It all begins with good communication . . .

Welcome to the Hugh Downs School of
Human Communication!

Do you want to learn how to communicate effectively, think critically, and be a leader in solving challenges now and in the future?

Our students learn how to understand, analyze, and respond to communication across diverse contexts to make the world a better place. Join us and discover how the careers of today and tomorrow are built on human communication!

Why Study Communication at ASU?

Communication is a highly sought-after career skill.  The ability to communicate verbally and in writing with people inside and outside an organization is prized in all job markets

The Princeton Review ranks a communication degree as the second-best college major, based on job prospects, alumni salaries and popularity.

Learn more

Hugh Downs School graduates are successful in many careers!

Ten alumni from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication have been named to the Sun Devil 100, which celebrates the achievements and successes of some of the university's most successful graduates.  

This speaks to the versatility of the degree!

Meet Tyler Thompson, a member of the Sun Devil 100, and a proud graduate of the Hugh Downs School! 

Career Outlook

The job outlook for a communication studies major is promising. Employers often cite a lack of soft skills among potential job applicants and become frustrated with employees who have technical skills but cannot communicate properly. 

When the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) asked employers participating in its Job Outlook 2019 survey which skills and qualities—beyond a strong GPA—they most want to see on students’ resumes, written communication skills are the most sought-after attribute this year. Verbal communication skills were also in the top ten.  

Careers                                                   *growth                        *2020 median salary

Public Relations Specialist                                                    8.8%                                            $59,300            
Public Relations Manager                                                   10.4%                                           $111,280
Training and Development Specialist                                    8%                                               $62,700
Event Planner                                                                        8%                                               $51,560
Human Resources Manager                                                  6%                                             $121,220
Green Marketer                                                                      5.5%                                          $106,130
Medical and Health Services Manager                                10.5%                                             $98,350
* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under the sponsorship of the
U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Alternative Careers for a Communication PhD

While academic jobs are common for people graduating with a Communication PhD, there are plenty of alternatives to the professoriate.

Explore information on alternative careers for the Communication PhD:


Discover why Communication is ranked as the 2nd best college major and one of the top five most sought-after career skills...

Why study here?

Class Spotlight

Not sure what class to take next semester?

Watch our professors introduce the various classes that they teach here at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication!  More videos are available on our Featured Classes page. 

What We Study

Our school is internationally recognized for scholarly excellence in the study of communication. We strive to achieve excellence in research, education and creative endeavors in the complex role of human communication in everyday life.


Our faculty are well known for their cutting-edge methodologies and innovative research and have developed transdisciplinary strategic initiatives to address the most pressing global communication issues of our time.

Degree Programs

The national renown of our dynamic faculty, our first-class programs, and the success of our students exemplify the finest in higher education. Pursue a degree that offers a thriving future in the exciting world of communication.

Areas of Emphasis in the Communication Major

Areas of Emphasis Overview

Communication and Healthy Relating

Workplace, Organizational, and Leadership Communication

Civility, Advocacy, and Engaging Publics

Communication, Creativity, and Performance

  Communicating Across Cultures

Hugh Downs the communicator

Although Hugh Downs was known around the world as a broadcaster, he thought having his name on a school of human communication was a perfect fit for him. He believed that communication, at all levels, is what connects people and creates understanding and knowledge.

Downs was also a master storyteller. When Downs came into ASU communication classes and talked to students, they were amazed at his life experiences, including the people he had met and the places he had been (such as Antarctica). He would tell students that the connections he made—through communicating with people from all over the world—gave him those experiences. 

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