Department of Communication Studies
College of Arts & Sciences
102 Ferguson Building
Christopher N. Poulos, Professor and Head of Department
Professors Jovanovic, Schwartzman
Associate Professors Bracci, Carlone, Glenn, Kellett, Kinefuchi, LeGreco, Natalle, Olson
Lecturers Cuny, Dunning, Ellis, Fairfield-Artman, Manning, McCall, Steger, Sullivan
We teach and research communication to connect people, create change, and work toward a just world.
- We engage communication knowledge to understand, advance, and challenge human interaction processes locally and globally.
- We promote the centrality of communication to personal, professional, and public lives.
- We seek to invigorate our collective moral imagination to build a world of hope, justice, and peace.
- We engage pressing social and relational issues through written and spoken communication, active research and teaching, and involvement in the world around us.
- We foster learning and application of communication knowledge and skill to transform relationships and communities.
- We affirm, practice, and teach service and community engagement.
- We teach the art of living well together.
We actively value and promote:
- Critical Thinking
- Holistic Thinking
- Incremental Thinking
- Learner-centered practice
Philosophy of Scholarship
We believe that communication is formative and foundational to human identities, relationships, and communities—and that ethical and strategically effective communication can be the means of critiquing, constructing, and transforming identities, relationships, and communities.
We engage in communication scholarship in the form of research, teaching, and service that:
- Integrates dialogue and other approaches to communication as the foundation for scholarly inquiry and application to the world
- Cultivates diversity and respect for differences
- Promotes change that leads to more democratic, just, and peaceful relationships and communities
- Engages creative partnerships of faculty, students, and other stakeholders in addressing contemporary challenges and opportunities for improving communication
Scholarly Focus Areas
These beliefs and values are articulated in the following ongoing scholarly focus areas of the department:
- Public Voice
How can communication scholarship help us to understand and improve the quality of public discourse in the world around us?
- Voices of Change, Diversity and Difference, and Conflict
How can communication scholarship help people to engage with diversity, differences, and divisions in ways that promote understanding and collaborative/democratic change?
- Voices of Identity and Relationships
How can communication scholarship help us understand how people create and sustain desired identities and healthy relationships?
- Voices of Discovery
How can communication scholarship help us understand how people learn to co-construct, share, and critique knowledge?
The Department offers the B.A. in Communication Studies as well as an undergraduate minor. The M.A. degree is also offered in the department. For details on the graduate program see the Graduate School Bulletin.
The Department of Communication Studies offers required and elective courses that are designed to make productive use of differing learning styles among students: theoretical and applied, textual and experiential, topical and case study, course work and internships/service learning, individual and groups/team based performances. A number of courses involve service learning to link communication, action, and academic study.
The Department of Communication Studies provides opportunities to study relational, group, workplace, and community communication. Communication courses contribute to a liberal education by teaching creative thinking and problem-solving, critical reasoning, and effective oral, written, and mediated communication. The faculty strongly believe in the interdisciplinary nature of communication, and this curriculum encourages elective course work be taken in allied disciplines such as African American Studies, Anthropology, Business, English, Media Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Additionally the Department participates in Service-Learning, the Honors Programs administered by the Lloyd International Honors College, Writing Across the Curriculum and Speaking Across the Curriculum programs, and regularly offers freshman seminars. Opportunities also exist for Study Abroad including exchanges in Europe. Communication Studies majors with a 3.0 GPA may apply to go abroad in the spring semester of their junior year to participate in the Intercultural Studies program at Vaxjo University in Vaxjo, Sweden. The program (taught in English) requires course work in socio-cultural theory, intercultural interactions, cultural analysis, and fieldwork, with optional study in basic Swedish.
The undergraduate program in Communication Studies is designed to serve as a solid foundation for a variety of professional and entrepreneurial careers; it also provides preparatory work for graduate studies in communication, as well as related fields such as law, business, media studies, and education. Faculty and students in the Department of Communication Studies are actively involved in research, service, and consulting with community, state, regional, national, and international organizations and agencies.
Student Learning Goals
As a reflection of the mission statement, the UNCG general education goals, and in consultation with the National Communication Association, the Department of Communication Studies has the following student learning outcomes for the B.A. degree. At the completion of the major, the student should be able to:
- Speak effectively and ethically to a public.
- Utilize communication concepts and competencies to build relationships and/or community.
- Apply a communication perspective to identify and analyze social issues/problems.
- Engage communication scholarship using appropriate theory and research methods.
Criterion for Progression in the Major
Only grades of C- or better, taken in Communication Studies courses, will count toward completion of a major in the Department.