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Communication, B.A.

As a Whitworth communication major, you will explore a variety of areas of communication, from interpersonal communication to mass communication. You will learn effective communication strategies through a combination of speech and journalism courses, and will put them into practice in ways that interest you. Options for hands-on learning are abundant and include internships, student media, research and debate.

The major will ultimately equip you to listen empathetically, write compellingly, analyze insightfully and speak persuasively – all skills that will help you grow in a career and in life.

Why major in communication at Whitworth?

  • Gain hands-on experience. You will have the option to participate in student media and will be required to complete an internship. These are great ways to discover your career path, gain important competencies and build your résumé.
  • Learn from inspiring and caring professors who are often named "most influential" by senior classes. Faculty members are known for their supportive guidance of students in their personal and academic endeavors.
  • Customize the major to suit your interests – choose from courses in digital media, feature writing, public relations, video journalism, and more.  
  • Apply your learning to your everyday life. Students praise classes like Interpersonal Communication and Theories of Human Communication for their personal relevancy. Through courses like these, you will learn more about yourself and others and how you can improve your relationships.
  • Become a stronger writer and speaker. These critical skills will benefit you professionally and personally throughout your life.
  • Learn research skills. You will develop specific research abilities that prepare you to find and interpret data in a wide range of areas, and you will have the opportunity to conduct your own research.
  • Connect your faith or worldview to your learning through classes like Communication Ethics.
  • Become who you're meant to be.

Our communication grads make a difference (and get jobs)

Effective and media-savvy communicators are needed in every field, and our graduates have found success in a variety of areas. They often choose careers in media, public relations, business and nonprofits.

Recent job placements include:

  • Elizabeth Jacobs, public relations specialist, Itron, Spokane
  • Shyanne Faulconer, community programs & public relations coordinator for Benton County, Wash.
  • Sena Hughes Lauer, communications and development coordinator, Dixon Transition Society, Burnaby, British Columbia
  • Michael Coiner, news production assistant, KPTV Fox 12 Oregon, Beaverton, Ore.
  • Quincy Cooper, assistant director of campus visits, admissions, Whitworth University  
  • Madison Garner, freelance writer, Portland, Ore.
  • Juliana Zajicek, sponsorship & development coordinator, Peak 7 Adventures, Spokane

Our recent communication grads further their studies in top programs at institutions including:

  • University of Washington
  • Washington State University
  • University of North Carolina
  • Arizona State University
  • Oregon State University

Opportunities outside the classroom

  • Sharpen your public speaking and debate skills by joining the forensics or Ethics Bowl teams. Both teams compete in regional and national tournaments.
  • Join The Whitworthian student-run newspaper and build your portfolio with news, opinion, feature and sports reporting on your campus community.
  • Become a Whitworth.fm staff member and learn how digital radio entertains and informs audiences beyond geographic boundaries.
  • Serve your community with Whitworth’s student-run public-relations agency, Beyond the Pines. This full-service organization works with nonprofits throughout the region.
  • Conduct research on your own or with professors, and present it at conferences like the Spokane Intercollegiate Research Conference. Past research topics have included First Amendment issues, media coverage and sourcing, and interpersonal relationships.
  • Practice your craft and compete for scholarships through department contests. The department holds an annual oratory contest and multiple writing contests.

Pack your bags!

Study the media for a month with communication studies professors in Germany or on the East Coast of the United States. The Media & Society in Germany program will allow you to build your digital storytelling skills in a cross-cultural setting and to examine the mass-media systems of Germany. The Media Impact in the Contemporary U.S. program will take you to New York City and Washington, D.C., where you will visit media companies and learn from executives and scholars about the key issues related to media's current impact on society.

Ask our faculty

Ask Our Faculty - Ron Pyle

Ask Ron

Professor Ron Pyle's areas of expertise include interpersonal communication, communication theory, rhetoric and preaching.

Ask Our Faculty - Erica Salkin

Ask Erica

Associate Professor Erica Salkin's areas of expertise include journalism, media and law, public relations, and digital communication.

Ask Our Faculty - Mike Ingram

Ask Mike

Professor Mike Ingram's specialties include argumentation, speech and debate, and ethics. He is the director of Whitworth's forensics program.

Ask Our Faculty - Joy York

Ask Joy

Assistant Professor Joy A. York's areas of expertise are organizational communication and leadership studies, mediated communication studies, and instructional communication studies.

What related majors can I explore?