*No longer accepting applications.*
Communication is an integral means of understanding social justice and fostering community change. Course work reflects the connection of communication, advocacy and engaged community work, particularly as it involves applied ethics, intercultural communication, and translational science. Students in this degree program will study and understand how power operates individually, socially and institutionally.
Our approach to advocacy is rooted primarily in rhetoric. The goal of public advocacy is to create societal change. It requires skills in developing and critiquing arguments, the capacity to engage community groups and institutions, and an understanding of activism in multiple arenas (from politics to historical examples). While this program is solidly rooted in communication, students will also gain knowledge in interdisciplinary research (from social science to behavioral science to humanities). Through communication course work, students will develop experience in various communicative processes that can inform public advocacy. Through the course work in performance and rhetoric, students will learn about and practice community organizing, engagement and activism. The overall program will engage students in an interdisciplinary approach to develop a rich understanding of a) how community issues are constructed, b) the social conditions of marginalized and vulnerable groups, and c) the practical implementation of public advocacy.
This graduate degree offers students flexibility to pursue a broad range of occupations in the public, private and governmental sectors, including: social service program implementation, nonprofit leadership, communications and marketing, developing and analyzing policy, community-based participatory research, and implementing community assessments. The department provides a diverse range of courses that include a variety of theoretical, historical, critical, analytical and interactive approaches to public advocacy. The degree is divided into three areas: departmental required courses; communication courses focused on rhetoric and performance; and courses in related disciplines that explore the status of marginalized and vulnerable populations, and the implementation of community advocacy.