What is Communication Studies?

Communication Studies focuses on the production and influence of messages in public, personal and professional life. With communication being the #1 skill sought by employers, studying it gives students the knowledge needed to excel on any career path.

Students can fulfill the general requirements of the major or complete courses in one of three emphasis areas.

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Communication, health, and well-being
FOCUS: the role of communication in health and wellness contexts.

Understanding and explaining individual and relational health, promoting healthy behaviors, and helping persons navigate health challenges through the role of communication.

Diversity, culture, and global communication
FOCUS: the role of communication in constituting identity in a complex and diverse world.

Understanding how we identify and understand difference, how power is constituted and perpetuated in communication processes, how people organize in ways that enable and constrain voice, and how marginalized groups can (re)claim power in local/global contexts.

Communication, public advocacy, and civic engagement
FOCUS: the role of communication in facilitating public participation, mediating public controversies, and organizing for social change and citizen involvement.

Learning to become advocates and critical thinkers by gaining skills related to public speaking, critical thinking, and message construction and analysis.

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Our students learn to
advocate, negotiate, and relate

Advocate for individuals, causes, and organizations across your personal, professional, and public life.

Negotiate differences in people, perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds as well as difficulty in personal, professional, and public life.

Relate well with others as you effectively build connections with others across personal, professional, and public life.

You can align communication skills with careers like these:

  • Social media coordinator
  • Digital media specialist
  • Talent recruitment
  • Community outreach specialist
  • Lawyer
  • Research analyst
  • Human resources manager
  • Management consultant
  • Small business owner
  • Public relations associate
  • Nonprofit/advocacy professional

Unique collaborative opportunities

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One-to-one interaction
Our department tailors classes to be smaller in size, that way you can experience 1-to-1 interaction with your professors while forging tight-knit relationships with your fellow classmates.

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Lab learning
The Narrative Nebraska, Health Communication Lab, and Communication and Identity Lab are a sampling of the research labs in the department that allow students to get valuable research experience with our experienced faculty members as their guide.

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Community beyond the classroom
With opportunities including research, student organizations, the advisory board, and our award-winning speech and debate team, you could grow and develop your major and leadership skills outside of the classroom!

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A sample of your potential coursework

Here are a few of the classes you could take:

  • COMM 209:
    Public Speaking
  • COMM 271:
    Organizing Social Change
  • COMM 311:
    Intercultural Communication
  • COMM 354:
    Health Communication
  • COMM 371:
    Conflict and Negotiation
  • COMM 375:
    Theories of Persuasion
  • COMM 380:
    Gender Communication
  • COMM 386:
    Organizational Communication
  • COMM 452:
    Media and Culture
  • COMM 465:
    Communication and Social Identity
  • COMM 471:
    Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication

“Being a communication major has not only made me a more effective communicator and diplomat, but it has also given me insight into how to tailor messages so they are more convincing.”

J. Peterson, alumnus