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Areas of Emphasis

We believe that communication, in all of its forms, plays an essential role in the creation, maintenance, and alteration of social relations in our rapidly changing world.

The Department believes in in the importance of social and environmental justice, critical analysis of the norms and assumptions that undergird dominant communication processes, and rigorous scholarship that speaks to contemporary societal contexts  We strongly value diversity in multiple senses of the word, including the recognition of diverse epistemologies; an understanding and critique of social constructions of race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, nationality, and religion; and the fostering of inclusion of multiple identities and backgrounds in its faculty, staff, and students.

We contribute to better humanistic and scientific understandings of communication through our award-winning scholarship in areas of scholarly emphasis that include: critical/cultural studies; communicating science, health, environment, and risk (commsher); digital media; and rhetoric. We value a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches, including quantitative, qualitative, rhetorical, critical, and interpretive. These areas of emphasis represent the Department's core areas of strength. The tabs below offer more information about each of our areas of emphasis, which we currently offer graduate coursework on.

Our faculty’s research expertise across these areas of emphasis also informs our four undergraduate emphases: 1) Communication Studies, 2) Journalism, 3) Strategic Communication, and 4) Science, Health, and Environment Communication.

Last Updated: 11/30/21