An outdoor class led by Dr. Kimberly Schaefer, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, with students listening

College of Arts & Sciences

Communication Studies


Kris Oehlert

Department Assistant

History, Culture & Society

What is communication studies?


If you have a knack for reading a room, like to people watch, have excellent written and verbal skills, and plan to work with people, then a communication studies major is for you. Communication is a social science that evolved from four major studies: psychology, sociology, English, and political science.

As communication technology developed during World War I, so did the study of human behavior. After World War II, communication science became an independent discipline because understanding how people act, create, interact, interpret, and exchange information is essential. Today, social media have made the navigation of relationships more complex and fascinating as well as challenging.

Why major in communication studies at Baker University?

Baker University’s communication studies degree emphasizes developing and refining the skills needed to meet the relational challenges of both personal and professional worlds. It is versatile and prepares you with the knowledge and skills employers seek. The communication program gives you the foundation to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

You will gain insight into navigating cross-cultural contexts, managing conflict, emotional intelligence, and improving communication in everyday relationships. Baker University encourages internships so you can explore a variety of fields or even work as a communication consultant who assists other students’ skill development on campus.

students studying in class

Career Opportunities for Communication Majors

Here are the top 10 communication degree careers:

  • Human resources professional
  • Counselor, social worker, minister
  • Project coordinator
  • Business, sales, or marketing professional
  • Nonprofit manager
  • Professor, teacher
  • Event planner
  • Fundraiser
  • Realtor
  • Writer, publisher

Communication Studies Course Descriptions


Communications Studies

The Department of History, Culture, and Society gives these awards with financial prizes to be applied to the following year’s tuition:

  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Social Science
  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Philosophy and Religion
  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for History
  • Dorothy J. and James E. Hilgenberg Scholarship
  • Gilbert and Martha Jane Lewis Ferguson Scholarship
  • Brune Memorial Scholarship
  • Paul Dick Scholarship
  • Warren E. and Marion Rhodes DeSpain Scholarship in Church Leadership
  • Thomas G. Mason and Frances B. Manson Scholarship

Meet the Faculty

Dr. Susan Emel

Professor of Communication Studies, Ernestine Susannah Buckley Chair

B.S. Kansas State University, M. Div. St. Paul School of Theology, Ph.D. University of Kansas

Expertise: interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, communication theory, rhetorical studies

Office: Parmenter Hall 15


Dr. Kimberly Schaefer

Associate Professor of Communication Studies

B.A. University of Richmond; M.A., Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin

Expertise: interpersonal communication, communication technology, personal relationships

Office: Parmenter Hall 18

Baker logo

Dani Carlson

Adjunct Professor of Communication Studies

B.S. Baker University, M.S. Emporia State University

Expertise: mental health and addiction

Office: Parmentor 13