Courses for the Communication Studies major reflect a broad range of subjects that aim to foster the analytical and practical skills needed globally as modern communication platforms advance and diversify. The Communication Studies curriculum emphasizes proficiency in public speaking, interpersonal communication, and writing. This stress on eloquence is foundational to Jesuit Education, whose humanistic roots extend from antiquity to the Renaissance and into the present era. Communication Studies thus reflects multiple philosophical and historical perspectives. Communication Studies is the major of the future: it bridges multiple fields while preparing students for a broad range of careers spanning advertising, marketing, journalism, new media, and other creative endeavors. Communication Studies also prepares students for administrative roles in government, non-profit organizations, and private enterprise, as well as graduate studies in media research, law, journalism, business, education, cultural studies, and other humanities and social sciences.
Research has proven that the most successful people in any profession are exceptional communicators. Therefore, the Communication Studies major stresses practical skills--grounded in conceptual understanding--to ensure that students are able to express themselves effectively in a variety of mediums. The mass media, history, popular culture, politics, leadership, rhetoric, and current events provide the essential source material for a wide range of Communication Studies courses, whose content continually evolves to absorb innovative communicative practices and theoretical and scientific advances.
While Communication Studies courses have vast practical applicability, students also receive a firm theoretical base designed to develop their analytical powers and promote an appreciation and understanding of the complexities of the communication process, which, among other things, encompasses the creation of cultural identity through shared values, symbols, and narratives.
Communication Studies sponsors the annual John Quincy Adams oratory contest, a storied Gonzaga University tradition that is now a televised event. Communication Studies is also home to the University’s nationally successful intercollegiate debate program, which has its own facility, Conway House.