A critical need...


In many professions, the need for communication skills has never been more critical. Employers consistently cite communication skills as the major requirement for success in professional careers. A major in communication studies can help you acquire and learn to use those skills effectively. Students of communication studies learn to analyze written, oral, visual, and electronic messages from historical, critical, and social science perspectives. They also learn to produce such messages as a means of artistic and functional expression.

Learn How to Tell the Stories!

Organizational/Corporate Communication

Organizational/Corporate Communication combines a common core of courses in communication with classes that examine communication systems, training and consulting, as well as advertising and corporate advocacy in business, community and governmental settings.

Rhetoric and Public Communication

Rhetoric and Public Communication includes courses in theory, practice and criticism in the general field of human communication. Students in this major have a broad communication background appropriate for a variety of careers in organizational/corporate, educational or governmental settings. This emphasis provides a strong preparation for students planning to pursue graduate and/or law school.

Media Studies

The emphasis in Media Studies includes courses in mass communication theory, history, film theory and criticism, screenwriting, and production. Graduates with this emphasis regularly find jobs in the film and television industries or in corporate media production working with new technologies such as interactive multimedia and Internet web design.


NIU’s journalism program provides students with a broad-based liberal arts education combined with an array of skills and theory courses. Skills courses – our writing, photography, layout, electronic and broadcasting courses – teach students to gather, evaluate, publish, and disseminate information and materials. Theory courses educate students about the critical role mass media play in society and the importance of professional standards. The degree not only prepares students to function effectively in a multimedia and multicultural journalism environment, but also promotes understanding of ethics inthe profession. Majors may choose to focuson print journalism, public relations, or broadcast news.

What can I do with this degree?

A bachelor degree in Communication & Journalism also prepares students who want to enter graduate school for advanced studies in communication, media, education, or other related fields.

Possible Job Titles in Communication

  • Advertising Manager
  • Advertising Sales Agent
  • Broadcast News Analyst
  • Interpreters and Translators
  • Meeting and Convention Planner
  • Photojournalist
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Technical Writer
  • Writer and Author


jorge rodas


"NIU gave me a great foundation
on which to build my career in
broadcast journalism. Through 25
years of TV news management
I’ve constantly drawn on my
NIU  experience and education."

--Mike Cavender
BS 1976, Journalism





Degree Information

The Department of Communication offers both B.A. and B.S. degrees for majors in Communication Studies and in Journalism. Students may pursue a double major in Communication Studies and Journalism or choose to major in one area and elect a minor in the other or in any other field of study at NIU. In addition, the department offers courses of study leading to a minor in Communication Studies, which can be tailored to meet a variety of interests including teacher certification, a minor in Journalism, and an interdisciplinary minor in Applied Communications which is offered jointly with the Department of English. Several of the department’s lower-division courses can be used by non-majors toward fulfilling area requirements in the university’s general education program. Courses in the department’s curriculum may also be utilized in interdisciplinary minors such as International Relations or Women’s Studies.

Who Studied Communication?


Contact Information

Department of Communication
210 Watson Hall
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115

Phone: (815) 753-1563
Fax: (815) 753-7109

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