the contexts of interpersonal, intercultural, public and mediated communication.
A major in communication studies is great career preparation and an excellent foundation for graduate study. Our majors have gone on to grad programs in the following fields:
All communication studies majors complete at least one internship or pre-professional experience. Students have completed internships in a variety of organizations locally, nationally and internationally, including:
From the ins and outs of public relations to the keys to effective public speaking, communication studies prepares students with the skills they will need for the future.
Communication studies students examine the process of creating messages, meaning and relationships in a broad array of contexts. Students are first introduced to theoretical concepts that enhance their skills and understanding of communication in interpersonal, intercultural and public settings, as well as in contemporary media. Advanced students examine communication related to professional engagement and ethics, civic responsibility and media citizenship.
Learn more about Communication Studies in the course catalog.
Shelley Bradfield, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Communication Studies, interest areas include: global media cultures, feminism and gender studies and the construction of identities in the media
Dennis Doyle, B.A., M.S., Ph.D. Professor of Communication Studies, interest areas include: interpersonal communication, communication ethics and performance studies
Meryl Irwin, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Lecturer of Communication Studies, interest areas include: rhetoric, argumentation, aesthetics, political theory, immigration, citizenship, documentary film and new media
Linda Laine, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Professor of Communication Studies, interest areas include: communication in organizational, intercultural and health contexts
The career world is changing so rapidly that we prepare students not just for their first job, but for the job they will have several years after graduation, one that possibly doesn’t even exist yet. To achieve this goal, students explore an intentionally broad-based curriculum focusing on concepts and oral/written skills sought by employers. Further enhancing flexibility, students often complement a major or minor in communication studies with a wide variety of programs, such as business, psychology, political science, arts or athletics/health.
Communication students complete both internships and applied projects embedded in courses. These opportunities enhance theoretical learning and provide interactions with people in a variety of settings and help students acquire professional experience and skills employers are seeking. Recent experiential learning opportunities have included:
Acknowledging that students are highly engaged in social and digital media, communication studies provokes them to think intentionally about their media citizenship. Specifically, students reflect on consuming and producing media messages that construct identities, cultures and social inequalities.
Communication studies includes a focus on local and global civic engagement, examining the role of citizen voices and public forums, social movements, strategic campaigns and risk communication. The Senior Seminar in Communication Ethics explores the intersections of personal decision-making with the needs of one’s relationships, community and society. Other advanced communication courses closely examine the inherent tensions in our desire for interdependency and social justice.
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