College of Arts and Humanities
2130 Skinner Building
Phone: 301-405-6519

Communication takes as its subject matter the history, processes, and effects of human communication through speech and its extensions. The departmental curriculum is designed to provide a liberal education in the arts and sciences of human communication as well as preparation for career opportunities in business, government, education, and related fields. Within the curriculum, students may pursue academic courses that emphasize many disciplinary areas, including organizational communication, public relations, intercultural communication, political communication, conflict management, cognition and persuasion, rhetorical theory, history of rhetoric, and criticism of public discourse.

Chair: S. Parry-Giles

Associate Chair: L. Anderson

Director: L. Waks

Professors: L. Aldoory, B. Liu, X. Nan, S. Parry-Giles, T. Parry-Giles

Associate Professors: L. Anderson, G. Dhanesh, N. Joyce, S. Khamis, K. Maddux, K. Namkoong,  D. Pfister, A. Seate, C. Steele, C. Woods

Assistant Professors: B. Barner, J. Kim, S. Lee, N. Osei Fordjour, H. Otis, Y. Qu, C. Zelaya

Principal Lecturer: L. Waks

Senior Lecturers: S. Bae, R. Mazzone, A. Nixon, J. Olson, C. Pope, S. Simon, C. Swift

Lecturers: R. Bailey, J. Bohlmann, D. Clemons, A. Dapherede, S. Drake, L. Edelstein, T. Ferguson, D. Foster, J. Golden, L. Gordon, J. Grossman, M. Kaufer, M. Lucas, T. McCloskey, C. Pope, S. Sheikh, J. Soeder, M. Williams, L. Zia

Affiliate Professors: J. Fahnestock (ENGL), D. Rosenfelt (WMST)

Affiliate Associate Professor: S. McDaniel (KNES)

Professors Emeriti: E. Fink, R. Gaines, J. Grunig, L. Grunig, J. Klumpp, E. Toth, A. Wolvin

Research Professor: K. Kendall

Advising is available throughout the year in 2101E Skinner Building. To schedule an advising appointment with a Communication advisor, go to: Students should check Testudo ( for their registration date and for any mandatory advising blocks. Advising questions can be sent to or you may call 301-405-0862.

To review the academic plan for this major, go to

Academic Programs and Departmental Facilities

The Mark and Heather Rosenker Center for Political Communication and Civic Leadership unites research, education, and public engagement to foster democratic communication by a diverse people. See:

The Center for Health and Risk Communication (CHRC) advances dialogue and understanding about communication's role in controlling and preventing risk, how publics perceive risk communication, and about the political, economic, and social contexts for risk communication. Scholars associated with the CHRC examine health, food safety, security, and environmental risks. See:

The department's Oral Communication Center is designed to provide one-on-one tutoring and instructional support to further students' oral communication skills and confidence. The Oral Communication Center is equipped with cameras and recording equipment to tape speeches and presentations for practice and critique.

Undergraduate Research Experiences

Research experiences include assisting on faculty research projects, participating in special team research projects, and working with the department's Mark and Heather Rosenker Center for Political Communication and Civic Leadership and/or the Center for Health and Risk Communication.


The department's internship program helps communication majors gain professional experience, build a professional portfolio, and take the first steps toward a career. The department structures its internship program around a course, COMM386, which is offered each term.

Honors Program

The Honors Program provides students with an opportunity for intensive study of communication. The program provides participants with opportunities to deepen their understanding of the discipline through supervised research with faculty, graduate-level coursework, and involvement in the intellectual life of the department.

Students interested in the Honors Program apply for the program, ordinarily during the second semester of the sophomore year or the first semester of the junior year. The application is filed with the undergraduate director. Students should have the following qualifications:

  • An overall GPA of 3.3 or above.
  • Completion of nine semester hours in Communication including COMM250.
  • GPA of 3.5 or above in Communication.

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

Social and academic activities are available to students by participating in the following student organizations: the Undergraduate Communication Association, the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society, and the Maryland chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

The department offers the following scholarships and awards:

The Daniel Cronin Terpstart Endowed Scholarship in Communication is an annual, need-based scholarship awarded to undergraduate communication majors.

The June Buteau Scholarship is awarded to a first-year communication major with financial need.

The Swann Communication Internship Award is given annually to a student who is completing a substantive summer communication internship or practicum experience in the field of public service.

The Toth Outstanding PR Student of the Year Award goes to a senior student in the PR specialization who demonstrates academic and leadership excellence.