Wilkes University

Communication Studies

Communication Studies students collaborate in lab.

What’s the story?  As a Wilkes University communications studies major, that’s up to you.

Can you picture yourself behind a desk, sharing the most up-to-the-minute news with the public via print, Internet or TV? Do you see yourself behind the scenes, using state-of-the-art audio and video production techniques to make information accessible? Are you curious about the ways media and politics craft the messages they deliver to consumers? Would you like to help a corporation or a non-profit communicate more effectively with their employees and the people they serve?

As a Wilkes University communications studies major, you will choose from one of four concentrations: media production, multimedia journalism, rhetorical studies or strategic communication. Your course of study will feature core communications requirements as well as classes specific to your chosen concentration. The knowledge you develop in the classroom coupled with the hands-on learning you experience through the department’s wide range of co-curricular and extracurricular activities will help you stand out in the world of communications. 

The story is yours, and Wilkes University’s communications studies major can help you discover the best way to tell it.

Karambelas Media and Communication Center

Wilkes University's Karambelas Media and Communication Center, opened in 2017. The $4 million, 14,000-square-foot center houses the communication studies program, consolidating all scholarship and activities into one modern facility where students can collaborate across media disciplines.

Schedule your visit!

Communication Studies is currently one of the largest academic majors in the nation.
Below are our concentrations:

radio station with studentsThe Media Production concentration prepares students for working in the rapidly changing world of digital media. Students will learn the foundation skills of audio and video production in both studio and field settings in order to create and adapt information for a wide variety of purposes. Students learn to prepare content for a host of media production platforms including television, radio, and the Internet.  This concentration also introduces students to the history, economics, regulations, and functions of the radio, television, cable and web-based media industries. It provides students with a combination of skills, performance, and theory that will enable graduates to seek employment in those industries.

classroom with studentsThe multimedia journalism concentration prepares students for this continually evolving field where new trends and technologies arc constantly having an impact on traditional practices. The Communication Studies Department addresses this transformation by incorporating these changes into its classes or developing new courses that deal with specific needs in the field. However, the core to any journalism training is the ability to work with words, gather information and synthesize that into meaningful messages for its intended audience regardless of format- print, broadcast or digital

office with students and facultyThe Rhetorical Studies concentration rests on the premise that, in order to be responsible citizens, we must be critical, ethically minded producers and consumers of a wide variety of publicly communicated messages. Contemporary rhetorical scholars inquire into the development and consumption of many of these kinds of messages, including presidential addresses, social movement discourse, radio, films and television shows, and digital communication. Keeping this context in mind, students are challenged to improve their rhetorical skills by crafting, delivering, and critiquing public presentations, practicing the rhetorical arts of listening and silence, deliberating across differences, and analyzing public discourse. As they apply these skills, students engage in critical thinking, gain a deeper understanding of their roles and responsibilities as citizens in a deliberative democracy, and improve their understanding of the power of rhetoric when adapted and communicated effectively in diverse settings.

conference room with studentsThe strategic communication concentration, which blends theory with practice, focuses on the ways in which organizations use interpersonal and ever-evolving media channels to establish mutually beneficial relationships and to accomplish specific goals. Students in this concentration will gain real world experience working with businesses and nonprofit organizations. Students will also focus on learning the theories and ethical practices of strategic communication, persuasion and public relations while developing a range of communication skills appropriate for professional settings. 

For more information on specific major and concentration requirements, please see the Wilkes University Bulletin.


Find your voice through co-curricular activities

  • The Beacon student newspaper
    The Beacon has published continuously since its founding in 1936. The paper is fully staffed by Wilkes students under the advisement of a full-time faculty member from the communications studies department. The Beacon has been recognized by the Associated Collegiate Press and the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association.
  • The Telecommunications Center (Channel 97 Cable Station)
    The Telecommunications Center educates young media professionals and provides services to the local community by managing and programming educational-access cable channel 97 for Service Electric Cable, Wilkes-Barre, as well as one closed-circuit channel.
  • WCLH-FM radio station
    WCLH is an independent, specialty programming radio station operated by Wilkes students. Our programming, which changes each semester, consists of hardworking underground bands that are not part of mainstream radio.
  • Zebra Communications PR Agency
    Zebra Communications is a student-run, full-service public relations agency of a different stripe. Zebra Communications is staffed by 30 undergraduate advanced public relations students.
  • Speech and Debate team
    Wilkes University’s award-winning speech and debate teams are open to both seasoned competitors and newcomers. Students can also gain experience in marketing, public relations and event management by helping with forensics tournaments hosted each year on campus.

The next page of your story – career options

The hands-on nature of the Wilkes University communications studies major will help prepare you for a wide variety of career options including:

  • Radio producer
  • Broadcast journalist
  • Television producer
  • Newspaper editor
  • Public relations specialist
  • Magazine writer
  • Speech writer
  • Lawyer
  • Politician

Hands-On Opportunities

You’ll work closely with faculty who challenge you to grow professionally. They’ll help you advance your analytical and creative thinking, writing and speaking, and they’ll foster a sense of global diversity. Through hands-on courses, study abroad experiences and internships, you can gain confidence to enter this highly competitive job market and apply your abilities in one of the most exciting professional areas around.

You might want to bring a passport. Study abroad opportunities range from a week studying history and communications in London to summers of service learning in Tanzania. Full-semester programs are also available.

Get in touch with us for more information!