Central communication studies majors experience a broad education that prepares them to take their place in the professional world. Our graduates 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. At Central, you'll develop skills in critical thinking, writing and speaking for a variety of audiences in the contexts of interpersonal, intercultural, public and mediated communication.
Alex Bleadorn ’16, claims service representative, Farm Bureau Financial Services, West Des Moines
Sarah Purdy ’16, writer/editor/publishing consultant, The Write Place Publishing & Design, Pella
Emily Friedricks ’15, project manager, Webspec Design, Des Moines
Lauren Newendorp ’15, program centre manager, Ruffalo Noel Levitz, Brisbane, Australia
Morgan Baustian ’14, placement coordinator, QPS Employment Group, Grinnell
Anne Youngman ’14, community relations specialist, Mercy Hospital, Iowa City
Anna Leavenworth ’13, brand marketing coordinator, The Des Moines Register
Holly Osborn ’13, health and sports writer, 303 Magazine, Denver
Jacob Dreyer ’11, public information director, Christian Opportunity Center, Pella
Allison Fegley ’08, director of booking and event services, Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines
Ben Christian ’07, senior manager of partnership marketing, The Royals, Kansas City
Central offers a variety of communication-related student groups and activities, including: Theater Central; CAB (Campus Activities Board); SCATE (Students Concerned About The Environment); SOS (Student Orientation Service); Admission Office Ambassador; Student Senate; and Mock Trial.
Connect with the communication studies department on Facebook for other news and events.
Danny Beyer '04 is networking in style as Young Professional of the Year and “bow tie guy” in Des Moines.
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:
Media representative intern, White House, Washington, D.C.
Naturalist, Jasper County
Marketing intern, Fit for Sport, London, England
Public relations intern, Pella Regional Health Center
Program assistant, Iowa Council for International Understanding, Des Moines
Nutritional education intern, health clinic, Merida, Mexico
Marketing intern, Iowa Events Center, Des Moines
Social media liaison and program coordinator, performing arts school, Vienna, Austria
Content communications intern, Pella Corp.
Reporting intern, KNIA/KRLS radio, Pella
PR intern, non-profit fair trade store, Pella
Strategic communications intern at JDRF, New York
Branding strategy intern, LW Branding, Chicago
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.
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.