Enhance skills in listening, speaking, and collaborating

Why CRS?

  • You are a person who aims to make a difference in the world, who values and respects others, and who hopes to flourish as a leader in a world of diversity, change, and challenge
  • You love working with people and want to enhance your skills in listening, speaking, and collaborating with others. 
  • You see yourself working in careers ranging from public relations to corporate-wide communications, from political communication to community organizing, from public advocacy to legal communication, or from education to diversity management.

Our Role

The Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies takes a broad approach to human communication. The department's program in communication and rhetorical studies focuses on developing strong communication skills and learning to take a communication perspective on every dimension of our lives: professionally, personally, and in our role as active community members.

Unlike many mass media programs that emphasize developing specialized skills within one particular medium, our program examines the whole communication process. We view human communication as a fundamentally creative activity in which participants jointly construct their personal and relational goals; create visions of the future; and sustain important values, norms, politics, culture, and diverse ways of being human. We view communication as a powerful force for change—and CRS majors are poised to be strong leaders and advocates for shaping the social world in ways that honor differences and promote understanding.

Students in the communication and rhetorical studies major develop a set of specific professional communication skills, including group and teamwork, interpersonal relationship management, argumentation, conflict management, interviewing, public speaking, leadership, listening, and critical skills. As important as skill development is, the study of communication also involves a sophisticated understanding of communication processes such as context and culture. Examples include studying communication practices of organizations, families, politics, public discourse, popular culture, social movements, and cross-cultural interaction.

Learn from Experts

Our faculty is absorbed in the study of communication and rhetorical studies. Your understanding of communication will grow as you interact with faculty who are active scholars--conducting original research, presenting their work at national and international conferences, and writing books or publishing essays in scholarly journals. The faculty has written on a broad range of subjects, from Ronald Reagan's political discourse, the power of visual images, to the subtle messages conveyed in popular films. They also examine patterns of conversation that sustain or challenge gender, race, or cultural identity.

Consistent with Syracuse University's mission to integrate scholarship and teaching, our faculty members bring energy and expertise into the classroom. Their participation in research enables faculty to share cutting-edge perspectives with students and keep their teaching up-to-date with current trends in the field of communication studies.


The program in communication and rhetorical studies can also be considered as preparatory to law schools. Courses such as Argumentation, Advanced Argumentation, Persuasion, and Legal Communication cover practices, skills, and theories that are informative of the law practices.

Syracuse University's College of Law also allows seniors who are admitted to its school to consider the credits of the first year in the Law School as general elective of a student’s undergraduate studies (up to 30 credits). For more information about this possibility, please contact our pre-law advisor, Professor Lynn Greenky, at llgreenk@syr.edu or 315.443.1268.


Undergraduate Handbook

The Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies produces an undergraduate handbook that offers helpful information about the program.

Undergraduate Handbook [PDF]

Helpful Links

Communication and rhetorical studies students will find the following links helpful:

Communication Associations

National Communication Association
International Communication Association
Eastern Communication Association
Western States Communication Association
Central States Communication Association
Southern States Communication Association
Rhetoric Society of America

Syracuse University