M.A./Ph.D. Areas of Study

The Department of Communication at the University of Washington seeks to advance the study and practice of communication across mediated and face-to-face contexts by using both humanistic and social scientific approaches. Our research and teaching focus on seven interrelated areas of study, listed below and described in more detail on our Faculty Research and Affiliated Centers page.

Faculty, staff, and students work across these domains to cultivate a collaborative and inclusive scholarly community. The Department highlights these areas to demonstrate the strengths of the unit, not to create a set of seven separate programs. Faculty typically work across multiple areas of study. Students do not formally identify themselves as belonging in a particular area.

All graduating M.A. and Ph.D. students receive degrees in Communication, not a particular area of study.

Faculty:

Carmen Gonzalez, Assistant Professor
Ralina Joseph, Professor
LeiLani Nishime, Professor

Affiliate and/or Adjunct Faculty:

Lauren Berliner, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell
Rick Bonus, American Ethnic Studies
Michelle Habell-Pallan, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
Daniel Hart, American Indian Studies

Course offerings include:

COM 519 Visual Cultural Studies Methods
COM 525 Community-Based Research Methods
COM 563: Black Cultural Studies
COM 572: Asian American Cultural Studies

Graduate students who wish to learn more about communication and difference can enroll in the Department of Communication courses listed here. Students also typically enroll in other courses within and outside the Department, and students are welcome to develop programs of study that combine different area emphases.

Faculty:

Kirsten Foot, Professor
Carmen Gonzalez, Assistant Professor
Benjamin Mako Hill, Assistant Professor
Yuan Hsiao, Assistant Professor
Katy Pearce, Associate Professor
Matt Powers, Associate Professor

Affiliate and/or Adjunct Faculty:

Lauren Berliner, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell
Karen Fisher, Information School
Andres Monroy-Hernandez, Snap Inc.
Anissa Tanweer, research scientist at the eScience Institute

Course offerings include:

COM 528 Designing Internet Research
COM 539 Theories of Technology and Society
COM 585 Computer-Mediated Communication
COM 597 Global Social Media

Graduate students who wish to learn more about communication technology and society can enroll in the Department of Communication courses listed here. Students also typically enroll in other courses within and outside the Department, and students are welcome to develop programs of study that combine different area emphases.

Faculty:

Valerie Manusov, Professor
Kristina Scharp, Assistant Professor

Affiliate and/or Adjunct Faculty:

John Crowley, Assistant Professor, University of Delaware

Course offerings include:

COM 569 Relational Communication
COM 576 Interpersonal Communication
COM 579 Family Communication
COM 580 Nonverbal Communication

Graduate students who wish to learn more about interpersonal communication can enroll in the Department of Communication courses listed here. Students also typically enroll in other courses within and outside the Department, and students are welcome to develop programs of study that combine different area emphases.

Faculty

Matt Powers, Associate Professor
Nancy Rivenburgh, Professor
Adrienne Russell, Professor
Doug Underwood, Professor

Course offerings include:

COM 545 Development of Mass Communication
COM 557 Government and Mass Communication
COM 559 Media and Foreign Policy
COM 565 Mass Media Structure

Faculty

Leah Ceccarelli, Professor
Amanda Friz, Assistant Professor
Christine Harold, Professor
Matt McGarrity, Teaching Professor
LeiLani Nishime, Professor

Affiliate and/or Adjunct Faculty:

Justin Eckstein, Assistant Professor, PLU
James Jasinski, University of Puget Sound

Course offerings include:

COM 515 Rhetorical Criticism
COM 540 Rhetoric of Science
COM 586 Rhetoric of Health and Medicine
COM 597 Rhetorical Field Methods

Graduate students who wish to learn more about rhetoric can enroll in the Department of Communication courses listed here. Students also typically enroll in other courses within and outside the Department, and students are welcome to develop programs of study that combine different area emphases. Students may be particularly interested in coursework from faculty in the English department who list rhetorical theory as an area of interest.

Faculty:

Kirsten Foot, Professor
Benjamin Mako Hill, Assistant Professor
Yuan Hsiao, Assistant Professor

Affiliate and/or Adjunct Faculty:

Amoshaun Toft, Associate Professor, UW Bothell

Course offerings include:

COM 513 Fieldwork Research Methods
COM 570 Organizational Communication
COM 597 Interviewing for Social Research
COM 597 Cross-Sector Collaboration

Faculty

Leah Ceccarelli, Professor
Kirsten Foot, Professor
Yuan Hsiao, Assistant Professor
Matt McGarrity, Teaching Professor
Patricia Moy, Professor
Matt Powers, Associate Professor
Nancy Rivenburgh, Professor
Doug Underwood, Professor

Affiliate and/or Adjunct Faculty:

Mark Smith, Political Science

Course offerings include:

COM 551 Communication and Politics
COM 553 Public Opinion and Communication
COM 597 Democracy and Disinformation
COM 597 Democracy in Crisis

Graduate students who wish to learn more about political communication can enroll in the Department of Communication courses listed here. Students also typically enroll in other courses within and outside the Department, and students are welcome to develop programs of study that combine different area emphases.

Some course descriptions may be found on the Course Catalog page.