Colleges and universities across the country offer programs in communications at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels. Speech communications degree programs prepare graduates for a wide variety of career options, so many students choose schools based on the strength of their programs in a secondary area of interest, such as journalism, linguistics and media studies.
10 Top Colleges with Speech Communication and Rhetoric Programs
Below is a list of the top schools in the country that offer degrees in communication:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Cornell University||Ithaca, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's and Doctoral||Undergraduate: $49,116; Graduate: $29,500|
|New York University||New York, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral||Undergraduate: $47,750; Graduate: $38,592|
|Stanford University||Stanford, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral||Undergraduate: $46,320; Graduate: $45,729|
|Clemson University||Clemson, SC||4-year, Public||Bachelor's and Master's||Undergraduate (In-state): $14,272; Graduate (In-state): $8,404|
|Vanderbilt University||Nashville, TN||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$44,712|
|Syracuse University||Syracuse, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Master's||$33,312|
|University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral||Undergraduate: $50,277; Graduate: $39,984|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill, NC||4-year, Public||Bachelor's and Doctoral||Undergraduate (In-state): $8,591; Graduate (In-state): $9,143|
|Northwestern University||Evanston, IL||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral||Undergraduate: $49,047; Graduate: $48,624|
|University of Michigan Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's and Doctoral||Undergraduate (In-state): $13,856; Graduate (In-state): $20,638|
Source:*National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Further considerations when seeking a program in this field:
- Look for a program that offers internships and the opportunities to gain a mentor.
- Consider schools with a variety of opportunities to gain public speaking experience through clubs and organizations.
- Search for a school with good quality multimedia equipment.
- Seek a program that offer specializations in an area of focus such as, public relations and organizational communications.
Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications
Core courses cover various types of communication, ranging from the interpersonal to team and small group communication. Students are often expected to specialize in one of these course areas and must also complete general education coursework. Admission to bachelor's degrees typically requires a high school diploma or GED with good standing.
Master of Arts in Speech Communications
Master's degree programs can prepare students for opportunities in broadcast news, corporate communication, electronic media production, general media studies, public relations and public advocacy. Students are often required to take additional courses and perform supervised research in an area of specialty and prepare a professional portfolio that they can use after graduation. Programs aim to help students to develop a broad knowledge of speech and rhetoric as a discipline and an in-depth focus in a specific area of speech communication, such as interpersonal and intercultural communications.
There are many options for individuals interested in studying communications, such as degree levels, areas of focus and career opportunities. Programs that offer students the opportunities for public speaking experience and internships provide students with valuable experience that will be beneficial after they graduate.