Department of Communication Studies

The Communication Studies Department is firmly committed to academic excellence through promoting a rigorous and relevant curriculum grounded in the liberal arts tradition. We approach communication as the primary social process: the various modes of human communication forge and maintain individual identity and collective organization.

The Communication Studies curriculum offers an integrated approach to communication, providing depth and breadth of knowledge. Undergraduate students will become competent in analyzing the construction, reception and effectiveness of messages, which give shape to our world.

Communication Studies Goals

Our primary goal is to help our students acquire the communication skills that equip them to live and work effectively, creatively, and responsibly in a variety of social contexts from interpersonal to public to mass communication. Students who complete the major will have knowledge of the following:

  • Foundational theories of communication
  • Prevailing communication research paradigms
  • Media industry structure and practices
  • Prevailing criticism of media practice and performance
  • Media influence on individuals and groups
  • The interplay of media systems in a global context
  • Roles and functions of communication in interpersonal, group, organizational and public contexts
  • Conventions of public address and advocacy
  • Impact and ethics of persuasion

Communication Studies prepare students to participate in professional, social and civic life in an ethical, intellectually curious and engaged manner.

Why Choose Communication Studies at USD?

Emphasis on Internships

Students are encouraged and assisted to find an internship with reputable companies regionally and nationally to gain resume-building experience and possibly direct hire opportunities.

Versatile Education

Students gain tangible, applicable expertise in an emphasis of their choosing. While this is not a requirement of our program, students have the chance to deepen their experience in an area that resonates with them.

Engaged Faculty

Faculty in Communication Studies are actively engaged with students, so students graduate with life-long mentors and advisors, who are committed to their continued success.

Media and Research Opportunities

Students are involved in research projects - on their own under faculty advisement or in cooperation with faculty research - so they have the chance to put their research and methods coursework into practice. Students are also able to focus research on areas that are of personal interest to them or that relate to a desired profession.

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