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“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships – marriages, families, organizations of every kind – together.”

~ from First Things First by Steven R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, and Rebecca R. Merrill

In the Communication Studies degree program at MSU Denver, you’ll learn essential skills for work and family life – from trust building to persuading, from negotiating to resolving conflict, from training others to crafting memorable messages. Our majors and minors excel in five ways demanded by employers, needed in communities, and essential to thriving relationships: communicating effectively in speech and writing, thinking critically, practicing ethics and respect for diversity, understanding new communication technologies, and collaborating successfully with others.

Communication Studies students go on to careers in organizational leadership, counseling and training, marketing and public information management, sales and customer relations, nonprofit advocacy and education. Our team of passionate, expert faculty will teach you how to excel in almost any situation. In Business and Professional Speaking, you’ll practice how to land a job thanks to your first-rate personal brand and interviewing skills. In Mediating Conflict, you’ll apply strategies for bringing people together to solve difficult, sometimes personal problems. In Techniques of Persuasion, you’ll learn communication techniques that motivate, inspire, and change others. Across the curriculum, you’ll get the applied learning and personal attention that makes our program so valuable.

Program Options

The B.A. in Communication Studies offers the choice of emphases in these areas:

  • Generalist students develop a uniquely broad broad base of communication knowledge and skill.
  • Organizational Communication prepares you for careers in consulting, training, employee relations and management.
  • Strategic Relationship Maintenance students develop expertise in interpersonal relationships, perfect preparation for human resource specialists, mediators, and personal relationship consultants.
  • Rhetoric, Ethics and Social Justice sets the stage for careers in law, sales, speech writing, theology, and more. ?

Minor in Communication Studies

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

Communication Studies faculty design high-impact classes and educational experiences. These include, unique campus-based internships, original undergraduate research, applied service learning, and meaningful teamwork. Three student-led organizations – the CommCADRE Mentorship program, our chapter of the Lambda Pi Eta honors society, and our International Association of Business Communicators chapter – showcase our students’ leadership, creativity, and involvement in the department and beyond.

Communication Studies students also regularly present their original research and service projects at the MSU Denver Undergraduate Research Conference and Student Impact and Innovation Showcase. Communication Studies is the "What can’t you do with that?” major (or minor). Contact the department today to schedule a one-on-one meeting with a faculty advisor.

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

A busy city street, a stethoscope and medical chart, a pen and journal, and a protest at the nation's capitol.

MSU Denver’s degree in Communications Studies can help you build the communication skills necessary to succeed in today’s competitive job market. The career possibilities for Communication Studies majors is nearly endless and includes these sectors: advertising, business and nonprofits, communication and health care, government/politics, international relations and negotiations, law and social and human services.

Hear from our students:

"I use theoretical and applied knowledge from my Communication degree at work every day. Many parts of my job depend on my ability to effectively communicate to different audiences. I come to work looking forward to making a difference in students’ lives by helping guide them through the career-development process. The Communication Arts and Sciences department has the best faculty and curriculum for students interested in communication!"

Lisa Clark (MSU Denver '13) is a graduate student career advisor at the Colorado School of Mines.


Samuel Jay

Assistant Professor Samuel Jay’s research examines how digital communication technologies and their users generate and circulate emotional energy and how that energy adds rhetoric effectiveness to disparate discourses including politics, sports and economics. 



Brenden Kendall

Assistant Professor Brenden Kendall has studied communication’s role in promoting environmentally related organizational change and is the co-author of the book, "Just a Job? Communication, Ethics, and Professional Life".



Katia Campbell

Associate Professor Katia Campbell is the co-author of the book, "Neo-pragmatism, Communication and the Culture of Creative Democracy". She teaches Nonverbal Communication, Rhetorical Foundations of Communication, Techniques of Persuasion and Freedom of Speech.



Read more about Communication Arts and Sciences faculty.

Featured Alumni



Alumni at Work

A small sample of the organizations that have hired graduates of MSU Denver’s Communication Studies program includes:

  • ABC News
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Bank of America
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Asian Pacific Development Center
  • ESPN Radio
  • Boulder Community Hospital
  • InnovAge Long Term Care Options
  • Broker Knowledge Group
  • El Paso Times
  • Gateway Battered Women's Shelter
  • D. Edwards & Co.
  • IBM, Kaiser Permanente
  • Library of Congress
  • Time Warner
  • Texas A&M University


MSU Denver Communication Studies students have been accepted for post-graduate study at:

Clemson University

Colorado State University

University of Colorado Boulder

University of Colorado Denver

University of Northern Colorado


Learn more about where MSU Denver Communications Studies alumni are working.

Sample Classes

Students in a classroom

The Communication Studies program offers students a fascinating curriculum of student-centered courses that address both traditional communication systems as well as techniques developed in response to more timely communications processes including:

Organizational Communication

Communication Strategies for Effecting Change
Crisis Communication in Sustaining Organizations
Organizational Identity
High-Performance Teams
Organizational Leadership
Diversity and Communication in the United States

Strategic Relationship Maintenance

Arguing Constructively
Family Communication
Communication and Conflict
Intercultural Communication
Communication and the Elderly
Interpersonal Communication
Speech and Thought in the Digital Age

Rhetoric, Ethics and Social Justice

Advocacy and Social Justice
Gender and Communication
Social Justice Techniques of Persuasion
Freedom of Speech 

Facilities and Resources

MSU Denver is located on the Auraria Campus, which it shares with the University of Colorado Denver and Community College Denver. Its proximity to downtown Denver offers you a living laboratory for applying what you have learned in the classroom to the city's vibrant, diverse community.

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