About Us

The Department of Communication examines human message systems, focusing particularly on the ways in which human beings create, exchange, and are affected by messages.

We have particular research expertise in four areas:

How do individuals exchange messages interpersonally, and what are the consequences of language and nonverbal communication for social relationships?

What is the content of mass mediated messages, how do they influence their recipients, and how does media policy shape this process?

What are the consequences of messages for health behaviors, and how can more effective communication practices lead to a more healthy populace?

How do messages influence (or fail to influence) people to change their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors?  These issues are examined in multiple contexts within our department: Political, Small Group, Family, New Technology, Interethnic, and Intergenerational communication are prominent topics.


We offer undergraduate and graduate programs. Our Ph.D. program consistently ranks high nationally. All but a couple of our admitted graduate students are provided funding through teaching assistantships and other opportunities. 

Ph.D. students from our program work as professors at nationally prominent research universities and occasionally in private sector research facilities or with government agencies.

The department's strong commitment to quality teaching and research has earned its faculty and graduate students numerous teaching awards and a ranking as one of the top doctoral programs in the nation. 

Specifically, according to the National Communication Association's rankings of communication doctoral programs, the department's interpersonal and small group program ranks 10th, the media program ranks 12th, and the health program ranks 16th.

More Information

The department prides itself on its strong commitment to its interpersonal, media, and health research tracks. In addition, the faculty in the department address small group communication, intergroup communication, political communication, and communication and technology.

We encourage you to tour our departmental website and learn more about our department, programs, faculty, students, and staff. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion goals in the department.