The Mission of Communication Studies

Our Mission

The Communication Studies Department at Gonzaga University cultivates a sophisticated understanding of the process of communication as symbolic action by providing a theoretically-grounded and experiential education that prepares students to analyze and critique human communication in its many forms, and to create and deliver content across multiple modalities.

We are committed to nurturing a diverse, inclusive community of scholars who think critically and engage responsibly with the problems and issues of our communities through exemplary, ethical communication via multiple modes of address.

Blending contemporary rhetorical education with interdisciplinary, liberal arts education, the department prepares students with rhetorical skills (eloquentia perfecta in the Jesuit Rhetorical tradition) and a refined sense of judgment and discernment to work toward justice and the common good.

Communication Studies and the Gonzaga University mission

In support of Gonzaga University’s mission, the Communication Studies curriculum aims to intentionally develop the whole person with particular emphasis on the intellectual, spiritual, and cultural dimensions through deep understanding of the way symbolic communication influences our social realities and identities.

We draw on both classical rhetorical theories and contemporary rhetorical and cultural studies philosophies to cultivate in students the capacities and dispositions for reflective, critical thought about:

  • symbolic communication,
  • independent lifelong learning,
  • ethical practices in civic and public communication,
  • and creativity and innovation in communication practice.
  • Our courses address intersections of communication theory with critical race theory, identity studies, social movements, and more in order to foster within our students a mature commitment to the dignity of all people, social justice, diversity, intercultural and global engagement, and solidarity with and advocacy for the poor and vulnerable.

    The Department of Communication Studies educates our students for lives of leadership and service by modeling and expecting excellence in academic and professional pursuits and in the ability to communicate ethically and critically in public.

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