Speech Communication and Rhetoric
Sign In
Overview
Customize information shown
Speech communication and rhetoric is a program that focuses on the scientific, humanistic, and critical study of human communication in a variety of formats, media, and contexts. includes instruction in the theory and practice of interpersonal, group, organizational, professional, and intercultural communication; speaking and listening; verbal and nonverbal interaction; rhetorical theory and criticism; performance studies; argumentation and persuasion; technologically mediated communication; popular culture; and various contextual applications.
Current award levels
Hover over the bars below to see how many people across the country completed a degree in speech communication and rhetoric at each level last year.
010K20K30K40K50K0-1 Year Certificate1-2 Year CertificateAssociate's DegreeBachelor's DegreePostbaccalaureate CertMaster's DegreePost-master's CertResearch Doctorate
People with this bachelor's degree have gone to work in these careers
Writers and authorsManagers (specialized areas)EditorsPostsecondary teachersSecretaries and administrative...Technical writersDesignersRetail salespersonsManagement analystsLibrariansComputer and information syste...CounselorsTeachers and instructors (spec...Public Relations SpecialistsFirst-line supervisors of non-...Web developersChief executives and legislato...
Composition and Rhetoric majors work in these careers, which are sized by percentage of majors in the career (at least 1%) and colored by the predominant level of education.
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Race/origin of recent graduates
Here is an overview of race/origin for all speech communication and rhetoric graduates from this last academic year. We found a higher percentage of international graduates in this program than in 52% of other programs.
Race/Origin
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Not Reported
International
Context: Percentage of Minority Graduates
Minority students comprise a lower percentage of graduates than in 52% of other programs.
Gender
Of all people with any degree in speech communication and rhetoric earned in the last academic year, 65% were women.
Gender
Men
Women
Context: Percentage women
This is a higher percentage of women than 63% of other programs.
Advertisement
Salary
The Census Bureau provides salary data for people with bachelor's degrees in composition and rhetoric, which includes speech communication and rhetoric and 5 other programs.
Context: Median Salary
People with a degree in composition and rhetoric have a median salary of $46,990.
Context: Benefit of a master's
About 30% of these bachelor's graduates also have a graduate degree, perhaps in a different field. Salaries improved by approximately 29% over those holding only the bachelor's degree for those with subsequent graduate degrees.
Employment
As with our salary data, this data applies to all who earned a bachelor's degree in composition and rhetoric, which consists of 6 programs.
Context: Unemployment Rate
With an unemployment rate of 5.2%, this degree's majors who are in the workforce are less likely than the bachelor's graduates of 91% other fields to be employed.
Context: Self Employed Workers
About 7% of workers who earned a bachelor's in composition and rhetoric are self-employed.
Top careers
Following are the most frequent jobs held by people who earned a bachelor's degree in Composition and Rhetoric (which combines 6 programs), perhaps followed by additional education in any field. There is a fun exploration of related degrees and careers under Explore Careers below.
Advertisement
Similar programs
Following are related programs, ordered by those with the highest number of completions. You can explore a full list in the last section for programs below.
Staring Salaries and College Debt by Award
How are students who recently completed a degree in Speech Communication and Rhetoric doing?

New data from College Scorecard gives us a glimpse into the earnings and debt for recent graduates in their first year or two after leaving school. Shown is the distribution of the medians reported for all schools with graduates in the given program/award level.

Starting salaries by award level
$32K$47K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KMaster's DegreeBachelor's Degree
Median cumulative federal loan amount
$10K$25K$36K$0$20K$40K$60KMaster's DegreeBachelor's DegreeAssociate's Degree
Advertisement
Salary and Employment for Majors
Understanding this data
This section's data is for bachelor's recipients of several programs including speech communication and rhetoric

This section is informed by household surveys collected for the American Community Survey (ACS). For each person in the households surveyed, we learn about their college major (if applicable), final educational attainment, age, occupation, salary, and more. Using the ACS data lets us share something about what financial and career outcomes people can expect after majoring in a particular field in college.

Within our program pages, Ididio details over 1700 programs. However, the ACS surveys only report on 170 college major degrees. There is no published crosswalk between the programs and degrees. Some of the programs we describe are mostly offered as certificates or graduate programs, and don't make sense as college majors. For the remaining programs, we created a mapping to the best-fitting ACS degree designation.

We placed speech communication and rhetoric within the ACS composition and rhetoric degree designation, which contains a total of 6 programs.

All of the data that follows is for individuals who earned a bachelor's degree with a major in the degree composition and rhetoric. While we compile data on those who also received graduate education, unfortunately ACS does not record the subject area for graduate degrees.

Programs included in the ACS composition and rhetoric degree
Professional, Technical, Business, and Scientific Writing
Writing
Speech Communication and Rhetoric
Rhetoric and Composition
Creative Writing
Specialized Rhetoric and Composition/Writing Studies
Employment overview
Percentage of composition and rhetoric bachelor's graduates who are working

Does getting a bachelor's degree in composition and rhetoric lead to a secure job? The donut chart shows the percentage composition and rhetoric majors who are working along with a broad view of where they work. We note:

  • Self-employed workers include those working in a family-owned business.
  • Government workers can be in local, state or federal governments.

Technically, about 17.3% of composition and rhetoric graduates are currently not working. However, only 5.2% are classified as "unemployed," while 12.0% are "not in the workforce." Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether people are out of the workforce for personal reasons or because they have been unable to find work for an extended period.

83%
Percentage working by type of employer
Government
Federal government
State government
Local government
Self-employed
Self Emp. Incoporated
Self Emp. Not Incorp.
Private not-for-profit
Private for-profit
total
Context: Unemployment rates

This chart lets you see whether composition and rhetoric majors have better unemployment rates than bachelor's graduates from other fields. In the shaded box plot, the percentage of unemployed with this degree is shown in blue, along with the distribution of the percentage of unemployed graduates for each bachelor's degree field.

5.2%0.0%2.0%4.0%6.0%
Salary overview
Typical salaries for composition and rhetoric majors

How does the median (middle) salary for composition and rhetoric majors compare to the median salaries for other majors? The chart below compares the median salaries for all bachelor's graduates by major. Here and everywhere that we discuss salary, we limit the population to those with bachelor's degrees who report working at least 35 hours a week and are aged 65 and younger.

Context: median salaries
$46,990$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000
Distribution: Salaries by Employer

Above we compared the median salaries earned across college majors. Now we'll view the full salary range for composition and rhetoric majors. The charts below show the full distribution of salaries for this degree alone, with a look at how the type of employer might affect that salary. This salary includes all people who may also have received graduate education in this or any field. You can tease out the importance of graduate education in the last tab in the section.

$46K$46K$48K$33K$73K$53K$52K$47K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KPrivate for-profit (60.2% )Private not-for-profit (15.2% )State government (8.1% )Self Emp. Not Incorp. (4.4% )Federal government (1.9% )Local government (7.6% )Self Emp. Incoporated (2.6% )Overall (100%)

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

The battle of the sexes
Gender and success for composition and rhetoric majors

The donut chart shows the gender balance for all people with a bachelor's degree in composition and rhetoric. In the graphs that follow, we'll explore how these percentages compare to other bachelor's holders, and we'll also investigate the impact of gender on pay.

Gender
Men (41%)
Women (59%)
Context: Gender representation

How does the gender balance change according to college major? In the chart below, we see that composition and rhetoric has more women than most other degrees.

59%41%0%20%40%60%80%100%WomenMen
Distribution: salaries by gender

The chart below shows the distribution of salaries by gender of composition and rhetoric majors who are working 35 or more hours and are 65 or younger. If salaries are balanced for men and women, the blue and pink bars will be about the same. Many programs' graduates struggle with men's wages higher at all points of the salary distribution, including significantly higher top salaries.

$50K$45K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KWomenMen
Context: Salary inequity

For composition and rhetoric graduates, men generally earn 12% more than women. This is better than many: 91% of programs have graduates with higher salary inequities.

12%12%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Age and Advancement
Insights from the ages of composition and rhetoric bachelor's-holders

The ages of people in the US with a bachelor's degree in composition and rhetoric can give us a hint about whether this degree is in-fashion or out-of-fashion. A higher percentage of older people with a degree suggests that newer degree options have edged out this degree for recent graduates. Likewise, a higher percentage of younger people with a degree may suggest that this degree has become more popular in recent years.

Careeer Advancement

What entry-level pay should you expect in your first job, and is the mid-level pay significantly higher? Below we see salary distributions by age group for composition and rhetoric graduates who are working 35 or more hours weekly. Is there room for advancement in careers that stem from this degree?

$38K$67K$64K$54K$64K$46K$68K$23K$58K$0$50K$100K$150KSalaries by age20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
05K10K15KNumber with major20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Need for higher degrees
Is a bachelor's degree all you need?

Can composition and rhetoric majors earn a high salary without obtaining a graduate degree? Below, we dive into the prevalence of graduate degrees for composition and rhetoric majors, and we explore how much a graduate degree can be expected to increase salaries. Among all speech communication and rhetoric completions reported last year, 86% were at the bachelor's level or higher, including 5% at the graduate level.

Most recent completions in speech communication and rhetoric
0-1 Year Certificate
1-2 Year Certificate
2-4 Year Certificate
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Postbaccalaureate Cert
Master's Degree
Post-master's Cert
Professional Deg/Doct
Research Doctorate
Other Doctorate
Context: Graduate degrees in any field by undergraduate ACS degree

The donut shows the degree levels awarded in speech communication and rhetoric today. Now we'll use American Community Survey (ACS) data and look at all workers in the US who majored in composition and rhetoric when in college.

We know that about 30% composition and rhetoric majors chose to also earn a graduate degree (but we do not know the graduate field of study). The percentage of composition and rhetoric majors also earned a graduate degree is near the middle in comparison to other fields.

30%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: composition and rhetoric majors' salaries by education level

We saw above that 30% earned a graduate degree after earning a bachelor's in composition and rhetoric, but was this necessary for earning a good salary? We can see this answer in two ways. First, we can see the salary distribution for people with a bachelor's in composition and rhetoric by their highest education attained. Remember, we only know the field for the bachelor's degree; the graduate degree can be in any field.

$42K$54K$63K$69K$0$50K$100K$150KBachelor's DegreeMaster's DegreeResearch DoctorateProfessional Deg/Doct

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Context: Percentage boost obtained with a graduate degree

The second way that we can explore the impact of higher education on salary is to compare median salaries for workers with each level of education. We measure the percentage increase over the bachelor's salary that each higher degree achieved, and contrast that with similar measurements for other fields.

Sure, we think a higher degree would almost always help salary, but are there some majors that "need" a higher degree (in either the same or a new field) more than others in order to reach their earnings potential?

29%63%49%0%50%100%150%Bachelor's to Master'sBachelor's to Research DoctorateBachelor's to Professional Doctorate
Explore Careers
Careers for composition and rhetoric majors
Careers for composition and rhetoric majors

As we explained at the start of the previous section "Salary and Employment for Majors", the career data in all of these tabs is supported by the American Community Survey (ACS), which provides career information based on the broad degree composition and rhetoric. For of the career statistics we report here, we consider all bachelor-holders in speech communication and rhetoric and 5 other programs to fall under the ACS data we aggregated for the composition and rhetoric degree.

Here we look at ACS survey respondents across the US with a bachelor's degree in composition and rhetoric, and we see their top careers. You can explore the salary distributions for all people in those careers, as well as the typical education help by workers in that job. If you see ** before the job name, that tells you that the Department of Education recommends this job for people with a degree in speech communication and rhetoric. We did not find always find a strong correlation between that advice and where people were working.

Career
Select any column header to sort by that column, and select any row to explore that career.
Salary
Salary distribution 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Percentage with degree who are in job
**Writers and authors
$0$200K$54K
4.2%
Elementary and middle school teachers
$0$200K$52K
4.0%
Managers (specialized areas)
$0$200K$73K
4.0%
Editors
$0$200K$54K
3.5%
**Postsecondary teachers
$0$200K$63K
3.3%
Secretaries and administrative assistants
$0$200K$37K
2.8%
Technical writers
$0$200K$68K
2.3%
Marketing and sales managers
$0$200K$75K
2.3%
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
$0$200K$40K
2.1%
Lawyers, judges, and magistrates
$0$200K$94K
2.0%
Education administrators
$0$200K$70K
1.9%
Designers
$0$200K$52K
1.8%
Customer service representatives
$0$200K$32K
1.7%
Office and administrative support workers
$0$200K$41K
1.7%
Secondary school teachers
$0$200K$54K
1.7%
Retail salespersons
$0$200K$31K
1.6%
Applications and systems software developers
$0$200K$97K
1.3%
Management analysts
$0$200K$78K
1.3%
Librarians
$0$200K$52K
1.2%
Computer and information systems managers
$0$200K$101K
1.2%
Other routes to the top ten careers
Other majors that are hired by the top ten composition and rhetoric careers

Take a minute with this sankey diagram, and use your mouse/touch to explore. You can follow the top ten jobs held by composition and rhetoric graduates, and then, in turn, you can see the largest 10 degrees hired by each of those careers. We hope this gives you a glimpse at where you can most realistically hope to get a job with this degree, but also see alternatives for the same employment options. It's worth noting that for many degrees, the top ten jobs don't account for even half of the graduates. The data warns us / encourages us that a degree is only one piece of the puzzle that determines where we land.

English Language and LiteratureJournalismCommunicationsPsychologyPolitical Science and GovernmentHistoryBusiness Management and AdministrationMass MediaComposition and RhetoricFilm Video and Photographic ArtsElementary EducationGeneral EducationSpecial Needs EducationEarly Childhood EducationArt and Music EducationLanguage and Drama EducationLiberal ArtsGeneral BusinessAccountingElectrical EngineeringMechanical EngineeringEconomicsMarketingFinanceBiologyMathematicsNursingChemistryPhysicsFine ArtsSociologyPhilosophy and Religious StudiesCriminal Justice and Fire ProtectionWriters and authorsElementary and middleschool teachersManagers (specializedareas)Postsecondary teachersEditorsSecretaries andadministrative assistantsTechnical writersMarketing and salesmanagersEducation administratorsLawyers, judges, andmagistratesAll othersThis degreeTop 10 CareersTop 10 degrees hired
Jobs that choose composition and rhetoric majors
What careers hire composition and rhetoric majors as one of their top 10?

What jobs are especially seeking you out? The previous section let you explore the top ten jobs for people who earn bachelor's degrees in this field. Now we turn the tables a bit. What jobs have composition and rhetoric as one of the top ten majors they hire? Take this with a grain of salt, though, since some majors have more than 100,000 annual graduates and others have only a few thousand. Maybe employers would hire more of certain low-number majors if they could be found. In the bottom Sankey box, we show you the proportion of composition and rhetoric majors that are accounted for by the top 10 jobs -- there are a myriad of other options for most majors.

Technical writersEditorsWriters and authorsAll other careersComposition and RhetoricAll other degreesCareers where this degree is a top 10 hireDegree
Where can I complete this program?
What schools offer this program?
Explore schools that offer speech communication and rhetoric degrees and certificates

We've created a list of schools that offer this program for the level you select. We've also chosen a few facts about each school that give you an idea of the educational quality each school might offer:

  • Student-Faculty Ratio: A small number of students per full-time instructor suggests individual attention for each student and an up-to-date curriculum.

  • Satisfaction Rate: A high percentage of returning first-year students should correlate with satisfaction (schools call this their retention rate).

  • Repayment Rate: A high repayment rate means most alumni earn enough to make progress repaying loans within 7 years of leaving.

We also show the total enrollment for the school as measured by full-time-equivalent (FTE) students enrolled annually. You can filter the list by award level and by state. Clicking on any table headers will sort the table by that column, and clicking on any row sends you to Ididio's school profile.

Filter Schools
Offering this program at this level
All levels
Only schools in these states
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Only schools within
200 Miles
of
794 schools offer this program (all levels) in the selected area.
School
State
Total enrollment
Student to Full-time Faculty Ratio
Average Net Price
Repayment Rate
6-year Completion Rate
Abilene Christian University
TX
3,478
17.0
$27,584
81%
62%
Alabama State University
AL
4,136
21.7
$13,029
32%
26%
Albertus Magnus College
CT
1,127
40.7
$24,652
57%
58%
Albright College
PA
2,004
20.9
$23,785
84%
57%
Alfred University
NY
1,756
17.0
$20,892
83%
63%
Allan Hancock College
CA
6,701
37.4
$5,315
40%
23%
Allegheny College
PA
1,721
10.8
$25,880
90%
76%
Allen County Community College
KS
1,554
49.7
$7,851
47%
15%
Alverno College
WI
1,122
17.7
$18,284
62%
49%
Alvin Community College
TX
3,913
37.9
$7,223
54%
27%
Amarillo College
TX
6,016
31.4
$5,670
49%
25%
American Public University System
WV
28,020
92.8
$10,366
57%
17%
American River College
CA
18,152
54.5
$6,834
38%
23%
American University of Puerto Rico
PR
406
39.7
$9,946
45%
22%
American University of Puerto Rico
PR
570
81.1
$9,306
45%
28%
Ancilla College
IN
444
24.5
$14,535
48%
40%
Anderson University
IN
1,491
18.6
$23,787
74%
57%
Andrew College
GA
255
8.2
$23,446
51%
27%
Angelina College
TX
3,095
28.7
$8,972
23%
Angelo State University
TX
6,614
24.2
$11,558
67%
38%
Graduate program details
Explore speech communication and rhetoric graduate program details

Many schools provide information to Peterson's about their graduate programs, and Ididio has licensed that data to share with you. The data is reported by program name and subject, and we have worked to match that data with the standard "CIP" titles that are the basis of these program pages. Please be aware that only a subset of all possible graduate programs share the details about financial support and admissions numbers with Peterson's. To see a complete list of schools who have graduated students with this degree, the previous section is much more reliable; however, this is a great place to look for a hint of schools that may offer financial support. You can see more details about each school's graduate programs in the Programs Offered section within that school's Ididio page.

Filter Schools
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Program
State
Total applicants
Percentage Admitted
Application Fee
Grad students with aid
California State University - Chico
Program in Communication Studies (Master of Arts)
CA
12
75%
$55
Columbia University in the City of New York
Film and Media Studies Program (Master of Arts)
NY
81
52%
$110
1
Columbia University in the City of New York
Program in Communications Practice (Master of Science)
NY
$65
Eastern Michigan University
Program in Communication (Master of Arts)
MI
34
62%
$45
Fitchburg State University
Program in Applied Communications (Master of Science)
MA
6
100%
$50
Hawaii Pacific University
Program in Communication (Master of Arts)
HI
25
92%
$50
10
James Madison University
Program in Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication (Master of Arts, Master of Science)
VA
$55
8
Johns Hopkins University
Program in Communication (Master of Arts/Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts)
MD
148
66%
$75
Northern Kentucky University
Program in English (Master of Arts)
KY
$40
8
Notre Dame of Maryland University
Program in Contemporary Communication (Master of Arts)
MD
$45
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Program in Communication and Rhetoric (Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Science)
NY
17
41%
$75
Southern Utah University
Program in Communication (Master of Arts)
UT
21
76%
$60
St. Mary's University
Program in Communication Studies (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts, Master of Arts)
TX
13
15%
$0
Stevenson University
Program in Communication Studies (Master of Science)
MD
18
94%
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Program in Communication Management (Master of Arts)
AL
$45
3
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Program in English (Master of Arts)
AL
$45
University of Connecticut
Program in Communication Processes (Master of Arts)
CT
$55
Explore similar programs

Speech Communication and Rhetoric is part of a larger collection of programs: Writing and oral/written rhetoric. Is there a different program that's close to Speech Communication and Rhetoric that might be a better match for your interests? You can use this table to see a little about the programs that fall under this umbrella. If you click on any of the table headers, that will sort the table by that column, or click on a row and see Ididio's profile for that program.

Program
Graduates
Award Levels
Less than Bachelor's
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Men
Women
Race/Origin
White
Minority
International
Advertisement
mmmmmmmmmmllimmmmmmmmmmlli