Speech Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

Dec 15, 2019

Speech communications and rhetoric programs study the exchange of messages in oral forms. Professions related to this discipline include marketing and sales, public relations, mass communications, journalism and sports communication. Speech communication is a good basis for many graduate programs. To find out more about schools for speech communication, continue reading.

Colleges and universities across the country offer programs in communications at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels. Speech communications degree programs prepare graduates for a wide variety of career options, so many students choose schools based on the strength of their programs in a secondary area of interest, such as journalism, linguistics and media studies.

10 Top Colleges with Speech Communication and Rhetoric Programs

Below is a list of the top schools in the country that offer degrees in communication:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2018-2019)*
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's and Doctoral Undergraduate: $55,188; Graduate: $29,500
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral Undergraduate: $51,828; Graduate: $42,888
Stanford University Stanford, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral Undergraduate: $51,354; Graduate: $50,703
Clemson University Clemson, SC 4-year, Public Bachelor's and Master's Undergraduate (In-state): $15,374; Graduate (In-state): $9,386
Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $49,816
Syracuse University Syracuse, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's $37,416
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral Undergraduate: $56,225; Graduate: $44,712
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 4-year, Public Bachelor's and Doctoral Undergraduate (In-state): $8,987; Graduate (In-state): $10,243
Northwestern University Evanston, IL 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral Undergraduate: $54,568; Graduate: $54,120
University of Michigan Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's and Doctoral Undergraduate (In-state): $15,262; Graduate (In-state): $23,128

Source:*National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Further considerations when seeking a program in this field:

  • Look for a program that offers internships and the opportunities to gain a mentor.
  • Consider schools with a variety of opportunities to gain public speaking experience through clubs and organizations.
  • Search for a school with good quality multimedia equipment.
  • Seek a program that offer specializations in an area of focus such as, public relations and organizational communications.

Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications

Core courses cover various types of communication, ranging from the interpersonal to team and small group communication. Students are often expected to specialize in one of these course areas and must also complete general education coursework. Admission to bachelor's degrees typically requires a high school diploma or GED with good standing.

Master of Arts in Speech Communications

Master's degree programs can prepare students for opportunities in broadcast news, corporate communication, electronic media production, general media studies, public relations and public advocacy. Students are often required to take additional courses and perform supervised research in an area of specialty and prepare a professional portfolio that they can use after graduation. Programs aim to help students to develop a broad knowledge of speech and rhetoric as a discipline and an in-depth focus in a specific area of speech communication, such as interpersonal and intercultural communications.

There are many options for individuals interested in studying communications, such as degree levels, areas of focus and career opportunities. Programs that offer students the opportunities for public speaking experience and internships provide students with valuable experience that will be beneficial after they graduate.

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