Students majoring in Communication choose among four sequences: interpersonal, intercultural, organizational, and rhetoric and leadership. Since the process of communication is profoundly affected by contexts, modes, and media, not to mention each person's unique personality, the major requires a broad range of courses from both within and outside the division.
Yet we also want students to have the skills necessary to excel as professionals and citizens. Our interpersonal students learn to analyze how and why people communicate—and with what effects. This is helpful for people involved in all types of customer relationships, arbitration, family counseling and human relations functions.
Diplomats and international business people need to know how culture affects communication and to be aware that subtle differences in a gesture can lead to success or failure in talking with another person or negotiating with a businessperson from another country. This is what our intercultural communication students study.
It's said that a company or organization that communicates well is one with satisfied employees, clients and customers. Organizational communication students learn to analyze communication patterns within organizations and make recommendations for how people can better understand the goals and needs of all the stakeholders. Service learning is a valuable tool we use to bring our students into community organizations that need help improving their internal communication.
Studying rhetoric, the ancient art of persuasion and communication, opens up many modern-day career possibilities from improving a sermon to getting elected President of the United States. Our Rhetoric and Leadership students learn to analyze the context, speaker's intent and uses of speech and media to reach audiences. Our professors are scholars in Presidential, advocacy and feminist rhetoric and our graduates find success in a variety of careers calling for an understanding of strategic communication methods.