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Communication Studies

Communication studies students are engaged in understanding effective human communication techniques. This includes speeches, from creation to delivery, technological aspects of communication, such as newsletter development, website creation and blogging, and many aspects of persuasion. We are the home of the EWU debate team and our students are readily employable in a variety of careers: special events planning, public relations, management, sales, training and development.

What are the degree options?

The Bachelor of Arts in communication studies offers you two options: (1) communication studies and (2) communication studies in public relations. Both options provide you with a strong foundation in communication and the social sciences. A Master of Science degree is also available.

As you progress in your program, you must choose one course from each of the emphases areas of communication: rhetorical and cultural studies, organizational and leadership studies, and language and social interaction studies. If you choose the communication studies option (#1 listed above), a minimum of 14 elective credits from communication studies courses are required. If you choose the communication studies in public relations option (#2 above), you will take JRNM 451, JRNM 452 and JRNM 453 (the public relations sequence) along with two elective credits from ccmmunication studies. Both options in the BA degree in communication studies culminate in a senior capstone course which allows you to synthesize the knowledge and skills you have obtained while working on your degree.

All students are welcome to be majors in communication studies. Additional requirements for graduation from communication studies are:

1. You will need to participate in an engagement activity (e.g., community service, service learning, debate, internship, etc.) during your college years.

2. University requirements for Bachelor of Arts degrees require all students to have successfully completed two years of one foreign language at the high school level, or one year of one foreign language at the college level. American Sign Language is accepted for this requirement.

3. You must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 by graduation.

4. You must complete either a minor or certificate.

For transfer students, the Communication Studies Department accepts up to 25 transfer credits, from comparable courses, toward our Bachelor of Arts degrees.

What can I do with my degree?

The Communication Studies Program offers several opportunities to apply classroom learning and enhance student educational experiences. Please click on the following links for more information.

Public Relations Student Society of America

PRSSA provides students with the opportunity to hold leadership positions within the society, job shadow local professionals, apply for scholarships and have access to valuable field-specific internships.

Weekly meetings and events are held where members plan comming PRSSA sponsored events such as fundraisers, guest speakers and networking opportunities. Professionally relavent topics are also discussed.

PRSSA provides Eastern's PR students a valuable opportunity to bridge the gap between classroom learning and professional experience.

Contact information:

Eastern's PRSSA chapter

Public Relations Student Society of America

Forensic Debate - Class, Club and FAQs

CMST 326 - 1 Forensic Debate Class:


Learn the art of formal argument by debating interesting topics. Meet new people, travel to competitions and learn to argue effectively while staying on topic. Whether you want to enhance practical decision-making skills, detect argument flaws or just build confidence in public speaking ability, this is the class to take.

The class can be taken for 1,2 or 3 credits, depending on how much time you have and what fits your schedule. Or, if you prefer, just join the club without taking the class.

Forensic Debate Club:

Join this award-winning club anytime during the school year for the same fun, travel and debate opportunities as the class. All skill levels are welcome.

Q: Who can take the class or join the club?
A: Anyone interested in learning to think on their feet in a discussion.
Q: Why join debate?
A: To meet new people, improve and increase your public speaking skills, increase your resume value, learn to get your point accross when you want to and travel! (OK - Sometimes it's Walla Walla, but it's still a fun experience)!
Q: What is taught in the class?
A: The class teaches debate techniques, critical thinking skills and argumentation.
Q: Who usually joins debate?
A: Debate is such a useful tool students from all majors can and often do join.
Q: Who do I contact for more information about the class or the club?
A: Contact the Communication Studies Office at 359-2313.

Academic Advising

Every professor in the Communication Studies Department is available to advise students in the department's advising office. Students in the Communication Studies Department may drop in for advising with any of these professors, whenever the advising office is open. Hours are listed below. The week before registration long lines form. It is suggested students seek advising in advance.

No student is assigned to a specific advisor. However, many students choose to get advising from an instructor with similar professional interests.

The advising office is in room 110 of the Communications Building in Cheney

Barbara Shields Communication Student Practice Lab

Barbara Shields Communication Student Practice Lab

The Communication Studies Department recently unveiled the Communication Student Practice Lab, which is a technologically enhanced audio-visual presentation and conference room that will enable undergraduate and graduate students to succeed at the highest levels by enabling them to become stronger, more proficient and skilled communicators.

The lab space provides undergraduate students with an excellent platform upon which to produce stronger more engaging presentations that are suitable for a range of educational and professional situations. Graduate student performances in thesis defenses will be greatly enhanced by their use and mastery of enhanced presentation technology. Faculty members benefit from the lab as well through working with students who require additional help outside of the classroom and by utilizing the lab for faculty committee work on various departmental projects.

Student success at Eastern and in the job market is not just about what one knows but also about how one presents that knowledge to the world. The practice lab is a very important resource in building the success of our Communication Studies students.

The Cultural Matrix of Communicology

The Department of Communication Studies is proud to host the first International Communicology Institue Colloquium!  The Cultural Matrix of Communicology will take place on May 19-21, 2014 in Monroe, Room205. For more information about the speakers and their intriguing presentations, click on the program below and join us for this momentous occasion!

ICI Colloquium - The Cultural Matrix of Communicology Program




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