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About Us

“Society not only continues to exist by transmission, by communication, but it may fairly be said to exist in transmission, in communication.” - John Dewey

About Our Offerings

We communicate for many reasons and in many ways: to share knowledge and experiences, give or receive requests, or express our feelings. We use channels such as speaking, writing, sign language, gestures, and facial expressions to convey our thoughts. Communication can be one-way or transactional, intentional or unintentional, verbal or nonverbal, and it varies considerably in form and style with the scale on which it occurs (e.g. from face-to-face to mass mediated).

There are a number of theories to explain human communication. As complex as the subject is, there’s one concept with which everyone agrees—effective communication is a powerful tool at home, at work, in life. Whatever you do, effective communication will enhance your success.

If you major or minor in Comm Studies, as it’s commonly called, you’ll take courses that include all aspects of message exchange—relationships, families, organizations, politics and culture. You’ll enjoy working with faculty who are experts in their areas, frequently receive teaching and research awards, and also earn rave reviews from students. Performance and lecture class sizes are kept small to encourage interaction among students and faculty. Even Public Speaking, a core requirement offered as a large lecture, utilizes 25-student speaking labs. Most program majors complete an internship with a local or Denver-area business, and all cap off their program of study with a senior project or paper.

Students complete introductory courses in public speaking, theory and inquiry. Intermediate courses for majors include studies in persuasion, interpersonal communication and small groups. A variety of elective courses are available, including studies in debate, family communication, leadership, and communication and technology. Students are encouraged to take up to six credits in one or more internships.


Human communication is the dynamic process by which people create, exchange, and interpret verbal and nonverbal symbolic messages within and across various contexts, cultures, channels, and media.

The Communication Studies program at the University of Northern Colorado offers intensive study into that communication process, and to the theoretic, analytic, and practical aspects of interaction which make human communication rich, diverse, and complex.


The study of communication is at the forefront of a liberal arts education, empowering undergraduate and graduate students to be reflective practitioners in both their personal relationships and their professional endeavors.

Values, Purposes and Goals

Students and scholars in communication studies recognize the breadth and depth of the discipline, from our roots in classical antiquity to the influence of human and technological evolution in past, present, and future communication contexts.

Exploring effective practices and ethical dimensions of human interaction, we educate students to become critical observers of social problems, advocates in public life for the promotion of civil society, and culturally-aware members of the global community.