Symbols on a sign at an airport in Berlin, Germany. Even if you don't speak German, you can understand what most of them mean and how to get to where you need to go.
Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash.
What is Communication Studies?
Communication Studies examines the ways in which humans interact through the use of symbols: verbal, nonverbal, 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.
Communication Studies Degree(s)
Communication Studies at Western
We offer courses from various areas within the field, such as Intercultural Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Media Studies, Organizational Communication, Rhetoric, Health Communication, Communication Technology, and other topics that address the contemporary developments in the discipline. Our faculty research covers various areas that connect theoretical knowledge generation and practical purposes. Our courses allow students to explore a wide range of theoretical and applied perspectives.
Western’s Communications Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
COMM 240 – Media Studies
COMM 325 – Intercultural Communication
COMM 319 – Health Communication
COMM 420 – Issues in Communication Theory
Research, Activities, and Clubs
The Communication Studies program is committed to building a strong community inclusive of people with various identities within Western and in the local region. Students in the program have opportunities to forge meaningful relationships with each other and the faculty. The department is also involved in community partnerships through service-learning projects. The Communication Club and Debate Team are activities that students enjoy in building relationships and engaging in intellectual growth. Additionally, students are encouraged to assist and collaborate with faculty in various research projects for presentation at regional and national academic conferences.
I conducted research on Western's undergraduate population, and ended up with a 1,200-student sample to take an online survey I constructed.
My paper was accepted to the Northwest Communication Association conference, and I was sent by the Communication Studies department to present my findings in Idaho and at Scholar's Week.
Communication Studies Major
What can you do with Communication Studies?
Communication Studies majors acquire the knowledge and skills that opens the door to a wide variety of career opportunities. Our majors develop and hone various communication skills used in different contexts while attending a variety of communication courses. Upon successful completion of the major program, graduates are equipped with the skills to critically evaluate information and competently communicate the information to diverse audiences. While selected students attend graduate programs in various disciplines across the nation, a large number of our majors are employed in various sectors in the industry. Our graduates possess valued skills appreciated in a wide range of contexts and are prepared to work in various fields.
Employers of Recent Communication Studies Graduates
- Nordstrom Inc.
- Campus Point Corporation
- Microsoft Corporation
- T Mobile
- Aerotek Inc.
- Faith Life Corporation
- The Boeing Company
- City of Seattle
- Alaska Airlines
Sample Industries of Recent Communication Studies Graduates
- Retail trade
- Administrative and support services
- Educational services
- Health care and social assistance
- Finance and insurance
- Wholesale trade
- Accommodation and food services
- Real estate, rental, and leasing
- Management of companies and enterprises
- Public administration
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
The tools I learned in my Communications classes landed me a Social Media internship, which became a full-time job after my employer created a new position for me specifically! I literally could not believe it. It was such a humbling feeling – like all my hard work had finally paid off.
Communication Studies Major