Relational Communication

As a relational communication major, you'll learn how to help people manage the personal, social and professional relationships that drive their lives. You'll prepare for work in human resources, conflict management and event planning or be ready to design your own career opportunity in the profit or not-for-profit sectors. You'll learn about conversation and conflict management, listening and gender in contexts such as family, friendship, romance and employment. You'll practice the problem-solving and leadership skills you acquire in internships and intercultural experiences on and off campus. You'll graduate ready to work in a world dependent on effective communication.

Program Highlights

  • Education Abroad opportunities that build global communication skills and perspective.
  • Committed faculty with extensive backgrounds either as a participant in or leader of international study opportunities in Europe, South America, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
  • Extensive on-campus and community activities that enhance multicultural and global learning and perspective, including a Players Performance Group based in the communication department.
  • Diversity in internship experiences through a variety of nonprofits, charitable organizations and businesses.
  • Active student groups are competitive, inclusive and provide leadership opportunities as well as social interaction.

Program Distinctions

  • One of the top 5 programs in degrees granted for 11 years
  • Faculty with established and ongoing research. Professor Eddah Mutua was invited by the Embassy of Rwanda to present her research on women and peacebuilding in Rwanda on the 20th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide. She also earned a 2014 Minnesota State Diversity and Equity Award for her work on a collaborative project between the university and three area school districts.
  • Core classes occur in smart classrooms in Riverview, the only campus building on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Communication Professor Marla Kanengieter is co-director of the university's branch of the American Democracy Project, which promotes service learning and civic engagement locally and nationally.
  • Notable alumna: Sue McLean '73 built and owned Sue McLean & Associates, the independent concert promotions company that books bands for the Basilica Block Party, the Minnesota Zoo, the Guthrie Theater and Somer Set, before her death in 2013.

Student Organizations

Popular Careers

  • Public Information Officer
  • Event Planner
  • Human Resource Officer
  • Publicity Manager
  • Social Worker
  • Community Affairs Liaison
  • Philanthropic Development

University Facts & Stats

  • 93% of communications studies graduates employed
  • 10 scholarship funds focus on communications studies

  • 2021 Military Friendly® Top 10 School designation

  • $106 million in scholarships loans and grants

  • 2013 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization

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