Department of Communication StudiesAcademics

About the Department

Be a Force for Change as an Empowered Communicator

The Communication Studies Department at Gustavus Adolphus College educates students to be innovative, global citizens who are leaders and advocates in their interactions with others, in their professional lives, and in their communities.

Communication Studies explores social, political, and cultural influences on communication and media. At Gustavus, award-winning Communication faculty use an interdisciplinary approach to equip students with critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and communication skills. This formula for success is why more than 97% of Gustavus Communication Studies majors are employed or in graduate school immediately after they leave the Hill.

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Exploring Communication in Minnesota with a Global Context

As a Communication Studies student at Gustavus Adolphus, you're part of the top-rated Communication programs among Minnesota private schools. Located in beautiful Saint Peter, MN, the Gustavus Adolphus campus is a fun place to learn and form supportive relationships with proximity to big-city events, cultural activities, and communities. You're minutes away from the medium-sized city of Mankato and an hour from the dynamic Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Offering community-based, global, and intercultural learning, our program is a launching pad to wherever you want your education to take you.

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Discover your path:
Majors, Minors, and Related Programs

In the Communication Studies Department, students are equipped with adaptable skills that are highly sought after in a variety of professions. Through your courses, you will:

  • Effectively create and present oral, written, and mediated communication.
  • Apply communication theory to identify and critique patterns of meaning and power.
  • Demonstrate understanding of theory and the relationship among theory, method, and practice.
  • Respond ethically to communicative practices and perspectives.
  • Effectively engage opportunities for positive social change.

To earn a degree, students take 10 courses in three main areas of communication:

  • Critical Media Studies: Learn how different media forms and systems shape our communication practices and structure our understanding of society, politics, and culture.
  • Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication: Develop strategies to communicate and collaborate effectively in personal and business contexts.
  • Rhetoric: Learn to analyze and create ethical and effective messages.

The Gustavus Communication Studies Department is nationally recognized for its commitment to civic responsibility and engagement. Through its interdisciplinary approach, innovative critical media education, undergraduate research experiences, and collaboration with communities locally and abroad, students grow exponentially in their time at Gustavus. Graduates leave campus ready to address contemporary social issues, shape public discourse, and pursue successful careers in fields such as social and digital media, marketing, journalism, public relations, government, non-profit leadership, and business.

Opportunities in Communication Studies

Build the Skills That Set You Apart

Communication is everywhere, which is why there are no shortage of opportunities to get involved with Communication Studies outside the classroom. Dive into career exploration, study away, student organizations, and more. Here are some of the best opportunities available to you:

Explore all Opportunities in Communication Studies

  • Internships — Gain professional experience and connect with industry leaders in areas such as public relations, marketing, and journalism
  • Study Away — Develop global competencies as you experience new cultures by studying abroad
  • Community-Engaged Learning — Collaborate with local organizations and community members while building leadership and communication skills
  • Research — Conduct research alongside faculty members, gaining hands-on experience that will prepare you for your future
  • Learning Facilities — Beck Academic Hall provides a beautiful space for learning with flexible classroom space adaptable to group discussions and small group work, a digital arts lab, and smaller study and student interaction rooms
  • Lambda Pi Eta — Join the National Communication Association's official honor society to network and collaborate with members in more than 500 chapters nationwide


The Communication Studies Department is a close community of learners who explore big questions about media, politics, social change, and much more. Discover more about the amazing students, graduates, and faculty.

Meet our Faculty

Brynn Smith ’25

Brynn Smith ’25

Communication Studies Minor

“The material presented in class through articles, informational videos, movies, and discussion are helpful in developing the communication skills that will benefit me in the future.” Brynn chose to minor in Communication Studies as a supplement to her Public Accounting major because she feels that the courses provide “the development of people skills that I […]

Read more about Brynn Smith ’25

Keep in Touch with Communication Studies

The Department of Communication Studies delivers a comprehensive education that prepares you to advocate and lead in your personal and professional life. With hands-on learning experiences, innovative curriculum, and award-winning faculty, you'll develop skills you can use to make a positive impact in an ever-changing world.

Contact Communication Studies

Phone: 507-933-7414

Beck Academic Hall, 352
800 West College Avenue
Saint Peter, MN 56082