Communication is an ancient field of study, tracing its roots to the Golden Age of Greece when Aristotle studied rhetoric, the art of persuasion. Citizen participation in politics was at the heart of Greek democracy and the power of the spoken word was key to participation.

 During the 20th Century, communication inquiry began to broaden beyond its traditional focus to include knowledge gained from psychology, sociology, anthropology, and other contemporary fields of study.  Scholars examined the effects of communication on attitude formation, interpersonal relationships, group decision making, and organizational behavior.  Meanwhile, the introduction of radio, television, and film further expanded the scope of the discipline. 

Today, students and faculty consider issues involving gender and communication, multiculturalism, ethics, health communication, media and public policy, and other current topics.  Understanding the process of communication is as important to our democracy as public speaking was for the ancient Greeks. 

 The bachelor of arts degree in communication provides comprehensive knowledge about the nature of communication, the symbol systems by which it functions, the environments in which it occurs, its media, and its effects.  Employing critical and empirical approaches, the program spans the social sciences, humanities, and fine arts.

The bachelor of arts in media studies focuses on understanding, creating, and exploiting various social and participatory media through a program of integrated courses in media writing, criticism, and production.  Our goal is to graduate literate, capable, and responsible media professionals. 

The Communication and Media Studies Department also offers three minors: the minor in cinema studies, the minor in communication and media studies, and the minor in audio and video production. Coming for the Fall 2016, the Department will offer a minor in public relations.

News & Events

Hazmat suits and Breaking Bad
David Pierson, Associate Professor of Media Studies, was recently invited to weigh in on the cultural significance of the Emmy-award-winning television series Breaking Bad for the Smithsonian. Artifacts from the series are now a part of the National Museum of American History’s entertainment collection. According to Pierson, the pork pie hat and Tyvek hazmat suit are indeed worthy artifacts to sit in proximity of the likes of Archie Bunker’s chair.
Shedletsky at Pace University
Lenny Shedletsky, Professor of Communication, recently presented research and led a discussion at Pace University in New York City. The talk was titled, Improving Critical Thinking In Discussion And Essay Writing In Blackboard Courses: Mapping And Student-Led Discussion, and took place on June 10, 2015.
Dennis Gilbert receives the Faculty Award for Community Engagement
Dennis Gilbert, Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies, was awarded the Faculty Award for Community Engagement at the first ever President's Metropolitan University Leadership Awards ceremony.

Communication plus Leadership Studies

Students in Communication may begin working towards a Masters in Leadership Studies while still an undergraduate. Students pursuing this option focus on bachelor degree requirements during the first three years, a mix of bachelor and graduate requirements in the fourth year, and exclusively graduate requirements in the fifth year. To follow this program, complete the 4 + 1 concentration form. Check with your advisor and on the Leadership Studies website for further information. Some Leadership Studies courses may count towards your Communication degree, check with your faculty advisor on this option.

The Cinema Studies Minor

The Circus poster with Charlie Chaplin

The Cinema Studies minor offers students a multidimensional understanding of film as form of art, product of industry, and mode of communication. The program can serve as a base of knowledge for students intending to enter careers in the media, as a foundation for further study, and/or as the opportunity to gain deeper insight into one of the most culturally significant media of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  For more information, contact Matthew Killmeier.