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Communication Studies

Interested in learning how to communicate effectively? Then the communication studies emphasis is for you. Designed to produce leading communicators in the industry, it will push you to discover and develop skills that matter.

You’ll learn about the behavior of different forms of communication—psychological, cultural, professional, or social. Classes are taught from a distinctly Christian perspective. You’ll also have a chance to pick three courses of interest that fit a vocational calling you feel drawn to.

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Program Overview

Communication majors at Dordt University understand the importance of communication in its many forms. Verbal. Written. Visual. Whatever the medium, a communication studies emphasis will prepare you for your future.

Hands-on experience combines with a challenging curriculum to develop your skills and knowledge. You’ll be equipped to succeed in whatever field or career in communication you pursue.

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What You'll Learn

Understand communication theory. Learn how psychology, culture, and other factors influence communication. Grow through real-life situations and opportunities. The communication studies emphasis helps you learn how to use communication for God’s kingdom and glory.

What You Can Do With A Communication Studies Emphasis

Those who study communication go on to successful careers in public relations, sales, journalism, filmmaking, writing, broadcast, advertising, social media…and the list goes on.

Sales Development Representative

Sales Development Representatives reach out to new clients in an attempt to inform them about their company and persuade them to invest in their products or services.

Business Reporter

Business Reporters collect information that they use to generate stories and news from.

Brand Strategist

A Brand Strategist assists a company in creating and maintaining their image.

Career Preparation

Dordt University's 2024 Career Outcome Rate was 99.4%! “This data point tells us that Dordt graduates are prepared for the careers of their choosing,” said Amy Westra, director of Career Development. “A Dordt education provides students with industry-relevant courses and connections that make a difference.”

To earn a communication studies minor, students will need to complete eight communication classes in addition to completing general requirements for a communication degree. Students will also choose nine credits of electives six of which must be from the communication program. All of the electives must be approved by the student's academic advisor.

  • Small Group Communication: A study of the theory and practice of group problem-solving in cooperative face-to-face discussion; the development of awareness and understanding of group dynamics, and the presentation of panel, symposium, and dialogue.
  • Organizational Communication: The analysis of formal and informal communication in such organizations as corporations and institutions. Included will be considerations of communication problems related to grapevine, rumor, channels, perception, power, status, roles, structures, etc.
  • Listening: In this course, we have the opportunity to explore the important topic of listening. In particular we will study concepts, problems, and responsibilities in the communication field of listening. We will focus on the Christian perspective regarding the ethical responsibility for listening and improving listening skills. Dietrich Bonhoeffer states, “The first service one owes to others in the community involves listening to them. Just as our love for God begins with listening to God’s Word, the beginning of love for other Christians is learning to listen to them.”
  • Emerging Media: In this course, we explore technology’s role and influence in media, communication, and faith. Through the study of communication theories, marketing techniques, entertainment vocabulary, technology applications, and Scripture, we will consider social change at various levels (from the individual to the world). Students will use digital communications tools creatively to apply practical concepts to organizational settings, professional roles, and special areas of interest.
  • Cross-Cultural Communication: This course explores a variety of cross-cultural and intercultural communication experiences. Students will explore the concept of culture and examine the relationship of culture and communication to build a framework for studying cross-cultural communication patterns from a variety of representative cultures (including North American culture). Special emphasis will be given to the influence of worldview, ethnic identity, and socialization on the process of communication. Overall, this course is designed to help you appreciate and understand different forms of communication and begin to develop a Christian perspective for the differences and relationships between cultures.
  • Advanced Non-fiction Writing: This course will introduce students to types of non-fiction writing sought by online and print publications. It will seek to improve students’ narrative writing skills, especially an engaging voice. Major assignments include the profile, the review, and the personal essay. Students will also read and react to various types of non-fiction writing, both essays and longer works. Significant class time is spent in workshop format, with students reading and discussing their own work. Satisfies Core Program writing-intensive requirement.
  • Advanced Public Address: An emphasis upon proper speech construction and delivery with application of communication concepts. Includes analysis of some public addresses.
  • Argumentation and Persuasion: After a study of the history of argumentation and persuasion and the relationship of argumentation and persuasion, this course will focus on various theories of attitude change, the structure of argument, and the development of a Christian perspective. Applications of argument and persuasion to be considered are: propaganda, advertising, political campaigns, and political debate. The student will be expected to apply the course studies to his/her specific vocational decisions.
  • Family Communication: The focus of this course is to analyze and understand communication in long-term interpersonal relationships in the family. Problems specific to family communication will receive attention. The course aims at improving communication by stressing application of communication principles to family interaction.
  • Nine credits designed to fit the vocational choice of the student
    • Six of these credits must be communication credits
    • The communication department advisor must approve all credits

See the course catalog for more information.

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