Schools that Teach Public Speaking

Read about your options for learning to become a better public speaker. Although degrees specifically in public speaking aren't available, many careers - such as teaching and politics - rely on public speaking skills, so courses in the topic are included in those degree programs. You can also find standalone classes and workshops in public speaking. Get more info on how to find these programs, what degrees you could earn and what you'd learn in a public speaking program. Schools offering Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Students interested in learning about public speaking have a few options, including undergraduate-level studies or courses from community schools. Continuing education credit in public speaking is also available.

Is There Such a Thing as a Public Speaking School?

Nearly all public speaking schools are private, for-profit businesses; they are not degree-granting institutions. Some non-profit membership organizations offer courses in public speaking; these, too, are not degree-granting institutions. In some cases, the courses you complete through these organizations can be transferred to a traditional postsecondary institution for credit toward a degree or for continuing education credit.

Courses offered by for-profit schools are generally seminars that don't last more than a few days. Typical courses or subjects covered may include presentations, voice training, delivery, public speaking theory, speech organization, visual aids and leadership training.

What Degrees Are Available?

At the present time, there is no traditional school that grants a degree in public speaking. However, you can find courses in public speaking in various programs leading to degrees in many other concentrations. These include English, the performing arts, theology, political science, public relations, law and social science.

Perhaps the degree concentration closest to public speaking is communications. The National Center for Education Statistics has an online database listing over 500 postsecondary schools that offer programs leading to a degree in communications or a related area. Most of these programs offer courses in public speaking.

An associate's program in communications typically lasts two years and generally consists of 60-62 credits. In this program, you might take courses like oral communication, persuasive speeches and techniques for effective presentations. You may study specialized aspects of communication in the program, such as mass media and nonverbal communication. At many schools, the credits earned through an associate's program may be transferred towards a 4-year degree.

Which Schools Offer Associate's Degrees in Communications?

There are plenty of options for associate's degrees in the field of communications. Students will learn about mass communications and society, news gathering and report, and visual theory, among other topics.

  • Colorado Christian University offers an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program in communication studies
  • American Public University offers an A.A. degree program in communication
  • Waldorf College offers an A.A. degree program in communications

What About Bachelor's Programs?

Schools typically offer 4-year programs consisting of 120-160 credits leading to a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Schools may give you the option of selecting a communications concentration related to public speaking, such as public communication. Public speaking courses may include voice and diction, argument and debate, advanced public speaking, communication for the ministry, advanced persuasion and political campaigning.

You could have the opportunity to complete a supervised internship. Participation in an extracurricular public speaking club may be encouraged; some clubs are affiliated with national organizations. In some cases, you could receive school credit for participation on the debate team.

Which Schools Offer Bachelor's Degrees in Communications?

Many bachelor's degrees in communications are available online. The University of Maryland-University College's online program is also available as a minor.

  • Southern New Hampshire University offers an online Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program in communication
  • The University of Maryland-University College offers an online B.A. degree program in communication studies
  • Walden University offers an online Bachelor of Science degree program in communication

Can I Pursue Individual or Online Courses?

Stand alone or continuing education courses are often available in the form of workshops and seminars. Course titles may include speech development, speaking without fear, presentation skills and advanced public speaking.

It may be more convenient for you to pursue a public speaking course online. Online offerings are often 3-credit introductory courses, dealing with the theories and principles of public speaking. Some online courses require occasional attendance on campus. Other online courses require you to have access to a webcam and recording software in order to record and submit speeches.

Which Schools Offer Courses in Public Speaking?

Programs in public speaking offered at the University of Pennsylvania include those affiliated with speaking seminars and courses affiliated with Communication Within the Curriculum (CWiC). Classes in public speaking at Rice University are taught through the school's branch of continuing studies.

  • The University of Pennsylvania offers multiple programs, including courses and seminars, in public speaking
  • Rice University offers classes in effective public speaking
  • Rochester Community and Technical College offers online public speaking classes

Public speaking classes are available through community and technical colleges as well as certain for-profit or non-profit organizations. Communications degrees are also another option for those seeking to learn more about the field.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Regent University

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  • Johns Hopkins University

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  • American University

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  • Colorado Christian University

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