The Department of Communication offers both a B.A. degree and a B.S. degree for majors in communication studies and in journalism. Students may pursue a double major in communication studies and journalism or a major in one area and a minor in the other. Further, communication studies majors can pursue a double emphasis (in emphases 1 and 2 or emphases 2 and 3 only).
In addition, the department offers courses of study leading to a minor in communication studies, which can be tailored to meet a variety of interests including a minor in journalism; a certificate in digital media production; and an interdisciplinary minor in professional communication which is offered jointly with the Department of English. Several of the department’s courses can be used by non-majors toward fulfilling area requirements in the university’s general education program.
Internship opportunities are available for academic credit and/or transcript recognition for both communication studies and journalism students in related areas such as advertising, sales, promotions, human resources, special events, public relations, writing/editing, creative/technical production, web design, graphic design, broadcasting, marketing, education, politics, newspaper/ management, photojournalism, film, consulting, training, and public speaking. Interested students should consult with the departmental director/coordinator of internships.
The Department of Communication participates in the interdisciplinary majors in nonprofit and NGO studies; environmental studies; industrial and systems engineering; and world languages and cultures.
Certain communication studies courses are also offered for the interdisciplinary minors in professional communication, global studies, LGBT studies, linguistics, and women’s and gender studies. Certain journalism courses are also offered for the interdisciplinary minors in professional communication, black studies, global studies, and Southeast Asian studies.
Select communication studies and/or journalism courses can be counted toward certificates of undergraduate study in applied ethics; film and television studies; LGBT studies; and women’s and gender studies.
In no case does the Department of Communication allow a course to count twice in any double major, double emphasis, or major-minor combination. Students who double major in Communication and Journalism must take JOUR 480 or COMS 455 or COMS 403. In no case will the COMS or JOUR law/ethics course count towards the same law/ethics block required for each major.
The GPA in the Communication Studies major is calculated by using all and only those Communication Studies and Journalism courses at NIU numbered 200 or higher, specifically excluding COMS 100. The GPA in the Communication Studies minor is calculated by using all and only those Communication Studies courses at NIU numbered 200 or higher, specifically excluding COMS 100.
Communication Studies and Journalism Faculty
Mehdi Semati, Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia, professor, Chair
Ferald J. Bryan, Ph.D., University of Missouri, associate professor
Gary Burns, Ph.D., Northwestern University, professor emeritus
Kate Cady, Ph.D., University of Iowa, associate professor
Randy Caspersen, M.F.A., Columbia College, associate professor
William Cassidy, Ph.D., University of Oregon, professor
Jeffrey P. Chown, Ph.D., University of Michigan, Distinguished Teaching Professor, Board of Trustees Professor, emeritus
David Gunkel, Ph.D., DePaul University, Distinguished Teaching Professor; Presidential Research, Scholarship and Artistry Professor
Andrea L. Guzman, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, associate professor
Janice D. Hamlet, Ph.D., Ohio State University, professor
David Henningsen, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, professor
Mary Lynn Henningsen, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Presidential Teaching Professor
Richard Holt, Ph.D., University of Illinois, professor
Betty La France, Ph.D., Michigan State University, professor
Robert Miller, Ph.D., Northwestern University, associate professor emeritus
Karla Padrón, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, assistant professor
Joseph Scudder, Ph.D., Indiana University, Distinguished Teaching Professor
Kathleen S. Valde, Ph.D., University of Iowa, associate professor
Laura Vazquez, Ph.D., Northwestern University, Board of Trustees Professor
Karen Whedbee, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, associate professor
Kerith Woodyard, Ph.D., University of Utah, associate professor
Shupei Yuan, Ph.D., Michigan State University, associate professor