Visual Communication

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Welcome to the Communication Studies Department. Our goal is to provide a quality liberal arts education while providing the skills and experience you will need to compete effectively for jobs in the new information economy. We are pleased that you have expressed an interest in our program.

Who we are:
Currently, 48 undergraduates are majoring in communication studies. Our students come from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, and South American and Middle Eastern countries. Five faculty members offer courses in the major.

What we do:
Students majoring in communication studies examine the social, political, institutional, and mediated dimensions of human communication practices and processes. In every course in the program, students learn how these communication practices construct and reconstruct meanings, enable and constrain social interaction, and interact with institutional structures. Our students create visual, digital, and verbal messages. They are trained in creative problem solving, a process that focuses on analyzing audiences and adapting to characteristics of receivers.

What you will learn:
Students choosing a major in communication studies develop analytic and cognitive skills that enhance their capacity for critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and proficiency in critical, interpretive, and social scientific methods of communication research. Students demonstrate their command of this material by the capacity to 1) create and analyze visual and organizational messages, 2) conduct independent inquiry and research, 3) locate and interpret primary materials when formulating original, creative solutions, and 4) communicate the results of research to diverse audiences, both visually and verbally. The skills provided by the communication studies program are desired by many organizations and professions. Our liberal arts approach is essential for democratic citizenship in the 21st century.

How the program is structured:
In consultation with their advisor, students typically concentrate their major course work in either Organizational Communication (public relations or human resource management) or Visual Communication (graphic design or digital media). The department encourages students to complement their communication studies major with either a minor in a related discipline or a supporting field, selected in consultation with their department advisor.

What to do next:
As you consider our major and visit our web site, we invite you to email us and talk to our students. Our faculty have years of experience working in their areas. We are skilled professionals who creatively solve communication problems. We value practical skills and we are keenly aware of the ethical uses of images and messages.  In addition to practical application of theoretical material, our faculty members hold advanced degrees in their disciplines. We would enjoy talking to you about our values-based education.

A brief letter or website cannot fully describe the Communication Studies Department. I extend an invitation to you to visit Viterbo University, stop by our offices, and see our media labs (PC and Mac). We will be happy to meet with you to discuss your personal situation. Feel free to contact me if you need additional information.

Ray Preiss, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Communication Studies
Viterbo University
608-796-3164
rwpreiss@viterbo.edu