• <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>

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

The most popular minors for our rhetoric and media studies majors are art and art history, dance, and entrepreneurial leadership and innovation.

What Students Are Saying About Lewis & Clark

  • I connected the themes from class to real-life experiences with my students, myself, and my teacher. The activities and material were amazing.

    Chloe Burton BA ’18, MAT ’19
    Rhetoric and Media Studies, Elementary Teaching (Teacher Pathways Program) | Brooklyn, New York
    More about Chloe
  • If you are an athlete, imagine a scenario in which you are injured. Would you still like the school after that? Trust your gut, it’s never wrong.

    Isabel Artiaga BA ’22
    Rhetoric and Media Studies | Moraga, California
    More about Isabel
  • It’s very hard to choose a favorite class, but I think mine is Argument and Social Justice taught by Professor Mitch Reyes.

    DJ Smith BA ’23
    Rhetoric and Media Studies | Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation | Las Vegas, Nevada
    More about DJ

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.

Dedicated Faculty

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.

Meet the Professors

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.

  • My liberal arts education taught me to think critically from multiple perspectives. This skill has been invaluable to me ever since.

    Marjorie Pichon BA ’14
    Psychology | Rhetoric and Media Studies | Seattle, Washington
    More about Marjorie
  • Through my minor, I was able to get a peek into production and realize that I wanted to participate in telling stories for a living. 

    Ashley Brown BA ’20
    Studio Art, focus in photography | Rhetoric and Media Studies | Napa, California
    More about Ashley
  • Lewis & Clark gave me the confidence to pursue new opportunities and embrace any and all experiences as an opportunity to challenge myself. 

    Greta Burton BA ’22
    English | Rhetoric and Media Studies | Portland, Oregon
    More about Greta

Rhetoric and Media Studies Events

December 12

RHMS Capstone Presentations - FA23

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!

More News and Events →