The faculty of the Department of Communication Studies is a dynamic mix of researchers, teachers, thinkers and practitioners. We make communication theory come alive for students in our classrooms as we discuss the implications of exciting research about human communication that is conducted in our discipline, and through the use of cases and discussions grabbed from the headlines and our own experiences.
The B.A. in Communication Studies emphasizes a broad evidence-based communication approach to creating shared meaning and understanding of messages in interpersonal, health, instructional, intercultural, organizational, persuasive, group, mass, social media and technologies, as well as public speaking contexts. The goal is to effectively train students to learn how to engage in rigorous application of communication theory and research that translates into application and practice in a variety of settings from non-profit organizations to corporate environments, and government organizations.
There are six areas of study in the Communication major: interpersonal/family, emerging technologies and digital media, health communication, organizational communication, mass communication, and intercultural communication.
The curriculum is designed to facilitate student mastery of theory and research, to enhance communication skills, and to enhance student preparation for a variety of careers or graduate study. The communication major is not designed as a training program in advertising, journalism, production, or public relations; but it provides a theoretical foundation in the broader discipline of communication studies.
By design, the courses in the curriculum tend to cluster into several different areas of study. These areas represent important foci in the communication discipline and are areas in which the Department’s faculty possess special expertise. It is suggested that students may specialize in one of these areas or may design individual programs of study by choosing other combinations of electives that best meet their needs and career objectives and tailor their academic experience.
The B.A. in Strategic and Corporate Communication emphasizes an evidence-driven approach to advance an organization's mission, services, and vision through persuasive messaging. This approach involves a rigorous application of communication theory and practice. The goal is to train students to gather evidence relevant to organizational or corporate goals, design and communicate effective messages, and analyze the data associated with the outcomes. Students will learn to deploy theory-driven strategic messages in organizational and corporate settings, including for–profit, not–for–profit, and government organizations. The competencies obtained apply to a broad variety of industries and settings.
Outside of the classroom, we give students plenty of opportunities to apply what they learn in real-world performance and professional settings. Some of these activities include the Speech Team, Chapman Radio, Lambda Pi Eta (Communication Studies Honors Society), and our internship program. Our faculty is committed to working with students to design independent study opportunities to create a personalized education experience. Independent study allows our students, to acquire knowledge and experience in any of our faculty’s areas of specialization, including communication and relationships, organizational communication, communication on the global business stage, mass media, and culture.
The Department of Communication Studies is committed to maintaining an academic and social environment in which students may develop into inquiring thinkers who communicate productively in society. We do so by exposing students to theories and research emanating from the communication discipline and by providing them with opportunities to apply their knowledge and practice communication principles in varied settings. Students learn and practice the skills important for developing and sustaining high quality, ethical relationships in personal, professional and global contexts.