Communication Studies

In every workplace, from business to the medical industry, across the globe, communication drives the work accomplished every day. Can you imagine where we’d be without it? In each KSU major concentration of communication, you’ll gain skills to apply to your personal and professional interests – no matter what they are. A recent job outlook statistics from the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE) rank effective communication skills as one of the most important job characteristics employers consider when making hiring decisions, ranking above even technical skills.

Comm Highlights

  • Flexible program that permits students to adapt coursework to add one or more relevant minors
  • Major requirements that generally can be completed in two years and very few courses with prerequisites that slow down progress to degree
  • Faculty committed to students’ academic success, professional development and personal well-being
  • Welcoming peer group with opportunities for networking assistance, leadership development, collaborative philanthropy and mentorship.

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts degree program in the School of Communication Studies at Kent State University become skillful and competent communicators able to pursue a variety of career paths. Each student chooses one of six areas of concentration in the major: applied, global, health, interpersonal, organizational or public communication.


Applied Communication

A degree in applied communication allows students to take coursework in all areas of strategic communication – such as global communication, public relations, visual design, advertising, organizational communication, and communication campaigns. It therefore prepares students to students to work more effectively in a wide range of contexts, meeting industry demands with more advanced communication training and integrated communication skills. Applied communication majors learn the hands-on work of a professional communication specialist and understand the theories that explain why certain messages are most effective for different types of domestic and international audiences.

Global Communication

Globalization is the result of communication. Strategic, culturally sensitive communicators are responsible for building the global economy we live in today. Now that a majority of industries operate globally, the demand for communication professionals with global perspective who have the theoretical, analytical and practical skills to understand communication across cultures and in diverse environments has increased dramatically.

A degree in global communication exposes students to business processes, information management, media systems and telecommunications structure, intercultural, and organizational communication practices. Graduates are prepared to play a powerful role in redefining the way the world communicates. The global communication major concentration includes foreign language and study away experience requirements. Students are required to complete one study away experience which can range from one week to an entire semester.

Health Communication

In the past decade, the U.S. Surgeon General and the Department of Health and Human Services have recognized that communication is vital to achieving the nation’s health promotion and disease prevention agenda. Communication plays critical roles in health and risk behavior, health care, health promotion, and influences both health outcomes and the cost of health care. Health marketing, public health and health promotion, through agencies and non-profit organizations, are among the growing career options in health-related industries. The health communication major promotes skills in health care communication and training, social support, health literacy, media literacy, and the design and development of health messages, programs and campaigns.

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal Communication is one of the longest standing concentrations in the School of Communication Studies. For more than 20 years, the program has attracted students choosing to study interpersonal dynamics. Regardless of the career, the ability to listen and communicate effectively with others is an integral skill. Interpersonal communication majors will refine their ability to assess verbal and nonverbal messages, evaluate intended and unintended effects of messages, interpret diverse meaning, and produce culturally sensitive messages.

Organizational Communication

Almost every college graduate will go to work for an organization. Thus, knowledge of and training in effective organizational communication skills and practices are relevant to a variety of careers. Organizational communication students learn both practical skills, such as creating effective newsletters, brochures, and organizational presentations, as well as developing a deeper understanding of organizational theory and research. An organizational communication degree trains students in how to adapt interaction to evolving organizational interests, needs, desires and concerns.

Public Communication

Public communication is an essential part of everyday life and business interaction. New forms of media are constantly being created by individuals, groups and organizations to disseminate information to the public and influence judgments, perceptions, values and actions.

An understanding of media use, processes and effects is critical for success in a competitive marketplace. A degree in public communication prepares students to enter a large number of careers, including marketing, advertising and other strategic communication professions, legal and political fields, as well as new and emerging fields in social media management and promotion.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the COMM major, students must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA. Transfer students with a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA from their previous colleges and students who meet Kent State’s admission standards as entering freshmen also will be admitted to the COMM major.

Graduate Studies

In addition to the undergraduate courses of study, the School of Communication Studies offers Master of Arts degrees within one or more of the following four areas of study. Alternately, students may also craft a program of study that bridges traditional boundaries between these concentrations: Global Communication, Health Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Mediated & Mass Communication.

Graduate students may also pursue the MBA/M.A. in Communication Studies.


Students may participate in the Kent Communication Society or Lambda Pi Eta. Students may also participate in various student media opportunities.


Communication studies students can compete for the Rebecca and Alan Rubin Endowed Scholarship, the Michael Dubetz Scholarship and the Pierce Memorial Award. The Rebecca and Alan Rubin Endowed Scholarship is awarded for academic performance and motivation, ability and potential to excel. The Michael Dubetz Scholarship is awarded to a student who demonstrates leadership and personal achievement. The Pierce Memorial Award is presented to a student who has demonstrated exemplary campus service. A top scholar award is given each year to the senior with the highest overall grade point average. An award for the best senior portfolio is given at the close of each semester.

Faculty and Staff

The faculty members in the School of Communication Studies are dedicated to preparing students for 21st century careers and research in the field of communication.