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College of Arts and Sciences

Communication Department

The mission of the Communication Department is to foster the practice and study of communication to inform and transform society for the better. The department promotes the study of communication and the arts of persuasion, community-building, and journalistic reporting that contribute to the Greek ideal of the "agora" as the center of a democratic, diverse society. We pursue this mission by encouraging: 

  1. A passion to use communication as a powerful tool in the promotion of justice in our world
  2. Perception in effectively interpreting and understanding communication situations and challenges
  3. Performance in being able to prepare and present effective, responsible messages.

We envision a world where communication is founded on respect for individual autonomy and equality, and where such communication contributes to self-realization, self-determination, and democracy.

The Communication and Media degree prepares students to become effective, ethical communicators in a variety of contexts. We offer a BA and a Minor degree in Communication and Media with three specializations: communication studies, journalism, and strategic communication. All students must choose a specialization, but with the flexibility built into the curriculum, they may also double- or triple-specialize, provided they have room in their educational plan to do so.

This major will prepare students for a diverse range of careers, including journalism, corporate communication, non-profit advocacy, and public relations. Drawing on a combination of praxis and theory, courses are designed to teach students about the role of communication in society and provide them with experience in developing their oral, written, visual, and digital communication skills. Internships are a key part of our students’ education. Students intern at PR agencies, news outlets, arts organizations, non-profits and other organizations across Seattle.

Go behind the scenes and meet the Spectator staff for 2017-18 school year!

Special Interest


Areesa Somani, class of 2017

Seattle University's social justice mission is up close and personal for Areesa Somani, class of 2017. As a Muslim-American, Somani chose to research hate speech for her Strategic Communications class project. Her activism and passion for service landed her an internship at President Obama's White House. Read more.

The Communication Department’s Sharon James Lecture Event
“Competing Newspaper Agendas: What Are Zimbabweans Thinking About?”
By Dr. Rick Malleus
Wednesday, April 5th, 2017, 6-8pm in Casey Commons
Refreshments will be served! Download the flyer.

Pinkwashing: do you know where your money goes? Pink ribbons. Pink shoes. Pink gloves. Athletes, companies, and movie stars use pink to promote products and raise breast cancer awareness. Student Uyen Le worked with Professor Caitlin Ring Carlson to develop ethical standards for breast cancer awareness campaigns. Read the article and watch the video here.

On a trip to New York City during his junior year at Seattle U, Nick McCarvel '08 walked into the office of Tennis Magazine and asked about an internship. Eight years after graduating with a degree in journalism, McCarvel covers major sporting events of all types every continent. Read the article here.

The Professor John R. Talevich Memorial Scholarship for students in the Communication Department supports internship opportunities, noted Department Chair Chris Paul. Details here.

Communication Professor Sonora Jha, PhD, published "On Spine and Crown" in Seattle, City of Literature (2015, Sasquatch Books). The anthology of Seattle writers is a collection of essays, history, and personal stories that pay tribute to Seattle’s literary heritage. More here.