Communication Studies


Communication StudiesMajors: 

Communication, (Liberal Arts) B.A.

Communication-Theatre-Teaching, B.A.

Electronic Media: Production/Performance, B.A.

Electronic Media: Electronic Media Leadership, B.A.

Public Relations, B.A.

Interactive Digital Studies, B.A.

Political Communication, B.A.


Business Communication (also listed in Department of Marketing)

Communication Studies (Liberal Arts)



Public Relations

Interactive Digital Studies 

(Click major/minor/certificate title to see typical courses for the program)

Communication is a learned skill. Most people are born with the physical abilities to acquire necessary communication tools, but such abilities do not guarantee that they will learn to be effective communicators. Language, rhetorical strategies, listening skills, and a vocabulary of verbal and nonverbal meanings are developed in various ways. Excellent communication skills are important in both social and career settings. Communication is the basis for relations development and maintenance, family cohesion, and work success.

We are dedicated to providing our students with a variety of experiences inside and outside of the classroom that will help them prepare for a career in a communication-related field. Our mission is:

  1. To assist students in becoming informed, responsible, creative and critical communicators

  2. To enhance student knowledge of, and skill in, the construction, interpretation and distribution of communication in diverse cultural and global communities

  3. To promote theoretical understanding and professional/personal practice of effective and ethical human communication between and within a broad range of contexts and communities


Plan of Study

Discover the courses you'll take as a communication studies major in the Plan of Study.


Communication graduates enter such diverse occupations as:



Digital journalism


Health services

Human resources development



Political Consultant

Nonprofit organizations

Personnel work

Public relations



Social media coordinator


Video editing and digital effects

Web development


Job titles and examples of firms employing graduates:

Associate dean and professor of speech communication

Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois

Publicity manager

Style Network , Los Angeles, California

Senior web marketing specialist

VGM Forbin, Waterloo, Iowa

Morning anchor

KWWL-TV , Waterloo, Iowa

Marketing manager

Premier Staffing, Waterloo, Iowa


Happy Medium Interactive Ad Agency, Des Moines, Iowa

Television programming coordinator

USA Network, Los Angeles, California 

Speech coach/Drama director

Waukee Community Schools, Waukee, Iowa


The Department of Communication Studies is located in the fully renovated Lang Hall, a beautiful campus building constructed in 1900 and historically refurbished in 2001. Lang Hall features multimedia classrooms and faculty and graduate assistant offices. Lang Hall also hosts an expansive electronic media area that includes digital video editing suites, audio studios and two television studios. The building is the home of two computer labs. Student organizations housed in the department have office space in the building. The Interpreters Theatre is the setting for several productions each year. And, the historic Lang Auditorium is used for classes and special events on campus.


Some of the most valuable learning occurs outside the traditional classroom. Co-curricular opportunities are available in a nationally recognized Speech and Debate Program, an award-winning Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) organization, an innovative Interpreters Theatre, Cedar River Productions (video), KULT 94.5 FM student radio station, KUNI 90.9 FM radio station (Iowa Public Radio), the Society for Professional Journalism, the Digital Collective, and the Communication Student Association.

Scholarships & Awards: 

The Department of Communication Studies offers these scholarships for incoming students:

  • Forensics (Debate)

  • Forensics (Individual events)

  • Kenneth Kohn (Debate)

  • Carol Denter Bodensteiner (Minority public relations)

  • Melvene Draheim Hardee (General)

Other scholarships offered to current communication studies students include:

  • Journalism (Journalism)

  • Bill Henderson (Debate and Individual events)

  • Bartlett Freeland (Debate)

  • Eugene & Mary Grossman (Electronic media)

  • Communication Studies

  • Robert and Dorothy White (Communication)

  • IBA Media Leadership (Electronic media - Media leadership)

  • Iowa Broadcasters Association (Electronic media - production)

More information on department scholarships can found at Financial Aid.