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Two students in the Media Lab Communications Department at Wheaton College IL
Communication
Dr. Read Schuchardt teaching class
Communication
Wheaton College Debate Students holding trophies
Communication

Why Study Communication?

Communication skills are a differentiator when competing in an evolving job market; written and oral communication are among the most important skills employers consider when hiring. At Wheaton, you will expand your verbal and nonverbal skills, develop sensitivity for their appropriate use, and nurture a Christian perspective on issues of power, influence, justice, freedom, and truth. The course work, advising, and co-curricular activities combine to prepare you for future academic study, professional success, and lifelong learning.

32
hours of required courses
4
areas of concentration
11
full-time faculty

Why Study Communication at Wheaton?

Written and oral communication are among the most important skills employers consider when hiring because they evidence creative and critical thinking. At Wheaton you’ll experience fascinating courses that push you to think creatively and critically about the world, such as Rhetoric of Rap; Sport Communication; Non-Profit Consulting; Propaganda and Ethics; and, Digital Journalism.

This major applies to every aspect of your personal and professional life. You’ll explore Christian growth and witness by celebrating our God who spoke creation into existence and guides us into Kingdom-building communication. You’ll live fully present in each moment through skilled listening, strategic speaking, and faithful sensitivity to God’s work in and through human interaction.

Join a legacy of students who have graduated with a Communication Major and gone on to excel in a variety of careers across the nation and world.

  • Participate on a National Parliamentary Debate Team that ranked among the top 16 teams in the nation and placed in the final rounds for National Parliamentary and British Debate tournaments.
  • Earn course credit in producing, filming, and editing documentaries on Korean culture during Wheaton in Korea
  • Join Wheaton’s Arena Theater faculty, students, and alumni as they collaborate each summer with Wheaton Park District to stage “Shakespeare in the Park,” one of the largest all-community events in the City of Wheaton.
  • Earn course credit studying the development of modern media technology during the Germany/Switzerland Summer Program.
  • Participate in honor societies: Lambda Pi Eta, a national communication honor society which recognizes, fosters and rewards outstanding scholastic achievement in the field of Communication; and Pi Kappa Delta, a national honorary forensics organization which recognizes excellence in competitive speaking events.

What Will I Learn?

The Communication Major enables students to understand historical and cultural effects of communication; engage in intentional processes of creating identities and messages; comprehend guiding theories, foundational research, and investigative methods; and demonstrate knowledge, skill, and motivation for the ethical creation of messages.

The Communication major offers four areas of concentration:

  • Interpersonal Communication: Explore how meaning develops within personal, social, and work place relationships, as well as how patterns of human behavior contribute to individual growth and Christian community.
  • Media Studies: Engage and contribute to the world of symbols and meanings, texts and contexts, sight and sound, and form and content from a critical and cultural perspective.
  • Rhetoric and Culture: Construct oral messages intended to influence specific audiences and cultures, and interpret culture critically and charitably.
  • Theater: Explore the interaction of word, action, and symbol in the collaborative process of making theater, and in the development of the whole person.

The Journalism certificate prepares students for graduate school or entry-level positions through internships, advanced courses, and professional networking.

The department offers an honors program for outstanding junior and senior majors desiring to carry out independent research. Details of the program are available from the Department Chair.

Consult the course catalog for full listing of current courses available in this field.

Possible Careers for Communication Majors

In a National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook Survey, employers identified the ability to verbally communicate with others inside and outside the organization and the ability to create and/or edit written documents as among the top 10 skills they seek when hiring new college graduates.

In partnership with our Center for Vocation and Career, Wheaton Communication majors find a wide variety of types of jobs not limited to just the communication field.

  • Actor/Screenwriter / Producer
  • Attorney / Judge
  • Business Owner
  • Organizational Consultant
  • Financial Advisor / Investment Banker
  • Freelance Writer / Speaker
  • Graphics and Web Designer
  • Digital Media Specialist
  • Resource Coordinator
  • Public Relations & Marketing Specialist
  • Special Projects & Event Planner
  • Pastor / Minister / Missionary
  • Crisis & Reputation Manager
  • Sales Representative
  • Speech Therapist
  • Teacher / Professor
  • Career Coach / Trainer
  • Technical Analyst
  • Videographer / Digital Storyteller
  • Political Strategist

Students are strongly encouraged to intern during the school year or summer after completing 16 hours of coursework in Communication. Most recently students have interned at the following:

  • Ministry: Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Focus on the Family, Aid for Women, International Justice Mission, Teach Beyond, Victory FM
  • Print/Digital Media: USA Today, Chicago Tribune, InterVarsity Press, Michigan Avenue Magazine-Chicago, Urbaness Media, Christianity Today
  • TV Stations: ABC 7 News-Chicago, FOX News-Chicago, WIBW News-Topeka, WTHR-NBC Indianapolis, KITV News-Honolulu
  • International: Asia One-Singapore Press Holdings, SINGAPORE, International Center for Journalism, Berlin, GERMANY
  • Entertainment: Gene Siskel Film Center, L.E.W.I.S. Agency & DFS Entertainment, Provident Music Group
  • Other: Boca Raton Police Services Department, Prada USA Corp, Target

 

Between 20-25 percent of Communication majors pursue advanced degrees. Recent graduate schools that have admitted our students include: 

  • American University
  • New York University
  • Northwestern University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Seoul National University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Southern California
  • Yale University
Studying Communication at Wheaton College taught me the importance of questioning the messages and media I consume. I was challenged to discover the ‘why’ and ‘how’ behind every ‘what’ I encounter. — Jasmine O'Hea '16, Newport Beach, Calif.
Debate has been one of the most formative experiences of my college career. I've made close friends, met people from all over the country and learned about a variety of topics. I can't imagine my college life without it. — Doug Addleman '15
Wheaton College Alumnus Caleb Curlin
Caleb Curlin '05
Co-owner of Marmilu Farms in Jackson, TN
Our Life Together at Marmilu Farms in Tennessee
"Wheaton represents a time in our life when we felt safe to ask questions, wrestle, seek guidance, and in the end, be reassured that God is in fact good and faithful and His Word is true."
Wheaton College Alumna Chelsea Medic
Chelsea Medic '14
Owner of The Soap.Bar; Production Assistant at DreamWorks Animation
An Animated Introvert in L.A.
"My Wheaton experience has been an integral part of my faith and journey as a professional adult. I often look back on my Wheaton years as being the kickstarter for my growth as a critical thinker and I have no regrets choosing to attend a school like Wheaton."
Wheaton College Alumnus Justin Lovett
Justin Lovett '14
Filmmaker
A Passion for Filmmaking
"I am very thankful for Wheaton because it offers a liberal arts degree with great professors. I really appreciate the vast knowledge that my Wheaton education provided me with. It gave me a great tool belt to pull ideas and knowledge from while I work on stories in film and photography."
Sam Hayes 12 Wheaton College English Alumnus
Sam Hayes '12
Novelist
My Journey as a Novelist
"Liberal arts gave me the freedom to explore what I really loved while still in college; Wheaton’s small classes and flexible professors who know and care about their students helped, too."
Stephanie Althoff Lamphere Wheaton College Alumni
Stephanie Althoff Lamphere '11
Lawyer
How Wheaton Prepared Me to Practice Law
"Wheaton taught me to go into the world boldly and confidently, knowing God has called me to glorify Him in all I do. Having the security of my faith allows me to have peace each time I walk into the courtroom."
Blanchard Hall at Wheaton College