Communication Studies Major

Emphasizing the Personal Over the Technological


If you want a well-rounded background in communication that is applicable to a wide variety of career fields, then this major is for you. Communication studies focuses on the three pillars of communication:

  1. Rhetoric & Public Address.
  2. Human Dynamics & Culture.
  3. Media Studies.

The major is valuable for you if you're planning to go on to graduate school, or if you're interested in politics, pre-law, speech writing, sales, media criticism and other communication careers that emphasize the personal over the technological.

Students involved with communication studies often join the forensics team where they practice and compete in the art of public speaking. Last year SUNY Plattsburgh's division III Forensic team returned from the annual NY State Forensic Championship Tournament with 11 state finalists in six of the competition events. The team's performance placed third behind NYU and Suffolk College (both division II schools) and ahead of Cornell University (last year's national champions for division III). SUNY Plattsburgh's Forensic team consists of a mix of American as well as international students.

The "big gun" for the Plattsburgh team was, once again, Matthew Iscoe (the team's only New Yorker). Matt took 1st in After-dinner Speaking, 3rd in Program Oral Interpretation, 4th in Informative Speaking and 5th in Poetry Interpretation. Matt's efforts also won him 5th place in the coveted pentathalon competition, making him the fifth best overall speaker in the state.

Albania's Alba Struga took 2nd place in both Informative Speaking and Rhetorical Criticism. Katie Line, from Vermont, placed sixth in both Dramatic Interpretation and Informative Speaking. Bulgarian, Donika Dimovska finished 3rd in Rhetorical Criticism. Sei Eguchi, from Japan, took 2nd place in After-Dinner Speaking and Dominica's Marvelle Roberts was 6th in Poetry Interpretation. With the Forensic team doing so well, there's always room for more students to carry the torch in this prestigious field.

Program Requirements


Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

For more information about communication studies programs at SUNY Plattsburgh, or to arrange a campus visit, please contact

Shakuntala Rao, Chairperson
Office: Yokum Hall 202D
Phone: (518) 564-4291

Department of Communication Studies
SUNY Plattsburgh
Yokum Hall 103B
Plattsburgh, NY 12901-2681