Seize the power of communication!

Guided by its classical roots, communication addresses the persuasive power of discourse and its role in democratic societies. Our program will help you develop as a civic-minded and ethical communicator. Courses and projects are designed to hone your skills in: public speaking, teamwork, persuasive communication, solid argument construction, and analytical reasoning.

Throughout the program, you will examine people's use of verbal and non-verbal symbols to construct messages and create meaning. Gain experience in analyzing communication between individuals, groups, and organizations in private, public, and mediated contexts.

The Communication Studies major is designed to provide you broad preparation for entry-level professional jobs (with for-profit and non-profit organizations) and graduate-level specialization. You may choose from the following concentrations within the Communication Studies major: public advocacy, public communication, or organizational communication.

Degrees Offered


Student Success

Communications Studies Alumnae Amanda Bourque

Amanda Bourque

Why did you choose your major?
"In high school, I had no clue what I wanted to do. I loved writing, but I knew that journalism was not the fit for me, and that the writing world in general was a bit too shaky for me to rely on. I also loved working with people, and Communication Studies really is a great combination of both of those things. It’s also broad enough that I don’t have to be pigeonholed in just one career and can have unique opportunities like this internship!"

What career advice would you give other students?
"Communication is key—and I’m not just saying that because it’s my major. It really is very important when dealing with people on a professional level and in the business world. If you don’t explain yourself well enough, then it could lead to some serious mistakes. Also, a good résumé can really help! The fact that the phrasing “creative writer” was pulled out and made my potential supervisor eager to learn more about me shows that a résumé can make or break an interview."


Broadcast and Cinema Arts

Examines television, radio, filmmaking, and media.  Combines theory with intensive hands-on learning.

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Journalism and Public Relations

Learn the skills necessary skills to succeed in mass media career fields.

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Offers an exploration and overview of writing theory and practice across a variety of fields and genres.

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Faculty Bios

Kathleen M. EdelmayerProfessor

Ph.D., Wayne State University

M.A., Central Michigan University

B.A., Wayne State University


734-432-5659, 2430 Administration Bldg.

Kathleen M. Edelmayer

Dr. Kathleen M. Edelmayer is a Professor of Communication. She joined Madonna University in 2003 after having been the Chair of the Humanities Division at St. Mary’s College of Ave Maria University. Previously, she was Director of Debate at Illinois State University, Assistant Director of Forensics at St. Olaf College, and Visiting Assistant Professor at Albion College. She earned a Ph.D. in Communication and a B.A. in Economics from Wayne State University. Her M.A. in Communication is from Central Michigan University.

Dr. Edelmayer teaches interpersonal communication, argumentation and persuasion, small group communication, and political campaign communication. Her research areas are religious and political communication, teaching methods, and administrative issues. She is very involved in Madonna University’s Study Abroad program, having led programs to Ireland and Poland/Prague.

She is very active in the professional community. She currently serves the National Communication Association as a member of the legislative assembly and the leadership team of the Undergraduate College and University Section of NCA. She has served as president of the Religious Communication Association, executive board member of the Central States Communication Association, and finance committee chair of the American Forensics Association.

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Neal HaldaneProfessor

Ph.D., Wayne State University

M.A., Michigan State University

B.A., Michigan State University


734-432-5540, 2431 Administration Bldg.

Neal Haldane

Dr. Neal Haldane directs the Journalism/Public Relations program and also teaches Communication and Writing courses. His courses prepare students for a wide range of media careers by emphasizing hands-on experience with traditional and digital communication tools and strategies.

The former newspaper reporter, editor and public relations practitioner extols the virtues of experiential learning through internships and co-ops. He also emphasizes the importance of connecting the classroom to the community via service-learning and study abroad initiatives. In addition, Haldane works closely with the First-Year Experience helping students transition to college.

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