Areas of Emphasis
Students interested in Communication at the University of Delaware enter as Communication Interest (COMI) majors. Communication Interest majors complete four required courses in their freshman and sophomore years. These courses are: Principles of Communication Theory (COMM256), Media Communication and Culture (COMM245), Communication and Social Behavior (COMM330), and Introduction to Communication Research Methods (COMM301). Based on their GPA in these four courses, the top 125 Communication Interest students will be admitted into the Communication major in June of their sophomore year.
The study of Communication at UD is divided into two concentrations: Media Communication and Interpersonal Communication.
Media Communication focuses on the analysis, explanation, and interpretation of mediated forms of communication, such as television, film, radio, newspapers, and books. The emphasis is on theories of communication that help explain the historical development of the mass media, and the effects of these media on social, institutional, and interpersonal formation. Students are able to acquire experience in the techniques and methods of media production, but emphasis is on theory and basic principles, rather than on specific preparation for a particular role in a communication organization.
Interpersonal Communication focuses on the forms of communication that occur among individuals and groups. The orientation of this concentration focuses on theoretical principles that can be successfully applied for the understanding of communication as it occurs within the widest range of personal, business, and social settings.
What's Special About the Department?
- A social science perspective emphasizing the fundamental principles of human communication.
Rather than narrowly preparing graduates for entry into a particular technical job, the department provides a broad intellectual perspective that can be applied to the challenges of careers in nearly any imaginable area of communication.
- The opportunity to incorporate professional experience.
Our program offers an extensive internship program, a sequence of public relations courses, and opportunities for students to create media in a variety of formats, allowing students to develop valuable professional credentials.
- Top faculty, including communication scientists working at the frontiers of the field, as well as accomplished communication professionals.
UD faculty members are noted scholars and researchers who are making fundamental contributions to the growing field of Communication. Their expertise extends to all areas of Media and Interpersonal Communication so that students receive wide and sophisticated exposure to the most current empirical research being produced within the field. Faculty in applied areas such as public relations, broadcast journalism, production, and political communication bring many years of experience to educating students in preparation for professional roles in the communication field.
Facilities, Resources, and Opportunities for Experience
- Extensive internship opportunities are available in regional television and radio stations, newspapers, public relations firms, corporate offices, and a myriad of other businesses and institutions.
- Facilities and equipment on campus provide students with hands-on experience in the techniques of video production, television production, and broadcasting. This includes a student television studio, a media production lab, and a campus/community radio station.
- Student access to advanced computer software and computer labs in support of course work involving statistical research, newswriting & editing, and broadcast journalism.
Graduates of our program have careers in a variety of communication-related fields. These include:
- television and radio
- public relations
- the news industry
- personnel and employee relations
- various forms of counseling
- sales and marketing
Other graduates of our program have entered graduate school or law school, where a concentration in media law has proved a natural path to follow.
Advising in Communication
Full-time faculty members in the department advise Communication and Communication Interest majors. First-year students are assigned to an advisor and are encouraged to visit regularly to plan their course of study and for general academic information and advice. The department also encourages upperclassmen to visit advisors to discuss academic issues and plans for the future, such as careers or graduate school.