Communication Studies Department Mission

Communication studies (CST) programs at the University of Portland produce ethically grounded students who apply theory and best practices in oral and written communication. The discipline is rooted in one of the original liberal arts, rhetoric, concerned with how people use symbols to reach agreements that permit coordinated efforts. CST degrees animate the heads, hearts, and hands of students who learn to facilitate meaningful interpersonal, workplace, journalistic, and public communication, mediate conflicts in contexts ranging from local to international, and advocate for truth and social good. Our undergraduate and Masters degree programs rely on up-to-date scholarship to develop communication professionals invested in sustaining just relationships, organizations, and societies.

How does this mission play out in our work at and beyond UP?

CST students at UP can specialize in organizational communication, journalism, rhetoric and media, or leadership, or tailor the degree to their particular aspirations. For example, CST graduates from UP work in health care, journalism, environmental policy, and political advocacy; mediate collective bargaining agreements, manage employees, coordinate events, write grants, create media products, develop fundraising for nonprofits; provide training, manage and design social media, and are public relations professionals and entrepreneurs. Given our program's global emphasis, our graduates also are sought for Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and other teaching positions; our students also frequently attend graduate school and law school. Students prepare through faculty-collaborative and independent research and applied communication coursework; via internships and other community-based learning; and in co-curricular activities such as our award-winning Speech and Debate Union. The department supports excellent teaching faculty who are active scholars committed to integrating social justice and reason in their work.


University of Portland
5000 N. Willamette Blvd.,
Portland, Oregon 97203-5798