- <a href="/live/image/gid/64/width/650/86530_RHMS_main_image.jpg" class="lw_preview_image lw_disable_preview" tabindex="-1"><picture class="lw_image lw_image86530"> <source type="image/jpeg" media="(max-width: 500px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/64/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86530_RHMS_main_image.rev.1607735612.jpg 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" media="(min-width: 501px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/64/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86530_RHMS_main_image.rev.1607735612.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/64/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86530_RHMS_main_image.rev.1607735612.jpg" alt="Professor Mitch Reyes describes the department using these three words: Intellectual, engaged, dynamic." width="720" height="690" data-max-w="758" data-max-h="791" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a><div class="hero-split_image_caption collapsable-caption"> Professor Mitch Reyes describes the department using these three words: Intellectual, engaged, dynamic.</div>
Rhetoric and Media Studies
We study the making and sharing of meaning through rhetoric and media. Our program is designed to help you gain effective theoretical and methodological tools for understanding how public messages, images, texts, stories, conversations, and symbols work.
Why Choose a Degree in Rhetoric and Media Studies?
Imagine working at Nike, Intel, or Widen & Kennedy helping to craft messaging around a new product. Alternatively, you could work as a legislative aid in Salem, or lead a grassroots campaign to protect the environment. Portland is a great location from which you can put your skills to use. Ours is one of the first programs in the United States to offer a major that integrates training in film and television studies with training in media and rhetorical analysis. As a rhetoric and media studies major, you will join an inclusive community that enjoys a challenging curriculum, works collaboratively on innovative research, and applies their skills and knowledge across campus and beyond.
What You’ll Study
We offer a major and a minor. Through our curriculum, you will make short narrative films and documentaries, videographic essays, and a variety of other media. You’ll also study how historical figures and events come to be represented in public memory, how sound and image in motion pictures can frame reality, and the stories we tell each other about personal health. In addition, you will explore how these processes and issues interact with gender, race, and culture.
We believe in collaborating with students on research projects, course development, and creative work—whether through classes during the academic year, a paid humanities research summer program, or both—and helping them find and secure internships in Portland and beyond. Many of our students also earn course credit while on an overseas program.
Outside the classroom, qualifying students can join our local chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the largest international honor society in the communication field. Lewis & Clark’s annual Festival of Scholars and Artists includes an entirely student-run film festival. Our students have successfully submitted their work to competitive regional and national conferences, such as the Rhetoric Society of America biennial convention, the National Communication Association’s annual convention, and the Pacific Northwest Annual Symposium on Race, Rhetoric, and Media. We also offer a debate class to incarcerated individuals at Oregon State Penitentiary. To cap off each semester, we host a senior presentation night followed by dinner and trivia.
Complement Your Education With One of These Minors
What Students Are Saying About Lewis & Clark
What Can You Do With a Degree in Rhetoric and Media Studies?
Our alumni use their BA in rhetoric and media studies to pursue graduate study and a wide range of exciting careers in public relations, communications, marketing, user experience design, finance, journalism, law, politics, activism, publishing, and film.
Our expert professors are your expert mentors. You will learn directly from faculty (no graduate assistants here!) that are nationally recognized in their fields of study and who love to work with and learn from their students. Your professors will inspire you to be a thoughtful and passionate participant in a diverse world. Your small classes will support you as you explore new ideas, find your voice, and speak your truth.
nationalities represented in our undergraduate student body
As of fall 2022, there are 2,188 degree-seeking students enrolled at Lewis & Clark College.
Invest in Yourself
A private liberal arts education is often more affordable than you think. Last year, Lewis & Clark distributed over $74 million in assistance from institutional, federal, state, and private sources. Additionally, we’re so confident that our first-year students will graduate with their bachelor of arts degree in four years that if you don’t, we’ll cover the extra semester of tuition.
Speech and debate scholarships are available for students with exceptional records of commitment to and success in forensics.
Find Your People
Our department hosts Lewis & Clark’s award-winning speech and debate squad. Our forensics students regularly place in the top ranks in high-level national competitions and conferences. Each semester, as many as 60 of our students are involved with KPH, Lewis & Clark’s student-run campus radio station.
Rhetoric and Media Studies Events
Join the FA23 cohort of RHMS capstone students as they present their projects. Come learn something new, hear about some amazing research, and enjoy free food!