This program is a social science and humanistic field of study, research, and application. Communication competencies are among those most highly desired in professional, personal, organizational, and civic arenas. The mission of the Department of Communication Studies is to examine human symbolic activity as it shapes and is shaped by relationships, institutions, and societies. This work concerns how, why, and with what effects people communicate through verbal and nonverbal messages. Through research, teaching, and service, the Department devotes particular attention to understanding the ways in which communication erodes and sustains collaboration within and among local, national, and global communities. A degree in communication studies will focus broadly on the production and influence of messages across the contexts of public, personal, and professional life. In this course of study, students are immersed in mastering the intellectual capacities to advocate, negotiate, and relate. Students who major in communication studies can choose to fulfill the general requirements of the major or they can opt to complete courses in one of three major emphasis areas: communication, health, and well-being; diversity, culture, and global communication; or communication, public advocacy, and civic engagement.