Communication Studies Major

Communication Studies emphasizes applied communication theory and research in organizational, interpersonal, intercultural, and rhetorical/public contexts. Courses teach students effective skills necessary to succeed in their area of specialization including speaking, writing, reading, critical thinking, problem solving, project management, information gathering, persuasion, responding to critiques, effective language use, and listening. The major prepares students interested in pursuing careers in a variety of nonprofit and business/corporate organizations such as:

  • healthcare
  • social and human services
  • education
  • technology
  • international relations
  • government/politics
  • law

Sample Communication Studies Careers (.pdf)

Communication Studies majors get hands-on classroom and co-curricular experience in consulting, research, writing, teamwork, presentational speaking, and leadership by:

  • providing communication consulting to nonprofit and corporate organizations
  • conducting original interpersonal research in the community
  • presenting research at the annual CSCA President’s Undergraduate Honors Conference
  • being a peer consultant in Drury’s Speech Communication Center
  • accepting a leadership role in Lambda Pi Eta, the national honor society of the National Communication Association
  • joining The Mirror (student newspaper), KDRU (student radio station), and DUTV (student TV station)

Degree Requirements

The communication studies major must complete 36 hours of coursework:  30 hours of required courses and six hours of elective courses.  All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the following courses.
Please note that COMM 211 Presentational Speaking is a prerequisite for COMM 351 Principles of Persuasion and Influence.  Students should complete COMM 211 early in their degree program. 

Core Courses
COMM 215: Foundations of Communication Theory
COMM 226: Multimedia Production I
COMM 285: Communication and Ethics
COMM 351: Principles of Persuasion and Influence
COMM 386: Web Communication
COMM 493: Senior Seminar

Major Requirements
COMM 342: Interpersonal Communication Theory
COMM 353:Mass Media and Society
COMM 387: Organizational Communication
COMM 442: Rhetorical Criticism

Choose six hours from the following electives:
COMM 141-144: Radio Activities
COMM 161-164: Public Relations Activities
COMM 171-174: TV Activities
COMM 181-184: Journalism Activities
COMM 275: Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
COMM 275-L: Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences Lab
COMM 322: Media Law
COMM 332: Intercultural Communication
COMM 358, 359: Advanced Journalism Activities I and II
COMM 373: Advanced Electronic Media and TV Activities
COMM 422: Argumentation and Advocacy
COMM 290, 390, 490: Selected Topics
COMM 291, 292, 391, 392, 491, 492: Research
COMM 397, 398, 497, 498: Internship

Senior Portfolio Requirement
All communication majors, and those planning to declare a major, must keep a file of important assignments completed in communication courses and in the general education program. Items to be placed in the file include any written assignments graded or evaluated by the instructor, written projects, speeches, internship projects and audio/video materials.  The contents of the file will be used to develop a senior portfolio, a course requirement in COMM 493 senior seminar. The senior portfolio is a reflective document that provides evidence of a student’s learning achievements and it may be used to facilitate career planning, job search activities and/or admittance to graduate study.

Communication Majors Worksheet (PDF)

Sample Career Titles by Major (PDF)

Communication Studies Internships

Communication Studies majors often have one or more internships to gain professional experience related to their coursework, broaden their resumes, and increase their professional networks.  Sample internships completed by communication studies majors include:

  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Organizational Development Intern, Springfield-
    Greene County Department of Health
  • Federal Judicial Intern, Federal Public Defenders Office of Western District of MO
  • Needs Assessment Intern, The Hamels Foundation
  • Public Policy Intern, American Iron and Steel Institute, Washington, DC
  • Corporate Communication Intern, National Public Radio, Washington DC
  • Development Intern, Isabel’s House
  • Research Fellow, African American Literature and Cultures Institute, San Antonio, TX
  • Communication Intern, Jordan Valley Community Health Center
  • Intern, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Communication Studies Graduates

Sample Jobs of Alumni

  • Analyst, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
  • Physician Quality Reporting System Account Manager, HealthTronics, Inc.
  • Teaching Ambassador Fellow, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC
  • College Adviser, Missouri College Advising Corps/Americorps College
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication, Missouri State University
  • Special Education Coordinator, KIPP: AMP Academy, New York, NY
  • Attorney, Atkinson Haskins Nellis Brittingham Gladd & Fiasco, PC, Tulsa, OK
  • Attorney, Stanton Law Firm, PC, Dallas, TX
  • Program Director, Boys and Girls Club
  • Production Assistant, American Graduate Project, PBS NewsHour, Washington, DC

Graduate Studies

Communication Studies alumni have pursued graduate degrees in communication, law, organizational leadership, nonprofit communication, and political theory at

  • Baylor Law School
  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • Drury University 
  • Indiana University
  • Penn State University
  • Saint Louis University
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Missouri
  • The University of Tulsa College of Law
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison