SBUBolivar, Missouri Est. 1878

Communication Major at Southwest Baptist University

Embrace the power of communication.

Survey after survey indicates that employers consistently rank excellent oral and written communication skills as among the most desirable abilities in potential employees. SBU Communication graduates rise to the top in the workplace, ministry, and graduate school.

The SBU Advantage

  • An innovative curriculum that blends theory and practice
  • Excellent faculty who are not only leaders in their fields of expertise, but care deeply about students and their personal, spiritual, and professional development
  • Equal attention to improving the writing, research, and presentation skills of each student
  • Small class sizes enable our students to receive individualized attention
  • Graduate school faculty from universities across the country report that our graduates are among the most well-prepared for graduate school
  • A versatile degree that prepares students for a variety of potential career paths

Engaged Learning

Multiple opportunities to apply effective communication practices outside the walls of the classroom including: writing for SBU’s student newspaper The Omnibus, participating in SBU’s nationally-recognized speech and debate team, participating in career-oriented internships, and many more.

Course Information

A Communication degree is available as a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts (same requirements as a B.S. plus foreign language requirements). Classes include public speaking, communication theory, communication research methods, persuasion, organizational communication, a senior capstone project and an internship.

Clubs and Organizations

Pi Kappa Delta: The nation’s largest, oldest, and most prestigious intercollegiate speech and debate honorary organizations.


Students who are interested in being a part of the award-winning SBU Forensics team can audition for scholarships.

Career Opportunities

A Communication degree provides a solid foundation for future careers or graduate school. The program demands that students acquire broad knowledge and specific competencies such as learning the basics of research methods, communication theory, and organizational communication.

Special Features

SBu Forensics   Omnibus   SBU Theatre
The SBU Forensics team has won 12 Pi Kappa Delta National Championships.   The “Omnibus” student newspaper offers hands-on opportunities for students to hone journalistic communication skills.    The SBU Theatre program produces shows throughout the school year.

Degree Requirements

COM/TEC 1013 Media and Society
A study of communication strategies in mass media. The history, development and current structures of the media and their effects on society.
COM 2223 Argumentation and Debate
Emphasis on methods and theories of argumentation and debate. Attention to research, analysis, case building and oral participation.
COM 2393 Interpersonal Communication
Theory and practice of effective interpersonal encounters. Special attention to listening, language, self-perception, interviewing and nonverbal communication.
COM 3003 Communication Theory
Survey of theories in interpersonal, small group, organizational, rhetorical, mass media, and cultural communication contexts. Special emphasis on using theoretical knowledge to improve communication skills.
COM 3013 Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
This course offers in-depth exploration of both the theoretical and methodological aspects of rhetorical studies. Since rhetorical theories are foundational to the study and practice of effective communication, students will learn how to use both historical and contemporary rhetorical theories to analyze a variety of important texts including speeches, films, advertising campaigns, and any other type of persuasive discourse.
COM 3043 Communication Research Methods
This course offers systematic study of the various types of research methodologies used in the communication discipline. Students will learn the basics of investigating communication phenomena using social scientific, qualitative and critical rhetorical methods.
COM 3283 Persuasion: Theory and Practice
Theories and practice of persuasion and social influence.
COM 3353 Organizational Communication
This course allows students to study how communication intersects with organizational life and culture on both the theoretical and practical levels. Special emphasis will be given to how organizations can use communication to function and how students can communicate effectively within a wide array of organizational contexts.
COM 3363 American Public Address
Historical and critical study of leading American speakers, their speeches and philosophies. Individual research and analysis.
COM 4311 Senior Capstone
This course is designed as a comprehensive measure of the knowledge and skill students have acquired in their particular communication arts major. There will be two primary dimensions to the capstone course: 1) an opportunity for students to reflect on and undergo assessment of their body of work in their major; and 2) an opportunity to synthesize the knowledge of communication arts theory and practice in a final project performance. The portfolio and presentation will serve to demonstrate whether or not students have successfully completed the work required for their chosen degree. Since the department is diverse in emphases and specializations, each student will be given an opportunity to design a final project consistent with his/her interests and experience.
COM 4983 Internship
Choose one of the following:
COM/THR 3303 Oral Interpretation of Literature
Emphasis on theory and practice of communicating works of literature from the printed page.
COM 3313 Advanced Public Speaking
Advanced study of preparation and delivery of various speech types. Special attention to extemporaneous and manuscript speaking.
Plus an additional six hours of communication electives selected with department approval.