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Grand Valley State University    
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Sep 20, 2018
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Communication Studies - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the School of Communication web site.

Director: Thompson.  Professors: Ellis, Morse, Nesterenko, Perrine, Rathbun; Associate Professors: Anton, Beery, Helgert, Libman, Pednekar-Magal, Penning, Peterson, Philbin, Roberts, Roos, Schmit, Sheffield, Thompson, Veenstra, Winegar; Assistant Professors: Bell, J., Hyun, Smith, Swieringa, Velez, Wiese-Leek, Zhang.


Because our lives - publicly, privately, and professionally - vitally depend upon various communication processes, the Communication Studies major fosters in students a broad-based multi-disciplinary orientation, believing that this best prepares them for life-long learning, promotes professional and personal development, and helps them take fuller ownership of their responsibilities as citizens of local, national, and global communities. Students are brought to understand communication as a practice as well as a reflective inquiry into that practice.

Communication Studies stresses fundamental capacities for expression and comprehension, including: learning how to analyze difficult texts, to articulate nuanced questions, to cultivate aesthetic and ethical sensibilities, to build persuasive appeals, and to develop critical sensitivities to the persuasive appeals of others. The major in communication studies is designed to combine a broad overview of the field of communications with practice in other majors (emphasis areas) in the School of Communications. The aim is for students to become adaptable, artful, resourceful, and generally educated communicators who can draw upon all the ways of looking at communication embodied in and beyond the curriculum.


The School of Communications faculty believes that an internship can be a significant part of the individual’s undergraduate program. Students may elect to take multiple internships. Students are strongly urged to work closely with their faculty advisor or internship coordinator in identifying internships that best suit their interests and career ambitions.


The School of Communications’ Scholarships honor upper level School of Communications students who have demonstrated promise in their chosen field of study. Applicants must have declared a major in the School of Communications, be in good academic standing, and have completed a minimum of 30 semester credits. Students can request funding for a variety of needs including (but not limited to) the following: tuition, books and materials, living expenses, projects for class or independent study/senior thesis project, international or domestic travel and/or research (such as to visit museums or attend a conference). Individual scholarships will be n the $1000 range. Scholarships are not automatically renewable, but students may re-apply. Scholarship recipients are chosen by the School of Communications’ Scholarship Committee. Decisions are based on the clarity and completeness of the application essay and the student’s grade point. The deadline is the first Monday in February for the following academic year. Please see the School of Communications for details.

The following programs are available:

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies 

Master of Science in Communication