Admissions Blog Posts

Thinking of being a Communication Studies Major?

Last updated April 10, 2023

By Sarah Carroll

Furman offers more than 70 majors and minors. How do you decide which academic path to take?

Are you interested in advocacy, marketing, event planning, public relations, journalism, and broadcasting? Looking for one of the highest rated programs of its kind in South Carolina? Well, the Communication Studies department is the place for you!

My name is Gracie, and I am a sophomore Communication Studies major! The B.A. has two tracks: Media Studies or Rhetoric and Advocacy. I am on the Media Studies track, as I hope to pursue a career in marketing and design! However, I also have the opportunity to take classes that are a part of the rhetoric track, which has made me more prepared and well-rounded for any situation after I graduate.

This semester, I am taking COM201 – Rhetoric and Strategy! We have been learning about rhetoricians from all time periods and analyzing and comparing their works. My wonderful professor is Dr. Alyson Farzad-Phillips, who specializes in service-learning, civic engagement, and diversity & inclusion practices. I asked her a Dr. Alyson Farzad-Phillips, female professor in red floral shirt with brown hair. Smiling in breezeway outside of Furman Hallfew questions about what communication studies means to her!

Why were you interested in studying communication? 

“I became interested in studying communication after taking an elective class with a professor (at UGA) who inspired me. Her class made me realize that communication, and especially rhetoric, makes up so much of our culture and social life. I also loved that you can study just about any topic through a communication lens.”

What have you done with your communication experience?

“I have used my communication experience as a K-12 teacher, as an employee for a DEI office, and recently as a COM professor. Communication has prepared me for everything from public speaking to engaging in rhetorical analysis to writing original research, which has been useful throughout my career.”

What do you like about the Furman COM department?

“I love the community feel of the Communication Studies majors! Despite the fact that we offer so many classes each semester, our majors seem to travel in the same circles, take multiple classes together, and truly bond as a cohort!”


Dr. Farzad-Phillips is a beloved professor (by me and many others), and I highly encourage any of her classes, whether you’re a COM major or not!Group of Furman Students in purple t-shirts posing on staircase inside Furman Hall.

Grayson Taylor, a Communication Studies: Rhetoric & Advocacy and Politics and International Affairs double major has found that balancing two course loads is easier than it seems. She said, “The COM classes I am taking compliment my Politics major really well. Some of the ways I have learned to analyze text and make connections between rhetorical appeals used in our politics today have been super interesting. I would recommend double majoring with Communications to any student, being able to articulate your thoughts and use persuasive appeals is helpful in any field!”

I have loved my experience with the Communication Studies department thus far, and I am looking forward to continuing my academic path with these outstanding professors and engaging classes as time passes!

To any incoming freshman, Dr. Farzad-Phillips offers you this piece of advice: “I would encourage ALL incoming students (COM majors or not!) to start exploring COM classes early by taking public speaking or media & society! These classes offer GER (General Education Requirement) credit and can help you explore your interest in this field!”


                                            -Gracie Carroll