Undergraduate Programs

Rhetoric and Public Communication

The Rhetoric and Public Communication emphasis provides a broad-based program of study that allows students to take courses from across the field of communication. Courses focus on helping students become effective and ethical speakers, listeners, and writers. Students become more alert critics of information and argument while gaining the skills of responsible advocacy and leadership that are essential in business, nonprofit, and civic settings. The emphasis provides an ideal mix of practical and theoretical coursework:

  • Classes in public speaking, argumentation and debate, and business and professional communication help students develop skills of research, strategic analysis, writing, and public presentation.
  • Classes in rhetorical theory and rhetorical criticism help students understand and evaluate strategies of information management and persuasion across personal, technical, professional, and public settings.
  • Classes in political communication, intercultural communication, and gender communication help increase students' cultural competence and leadership potential.
  • Classes in rhetoric and media help students develop a pragmatic understanding of the ways digital technologies shape the production and exchange of messages.
  • Classes in communication law and ethics help students gain an understanding of their legal rights and ethical responsibilities as professionals and as citizens.

Students in Rhetoric and Public Communication find jobs in all areas of communication, including in organizational/corporate, educational, and governmental settings. Rhetoric and Public Communication also provides strong preparation for students planning to pursue graduate and/or law school.