The Communication Studies discipline examines the ways in which humans interact through the use of symbols: verbal, non-verbal, and visual. This examination includes the critical study of communication behavior among humans as well as providing practical experience in the crafting and presentation of messages. Within our department we offer courses from various areas within the field: Intercultural Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Organizational Communication, Rhetoric, Media Studies, Communication Technology, and other special topics that arise addressing contemporary developments and faculty research. The Communication Studies program at Western offers a broad approach for students allowing them to explore many facets of the discipline from the applied to the theoretical. The department has a portfolio application process to become a major that ensures students are capable and focused on the content so that the in-class experience is enriched. The Department’s Mission Statement to "…teach communication studies that nurture inclusive civil discourse, critical thinking, and cooperative solutions in a diverse global community. We offer opportunities to develop strong communication skills within a challenging liberal arts program", is at the core of the curriculum. As a result we survey the discipline as a whole while providing context for discussions of issues in society relevant to Western and the world that students will encounter after graduation such as diversity and difference, and what it means to be a valuable citizen of a society.
Department faculty and staff encourage a sense of community and engage with students to support their wellbeing and success. Through the talents, intellectual curiosity, and versatility of the diverse faculty, the department has established a strong intercultural and global orientation.
Western’s Communications Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.