Earn your Communication Studies - Interpersonal and Family Communication bachelor’s degree from University of Montana

Earn your degree in communication studies with a concentration in interpersonal and family communication at UM and walk away with a solid ability to communicate with others — at home, on the job and in the field. Our program offers flexible remote learning opportunities and extensive hands-on engagement.

The interpersonal and family communication program prepares students in dyadic communication — communication between two people. You’ll focus on close, personal relationships like friendships, family relationships, romantic relationships and more general interpersonal interactions. As a communication studies major, you’ll also gain an understanding of how we create and make sense of messages shared in relationships with one another — and be able to apply these principles in any context, from teaching, management, social work to athletic training.

Add internships, hands-on service learning, research and study abroad opportunities, and you’ll dramatically increase your odds of having strong connections that boost your career and improve your life.


Many communication studies courses are limited to 30 or fewer students


estimated salary of alumni from the communication studies degree at UM


of UM communication studies graduates are working in a field related to their major

What can you do with a communication studies degree?

The world is your playing field as a communication major. In fact, a recent report from LinkedIn named communication studies one of the 10 most versatile college majors.

Graduates of our communication degree often apply to social work and counseling graduate programs to further their knowledge. Business is also on their radar as they’re skilled at creating connections with individuals and groups. Case in point: one graduate built a woman’s empowerment organization called Inner Enso in Washington; another built a very successful mushroom farm here in Missoula called Mother Fungi. Another two are owners of thriving businesses in town.

Why employers choose UM communication degree graduates

When you earn your bachelor’s in communication at UM, your resume is likely to go to the top of the pile for good reason: you have two of the top skills employers seek in new hires — excellent written and spoken communication skills. You’ll also have a good sense of what’s appropriate and effective in communicating with others in one-on-one interactions. That can go a long way in securing and retaining a job.

Communications jobs

Potential careers for communication studies majors include:

  • Communication specialist
  • Business owner
  • Public relations officer
  • Writer or editor
  • Sales representative
  • Marketing analyst
  • Human resources or personnel manager

Communications salaries

What can you look forward to, financially speaking? Communication studies salaries will vary widely depending on your field and level of experience. Public relations specialists, for example, earn an average of $62,810 per year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. For human resource managers, the average salary is $121,220.

We estimate that graduates of our bachelor’s degree in communication studies earn an average of $68,946 annually.

Experiential learning in the communications major

It’s only natural that hands-on experience would play a big part in a program that focuses on one-on-one interaction. With internships, community service learning and study abroad opportunities under your belt, you’ll be very well versed in real-world communication and human relationships.

Internships and community service learning in the communication degree

Every semester and each summer, our internship program takes students beyond the four walls of the classroom. Students propose ways to engage their communication studies knowledge in the community or in an organization. Some have taken on internships in their sorority houses, with Flagship (our local after-school program), and with many other local nonprofit social service organizations.

Many of our communication studies courses also feature service learning components. Our Research Methods course, for example, collaborates with the Humane Society of Western Montana to connect their key messages with community stakeholders. We also offer the opportunity for advanced students to work with faculty on research projects in gathering and analyzing social science data. 

Study abroad opportunities for communication majors

Our study abroad opportunities challenge students to use their communication and human relationship skills around the globe. For instance, students have traveled to central Europe to study human communication and resilience. Learn more about study abroad opportunities at UM.

Career development in the communication studies degree

At UM, we want to go beyond helping you succeed in your academic coursework: we want to make sure you hit the ground running in your career once you graduate.

No other local communication studies program gives students the benefit of working with faculty who are so well grounded in the immediate community — with service learning and research partnerships a common occurrence — and so involved in shaping the discipline of communication studies through high-profile research, publications and leadership in academic associations. Throughout your time with us, our faculty will serve as mentors, providing direction from real-world experience.

Clubs and student organizations for communication majors

Student organizations offer the chance to build your professional network and make new friends. Opportunities for majors in communication studies include:

Communication studies degree requirements

A concentration in communication and human relationships promises a robust mix of courses that speaks to both the written and spoken word. Our Nonverbal Communication class, for example, uncovers the fascinating world of communication outside of words. In Relationships and the Brain, you’ll learn how different structures and processes of the brain are directly involved in communication behaviors.

Visit all the classes for bachelor’s degree in communication and human relationships.