Communication is fundamental to all human activity. Simply stated, the world is created in language and conversations. The three primary areas in the field of communication are Interpersonal Communication, Mass Communication, and Public Communication (Rhetoric). Sub-disciplines in the field include:
Majors, minors, and graduate students in the Department of Communication all have an opportunity to learn about communication theory and research, as well as the fundamentals of effective communication through group collaboration in each of these areas of communication.
A common element in all communication is the message. A fundamental question that faces practitioners in every Communication sub-discipline is: how can you craft a message that will be effective to your purpose, based on the channel you are using and the audience you are addressing?
Students in the Department of Communication have a variety of ways to develop better communication skills in any of the sub-disciplines. Many people associate communication with public speaking skills, but many other skills are developed as well, including listening, group problem-solving, critical analysis, research, writing, and digital media production skills.
In the Department of Communication, we have faculty and students who craft messages for a wide variety of purposes, including:
In addition, every day we all craft messages for our own interpersonal communication with individuals and small groups.
One way to describe the task of every faculty and student project is: what will make your communication effective? On one level, effectiveness depends on your purpose: are you attempting to inform? To persuade? To entertain?
Since communication is central to all human activity, the field of Communication touches every person and every organization in modern society. A degree in Communication provides a broad base of knowledge and skills that allow students to move into a wide variety of career paths. Many employers will train employees in specific software or technology skills, but the foundation of strong communication skills cannot be easily trained in a short time frame, making the Communication major a particularly flexible and applicable focus for a variety of occupations.
In the Department of Communication, students at all levels have a variety of ways to develop better communication skills in any of the sub-disciplines. Many people associate communication with public speaking skills, but many other skills are developed as well, including listening, group problem-solving, critical analysis, research, writing, and digital media production skills. When businesses and employers are asked about the top skills they look for when hiring graduates, the most common response is that communication skills are increasingly recognized as one of the most valuable skills needed by college graduates (Hart, 2018).
Over the last decade alone, our internship program has connected hundreds of organizations with thousands of students for mutual benefit. Today, thousands of our graduates work in a diverse array of fields, including public relations, journalism, radio, television, politics, government, and non-profit service, and a range of web- and Internet-based businesses.