The mission of the Department of Communication is to advance knowledge and practice of effective and ethical communication through teaching, scholarship, and engagement. Six themes unite the various disciplinary specialties represented by our faculty: communication competence, ethical discourse, diversity, leadership and participation, advocacy, and issues analysis.
Missouri State boasts a tradition of excellence in debate. The debate program is one of the oldest in the country - as old as the university itself - and has consistently been one of the top 20 debate programs in the nation. Missouri State is also the only school in the nation to have hosted both the Cross-Examination Debate Association (CEDA) National Tournament and the National Debate Tournament (NDT). Missouri State students participate in NDT/CEDA policy debate. In 1992, Missouri State won first place at the CEDA National Tournament. Missouri State students have appeared in the "Sweet Sixteen" of college debate eleven times in the last twenty years, including a second place finish and three additional final four appearances (the latest in 2008.) In 2006 and 2008, the team secured one of 16 prestigious "First Round At Large" bids to the NDT. Within this tradition of competitive excellence lies a commitment to the education of the individual student. Missouri State debaters are consistently admitted to top graduate programs and law schools. The Holt V. Spicer Debate Forum features a national and regional travel schedule designed to offer each student the optimum level of participation.