Communication Studies and Journalism

Professor Lorelle Jabs teaching interpersonal communication skills to students.

The Communication major — with both a Journalism track and a Communication Studies track — will prepare you to engage in communication and journalism as a responsible human behavior that can change the world. The Communication major also provides you with opportunities to explore your personal values, develop your personal skills, and acquire techniques of insight and critical reasoning, all within SPU’s Christian environment.

About the Communication Major

Majoring in Communication will expose you to a sizeable body of literature, theory, and practical skills that will lead you to develop an informed perspective on the role of communication as a social, spiritual, intellectual, and artistic institution. The experience will facilitate your development as a competent communicator of both the written and the spoken word.

As a Communication major, you choose one of two tracks:

Depending on which track you choose, many of your courses will focus on skills associated with interpersonal communication, communication theories, public speaking, media law, editing, design, conflict management, and more. 


Whether you choose the Communication Studies or the Journalism track, the Communication major is designed to prepare you for placement in the culture-shaping world of communication and journalism, as well as in a multitude of other realms. If you decide to continue your studies beyond graduation, the Communication major also serves as a strong framework for graduate school in any number of fields of study, including law, theology, sociology, marriage and family counseling, education, theatre, creative writing, psychology, library science, and business.

Additionally, the skills you will hone as a Communication major — self-knowledge, interpersonal communication, social interaction, presentation of self, personal discipline, risk-taking, cooperative group effort, sensitivity to others, and more — are important to many career applications besides those allied specifically with communication or journalism. As a Communication major you will be prepared to serve especially well in those careers associated with working with others, including working with the public. 

Major Courses and Degree Requirements

In general, all Communication majors are required to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Earn a minimum of 55 (Communication Studies track) or 58 (Journalism track) credits in Communication and Journalism studies and applications, with a minimum of 28 (Communication Studies track) or 25 (Journalism track) upper-division credits.
  • Demonstrate a growing ability in communication criticism, artistic awareness, and personal communication skills.
  • Successfully complete a Senior Seminar (Communication Studies track) or Student Media Internship (Journalism track)

A maximum of 12 credits of practica offerings may be applied toward the major; any number toward the BA degree.

View the Communication Studies track and the Journalism track general core courses and electives.

Entering the Major

You may enter the major during your first quarter at SPU. Entrance after your first quarter requires only good academic standing (2.0 or higher SPU cumulative GPA). Consult the undergraduate catalog for complete information on how and when to enter and what you must do to complete the program.   

Faculty contact

William Purcell

Professor of Communication; Chair of Communication and Journalism
PhD, Indiana University

Phone: 206-281-2404
Office: Marston 208

Marston Hall

What Can You Do With a Communication Degree?

Our thousands of Communication and Journalism alumni have gone on to careers in just about every profession, including:

  • Media operations officer
  • Nonprofit attorney
  • Singer, model, actress
  • Pro basketball player
  • Communication professor

SPU Student Newspaper The Falcon

The Falcon: SPU’s Independent Student Newspaper

The Falcon is a student-run newspaper that strives to provide relevant news and commentary for Seattle Pacific University’s students, faculty and staff. We are committed to truthful and accurate reporting by honest and ethical means.