Department of Communication


The UIC Department of Communication is known for research on new technology, political communication, and diversity, culture and visual studies.
Department Fact Sheet

Department of Communication Fact Sheet


Liberal arts (non-professional) department, known for research on new technology, political communication, and diversity, culture, and visual studies.

Development Goals

1 endowed chair, 1 named professorship, 4 endowed graduate fellowships
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Offices: faculty (11), staff (3), TA (2), adjunct (1), resident scholar (1) (1.1 FTE/office)
Laboratories: Speech (audio-visual), Mobile Media, rennovated in 2011 (2 desktop, 10 laptop, and 2 tablet computers)
Classrooms: Seminar (seats 24), Teleconferencing (15), equipped through a Technology Grant from the Athena Fund of Chicago Community Trusts
Classroom (seats 32) renovated in 2007, with LAS and VCAA collaboration
Classroom (seats 54) renovated in 2008, with Sociology, LAS, and VCAA collaboration

Faculty Awards

Books by Communication professors have won national recognition in media history, rhetoric and political communication. A named, funded lecture series at the National Communication Association honors Steve Jones. Two professors won the UIC Silver Circle Award for teaching, and one received a National Teaching Award.



Fellowships are the main source of external research funding in the discipline. In recent years, Communication scholars have won fellowships at Harvard, Cornell. and LSU, as well as Fulbright awards. One Communication professor is a University Scholar and three have been scholars at the UIC Great Cities Institute.


Except in particular subfields such as health, outside grants do not usually fund Communication research. Even so, external support for communication projects has come from NSF, NIH, and HUD, as well as private foundations.



Communication is a central discipline that builds bridges among the social sciences, arts, humanities, and sciences and between practice and theory. Communication faculty collaborate with many UIC departments, such as EVL, and have developed programs with other U.S. universities.


Communication researchers have ongoing projects in Europe, Latin American, Asia, and the Middle East. Visiting scholars have come from the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Brazil, and Israel. Communication is the originating department for accords between UIC and universities in Denmark and Spain.

Research and Productivity (among peers)

Peer departments: Washington, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Utah, SUNY-Buffalo, UMass-Amherst
Ranks 2nd in publications in top-ranked journals per professor per year
Ranks 3nd in mean citations of faculty research per professor (USI Database)
Recent grants from NSF, NIH, HUD, and fellowships from Fulbright, GWU, Harvard KSG


For a small department Communication provides extensive service to UIC. Communication faculty members serve on LAS and campus committees and in the UIC Senate. All three staff members have received UIC awards for service.

Student Service

In 2002, the three basic 100-level courses in the major were designated for general education credit. Two non-major courses teach basic public speaking and media writing. Communication has 4 Honors College Fellows and faculty regularly teach freshman seminars and honors seminars. They also mentor minority SROP and McNair fellowship students.



The PhD program is new, and like the M.A. program, has an admissions yield of more than 50 percent. The highly competitive Communication M.A. attracts top students, including those on Fulbright and other awards, from such countries as Denmark, Spain, Austria, and El Salvador. Graduates go on to PhD programs at leading departments, including UIUC, Northwestern, Maryland, Purdue, and Massachusetts-Amherst. Graduates serve on faculty at institutions such as RPI New York and California Polytechnic. Others have founded their own communication companies or joined major media outlets.

M.A. Program
Two emphases: Media Studies, Intercultural Studies
Medium size (24 enrolled, 6 graduate yearly)
High quality (ranks second nationally in entering GREs)

PhD Program
Focused on new technology
New (enrolled the first 6 students in 2007, 1 UBS-funded fellowship)
Guided by an Advisory Board including new-media industry leaders



About 37 undergraduates complete internships each year, and many result in job offers. Communication students regularly win the $10,000 Bernard Shaw Prize.

B.A. Program
Comprehensive (Speech & Media Studies)
150 majors, 60 graduates yearly
Selective (2.5 GPA, sophomore standing required for admission)


Communication is committed to teaching and serves a large number of undergraduates (750 seats/year). General Education courses fill Individual & Society (Social science) requirements. All Communication professors teach undergraduate courses. The major has a good student to teacher ratio. Majors continue to represent a cross-section of all ethnic and racial groups at UIC.

Department of Communication
1007 W Harrison Street (MC 132)
Behavioral Sciences Building 1140
Chicago IL 60607

Phone: (312) 996-3187 | Fax: (312) 413-2125

Last Modified: Wed 20 Jul 2011 04:05:25 PM CDT