Undergraduate Program in

Rhetoric & Public Advocacy

If you've ever felt passionate about a cause, movement or ideal, get the skills, knowledge, and experience you need to inspire your audience, persuade your skeptics, and counter your critics.


The Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Public Advocacy is a liberal arts communications program that will give you the skills you need to frame an argument, analyze messages, apply language strategically, and use your body and voice in compelling ways – timeless abilities that are important in any career path.

Challenging Coursework

Blend theory, critical practice, and analysis to explore how meaning is created and shared with classes in: 

  • Intercultural communication
  • Culture and identity
  • Performance history 
  • Public persuasion
  • Visual rhetoric


Major or Minor

Rhetoric and Public Advocacy is a popular second major or minor because it brings value for personal growth and professional goals for many students pursuing degrees in subjects such as:

  • Political science
  • Pre-law or pre-med
  • Business
  • Psychology
  • Sustainability
  • Education


Political Communication Option

Students can choose a concentration in political communication to gain a deeper understanding of the role of effective communication in a diverse society. It is ideal for students interested in leadership positions in civic life or with social advocacy groups, as well as for those pursuing law school or graduate programs in public affairs.

Learn from Experts

Engage in lively, challenging discussions with an award-winning faculty of nationally and internationally recognized scholars who are also practitioners –professors who run nonprofit advocacy groups, lead political or healthcare campaigns, and work as trained drama therapists or professional speechwriters.

The Student Experience

Explore potential career paths, get real-world insights, develop valuable workplace skills, and build a network of professional contacts through internships, peer teaching opportunities, and student organizations.

professor and student in conversation

Students have recently interned at:

  •  ABC/ABC News
  • Hamptons Magazine
  • Harlem School of the Arts
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • Walt Disney Company
students in oratory performance

Express Yourself

Numerous on-campus opportunities to find your voice and gain hands-on experience include Spotlight Hour performances, oratory competitions, and participation on Hofstra's award-winning, co-curricular Speech and Debate Team (also known as Hofstra Forensics), which welcomes students of all majors to compete against peers from other universities across the nation. 

Student taking a photo in Rome.

Go Global

Learn outside the classroom through a variety of study abroad opportunities that provide life-changing experiences that enhance your academic and personal growth. Learn how to communicate with people from other parts of the world, cultivate a global perspective, and build your résumé. 

The Outlook

Your Hofstra degree will help you channel your interests and skills into many career options such as lawyer, teacher, public relations specialist, political strategist, campaign manager, lobbyist, corporate recruiter, corporate communications officer, speechwriter, patient advocate, event planner, museum director/educator, nonprofit administrator, fundraiser, or marketing/advertising professional.

Based on a survey of recent alumni:


were employed, in graduate school, or both


accepted positions within six months of graduation


was the average number of internships among participating students  

Alumni Success

Our graduates enjoy considerable success upon graduation, whether they obtain positions at prestigious companies or pursue advanced study at top graduate schools. 

Recent alumni work at companies such as:

  • AssuredPartners, Inc.
  • Columbia University Medical Center
  • East Meadow School District
  • Northwell Health
  • Ovation TV

Those pursuing graduate degrees study at:

  • Boston University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Hofstra University
  • New York University

Find Your Voice

Questions about our program?

Contact Us

Department Chair
Dr. Ethna Lay
Room 123 Mason Hall
Send an Email

Director of Forensics
Professor Kevin Boston-Hill
Room 116 Mason Hall
Send an Email