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 two minors.  The minor in cinema studies and the minor in communication and media studies.

News & Events

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 at a ceremony held on June 19, 2015.
UROP
Two Communication and Media Studies students have applied and received funding for their research with faculty under the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Media Studies junior Colin Cundy will work with Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies Matthew Killmeier. Timothy Sprague, senior in Communication, will work with Professor of Communication Leonard Shedletsky. “Research has always been an intense interest of mine; having the opportunity to work with a consummate professional in Dr. Shedletsky, and in addition to be awarded UROP funding, is an honor to say the least,” said Timothy Sprague, recipient and senior in Communication.
The hands-on service learning capstone projects provide students the opportunity to practice their skills in the field, working closely with the organizations’ staff on all levels of research, planning, and execution of documentary film production.

Internships in Communication and Media Studies

Interested in an internship in communication and media studies? Communication majors should contact Russell Kivatisky (russellk@maine.edu) and media studies majors contact Dennis Gilbert (dgilbert@maine.edu) regarding credit requirements. 

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.