This study compares communication apprehension (CA) of undergraduate STEM and non-STEM students at a private university in the United States. Using a variation of the Personal Report of Communication Apprehension, undergraduate students were surveyed online and during in-person class sessions. Based on 409 (N = 409) survey responses, there was no significant difference in CA between STEM and non-STEM students. However, independent sample t-tests revealed differences in STEM for gender and year-level. Male students have significantly higher CA than their female classmates in all contexts. Additionally, senior students have significantly higher CA in group discussions and public speaking settings compared to freshmen students. This indicates that STEM and non-STEM students have little difference; however, when considering them individually, differences arise. Future research should be completed on the connection between CA and gender differences to understand why male students have higher CA.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Speech anxiety--research; College students--Psychology; College majors--Research; Speech anxiety--Sex differences

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Communication and Media Technologies (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Communication (CLA)


Eun Sook Kwon

Advisor/Committee Member

David Neumann

Advisor/Committee Member

Ammina Kothari


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes