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Student discuss rhetoric in groups

Academics: Strategic Communication

Study strategic communication at Calvin

The Strategic Communication major strives to teach students to critique and create effective messages for specific audiences and situations.  Majors tend to use their training in two distinctive ways upon graduation: (1) as communication professionals in the fields of advertising, public relations, media relations, fund raising, events planning, and journalism; or (2) as professionals in varied careers for which rhetorical training is central to success—law, politics, the ministry, and academia.  

Every student in this major needs training and experience in the core rhetorical faculties and skills, so there is a specified set of shared courses.  But further training and experience are contingent upon their future goals.  To meet these different needs, the remaining requirements for the Strategic Communication major are based upon students' decision to specialize in Professional Communication or Rhetoric.

Within the major of Strategic Communication, the Professional Communication Track, is designed for students interested in advertising, public relations, media relations, fund raising, and events planning. The Rhetoric Track is designed for students interested in communication consulting, law, politics, the ministry, and academia. 

Program requirements

(33-38 semester hours)
CAS 101 or 141
CAS 200
CAS 211
CAS 238

CAS 305

Courses from on track
Professional Track
(34-38 semester hours)
CAS 180, 190 or 222
CAS 262
CAS 285
Two from:
   CAS 201, 240, 248, ART 255, 256, 305 media production
   (may choose 1 from): CAS 249, 290, 351 Computer Science 100,
   English 365
One course from
   CAS 300-level elective, CAS 346, or approved elective
CAS 352 or 399

Rhetoric Track
(33-37 semester hours)
CAS 205
CAS 211
CAS 238
Two courses from
   CAS 240, 260, 270, or 318
CAS 399
Three from CAS 300-level electives, CAS 346 or approved alternative


Christian perspective

One of the key means people use to exercise dominion in the world is rhetoric.

Read more »


Strategic Communication majors have entered the following careers:

  • public relations
  • law
  • ministry
  • business
  • government service
  • media
  • counseling
  • non-profit management

Faculty work

Check out these publications:

Landmark Speeches of National Socialism
by: Randall Bytwerk

LBJ's American Promise
by: Garth Pauley