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:




Fund raising

Health services

Human resources development




Nonprofit organizations

Personnel work

Press agent

Print journalism

Public relations


Sales Teaching

Web development


Job titles and examples of firms employing graduates:

Associate dean and professor of speech communication

Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois

Communications coordinator

Scripps Health , San Diego, California

Instructional design and organizational research specialist

GMAC , Waterloo, Iowa

Reporter/photographer and morning anchor

KWWL-TV , Waterloo, Iowa

Plant manager

Hawkeye Corrugated Box Company

Cedar Falls, Iowa

Marketing consultant


Des Moines, Iowa

Television programming coordinator

USA Network

Los Angeles, California 


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 space for two television studios. The building is the home of a Macintosh and a PC computer lab. 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), KGRK student radio station, KUNI 90.9 FM radio station, the Society for Professional Journalism, 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:

  • UNI PRSSA (Public relations)

  • Journalism (Journalism)

  • Bill Henderson (Debate)

  • Bartlett Freeland (Debate)

  • Eugene & Mary Grossman (Electronic media)

  • Tom Pettit (Journalism or Electronic media)

  • Elaine McDavitt Stageberg (Performance studies/Interpretation)

  • Communication Studies

  • Archana Daya Shankar

  • Iowa Broadcasters Association (Electronic media)

More information on department scholarships can found at Financial Aid.