About Communication

Study after study clearly states that effectiveness in communication skills is the most important core competency employers are looking for in college graduates—regardless of their major. So imagine what it could mean for your career if you could major in the very area that makes you the most desirable to an employer.

 The Communication Department at the University of Dubuque has designed its curriculum to help students master competencies that allow them to excel as professionals. Our mission is to develop students’ theory-based insights and communication competencies necessary to think critically and communicate well.

Majors and minors begin their course of study by taking coursework in interpersonal, intercultural, mass-mediated, and public communication to establish a broad foundation of communication competencies. Majors and minors choose from additional communication electives to tailor their professional preparation. Majors complete their course of study by

  • pursuing an internship in an area related to professional interest, and  taking a senior seminar in which they  
  • determine the potential of professional employment in contemporary communication occupations, 
  • plan their own career trajectory, and
  • explore ethical and character issues as they relate to practices in communication related careers.

 Learning Outcomes

Students who major in the field of Communication can be confident that faculty will help them develop competency as a:

  • capable public speaker
  • skilled analyst of and participant in interpersonal communication
  • cosmopolitan communicator in intercultural and co-cultural contexts
  • skilled producer & sophisticated media literate consumer/critic of persuasive messages in mediated communication, public address & organizational contexts, and
  • professionally directed, articulate and ethically sensitive member of the communication discipline able to express an emerging sense of identity as a calling

 What sets apart the Communication program at UD?

  • We get to know YOU individually! We are a friendly and accessible department at a small and welcoming university. You will most likely have several classes with each of your communication professors, so you and they will get to know each other. You’ll build a sense of camaraderie with your fellow-majors as well. UD’s COM department feels a little like family!
  • We’re dedicated to optimizing YOUR career prospects! That’s why we require all Communication majors to do a for-credit internship with an organization. With the personalized guidance and input of a professor, you will get work experience at a local or national organization and reflect on that experience in light of your studies in communication. This work experience becomes part of your resume and network of contacts. Many UD Communication students found that their internship was a major factor in landing a desirable job.
  • We offer opportunities for YOU to shine! If you aspire to go into public relations, you can do advanced study in this area. If you are interested in journalism, the UD Belltower is a great venue for gaining skill and experience as a reporter, feature writer, or editor. If politics or leadership is your thing, you’ll have a good chance of being elected to office in UD’s Student Government. If you excel as a Communication student, you can join UD’s chapter of the international communication honor society, Lambda Pi Eta.
  • We offer expertise, experience, and cutting-edge scholarship. Our faculty have published books and research articles in their areas of specialization – including the textbook used in the Basic Speech class at UD. Our department recently received a “Top Ten” research publication designation from the Communication Institute for Online Scholarship (CIOS). We have specialists in public relations and organizational communication, persuasion and public address, interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, conflict mediation, performance, and religious communication.
  • We offer a graduate program as well. Undergraduate students are served by faculty who were attracted to this university, in part, because it also has a graduate program. It should come as no surprise that our faculty represent some of the most published professors on campus. Should you decide to further your studies in Communication after earning your B.A., you can earn your master’s degree in communication with the same professors you’ve gotten to know over your years at UD. The Master of Arts in Communication (MAC) at UD has a strong focus on organizational leadership and is designed so that working professionals can take classes in the evening. Practical in orientation, this program enables students to do significant applied research within a selected topic, such as leadership, public relations, marketing, visual and Web communication, social media, and more. Students who successfully complete the MAC program substantially enhance their leadership and earning potential.

Practical Experience and Career Opportunities?

So, how do you find available internships?  Students can begin this process by looking at the internship listings located at the University’s Career Services website.

Want to get an advanced degree in organizational Communication and Leadership?  Visit our Master of Arts in Communication page.

What sets apart the Communication program at UD?

Even if you are only looking at college at this point, the question of what job you want after graduation is the reality check. A University of Dubuque Communication degree prepares you for dynamic careers in a wide variety of fields. A graduate employed at John Deere recently put it this way, “If you want a career that helps you learn how to crunch the numbers, get a business degree. If you want a career that helps you learn how to work the room, get a communication degree.” We couldn’t agree more.

Consider the following noteworthy Communication Dept. alumni:

Jennifer Crane (’11)
Admissions Administrative Assistant
Northeast Iowa Community College 

Louis Dettorre ('10)
Legislative Liaison, State of Arizona Department. of Real Estate
MA in Public Administration (2012) 

Marcus Watson (’10)
University of Dubuque Student Body President, Class of 2009-10
Public Relations Coordinator, ALSAC/ St. Jude’s Hospital, Memphis, TN

Michael Farr (’09)
University of Dubuque Student Body President, Class of 2008-09
Peace Core Volunteer, Kenya, Africa

Charity Edgar (’08)
Senior Committee Coordinator
Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC 

Kari Lammer (’07)
University of Dubuque Student Body President, Class of 2006-07
Marketing Communications Manager
InityPoint - Finley Hospital, Dubuque, Iowa
MA in Community Development, Drake University (2011) 

Andrew Koons (’07)
JD— University of Iowa (2010) in joint program with the
MA in Health Administration (2012) 

Laura Rannals (’06)—MAC (‘08)
University of Dubuque Student Body President, Class of 2005-06
Marketing Manager, AY MacDonald Company, Dubuque, IA