Rhetoric and Public Advocacy FAQs


1. What are the benefits of pursuing the Rhetoric and Public Advocacy concentration with the Strategic Communication major?

This concentration helps students to develop their communication knowledge and abilities so that they can advocate for causes, issues, policies, laws and organizations. These abilities include

  • Advocating for personal, political or organizational goals
  • Analyzing various forms of both private and public communication
  • Creating, organizing and delivering messages that inform, persuade and inspire
  • Developing means of communicating with target audiences
  • Gaining a better understanding of local, national and international affairs
  • Critically engaging in issues of social justice, cultural identity and ethical communication

2. What distinguishes Rhetoric and Public Advocacy from other areas of communication?

This study has a strong tradition dating back more than 2,000 years to the ancient Greeks and their analysis of persuasion in the public arena. Its strong tradition focuses on the power of human communication in public and private arenas.

3. What are some typical subjects or issues that students might study?

Rhetoric and Public Advocacy allows students to study a variety of topics, including presidential discourse, persuasion in the mass media, political talk shows, celebrity gossip, gamer culture, sports cultural criticism, religious advocacy, social movements, nonprofit organizations, and debates on everything from race to marriage to freedom of speech to hip-hop and Lady Gaga.

4. What careers do students pursue who have studied Rhetoric and Public Advocacy?

This concentration prepares students for careers in

  • Public advocacy
  • Politics and government communication
  • Grassroots activism and social movements
  • Law and the judicial system
  • Marketing, media management, and news casting
  • Political, nonprofit, and corporate lobbying
  • Graduate school and academia

5. What are the course and GPA requirements for the concentration?

To graduate with a major in Strategic Communication and a Rhetoric and Public Advocacy (aka Public Communication) concentration students must complete 124 credit hours with at least a 2.0 GPA. Strategic Communication majors take four department core courses: Public Speaking (STRC 1111), Communicating Leadership (STRC 1112), Introduction to Communication Theory (STRC 2111), and Strategies and Tactics of Persuasion (STRC 2112). In addition, they complete 18 credit hours within the concentration, including Public Advocacy (STRC 2221), Rhetoric of Social Movements (STRC 2296), Rhetorical Theory (STRC 3333), Argumentation (STRC 3336), Rhetorical Criticism (STRC 3396), and Seminar in Rhetoric and Public Advocacy (STRC 4839), as well as two electives in the department.