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Department ofCommunication

We can use the power of communication to make our lives and our world better — if we can learn as much as possible about what shapes how we communicate, how communication shapes us, and how we can communicate with others in ways that shape the common good.

The Communication Department offers a combination of “hands-on” training and rigorous analysis. In our program, students learn the communication skills that employers want — how to report a news story, make a presentation, produce films and television programs, design communication campaigns, and create digital content. But, unlike many other programs, we pay as much attention to helping students develop messages that are informed by research. What moves people? What moves them to act? How do we know how others interpret and interact with our messages? How do we listen to what others have to say and what they need? We draw on a long tradition of theorizing and studying interpersonal, mass, global, intercultural, and networked communication to help students answer these questions and communicate effectively.

We provide an education that does not train students what to think and do, but that helps them learn how to think and do for themselves.

About Our Program

The Department of Communication offers a program of studies leading to a bachelor of arts in communication. The major prepares students for a wide variety of careers in the communication, entertainment, tech, journalism, and non-profit industries. A minor in digital filmmaking or journalism is also available. Students explore the theories, research methods, responsibilities, institutional structures, and effects of mass communication, interpersonal communication, strategic communication, global communication, and computer-mediated communication. The integration of theory and practice is essential to the major. We help students to apply their knowledge of the communication process to create their own speeches, films, television programs, journalism, Web content, and communication and marketing campaigns. Many of our students go directly to work in these fields after graduation. The major also prepares students for graduate studies in a number of fields, including communication, film, journalism, and law.

Student Spotlights

Faculty & Staff

Department Chair
  • Knight-Ridder/San Jose Mercury News Professor

    Michael Whalen is a documentary filmmaker who teaches screenwriting, film/tv production and history courses on Hollywood and the U.S. film/television industry. Prior to returning to Santa Clara to teach, he spent 10 years living in Los Angeles as a working television writer, producer and director.

Academic Department Manager
Faculty Spotlights

Beyond the Classroom

News & Events

Our Stories

Coming Events

Life After SCU

Alumni Stories
Nia ’15 and Malarie ’14 Howard

While the Howard sisters always knew they’d be writers, Santa Clara’s communications department helped them discover their medium.

Battle for the Bird book cover

Bloomberg tech reporter Kurt Wagner ’12 returns to campus to discuss his new book on Twitter’s takeover and the humans behind the corporate curtain.

Veronica Rodriguez

Veronica Rodriguez '13 is a screenwriter and director for film and television in Los Angeles. We caught up with her to discuss career choices, family life, and advice on how to make it in the entertainment industry.

Jack Benjamin

The summer Olympics are back and Jack Benjamin ’18 will be on the call for NBC Sports.

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