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Majors and Minors in Communication

Basic Requirements

As a major in Integrated Marketing Communication, Corporate Communication, Communication Studies, or Rhetoric, you will complete between 30 and 45 credits of study in the department.

  • 15 credits are dedicated to core courses in department.
  • A minimum of 15 credits of study are dedicated to courses in your chosen major.

In consultation with the Undergraduate Directors, you will design a plan of study that develops your knowledge in the skills, strategy, and management of communication. We encourage you to plan ahead for volunteer and for-credit internship experiences available through our communication Internship Office.

Overview of Our Majors

Integrated Marketing Communication: Ad & PR for the 21st Century

Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) unites advertising and public relations with the breadth of the marketing communication field for ethical strategic communication in a changing world. You will learn the communication processes that establish and identify a “brand” for internal and external publics. The IMC major prepares you for service in advertising and public relations agencies, integrated marketing communication agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and public institutions.

As an IMC graduate, you are prepared to manage the functions and strategies involved in areas such as communication planning, integrated campaign development, strategic communication, persuasive message development, public dialogue, and crisis communication.

Corporate Communication

Corporate Communication addresses organizational communication strategies that prepare you for ethical decision-making and leadership in business contexts. You will engage sophisticated theories of conflict and crisis management, strategies for corporate and community relations, small group and team management, and sensitivity to gender and cultural issues in the marketplace.

As a Corporate Communication graduate, you are prepared to work in management, corporate communication contexts, nonprofit development and communication, human resource development, public affairs, community relations, and entrepreneurial contexts.

Communication Studies

Communication Studies offers you an opportunity to design a unique plan of study. This major optimizes opportunities for you to define a specific marketplace niche in the area of communication. As a Communication Studies major, you will collaborate with the Undergraduate Directors to design a specific program of study beyond required departmental courses. Course selection is crafted in tandem with your professional goals.


Rhetoric combines ethical concern for contemporary issues with artful public persuasion. It reflects our department's strong philosophical and humanities focus. Argumentation and persuasion are skills fundamental to this major and are informed by rhetorical theory and philosophy of communication. As a Rhetoric major, you will analyze the practice of these theories in areas such as religion, free speech, organizational communication, and popular culture.

The major provides you with an excellent foundation for a career in law, political leadership, higher education, and other professions in the public sphere.

Recommended Minor for IMC and Corporate Communication Majors

The Fine Arts Department offers a 15 credit minor in graphic design to complement applied communication degrees.

Overview of Double Major Options

Communication and English

If you choose to major with us, you can add a major in English, and majors in English can add a major in Communication & Rhetorical Studies. The first selected major requires 30 credit hours and the second major 24 credit hours.

Accelerated Communication B.A./M.A.

We invite undergraduate students at Duquesne and at selected Catholic universities to begin a Master of Arts degree as undergraduates. Undergraduate students are able to earn six graduate credits by taking two 400-level, senior courses in which they are assigned graduate-level work by the professors at their undergraduate university.

Communication and Political Science

If you choose to major with us, you can add a major in Political Science, and majors in Political Science can add a major in Communication & Rhetorical Studies. The first selected major requires 30 credit hours and the second major 24 credit hours.

Overview of Minor Options

A minor in Communication & Rhetorical Studies requires a minimum of 18 hours.