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Department of Communication Studies

What is Communication Studies?

Communication Studies majors explore, understand, and make a difference in how people interact with each other and build relationships. Comm Studies majors engage with expert faculty inside and outside the classroom to study a broad range of skills, including crafting messages effectively for various audiences, managing conflict well, building strong relationships, developing healthy communities, and collaborating well in groups and organizations.  These skills are essential for growing successful careers and vibrant communities.  

The Comm Studies Major has four tracks students can follow to develop their skills and prepare for their next steps.

  • Political Communication focuses on communication and rhetoric in the political processes of democracies and civic interaction. Courses focus on strategic use of language, political processes, citizen interactions, argumentation, persuasion, and community building.
  • Legal Communication is ideal for students interested in the legal profession. Courses focus on trial advocacy, argument construction, presentational skills, critical thinking, persuasion, and theories of legal communication.  
  • Relational Communication focuses on how we use communication to initiate, establish and manage relationships. Courses increase understanding of verbal and nonverbal communication and responses, relational development, cultural similarities/differences, conflict, deception, and group communication dynamics. 
  • Organizational Communication concentrates on communication between organizational members to improve individual’s abilities to organize, coordinate, and facilitate behaviors. Students learn how communication can be enhanced to improve information and idea sharing, problem solving, leadership, and interactions in a variety of organizational settings.  

What can you do with a Communication Studies Degree?

Lots!  Our majors have pursued careers as lawyers, community relations coordinators, managers, lecturers, counselors, business owners, debate and forensics directors, and communication coordinators.  

Check out the Career Center Communications Studies page to see a few of the types of careers you can pursue and ways you can make a difference. Also, check out the Employment & Internships page to see what our students are doing with their degrees and what all you could be doing.



Study Abroad Program
Japan 1

The department of communication studies invites applications from undergraduate and graduate students for its Summer 2018 travel seminar in Japan. All majors welcome! This 2-week summer travel course, which will be from June 6, 2018 – June 21, 2018, on culture and communication is designed for undergraduate and graduate students interested in an academic and intercultural experience in a foreign culture. Applications are due by February 15, 2018.  Read more


New Assistant ProfessorHeather Woods

We welcome Dr. Heather Woods to the communication studies faculty.  Dr. Woods received her Bachelor's degree from Kansas State and her Master's degree from Baylor University, and recently completed her doctorate in communication at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  Woods will be teaching "Rhetoric in Western Thought" and "Rhetoric and Social Movements".    Read more

Check out our eNewsletter!

Scholarship Campaign for Forensics and Debate

Communication Studies has begun an ambitious new scholarship campaign on behalf of our Forensics and Debate teams. Read more about our goals.

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