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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 to student media to the forensics team.

The major will ultimately equip you to listen empathetically, write compellingly, analyze insightfully and speak persuasively. Communication skills are valuable in a wide variety of career fields, particularly those focused on leading, coordinating and motivating others.

Why major in speech communication at Whitworth?

  • Gain hands-on experience. You will have the option to participate in student media and forensics 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.
  • 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.
  • Connect your faith or worldview to your learning through classes like Communication Ethics.
  • Engage in service-learning. In Small Group Communication, you will work with other students to solve problems and develop projects for community partners. Past service opportunities have included public relations work for Parasport Spokane; AIDS awareness training for the Department of Agriculture; and social media work for local nonprofits.
  • 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)

Excellent communication skills make our graduates well-suited for careers in many areas, including nonprofit work, ministry, media, public relations, education, counseling, finance, sales and management. Whitworth speech communication graduates have found success in a number of different careers. 

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.
  • Bethany Carrillo, private events and group sales coordinator, The Museum of Flight, Seattle
  • Kari Olson, pastor, East Falls Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia
  • Kyle Pflug, senior program manager, Microsoft, Seattle

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

  • Washington State University
  • Willamette University College of Law
  • University of St. Thomas School of Law
  • Pepperdine University School of Law
  • University of Washington
  • Arizona State University

Opportunities outside the classroom

  • Sharpen your public speaking and debate skills by joining the forensics team or Ethics Bowl team. Both teams compete in regional and national tournaments.
  • Conduct research on your own or with professors, and present it at conferences like the Spokane Intercollegiate Research Conference. Past research topics have included "The Effect of Extroversion Levels on Desired Affection," "Free Speech and Football: Colin Kaepernick and Black Lives Matter," and "Romantic Attachment Styles and Relational Maximization."
  • 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.
  • 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 with communication studies professors in Germany or on the East Coast of the United States.

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 - 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.

Ask Our Faculty - Alan Mikkelson

Ask Alan

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

What related majors can I explore?