Communication Studies

In our award-winning department, students learn how to communicate effectively in a variety of settings, contexts, and cultures. We teach the importance of understanding messages people send each other, whether those messages occur in intimate contexts, such as personal relationships, or in more public arenas, such as business, politics, law, and even the church.

Natalie Bennie
Whether it's helping out with applications or finding opportunities to showcase our accomplishments, the faculty do a remarkable job of fostering the academic growth of communication studies majors. The skills and opportunities I have found in the department have literally taken me across the globe, from California to Japan. Natalie Bennie, National Debate Scholar, Debate All-American, U.S. National Debate Team member

Our focus is on the people sending and receiving messages. We're different from journalism and mass communication programs-they focus on the medium (newspapers, television), while we focus on how people communicate verbally and nonverbally. Our program is broad and quite flexible; we help you learn about communication issues that arise in practically every facet of life. We address questions such as:

  • Why do people say the things they do?
  • How can you design a message to motivate and persuade others?
  • What strategies work best for resolving conflicts?
  • How can you communicate effectively with people from other cultures?
  • Why do people sometimes misunderstand each other?

Students around the nation are changing their majors to Communication Studies to better prepare for their future. The Department of Communication Studies at Samford University has won eight awards for outstanding teaching, and we have a very active program of student research that has been recognized as one of the finest in the country. In fact, our department was recently selected for inclusion in Kevin Kecskes book, Engaging Departments, as an example of academic excellence.

Tens of thousands of students in the U. S. earn college degrees each year. A strong department can actually help you stand out from the rest of the crowd. We have many programs designed to do just that. And, you should realize that employers rank communication skills as #1 in importance-regardless of the job. Our graduates secure extremely successful careers in an amazingly wide variety of fields.

Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society+

Photo of Lambda Pi Eta Members

The Communication Studies Department has a very active chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, which is the official honor society of the National Communication Association. There are over 400 active chapters around the world. The name is representative of Aristotle's description of the elements of persuasion: logos (Lambda), pathos (Pi), and ethos (Eta). To join this organization, a student must have a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA with at least 60 credit hours of college coursework completed, and must have a 3.25 minimum GPA for all communication courses with at least 12 semester credits completed.

Our chapter, Omicron Rho, is involved each year in Samford's Earth Day and we've won awards for our assistance with organizing the event. And for Earth Day 2008, our display booth was voted "Most Creative." In addition, the chapter is responsible for sponsoring most departmental parties, such as our annual fall party and spring awards ceremony.


Photo Samford debaters Kiarra Broadnax, Kevin Aubrey, Dovie Stem and Moriah Windus celebrate their tournament success.

Samford Debaters Win University of California-Berkeley Tournament

The pair defeated teams from St. Mary’s College, University of Nevada Las Vegas, California State University Long Beach, San Francisco State University, and Indiana University before besting a hybrid team from Rutgers University and Binghamton University in the finals. 
Photo Samford debaters celebrate honors from the Vanderbilt tournament

Samford Debaters Earn Honors at Vanderbilt Tournament

Members of Samford University’s debate team earned a number of honors at a Vanderbilt University debate tournament Oct. 14-15. 
Photo Ethics-Bowl-Quarterfinals.JPG

Ethics Bowl Team Advances to National Quarterfinals

The team’s success at the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas, takes it to fifth place in the nation and makes it one of only three teams to earn a place in the quarter-finals back-to-back.