About our Major
Our degree program consists of a 36 hour major in Communication Studies. Communication is listed by employers as one of the most important attributes any prospective employee might have. A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers ranked oral communication as the number one skill for which employers were looking. Other skills preferred by employers in the same survey (interpersonal skills, teamwork, written communication, leadership) also are closely related to the material taught in Howard Payne University’s major in Communication Studies. A degree in Communication Studies gives students tremendous flexibility in terms of career choices. A major or minor in Communication Studies focuses on the process of communication, and communication professionals seek to inform, educate, persuade, or facilitate communication between dyads, and small and large groups of people. Our graduates enjoy employment in public relations, education, organizational communication, politics, journalism, ministry, and media-related professions.
Students in the communication department take courses specializing in interpersonal communication, nonverbal communication, leadership communication, intercultural communication, theory, public relations, media writing, persuasion and debate, small group communication, conflict resolution, organizational communication, media criticism, and others. As a way to gain practical application of communication concepts, all of our students are required to complete a semester long internship.
Our speech and debate team, Student Speaker Bureau, has experienced great success on both the state and national level. Students may audition for positions, and scholarships are available. Students with any major are invited to audition. Competitive speech and debate is central to the education mission of our university–preparing students to be of service to others and functional participants in a democratic society.
HPU Speech and Debate competes in:
• Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association
• National Christian College Forensics Association
• National Parliamentary Debate Association
• NFA-Lincoln Douglas Policy Debate
• American Forensics Association Individual Events
Student Speaker Bureau travels around the state to various collegiate tournaments as well as the National Christian College tournament each year. Students compete in the following events: National Forensics Association Individual Events: persuasive speaking, informative speaking, extemporaneous speaking, impromptu speaking, poetry interpretation, prose interpretation, communication analysis, after dinner speaking, program oral interpretation, and dramatic duo. Students also compete in the following debate formats at various tournaments: National Parliamentary Debate Association, British parliamentary debate; and the International Public Debate Association.