Speech and Debate

Founded in 1885, ASU Forensics has a proud tradition of excellence and competitive success in speech and debate. We are one of the last full-service speech and debate programs in the country.

The school’s forensics team has won hundreds of awards and has consistently finished among the top 20 teams in the nation every year in both speech and debate.

Give to Forensics

Any Arizona State University undergraduate student is invited to participate in the collegiate forensics program.  Participating students need not be a communication major and you are not required to audition to become a member of the team. We welcome all levels of experience.  You can join us if you have four years of high school experience or if you have never even seen a round of competitive forensics.

Collegiate competition is similar to high school competition with a few distinct differences.  The team supports all 11 AFA speech events and several types of evidence-based debate, including College Public Forum and Policy Debate.

  • In college you can enter in as many events as you want, in fact, we encourage competition in multiple events!
  • You can travel a lot or a little.  We compete both regionally and nationally.  Our national competitions take us all over the country!
  • Our debate team and individual events teams travel to tournaments both together and separately.
  • You set your own coaching hours with the coaches. 
  • Our squad room has tons of resources for you to use in preparing for competition and for schoolwork.

Awards and HighlightsTournament Invitations  Debate Resources

If you are interested in pursuing forensics at a collegiate level and would like to join the program contact:

Adam Symonds, Director
Office: Mathews Hall 112B 
Email: asymonds@asu.edu or symonds77@gmail.com
Twitter:  asuforensics or acsymonds

Mary Joseph, Assistant Director of Forensics
Email: Christina.Joseph@asu.edu

2021-2022 Schedule

Speech competitions

September - Texas State
October - Kansas State, Los Angeles
November - Bradley, CSU Northridge, Grossmont
January - Austin, San Diego, Los Angeles
February - Los Angeles
March - Districts
April - AFA Nationals, NFA Nationals

PNeW debate

Topics: 
Fall - Citizenship Rights
Spring - Housing 
October 16-17, 2021
October 30-31, 2021
November 13-14, 2021
January 29-30, 2022
February 12-13, 2022

More info

College Public Forum Debate League

Topics TBA (one fall, one spring)
October 9-10, 2021
November 13-14, 2021
December 11-12, 2021
February 5-6, 2022
March 12-13, 2022
April 9-10, 2022

More info

Policy Debate 

Topic: New antitrust laws to break up monopolies
September - CSU Fullerton, Georgia State
October - Weber State, Kentucky, CSU Long Beach, Harvard
November - CSU Northridge, Wake Forest
January - Southwestern College
February - Northwestern, Districts
March - CEDA Nationals, NDT

More info

More Info

“Speech and debate is an excellent way of improving speaking skills and is particularly helpful in providing experience in developing a convincing argument. When you are in debate rounds, you are sometimes forced to argue against your natural point of view, and you realize that arguments, like coins, always have at least two sides. Debating builds confidence in your ability to engage with individuals on all sides of a topic regardless of what your personal opinion is on the topic.”

- Jodi Preudhomme, Title IX coordinator and special counsel at ASU

Preudhomme was a member of the Forensics Team for three years as an undergraduate student at ASU. 

Hugh Downs School doctoral student wins debate coaching award

Michael Tristano Jr., a doctoral student and a recipient of the Graduate College Completion Fellowship at Arizona State University's Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, received the 2019 Assistant Coach of the Year Award by the National Speech & Debate Association.

Read more here