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Communication Studies

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As a communication studies major or minor, you’ll learn how communication works in many contexts. You'll demonstrate skills in writing, speaking and multimedia. An Augustana liberal arts education will give you a strong foundation for developing communication and problem-solving skills.

Depending on your goals, you’ll choose a direction such as interpersonal and intercultural communication, health communication and public relations, propaganda and persuasion, or listening and leadership.

The faculty specializes in media studies, rhetoric, interpersonal communication, health communication, public speaking, professional and organizational communication. You’ll find close mentors for your specific career path.

The department also has a related major and minor in multimedia journalism and mass communication (MJMC). A major for teaching speech communication-language arts is housed in the Department of Education.

What you'll learn

Communication competence

Communication competence

Read and listen carefully. Express ideas (writing or speaking) suited to the audience.

Critical thinking and information literacy

Critical thinking and information literacy

Judge and construct arguments, raise questions and define problems. Make a conclusion based on evidence.

Collaborative leadership

Collaborative leadership

Make decisions and act for the good of the community as a group.

Quantitative literacy

Quantitative literacy

Interpret, represent and summarize information. Use math and statistics to solve problems.

Intercultural competence

Intercultural competence

Understand real and imaginary similarities and differences. Use more than one perspective to view issues.


• The Department of Communication Studies, with the communication studies major and MJMC major, is one of Augustana's top five departments by size. The department's 15 faculty members offer an array of experiences, including a photojournalist who's covered the Olympics and the NFL; a legislative analyst for the state of North Carolina; an archaeologist trained at the University of Cambridge; a research scientist; and an actor. One has taught on five continents. All are published scholars.

• Based on the strength of an Augustana education, more than 98% of communication studies majors applying to graduate school are accepted — nearly all with full scholarships or fellowships! Our graduates also pursue careers in business and industry, education and non-profit organizations.

• Communication studies majors have had internships in non-profit, for-profit and governmental organizations, including the Girl Scouts, Unity Regional Healthcare, Walt Disney World, Congress and the White House, and many more. Students also conduct research, and many present their projects at conventions of the National and/or Central States Communication Association.

• With its extensive media market and a strong public relations network, the Quad Cities is an excellent location for communication studies. Sports teams, public relations offices and non-profit organizations seek out Augustana students as interns. Other students intern abroad, most recently in Australia, England, Japan and Spain. $2,000 with Augie Choice supports each student’s internship, research project or study abroad.

On-campus resources include a multimedia lab; student-run radio station WAUG; the award-winning student newspaper The Observer; Fresh Films, a professional film studio; and WVIK–FM, Augustana Public Radio, broadcasting in western Illinois and eastern Iowa.

Recent graduates 

Joe Marcucci '23 attends the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Nick Dispensa '22 is a senior analyst – external reporting at Aon in Chicago.

Olivia Doak '22 is the higher education reporter for the Boulder Daily Camera.

Genesis Li  ’21 is in the Masters in Public Administration program at Cornell University, College of Human Ecology, in Ithaca, N.Y.

Annie Wheeler '21 is a senior UX/UI designer at Spark DSG, based in Doylestown, Pa.

Jacob Washington '21 is a producer at CBS News Baltimore.

Haley DeGreve '20 is a communications manager at John Deere in Moline, Ill., and co-founder of The Gray Matters Collective.

Emily Graziano ’19 is a convention guide for The Walt Disney Company in Orlando, Fla.

Duy (Tyler) Pham '19 is a doctoral student (philosophy) at Michigan State University.

Nicolette Hampton '18 is the diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator with Kirkland and Ellis in Chicago.

Tawanda Mberikwazvo ’17 is a multimedia professional and instructional designer in DIS-Visual Services at John Deere, Moline, Ill.

More Than I Imagined Haley DeGreve
“I never imagined I'd be studying communication or marketing. Augustana truly helped me find my passions.”
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Ben Grafe
More Than I Imagined Ben Grafe
“My advisor Dr. Meg Kunde has been a guiding voice for me throughout my whole time at Augustana, pushing me beyond what I thought I could achieve in the classroom.”
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Yesenia Villegas Vera
More Than I Imagined Yesenia Villegas Vera
“I got into my top choice graduate school and a teaching assistantship.”
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