The mission of the Department of Communication Studies is to help students understand human symbolic activity as it shapes and is shaped by relationships, institutions, and societies. We focus on how, why, and with what effects people communicate through verbal and nonverbal messages. We seek to understand the ways in which communication erodes and sustains collaboration within and among local, national, and global communities.
Communication competencies are among those most highly desired in professional, personal, organizational, and civic arenas. Additionally, a major in Communication Studies goes beyond learning communication skills by fostering a worldview that demonstrates a commitment to communication, collaboration, and community.
Communication Studies majors go on to careers in sales, marketing, human resources, customer service, nonprofit management, event planning, fund raising, public relations, management, and government, to name just a few. Communication studies majors also go on to graduate school in a variety of fields or to law school.
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln offers a Communication Studies program that is highly respected by our Big Ten peers. We offer close working relationships with faculty, opportunities to work with faculty on research, and smaller classes than many of the Big Ten programs.
UNL has a nationally recognized debate and forensics program of intercollegiate debate, public speaking, and interpretation events. The program gives students the opportunity to compete at the local, state, regional, and national level. No previous debate or speech experience is required. All students who are in good standing may take part in intercollegiate debate and forensics.
The student-led Communication Club is active and sponsors events that help students explore different careers.
The department sponsors a chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the Communication Honor Society.
Students may apply for UCARE Grants, which allow students to work on research with faculty members and earn a stipend.
Students may receive credit for internship experience.
Several classes offer service learning opportunities to apply communication theory and research in the community.
Seniors take a Capstone class that helps them draw together what they have learned and apply their knowledge to their lives and in preparation for their careers.
The Communication Lab is available to help students with presentations.
The department holds an Honors Reception each spring, giving awards to top students and student leaders.
- Speech and Debate Team (back-to-back Big Ten Champions)
- Communication Club
- Lambda Pi Eta, Communication Honor Society
- Top Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior Awards
- Outstanding Academic Senior Award
- Bill Seiler Outstanding Undergraduate Leadership Award
- Amanda Mc Gill, Member of the Nebraska Legislature, representing Legislative District 26
- Steve Taylor, professional football, Home Real Estate, Lincoln NE
- Dawn O. Braithwaite, President of the National Communication Association (2010)
Notable facilities include the Jere and Ruth McGaffey Forensics Workroom, the Communication Lab and Communication Research Lab.
- Communication and family identity
- Communication and workplace dignity
- Discourses of voluntary kin
- Dynamics of networked public spheres
- Interaction and multiethnic families
- Grandparent-grandchild communication
- Narratives and storytelling
- Organizational conflict communication
- Organizational socialization
- Transnational feminist organizing
- Relationships among myth, ritual, and politics
- Rhetorical studies and digital media
- Stepfamily communication