What do Communication majors study? We are interested in how humans communicate in a variety of contexts, and how people can communicate better to meet their needs and achieve their goals. We study communication in interpersonal relationships, small groups, organizations, instructional settings, social movements, and public forums. We study how people develop the ability to communicate, how communication abilities change during the course of lifetimes, how communication is similar and different among cultures, how people may improve their communication, and how communication creates people’s identities. We also teach students to think critically and communicate ethically and effectively in different situations.
Who majors in Communication and why? Many students are intrigued with human communication processes and want to improve their own skills to serve careers that demand abilities to articulate ideas, to competently relate with people, and to influence effectively and appropriately. Others are fascinated by human behavior and plan to continue their educations at the graduate level. Students who minor in Communication can focus on the combination of skills and knowledge most supportive of their chosen majors.
Jobs and career paths of our majors: Employers consistently look for job candidates with skills in oral communication and interpersonal communication, as well as in critical analysis and teamwork. Students of communication develop the foundation to excel in many careers including those listed on the left under career possibilities.
Unique features of our program: We encourage our students to engage in experiential learning by developing internships, attending conferences, conducting original research, tutoring, assisting in instructing classes, and participating in the intercollegiate speech and debate program. Some of our students come to us with a background in debate, but most do not. Two students selected by the Communication Club serve as representatives to the department’s Executive Committee and each of their votes are equal to the vote of a faculty member.
Special accomplishments of our faculty: Because communication is part and parcel of human life, members of our faculty are, variously, versed in social psychology, literature, women’s studies, cultural studies, linguistics, theatre, and instructional skills, to name a few. Some publish their research findings, others direct performances, act, direct speech and debate activities, write poetry, or review manuscripts. All are active in the profession and community. Several faculty members have served in University leadership positions. One faculty member was named Outstanding Professor and was a Fulbright Scholar in Nicaragua, and another has taught in China.