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Rhetoric and Public Address, Bachelor of Arts

Man speaking
120 Credits
St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Queens Campus, Staten Island Campus


The ability to speak clearly, eloquently, and effectively has been recognized as the hallmark of an educated person since the beginning of recorded history. Under the label "rhetoric," the study of the theory and practice of communication was a central concern of Greek, Roman, medieval, Renaissance, and early modern education. In the United States, rhetorical training has been a part of formal education since Harvard's founding in 1636. As a new millenium dawns, rhetoric has once again assumed a central role in discussions of the "post-modern" world.


For more information about admission to this and other acclaimed undergraduate programs at St. John’s University, please visit Undergraduate Admission online


Career Outcomes

Excellent communication skills are important in both social and career settings. A U.S. Department of Labor study indicated that there are 16 qualities for high job performance. Ten of these qualities are commonly studied in the field of communication: listening, speaking, creative thinking, decision making, problem solving, reasoning, self-esteem, sociability, self-management, and integrity/honesty. Another study indicates that the most essential skills need to be a competent employee are: interviewing, listening, planning and conducting meetings, resolving conflicts, and public speaking. All of these are communication skills.

By majoring or minoring in Public Address at St. John's, you will gain invaluable skills that can be applied in a variety of careers including law, education, business, religious vocations, media, and public service. More importantly, the study of communication will equip you for leadership in whatever career you eventually pursue. Stop by the Speech Department at St. John's Hall, Room 344, for a free copy of Pathways to Careers in Communication.

Additional Information

Rhetoric and Public Address majors gain an academic and professional edge by joining the Epsilon Delta honor society.