Communication Studies at The College of Wooster

Communication Studies majors learn how to be more effective communicators and how to be critical analysts of communication, thereby preparing them for life as enlightened citizens and professionals in a variety of career paths in business, politics, media, education, law, healthcare, religion, and the nonprofit sector. The curriculum features courses in four focus areas—rhetoric and politics, communication and culture, relational communication, and media studies—and is flexibly structured so students can focus on those areas that hold the most interest for them. All students at The College of Wooster complete an independent study on a topic of their choice under the guidance of a faculty mentor, culminating in a senior thesis delivered in the spring of their senior year.

What kinds of jobs do Communication Studies majors from The College of Wooster typically get after graduation?

Communication Studies graduates from Wooster have found success in a wide range of professional areas, including advertising, banking and finance, fundraising, law, health care, the nonprofit sector, politics and public affairs, and more. View more examples of Wooster Communication Studies in our Alumni section.

logo for the National Communications Association

2021 Rex Mix Program of Excellence

The Department of Communication Studies received the prestigious 2021 Rex Mix Program of Excellence Award from the National Communication Association. Wooster was applauded for interweaving diversity, civic engagement, social justice, undergraduate research, and mentorship into its curriculum, assignments, pedagogy, holistic advising, and student organization activities…Read More

Faculty & Staff

Ahmet Atay

Ahmet Atay

Professor of Communication Studies; Program Chair of Global Media & Digital Studies; Liaison to Digital Visual Storytelling Pathway


Denise M. Bostdorff

Denise Bostdorff

Professor of Communication Studies


Michelle Johnson

Michelle Johnson

Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Department Chair


Head shot of Scott Schwarzwalder

Scott Schwarzwalder

Wishart Administrative Coordinator


Zhenu Tian, assistant professor of communication studies at The College of Wooster

Zhenyu Tian

Assistant Professor of Communication Studies; Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies


Mehri Yavari

Assistant Professor of Communication Studies


Latest Communication Studies News

spring campus Andrews Library

Two Wooster students named Travel Grant Scholars at national conference

Two students at The College of Wooster were recognized as Travel Grant Scholars during the 2024 Sadie T.M. Alexander Conference for Economics & Related […]

Ahmet Atay, professor of communication studies and chair of global media and digital studies at The College of Wooster

Ahmet Atay named Distinguished Scholar by National Communication Association’s International and Intercultural Communication Division

Ahmet Atay, professor of communication studies and chair of global media and digital studies at The College of Wooster, received the Distinguished Scholar Award […]

Ahmet Atay, professor of communication studies and chair of global media and digital studies at The College of Wooster

Professor Atay publishes new book about generational media and culture

Ahmet Atay, professor of communication studies and program chair of global media & digital studies at The College of Wooster, recently published Millennials and […]

Ryan Johnston '23

Turnip Turn-in: Park Ranger intern sets precedents for research classification and completion

Ryan Johnston ’23 says he’d be a very different person if he hadn’t attended The College of Wooster. The Ohio native came to play […]

More Communication Studies Articles


Communication Studies majors complete 10 courses related to human dynamics, rhetorical studies, and media studies. Students are also encouraged to diversify their studies with elective courses that are cross-listed with Communication Studies, such as course in Africana Studies, history, English, political science, psychology, sociology, and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.

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A minor in Communication Studies consists of five courses related to human dynamics, rhetorical studies, and media studies. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of the curriculum at The College of Wooster, students can take courses that combine elements of Communication Studies with history, political science, sociology, and other disciplines.

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Independent Study

At Wooster, Independent Study (I.S.) provides all students the opportunity to engage in an activity both personally meaningful and appropriate to their individual fields and interests. Students work closely with their faculty advisors through regularly scheduled conferences and seminars that are designed to assist, encourage, and challenge the participants and to afford both students and advisors an opportunity to share the excitement of discovery and expression in areas of mutual interest.

Each student, under the guidance of their advisor, spends two semesters in their senior year working on a major investigative project that culminates in the writing of a thesis.

Communication Studies I.S. Guide


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Student Year I.S. Title Major 1 Major 2 Advisor
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(De)Legitimization of Nonviolent Social Movements in U.S. News Media: A Rhetorical Analysis of News Coverage and Political Economic Analysis of News Corporations

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Wooster graduates in Communication Studies can be found in a variety of fields, including:

Advertising, Marketing, Brand Management: Global Communication Research at Nike; CEO of Tiger Pistol, social advertising platform; Marketing Communications Manager at Event 38 Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Inc.; Digital Brand Strategist for Together Digital; Associate Director of Strategy and Insights at VMLY&R, a global brand & customer experience agency; Marketing Manager and Content Writer/Editor at Inedo, a software company; Senior Manager, Brands at Wasserman; Account Manager at NinjaRMM.

The Arts: Casting Associate, Los Angeles; Recording Artist, NYC; Director of Individual Giving at The Public Theater, NYC; Vocalist and Arranger, Los Angeles; Freelance Storyboard Artist, Los Angeles; Independent Singer and Songwriter, Cleveland.

Banking and Finance: Product Manager at M&T Bank; Regional VP-Advisor Consultant at Hartford Funds; Senior Account Executive at Rocket Pro TPO; Head of Product, Global AI at EY (Ernst & Young); Operations Manager at ABN AMRO Bank in the Netherlands; President of Riverside Bank of Dublin.

Business: Research Assistant for Business Development at Veritas Management Group; Account Manager at The Trade Desk, a media buying platform; Copywriter at MTD Products, outdoor power equipment; Chief Revenue Officer at SCHOOLSin, furniture supplier for education; Owner, The Neighborhood Office, printing business; Owner & CEO of Real AdvantEdge, home staging and design business.

Customer Service and Support: Senior Process Engineer and Consultant at Key Bank; Marketing-Customer Solutions at Bendix commercial vehicle systems; Customer Digital Support Specialist at Maven Machines; Client Success Partner at Sterling.

Development: Associate Director of Advancement at Rivers School of Greater Boston; Director of Development for Make-a-Wish, Middle Tennessee; Development Director at Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, Wooster; Assistant Director of Development at Ohio State-ATI.

Education: Assistant Principal at NYC’s Department of Education; Director of Partnerships and Program Management at the National Math and Science Initiative; Project Director at TNTP, a nonprofit dedicated to ending educational inequality; Executive Assistant to the Dean, Marxe School of Public & International Affairs at Baruch College; Associate Dean of School Experience at Achievement First Charter Schools; Kindergarten Teacher; Scholar Immigration Coordinator at Ohio State University; Associate Director of Residence Life/Student Conduct at Baldwin Wallace University; Associate Director of Online and Strategic Communications at Case Western Reserve University; Public Relations Director at Fort Osage R-1 School District.

Environment: Solar Contractor & Principal Developer at ReVamp Energy, Inc.; Communications for the World Resources Institute; Manager of Human Resources and Volunteer Services at Cleveland Metroparks; Educator for Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

Healthcare: Licensed Mental Health Counselor at Emerald Coast Behavioral Hospital; Pharmacy Analyst Lead at Tufts Health Plan; General Surgeon at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System; Senior Product Manager at Cardinal Health; Physician Community Liaison for SurgeonMasters; Freelance Writer at AABB (Advancing Transfusion, Medicine, and Cellular Therapies Worldwide); Research and Content Writer for Ohio State Medical; Oral Surgeon at Oral and Facial Surgeons of Illinois; Campaign Operations Manager at Anthem Insurance; Development Consultant on healthcare in Ghana.

Journalism and News Media: KDKA TV and Radio Anchor; Senior NBA Writer for The Athletic; Host and Reporter for South Dakota Public Radio; Broadcaster for Turner Sports; Membership Assistant-Donor Relations at KET, Kentucky Educational Television.

Law: Assistant Public Defender in Prince William County, VA; Associate Attorney at Smith Freed Eberhard, Portland, OR; Trial Attorney at United States Dept. of Justice, Office of United States Trustee, Cleveland; Legal Marketing and Branding Professional at McDermott Will & Emery; Associate Attorney at King & Greison, Denver; Policy & Administrative Assistant at Foresight Law + Policy, a national education law firm; Antitrust Partner at Latham & Watkins, San Francisco.

Nonprofit Sector: President, Chennai Photo Biennale, an arts nonprofit in India; CEO of American Water Resources Association; Account Coordinator at CoverMyMeds; Financial Empowerment Coach at United Way; VP of Finance & Operations at Greater New Orleans Foundation; Executive Director of Love, Light, & Melody; Executive Director at Keep US Fed; Marketing and Communication for Humentum, global membership association for development and humanitarian nonprofits; Community Impact Coordinator of Data and Evaluation at United Way.

Politics and Public Affairs: Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. State Department; Assistant Media Buyer at Burges & Burges Strategists, a political and communication consulting firm; Deputy Policy Director for the Democratic Governors Association; Field Organizers for state and national campaigns; Chief of Staff for President Obama’s Senior Advisors; Digital Director for Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s Senate re-election campaign; Public Information Officer at Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office; Government Affairs at Edwards Lifesciences; Midwestern Public Policy Lead, Airbnb; Executive Director of the Cairo Center for African Studies think tank.

Sales: Sales Rep at Treu House of Munch; Sales Rep, W. W. Norton books; Assisted Sales Specialist at Microsoft Cloud Marketing; Senior Director of Sales, Eastern USA at Synergy Medical, SynMedRx.

Social Media and Content Strategy: Digital Publisher at Coca-Cola; Digital Site Analyst at Victoria’s Secret; Display Assistant at VMLY&R e-commerce; Social Media Senior Associate at Lilly Pulitzer, women’s attire.

Sports: Corporate Communications Coordinator at Houston Dynamo FC; General Manager at Legends + The Ohio State University; Manager of Social Strategy & Business Impact at the Minnesota Vikings; Assistant Baseball Coach at Allegheny College; Assistant Basketball Coach at Ohio State University.

Other: Presbyterian Minister, Valley Stream, NY; Director of Real Estate Development at TMT Development in Portland, OR; Independent Strategist/Influencer/Speaker/Author; Cyber Defense Technologist at Booz Allen Hamilton; Human Resource Recruiter for Amazon; Cybersecurity for Department of Homeland Security; HR Recruiter for QuickBox Fulfillment.

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Mark Bergen ’07 publishes book on YouTube

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Wooster alumnus DIXSON nominated for Oscar with Beyoncé

College of Wooster alumnus Darius Scott Dixson ’13, “DIXSON,” as he’s now known as a musical artist, received an Oscar nomination in the Best […]

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Communication studies alumnus experienced historical moment first-hand

Joe Vardon ’02 broke the news about the Milwaukee Bucks not playing from inside the NBA Bubble

Prizes & Scholarships

Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors is conferred on students who meet the following criteria:

  • A grade of Honors on the Senior I.S. thesis or the unanimous vote of the Department
  • An average of 3.5 in all courses taken in the department
  • An overall average of 3.2 for four years at Wooster

If students earned Honors on their I.S., the department will automatically consider them for Departmental Honors. If students did not earn a grade of Honors, they may still be considered for Departmental Honors at the end of their last semester at Wooster.  Students earning a grade of Good and who meet the second and third criteria will automatically have their names submitted to the department by their advisor for consideration of Departmental Honors.  In the Department of Communication Studies, the unanimous vote of the faculty has typically gone to those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the department.

The Delbert G. Lean Prize in Speech

The Delbert G. Lean Prize in Speech is awarded annually to the senior Communication major who, in the judgment of the Department of Communication, has contributed most significantly to the program of the Department.

The Emerson Miller Memorial Prize in Speech

The Emerson Miller Memorial Prize in Speech is warded annually at graduation to the senior who is judged by the Department of Communication to have contributed the most to the Department’s program during his or her college career.