Academic Options and Areas of Study

The School of Communication offers six majors:

Communication Studies

This major explores how communication achieves effects such as creating social influence, informing and educating, entertaining, managing, resolving conflicts, building consesus, and organizing collective action.


Students study composition and choreography in depth and write, research, and analyze the field of dance. Classroom work is complemented with professional training and performance opportunities to continue development of dance skills.

Human Communication Sciences

In this major, students learn how individuals speak, write, listen, read, learn, and react to the messages they receive. This major provides excellent preparation for medical school and a career in healthcare, as well as audiology, speech pathology, the treatment of learning disabilities, education, and research.

Performance Studies

Majors learn about different kinds of texts that circulate in human cultures and how those texts are performed in different settings.


This major explores the history of visual culture, analyzes screen-based culture, screen writing, and how to produce new work using screen-based media.


Students read, study, and perform significant plays from many times and cultures. This provides a foundation for deeper studies of acting, directiong, playwriting, and related fields.

Minors are available in a number of the studies noted above. For a full listing of available programs, please visit the School of Communication's departments and programs page.

Five-year Dual Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Through five-year dual Bachelor’s Degree programs, Northwestern offers qualified students the opportunity to earn dual bachelors degrees combining communication with engineering or music. Interested students should indicate they are applying to this program on their freshman application to Northwestern. For more information about each dual degree program, please see the corresponding program pages: