Communication Studies

Communication shapes patterns of social interaction, the expression of cultural values and norms, political practices and relations of power, and our positions as local and global citizens.

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Our department provides students with methodological tools, critical acumen, and communicative skills to analyze and engage in a wide range of discourse: from the public practices of politics and protest to the everyday interactions of family, friends, and strangers. We seek to educate students about the social and cultural impact of discourse and deliberation and prepare students to use their knowledge to work for a just and more humane world.

Our Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies serves as a base for a career in a communication profession or further specialization in graduate or professional school. Because skilled communicators are highly desired by business and industry, our students go on to hold a variety of positions in a wide range of fields, including cultural and civic affairs, government and public administration, health-related services, corporate communication, education, human resources, law, advertising, marketing, public relations, media and publishing. As preparation for a career, students may take advantage of a variety of coursework including courses from the minor in Public Relations, the Communication Studies Internship course, and the opportunities offered by a culturally diverse metropolitan city. Our students engage with the community of San Francisco in service-learning classes where students work and study in local non-profit agencies and through the remarkable variety of internship opportunities in the Bay Area. The major also provides excellent preparation for those interested in pursuing graduate study in the humanities, social sciences, or law.

The Department of Communication Studies prides itself on the individual attention each student receives. Students and faculty work together to craft an individual plan of study that meets each student's needs and interests. Our major has three required foundational courses, a choice of two out of three research methods courses, and six remaining upper-level courses. Upper-level courses are chosen by students in consultation with their faculty advisors, who provide guidance in academic and professional career choices. Our classes are small and are taught by diverse and distinguished faculty who welcome student involvement with their research projects.

Department News

The Communication Studies Speaker Series event is on Monday, November 3rd, from 5-6:30pm in Maraschi Room, Fromm Hall.

Communication Studies Department Speaker Series Event
Niche Market Manhood: Post-Network Television and the Rhetoric of Hypermasculinity

Lecture Information:
This presentation explores some important ways in which the economics of early 21st century American television has lead to a series of images of masculinity that reinforce a wide-range of traditional, hyper-masculine stereotypes. Brent traces these changing images of manhood alongside a series of political, economic, and technological developments impacting the American television system. Exploring these connections demonstrates the close relationship between the political economy of television and particular kinds of gender representations.

Guest Speaker:
Brent Malin

Speaker Bio:
Brent Malin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Pittsburgh. Malin received his PhD from the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa, where he also received a graduate certificate from the Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry.  Professor Malin studies and teaches media history, theory, and criticism with concentrations in cultural studies, critical theory, intellectual history, technology studies, popular culture, and the rhetoric of inquiry. He is the author of American Masculinity Under Clinton: Popular Media and the Nineties “Crisis of Masculinity” (Peter Lang, 2005) and Feeling Mediated: A History of Media Technology and Emotion in America (NYU Press, 2014). His articles have appeared in such national and international journals as Media, Culture & Society, Technology & Culture, Communication Theory, Media History, New Media & Society, Journal of Social History, Explorations in Media Ecology, the Quarterly Journal of Speech, and the Journal of Communication Inquiry.