The Department of Communication Studies prepares our students to be effective and ethical communicators in their professional, relational, and cultural roles.
Our students learn to critique and create messages in multiple contexts. We emphasize the intersections of theory and practice as the foundation for problem-solving, creativity, critical thinking, and understanding the diversity of communication practices.
The Department of Communication Studies offers a broad range of opportunities. For a B.S. in Communication Studies, students can pursue options in Interpersonal Communication, Corporate Communication, Health Communication and Mass Communication. For students interested in Mass Communication, there are concentrations in Electronic Media Production and Broadcast News. An Online B.A. is also available beginning Fall 2017. Click here for more on our options.
Students can also pursue a B.A. degree in Public Relations.
Communication studies majors are not required to have a minor. However, many students choose to expand their area of study by selecting a minor. The department is directly involved in the following minors.
Communication Studies majors receive personal attention from the faculty. Class sizes are small with full-time instructors who get to know their students. Faculty mentors and assist the students with research and other projects outside of class. EIU Communication Studies majors build relationships with faculty that lasts long after they graduate from Eastern.
EIU Communication Studies majors have many opportunities to be engaged in activities outside the classroom that enhance their learning. Students can join a student organization, work at WEIU-TV or WEIU-FM, participate in the annual Communication Day or Broadcast Job Fair, study abroad, or join the EIU Speech Team.
EIU Communication Studies graduates have a long history of success in a variety of fields. The placement rates for new graduates are at or above the national average with an average starting salary of $39,000. Our graduates go on to careers in a wide variety of areas, including broadcasting, multimedia design, public relations, management, sales, and human resources. Graduates who are interested in further study can go on to Graduate School, including Eastern's Master of Arts program in Communication Studies.
The Public Relations major at Eastern Illinois University is one of only a few dedicated Public Relations majors in the state at any university. Due to the dynamic nature of the Public Relations profession, students require applicable skills that remain resilient with shifts in the industry and endure over the course of their lives. Click here for more information on this program.
This online degree option will help students enhance their marketability in today's professional environment through the integration of theory and practice and the development of relational and organizational communication skills. Individuals who are proficient communicators are more valuable in contemporary organizations that are increasingly global, team-based, and feature flatter hierarchical structure.
Majoring in Health Communication prepares students to work in professional health care settings or in health advocacy. Coursework focuses on creating knowledge of health behaviors combined with developing effective communication skills. Graduates are prepared to communicate on behalf of health organizations or work with clients to influence individual and community decisions and promote positive health behaviors.
Rich has been recognized for teaching excellence by the Illinois Communication and Theatre Association, Eastern Illinois University, and the Rocky Mountain Communication Association. His philosophy of education is guided by the notion that the classroom is an entree to critical thinking, which prepares students to be engaged citizens who work for the public good.
“As a scholar of public relations, crisis communication, and organizational rhetoric, I analyze and critique organizational discourse and am interested in understanding processes of organizational message construction. More specifically, my work is located at the intersections of crisis communication, activist public relations, and corporate social responsibility. It is ultimately oriented toward developing communication frameworks and theories that can help a) organizations respond to activist stakeholders & crises ethically, constructively, and effectively and b) activist groups resist unethical corporate behavior and achieve change."
Ryan McDaniel joined the Department of Communication Studies in 2007, bringing a rich background and unique range of experiences. He holds multiple degrees in the humanities and has taught several courses across diverse disciplines, including: rhetoric, philosophy, religion, and history. In addition to teaching in the Communication Department, Captain McDaniel also serves part-time as an officer in the Air National Guard, allowing him to integrate classroom and professional military insights and skills sets as a resource for students to draw upon. He has a passion for applying critical thinking and analysis to an integrated understanding of the humanities, thereby equipping students to flourish both personally and professionally.
"My experience in Communication Studies Departmental Honors has been completely different than anything I ever imagined, and incredible. Since the program is flexible in terms of project content and primarily independent study based, I was able to begin work on a project I am passionate about while I was studying abroad."Haley Titsworth (2013)
"The program afforded me the opportunities to developed close relationships with faculty, develop strong academic and professional skills, and become actively engaged with the EIU Communication Studies department and EIU academic community.”Clinton Brown (2014)
"My independent study project focused on the promotion of music through video production, specifically in the new media landscape. I decided to conduct this study in order to expand my skill of video production by learning how to effectively utilize topics in media theory to expand brand image and promote musical artists."Josh Grube (2013)
"I was very involved at Eastern and some of the most valuable lessons I learned that have helped me today in PR, I learned outside of the classroom.”Megan Ogulnick (2012)