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 1982

Maryann Deno Brock

Legal Assistant/Executive Assistant for TBrock Trucking,
McHenry Haszard
Major: Speech Communication
Email consulting | Phone consulting | Meeting in person | Attending career development events


Brock was an active student at Penn State captaining the Sailing Team, participating in the Outing Club, serving as the Vice President of the Association of Residence Hall Students, and serving as the President of Parmi Nous. After graduating from Penn State with a degree in Speech Communication in 1982, Brock graduated with honors from the Lawyers Assistant Program in 1983. Since then, Brock has served as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal with law firms in Hempstead, New York and in Washington, D.C. In 1990, Brock moved to Nebraska continuing a career as a paralegal while also teaching at a Montessori preschool and running a home day care.

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