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Speech Communication, B.A.

The study of communication is relevant to everyone and applies to all facets of life – personal, professional, social and spiritual. As a Whitworth speech communication major, you will study how messages and interactions influence relational development, organizational function, and social and cultural perspectives and experiences. You will have many opportunities to put theories into practice, from internships and student media to the forensics team.

The major will ultimately help you become an effective and appropriate communicator. These qualities are valuable in a wide variety of career fields, particularly those that focus on leading, coordinating and motivating others.

Why major in speech communication at Whitworth?

  • Gain valuable 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 and build your résumé.
  • Apply your learning to your everyday life. Students praise classes such as Interpersonal Communication and Theories of Human Communication for their personal relevancy. You will learn more about yourself and others and how you can improve your relationships.
  • 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.
  • Connect your faith or worldview to your learning through classes such as Communication Ethics.
  • Engage in service-learning. In Small Group Communication, you will work with other students to solve problems and develop projects for Spokane community partners.
  • 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.
  • Become who you're meant to be.

Our speech communication grads make a difference (and get jobs)

Our graduates' excellent communication skills make them well-suited for careers in many areas, including nonprofits, ministry, media, public relations, education, counseling, finance, sales and management.

Recent job placements include:

  • Lindsay Slater, bilingual youth services librarian, Tigard Public Library, Tigard, Ore.
  • Chelsie Hadden, digital media content coordinator, Central Washington University
  • Gunnar Tesdahl, director of worship, Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church, Gig Harbor, Wash.
  • Phil Moore, marketing and events coordinator, Peak 7 Adventures, Spokane
  • Bethany Carrillo, private events and group sales coordinator, The Museum of Flight, Seattle
  • Kari Olson, pastor, Hope of Christ Presbyterian Church, Summit Hill, Penn.

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

  • Willamette University College of Law
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Oregon
  • Taylor University
  • Fuller Theological Seminary
  • University of St. Thomas School of Law
  • Pepperdine University School of Law

Opportunities outside the classroom

  • Sharpen your public speaking and debate skills by joining the forensics team, which consistently wins regional and national tournaments.
  • Conduct research on your own or with professors, and present it at conferences such as the Spokane Intercollegiate Research Conference.
  • Join The Whitworthian newspaper and build your portfolio with news, opinion, feature and sports reporting on your student community.
  • Become a Whitworth.fm staff member and learn how digital radio entertains and informs audiences beyond geographic boundaries.
  • Join the staff of the award-winning Natsihi yearbook. Staff members have been honored repeatedly for their excellent writing and design.
  • Serve your community through Whitworth's student-run public-relations agency, Beyond the Pines. This full-service organization works with nonprofits throughout the region.
  • Develop your craft and win scholarships through an oratory contest and multiple writing contests the department holds each year.

Pack your bags!

Study the media with communication studies professors in Germany or on the East Coast of the United States. Or explore South Africa, learning about its history while meeting with journalists, politicians and academic experts.

Ask our faculty

Ask Ron

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

Ask Mike

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

Ask Joy

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

Ask Alan

Professor Alan Mikkelson's specialties include interpersonal, family and business communication.

What related majors can I explore?