Communication Studies

Communication Studies is a social science discipline that fuses together three related and overlapping areas of study:

  • Interpersonal Communication
    • Studying the ways people communicate, both verbally and non-verbally, in organizations, groups, and families.
  • Rhetoric & Public Address
    • Analyzing public statements and mastering the skills of excellent presentation before an audience.
  • Media & Internet Studies
    • Developing awareness of the roles various media play in society and skills in production of media content. 

What I love about communication studies is that it is broad enough to allow for lots of exploration, while also having very specific paths you can choose to follow into many different opportunities and careers.

Josh Harper '16

The department offers a range of courses and flexible requirements so that students are able to tailor their studies for their own unique career path.

  • Many communication majors combine studies in all three areas to prepare for careers in public relations or corporate communication.
  • Others concentrate on media production, and perhaps with additional studies in Journalism or English, prepare for success in broadcasting or filmmaking.
  • Still others focus their attention on rhetoric in preparation for law school or seminary.
  • And others give their attention to interpersonal communication as background for careers in sales, human resources, or corporate training.

With guidance from faculty and careful planning, the career possibilities are endless, and graduates tell many success stories.

Situating communication studies within the liberal arts is vital. Instead of training in specific skills or using specific equipment, students learn concepts of communication that will endure even with rapidly changing technologies and an ever-widening global context. Yes, our students train on state-of-the-art equipment, such as that found in Luther's new Digital Media Center. But realizing that, just a few years after graduation, technology will have changed, we focus on concepts that will allow graduates to adapt to constantly changing environments.

The number one skills that employers are looking for are communication skills and liberal arts students who take classes in writing and speaking.

—Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial  Branding