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Ripon College offers a major and minor in communication, and a unique minor in applied communication.
Ripon’s Department of Communication is the recipient of the 2014 Rex Mix Program of Excellence Award from the National Communication Association, recognizing the best undergraduate communication program in the United States.
The study of communication at Ripon is a thoughtful balance of theory and practice, designed to deepen your understanding of the field and also to refine your ability to apply theories of communication to real-world situations.
You likely will enter the department in skills-development courses such as public speaking or debate. As a sophomore, you will begin your three-year exploration of advanced theory and history of communication.
During your junior year, you will pursue advanced applications of communication via actual community-based projects and formal internships. In the spring of 2015, the department launched the Ripon Communication Consortium to prepare students, regardless of major, to be effective and ethical communicators in the 21st century.
During your senior year, you will move into leadership roles in practical experiences. For example, you might serve as project leader for younger students or work alongside a professor as a teaching mentor in a 100- or 200-level class.
Communication is a broad degree that can lead to job opportunities in many different fields, including, but not limited to: government, business, public relations, advertising, media and entertainment, nonprofit, law and higher education. Communication also provides good preparation for graduate school in many disciplines including communication, law, education, business and public administration, among others.
On average, communication majors complete three internships. More than 80 percent of graduates from Ripon’s Department of Communication are placed in their career of choice before graduation (90 percent within six months of graduation), and 100 percent of our alumni pursuing graduate education in communication have received full scholarships.
Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.
As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. Staff in the Office of Constituent Engagement and Career Services help to match your interests to concrete goals and construct a plan for success, offering support through three stages of career development – planning, exploration and search. Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Mentors in the Collaborative Learning Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.
Communication is a broad degree that can lead to job opportunities in many different fields, including, but not limited to: government, business, public relations, advertising, media and entertainment, nonprofit, law and higher education.
Communication is good preparation for graduate school in many disciplines including communication, law, education, business and public administration, among others. Recent alumni are enrolled in graduate-level programs at Marquette University, Colorado State University, Pennsylvania State University, Newcastle University, Texas A&M University, the University of Georgia, the University of Utah, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Recent graduates of our program work for:
- U.S. presidential campaigns
- Bravo Media
- Hilton Hotels Corp.
- Boelter & Lincoln Advertising
- Green Bay Packers
- Minnesota Public Radio
- Organizing for America
- University of Maine
- United Nations
- Colorado State University
- University of Georgia
Job titles of recent graduates include:
- Associate producer
- Consulting analyst
- Press secretary
- Communication director
- Project manager
- Assistant professor of rhetoric and media studies
- Instructor of public speaking and interpersonal communication
- Academic adviser
- Client services coordinator
- Deployment specialist
- Director of ticket sales
- Development assistant, major gifts
- Management, organization stabilization mission in the DR Congo
Whether you choose a program that is international or domestic, it is an experience bound to change your view of the world. Click to learn more about Off- Campus Study and Liberal Arts In Focus at Ripon College.
Financial aid continues for students who choose to participate in an approved study-abroad program, minimizing additional expenses.
Ripon Communication Consortium
The Department of Communication coordinates the newly established Ripon Communication Consortium, an effort designed to prepare students to be effective and ethical communicators in the 21st century. Interested students who demonstrate exceptional talent and/or diverse past experiences in journalism, media production and speech/debate activities may qualify for a consortium scholarship of up to $5,000 per year. A separate application and one-page essay, due no later than March 1, are required. Click here to learn more about the co-curricular programs, activities and student organizations available as part of the consortium.
Conferences and Conventions
Ripon College communication majors regularly present their own original research at state, regional and national conventions in the field of communication. These conferences provide you with tangible, professional public speaking experience and networking opportunities.
Alumni Seminar Series
Communication alumni regularly return to campus to discuss career options and offer advice to current students. These events are more than just informative — they provide you with entry into the network of Ripon communication alumni who want to help you succeed in meeting your goals.
Because we believe theory and practice must go hand-in-hand for students to learn, we cultivate a variety of opportunities, both on- and off-campus, for you to gain practical experience. Through community action project-learning, any communication major in good standing in the department has multiple opportunities during the junior and senior years to learn at an advanced level by working in the field of communication on behalf of nonprofit organizations.
Communication majors are strongly encouraged to arrange an internship during the junior or senior year. In recent years, Ripon communication majors have interned with major advertising firms such as Bozell-Salvati, with television networks (NBC and CBS), with the U.S. government and with a variety of corporations in the Midwest.
On average, communication majors complete three internships. More than 80 percent of graduates from Ripon’s Department of Communication are placed in their career of choice before graduation (90 percent within six months of graduation), and 100 percent of our alumni pursuing graduate education in communication have received full-ride scholarships.