The study of human communication deals with the processes by which humans create and share meaning. It is an interdisciplinary field embracing literary study, speech communication, composition and rhetoric, media studies, visual design, and technical communication.

The Department of Communication and Media (C&M) emphasizes those communication processes involved in the creation of meaning in all media, including the new electronic media.

The M.S. degrees can lead to careers in technical communication, or provide a foundation for doctoral study. Graduates of the Ph.D. in Communication and Rhetoric find careers in business, government, and academia.

Ph.D. Program

M.S. Programs

  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
    This program enables students to gain production and research skills for usability testing and interface design.
  • Technical Communication
    This program enables students to gain design skills that resist obsolescence and the capacity to generate content for several electronically-based communication media.
  • Communication and Rhetoric
    This program prepares students for applied research in industry or government, or for further study in a doctoral program.

Graduate Certificates

  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Certificate
    This certificate program, designed in cooperation with industry experts, provides those involved in the design of human-computer interactions with the knowledge and skills they will need to create new and better ways for people to communicate with and through computers.
  • Graphics Certificate
    This certificate program enables students to develop a special competency in the use of visual symbols by combining theory with practical applications, and treating both computer-displayed and paper graphics.



C&M is an acknowledged leader in the study of scientific and technical communication. In addition, we have special strengths in rhetoric, communication, composition, graphics, and literary theory and criticism. Faculty and doctoral students are doing research in such areas as:

  • Computer-mediated communication
  • History and practice of scientific and technical communication
  • History and theory of rhetoric
  • Human-computer interaction and usability
  • Literacy and invention
  • Media and popular culture
  • Nature and development of communications technologies
  • Science and literature
  • Technological support for collaboration
  • Visual and written communication
  • Writing and reading in academic and nonacademic settings
  • Electronic media and design

Please visit C&M Research for more information on research, facilities, and resources.