Speech Communication and Rhetoric
About the Speech Communication and Rhetoric Major
Speech is the oldest academic discipline, first taught in the schools of Ancient Greece from about 450 BC. Eras later, speech communication remains a valuable craft because of its practical use and role with interpersonal relationships. Speech communication and rhetoric encompasses the study of human communication and its many forms. While the term "speech" is likely familiar to most, "rhetoric" refers to the study of discourse and its role in shaping public perceptions. Majors learn to use critical thinking, speaking, and writing skills to engage people and effectively craft messages.
The speech communication and rhetoric curriculum consists of a combination of conceptual and practical skills courses. Students study speech communication theory, learn the characteristics of history's greatest speeches, and practice their presentation skills. Main areas of focus include interpersonal communication, organization communication, small group communication, and rhetoric. Emphasis is also placed on listening skills. Politics, historical and contemporary rhetoric, popular culture, and social movements are among the many topics students analyze.
Students of speech communication and rhetoric programs graduate with the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively, opening the doors to a diverse range of professions. These programs provide students excellent preparation for law school, but also lead many to careers in politics, business, education, public relations, journalism, television, or public affairs and advocacy.