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 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; Robert Glenn Howard, Professor; Jenell Johnson, Associate Professor; Stephen Lucas, Professor; Marie-Louise Mares, Professor; Sara McKinnon, Associate Professor; Zhongdang Pan, Professor; Catalina Toma, Associate Professor; Lyn Van Swol, Professor; Michael Xenos, Professor; Susan Zaeske, Associate Dean and Professor


Maria Belodubrovskaya, Assistant Professor; Kelley Conway, Professor; Jonathan Gray, Professor; Eric Hoyt, Associate Professor; Lea Jacobs, Associate Vice Chancellor for Arts & Humanities and Professor; Derek Johnson, Associate Professor; Lori Lopez, Associate Professor; Jeremy Morris, Associate Professor; J.J. Murphy, Professor; Ben Singer, Associate Professor; Jeff Smith, Professor

Instructional Staff

Aaron Granat, Lecturer; Erik Gunneson, Faculty Associate; Jason Lopez, Visiting Assistant Professor; Sarah Jedd, Associate Faculty Associate; Mary McCoy, Faculty Associate

Academic Advising

Steffie Halverson, Academic Advisor
Mary Rossa, Senior Student Services Coordinator

Career Advising

Pam Garcia-Rivera, Senior Student Services Coordinator