Department of Communications

Program Overview

The Communication major is designed to meet the needs of students who hope to pursue careers in which writing skills, speaking skills, media literacy, critical thinking skills, and sensitivity to cultural diversity are essential. Drawing on rich humanistic and Jesuit traditions, the Communication Department prepares students for life, leadership, and service through a variety of avenues including human interaction, cultural diversity, theoretical foundations in rhetoric and cultural studies, and media production.


  • Communication students at WJU learn through hands-on experiences that expand upon what they discuss in the classroom. Some possible opportunities include media-based projects, internships, and service-learning activities. The required internship/community service portfolio sets our department apart from other departments because students leave with a tangible representation of what they have accomplished while earning their degree. Students perform three “hands-on” projects throughout their years at WJU in which they utilize the knowledge they have learned in the classroom. These student portfolios serve as evidence to future employers and graduate schools the skills that students have achieved while at WJU.
  • Our graduate employment rate is excellent. The most recent years indicate that Communication graduates experience 90-100% employment or enrollment in graduate school. Recent graduating seniors have also received teaching assistantships that include a tuition waiver as they enter graduate school.
  • While other universities may offer Communication programs, WJU’s program uniquely focuses on the ethical and moral development of our students. Given the recent events in America (the contentious political cycle and election, the rise of social justice groups like “Black Lives Matter”, the increased debate between facts and alternative facts, the increased use of social media and the need for media literacy skills, and the increased use of media production), it is vital that our students understand the role of media in this new world. Our students have an increased interest in and need for media analysis and production that fundamentally emphasizes our Jesuit ideals of ethical and moral communication.
Principles of Communication
Media and Culture
Argumentation and Debate
Race, Gender, and Class in Media
Visual Design
According to the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics , "Employment of media and communication occupations is projected to grow 4 percent from 2014 to 2024, which will result in about 27,400 new jobs. Demand for media and communication occupations should stem from the need to create, edit, translate, and disseminate information through a variety of different platforms. The median annual wage for media and communication occupations was $54,780 in May 2016, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $37,040." Communications skills are highly desired by future employers. A degree in Communications opens the door to possible careers in public relations, advertising, journalism, publication, social marketing, broadcasting, visual communications, health communication, pre-law and many more professional and humanities based fields.

Source: "
Media and Communication Occupations." Occupational Outlook Handbook. US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. December 17, 2015. Accessed May 18, 2017.”
The Dorothy Day Award is named in honor of the journalist, writer, and social activist Dorothy Day who helped found the Catholic Worker Movement. The award recipient is chosen from among those Communication majors who demonstrate outstanding scholarship and service to the department and Wheeling Jesuit University.
Students have recently completed internships for local community service organizations including Catholic Charities. They have also interned at local companies such as Red Tree Web Design, The Call and Post Newspaper, and 95.5 FM The Fish.

Internship/Portfolio Requirements
Internship Opportunities

Lambda Pi Eta is a National Communication Association honor society with an active chapter at WJU. The goals of Lambda Pi Eta include:

  • To recognize, foster, and reward outstanding scholastic achievement in Communication Studies
  • Stimulate interest in the field of Communication
  • Promote and encourage professional development among Communication majors
  • Provide an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas in the field of communication
  • Establish and maintain closer relationships between faculty and students
  • Explore options for graduate education in Communication Studies

This honor society focuses on making connections both within and outside of the Communication department. Lambda Pi Eta officers offer their time to Communication majors as tutors and mentors, as well as host events for the department to provide an opportunity for students to connect. In the spring, Lambda Pi Eta provides students with the opportunity through fundraising to attend the Eastern Communication Association Convention and make professional and academic connections which have led to opportunities for students after graduation.