Communication studies was one of the first majors to be offered on the campus of Huntington University over 100 years ago. From its early focus on "speech" and "rhetoric," the major — then called Oral Communication — expanded throughout the twentieth century to include more than only the oral skills of speech making. Anywhere symbols are used to convey meaning — in written narratives or essays, in film, in chat rooms and websites, in body movements, even in "artifacts" such as architecture or clothing — they can be studied for what they say about human nature and society. Speech and rhetoric, both as subjects for study and as skills to be developed, remain an important part of the concentration.
As a communication student at a Christian university, you will also practice faith-informed thinking about the ways our society tells stories and communicates values.
The communication studies major is unusual in allowing you to gain a solid grasp of communication principles while exploring additional skill areas both inside the communication department and in a chosen area outside the department. By putting together this combination of communication fundamentals with a focus on an outside area (such as science, literature, music, business, marketing, education, ministry), you are uniquely prepared to carve out a specialized niche in the discipline or field in which you choose to work.
Many students who aim to later pursue masters or doctoral studies choose the communication studies track for the introduction it offers to the more specialized communication areas of interpersonal, organizational, cross-cultural, and mass communication.
No matter the job, competent communication skills are essential. Future managers in this major gain organizational communication skills. Future teachers acquire better presentation skills. Future ministers improve both their listening ability and their skills of persuasion. Future missionaries learn how to "read" cultures and the values they hold. With a distinct emphasis on the Christian perspective, the major creates the opportunity for Huntington students to participate in a program like no other in the country.