Majors & Minors

Communication Studies

You’ll journey through the history, theory, philosophy and ethics of communications acquiring along the way a deep understanding of its impact on our society. Our critical inquiry into the relational, rhetorical, social, cultural and ideological functions of language, performance and media, opens the door to a multitude of career options in our media-driven world.


Valerie Renegar

Associate Professor & Chair



Valerie Renegar

Associate Professor & Chair

How do we send messages between one place and another, through some medium of communication? How does the use of different mediums—radio, television, the Internet—affect the way we communicate? How do institutions, maintain and disseminate information over time? These questions, and many others, lie at the heart of the Southwestern Communication Studies Department’s approach.

Through the Department’s multifaceted curriculum, our faculty provides an intimate learning experience, focusing on the myriad ways that communication, culture and identity intersect and define each other. 

Through this rich combination of modes of thinking and analysis, the Communication Studies Department provides you with a strong critical and theoretical understanding of the ways in which our social reality is constructed and challenged through communication patterns and practices.


Featured Alumni Stories

Gregory "Bear" Reeves '17

Why Waste Your Time With a “Throw-Away” Degree

How a Classics degree helped one SU alumnus gain acceptance into highly competitive T14 law schools.

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Hailee Williams '17 poses on the SNL set

Saturday Night Live Internship Leads to Position as Production Assistant for Southwestern Alum

Hailee Williams, SU ’17, describes New York Arts Program internship as an “amazing experience.”

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Communication Studies News

Laura Rativa '21

From Southwestern to the Supreme Court

SU student Laura Rativa ’21 has her sights set on becoming a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Hatton W. Sumners Scholars Program at Southwestern

Hatton W. Sumners Scholars Program Recognizes Top Achievers

Southwestern checks in with Sumner Scholars including recent grads, rising seniors and the newest class of scholars

Bob Bednar '89, Mr. Homecoming 2016

Bob Bednar ’89, Mr. Homecoming

This year’s Mr. Homecoming Bob Bednar, associate professor of communication studies, is a much beloved figure on campus known for his quiet, thoughtful, and intentional approach. His colleagues know him for playing a major role in building communication studies into the robust program it is today at the University.