Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Undergraduate

Undergraduate

The CAS department boasts award-winning teachers and researchers who bring to their work with undergraduate students an equal measure of expertise and enthusiasm.

In a top-ranked department that spans the Humanities and Social Sciences, majors and minors learn together to: think and listen critically; undertake independent and collaborative research; influence people; analyze public discourse; understand empirical studies that test communication theories; and participate more richly in civic, communal, and relational life.

As a reflection of our unique status as a Humanities and a Social Sciences department, CAS allows students to choose either a B.A. or a B.S. degree program. On World Campus exclusively, CAS offers a B.A. or B.S. in Organizational and Professional Communication.

CAS offers the following minors: CAS; Rhetoric; Civic and Community Engagement; Dispute Management and Resolution; Information Science & Technology.

Graduates of our program tend to go on to such jobs as: analysts and strategists, lawyers, professors, community organizers, corporate executives, freelance writers, and more.

What sets our program apart?

Accelerated Integrated Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees: Eligible CAS students can complete two degrees in five years: B.A./B.S. in CAS and Master’s in Human Resource and Employment Relations; B.A./B.S. in CAS and Master’s in Media Studies; B.A./B.A. in CAS and Master’s in Public Policy.
Academic Honors Society: Students with qualifying Grade Point Averages can be initiated into Lambda Pi Eta, the honors society of the National Communication Association. This honor brings kudos and a cord to snazzy up graduation robes.
Academic Sociality: CAS Club welcomes new members and offers officer positions. Its agenda and programming are determined solely by its members and officers, but a member of faculty acts as a liaison between the club and the department.
Undergraduate Research Showcase: Every spring, CAS students have the opportunity to work with dedicated CAS faculty and graduate students to create posters through which to present work developed in CAS courses.
Study Abroad Opportunity: When CAS faculty members organize a study abroad course for undergraduates, special departmental funding is available exclusively for CAS students.
Beyond our financial support, the department is a vibrant intellectual community devoted to developing students’ particular interests. We embrace the value of an interdisciplinary education. Our communication science students can participate in a Health and Risk Communication brown bag series, learn big data science through SoDA, learn new methodologies through the Methodology Center, pursue research and teaching at the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, learn to pursue fMRI research through the Social, Life, and Engineering Sciences Imaging Center, and participate in the McCourtney Institute for Democracy Roundtable. Our rhetoric students can take classes in allied departments, including English, Philosophy, Sociology, History, and Media Studies, pursue graduate minors, work with the Rock Ethics Institute to develop their understanding of ethics literacy and pedagogy, receive fellowships and research support through the Humanities Institute, work closely with the Center for Democratic Deliberation to improve public deliberation, and complete a Digital Pedagogy Graduate Internship through the Penn State Office of Digital Pedagogy and Scholarship.

Alumni Spotlight:

Class of 1997

Brian Mehalick

Areas Sales Manager,
Lundbeck Pharmaceutical
Major: Speech Communication
Meeting in person | Attending career development events

Biography:

Mehalick graduated from Penn State with a degree in Speech Communication in 1997. While at PSU, Mehalick developed skills and professional networks that laid the foundation for success in business. Currently, Mehalick lives in State College and works as an Area Sales Manager—focusing on the East Coast in Mental Health—for Lundbeck Pharmaceutical. Mehalick is also a youth soccer coach.

If you are a CAS alum, we’d love to add your name to this list! Submit an alumni update below to be featured here!