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Undergrad

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You'll begin by examining human thought and engagement through communication principles. Building on this foundation, you'll go on to create and test ideas, develop abilities of your own, and become confident and effective in public presentations and interpersonal relationships. 

Choose an Emphasis


Relational Studies

Why should I study relational communication?

The relational communication emphasis involves the study of interpersonal, family, and other forms of communication involving dyadic and group relationships. It will develop your skills for a wide variety of contexts and careers, and even benefit your personal life.

This emphasis covers interpersonal, small group, intercultural and international communication by developing the ability to persuade, initiate and maintain relationships, communicate nonverbally, listen, build empathy and trust, and manage conflict. All of these are critical to effective leadership, training and service.

The design of the relational communication emphasis is to encourage students who are very sure they “like working with people” – and open to how they do that. This emphasis provides students flexibility and enables them to be prepared to embark into numerous areas of employment as well as graduate work.

What can I do with this degree?

The relational communication emphasis prepares students for numerous career opportunities involving working with people and communication media. Some possible careers include:

  • Communications Specialist
  • Sales
  • College Admissions Counseling
  • Employee Relations
  • Community Education
  • Career Counseling
  • Conflict Mediation
  • Hospital-Patient Relations
  • Social & Human Services

This degree is an exceptional pre-professional path for students interested in graduate school. Many students obtaining fully-funded graduate assistantships and have gone on to programs in:

  • Communication
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Seminary
  • Marriage and Family Therapy

What skills will I develop?

  • Research methods
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Public speaking
  • Strategic planning
  • Public relations
  • Communication analysis

What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?

All relational studies emphasis students complete an internship in communication, tailored to the student’s area of interest.

The Communication Studies department strongly encourages study abroad for experiential learning related to intercultural communication. The department runs Europe Term, a study abroad semester designed for communication studies majors. You'll spend the semester living and studying at Schloss Mittersill, a castle in Austria, with a group of your peers. The semester incorporates a variety of core required courses for the communication studies major to apply directly to your major.


Rhetoric and Public Influence Studies

Why should I study rhetoric and public influence?

The rhetoric and public influence emphasis helps students understand the roles of communication and persuasion in culture. Nation building and social movements are often a function of effective communication. Rhetorical criticism provides the tools to help interpret the impact and effectiveness of each communication situation. This emphasis also requires history and political science courses, making it especially practical for those who anticipate a career in the legal or political arenas.

What can I do with this degree?

Rhetoric & Public Influence emphasis prepares students for opportunities including further graduate work or careers in fields such as:

  • Law
  • Ministry
  • Academic recruiting
  • Government
  • Politics
  • Leadership
  • Social Advocacy

What skills will I develop?

  • Research methods
  • Communication analysis
  • Contextual analysis
  • Public speaking
  • Strategic thinking
  • Public relations

What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?

The Communication Studies department strongly encourages study abroad for experiential learning related to intercultural communication. The department runs Europe Term, a study abroad semester designed for communication studies majors. You'll spend the semester living and studying at Schloss Mittersill, a castle in Austria, with a group of your peers. The semester incorporates a variety of communication courses applicable to the major.

More from Communication Studies

Bethel Forensics Team

Read about Bethel's accomplished speech and debate Forensics Team, see the upcoming meet schedule, and learn about why Forensics could be the place for you.

ComConnect Blog

Stay connected to our department through internship postings, alumni updates, department news, career advice, and more.

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