Speech Communications Degree Programs and Courses

See what programs are available in speech communications. Learn about the field and what courses you'd take as part of a degree program. Discover areas of specialization and advanced education options in the field. Schools offering Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Degree programs in speech communication prepare students for a range of communication positions in fields such as marketing, journalism, and education. This broad field of study encompasses methods of effective oral and written communication, along with investigations of interpersonal and group communication. Programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Courses Interpersonal communication, public speaking, rhetoric, research methods, intercultural communication
Degrees Bachelor's, master's, doctorate
Programs Specializations may be available in public, health and political communication

What Undergraduate Courses Will I Take?

With a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication degree program, you can expect to polish your presentation and speaking skills through courses in both interpersonal and public communication. Core courses may cover persuasive theories, public speaking and cultural diversity. To prepare for speeches, you have to conduct research; as a result, you'll also be introduced to research methods and criticism. Coursework in a bachelor's program may also include these topics:

  • Introduction to American government
  • Argumentation
  • Public speaking
  • Perspectives on comparative culture
  • U.S. history
  • Critical thinking
  • Persuasion

Some programs offer specializations in such areas as public and political communication and communication across the lifespan. Public relations courses will concentrate on potential campaigns. You'll learn how to plan and implement them in political and nonprofit settings. If you're interested in training and promoting teamwork in a business setting, you can take courses in group communication, interviewing and organizational theories.

What Graduate Programs Are Available?

A graduate program in speech communications might require a thesis at the master's level. There are also non-thesis options. Students may also consider a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program with a self-designed course of study focused on speech communications. One concentration available at the master's level is health communications, which prepares students to work as communications specialists within the healthcare industry.

A Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Studies degree program requires four years to complete. Most programs are based in research and require doctoral candidates to pass written and oral exams and a dissertation. Graduates may work as researchers or teach at the college level.

How Do I Decide Between Programs?

If you're interested in communication between cultures, consider a school that has a study abroad program. You'll have the opportunity to study interracial and intercultural communication in a real-world setting. Similarly, you may want to pursue internships at nonprofit organizations or in the government.

If you're interested in going to graduate school, consider schools with research opportunities available to undergraduates. Research topics can include the relationships between communication and new technology, health, cultural and organizations. Alternatively, if you're deciding between graduate programs, look for schools that offer research and teaching assistantships.

Regardless of your ultimate career goals, every speech communications major can benefit from student organizations and speech development centers. Student clubs and organizations can be a great opportunity to network with other students and with working professionals. You can get feedback and public speaking practice through speech centers along with workshops and assistance with presentation technology.

What Can I Do with Speech Communication Training?

Communication is central to every aspect of society. Whether you're bridging communication over cultural barriers, negotiating a conflict or running a marketing campaign, you need to know how to express your thoughts effectively. The more you understand communication techniques, the more you'll understand the messages of others around you. For example, with communications knowledge, you'll be able to identify the rhetorical strategies used in newspaper articles, advertisements and political speeches.

After completing a speech communications program, you may find employment in the non-profit, business, advertising and public relations fields. Career opportunities will vary based on your specialization and experience. Examples of some possible career areas include education, government, broadcasting, healthcare and the business industry.

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.

Popular Schools

  • Johns Hopkins University

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