The communication arts major offers a liberal arts approach to studying communication. The value of the liberal arts approach is that students not only learn specific skills, they also gain a deep understanding of communication theory, history, research, and criticism. Majors learn to apply communication principles in different contexts and with a variety of different media. As a result, the communication arts major prepares students for a wide range of jobs and careers, including those that don’t exist yet.

Courses in communication arts deal with a diverse range of communication-related topics and approach them from a variety of theoretical, practical, and aesthetic perspectives. The curriculum is designed to foster an understanding of communication processes, improve communication and digital literacy skills, and develop the capacity for critical appraisal and reflection.

The Department of Communication Arts offers two concentrations in the major:

  1. Communication Science and Rhetorical Studies: Students explore the social, psychological, and practical aspects of communication and human behavior with a focus on public, mass, online, organizational, group, and interpersonal communication.
  2. Radio–Television–Film: Students explore the history, theory, criticism, cultural uses, and production practices of television, film, radio, and digital media.

Digital Cinema Production Certificate

The digital cinema production certificate is tailored specifically for students interested in media creation, including film, television, documentary, and internet-based media. See the Digital Cinema Production section in this Guide for requirements and course options.

Digital Studies Certificate

The digital studies certificate allows students seeking more experience with digital media and other technologies to select courses from across several departments, including communication arts, to create their own individualized digital curriculum. See the Digital Studies section in this Guide for requirements and course options.

Please see the People section of the Department of Communication Arts website for additional information.


Communication Science and Rhetorical Studies

Robert Asen, Professor; Anirban Baishya, Assistant Professor; Robert Glenn Howard, Professor; Jenell Johnson, Professor; Marie-Louise Mares, Professor; Sara McKinnon, Professor; Zhongdang Pan, Professor; Allison Prasch, Assistant Professor; Catalina Toma, Professor; Lyn Van Swol, Professor; Lillie Williamson, Assistant Professor; Susan Zaeske, Associate Dean and Professor


Kelley Conway, Professor; Jonathan Gray, Professor; Aaron Greer, Associate Professor; Eric Hoyt, Professor; Derek Johnson, Professor; Jason Lopez, Assistant Professor;  Lori Lopez, Professor; Darshana Mini, Assistant Professor; Jeremy Morris, Associate Professor; Ben Singer, Associate Professor; Jeff Smith, Professor

Instructional Staff

Erik Gunneson, Teaching Faculty II; Sarah Jedd, Teaching Faculty III; Mary McCoy, Teaching Faculty II

Academic Advising

Steffie Halverson, Academic Advisor; Mary Rossa, Academic Advising Manager

Career Advising

Pam Garcia-Rivera, Career Development Manager