Department of Communication


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

Intellectual Life

Annual University of Illinois Communication Collaboration Conference

With faculty funding, graduate students in the department plan and host an annual day-long research conference involving graduate students from other U of I campuses. Beginning during the fall semester, students select a theme and venue and invite a keynote speaker known for work on that topic. During the spring semester, students review proposals, organize the program, arrange a group luncheon, and of course deliver their own papers and research proposals. The event usually occurs on a Friday during March.

2012 hosted by UIS, get the flyer
2011 hosted by UIC
2010 hosted by UIUC
2009 hosted by UIS
2008 hosted by UIC
2007 hosted by UIUC
2006 hosted by UIC


The Department sponsors a monthly colloquium during Fall and Spring Semesters. Students sit at the table (and can bring a lunch) and are first to exchange opinions with speakers, faculty, and each other. They receive feedback on emerging projects and join the intellectual community with professors and fellow graduate students. The colloquia are informal 90-minute conversations. Presenters may circulate a paper in advance for those attending to read. Colloquia are recorded and made available on Vimeo.

CommGrad Listserv

Graduate students track conferences, speakers, grant opportunities, interesting trends, valuable web links, and cutting-edge research papers and post these in brief messages to the department graduate student listserv. The Department automatically subscribes all students once they accept admission into one of its graduate programs. The list is not moderated but the posts avoid non-scholarly topics, especially those involving private or personal concerns.

Department Committees

After completing the first year of study, students are eligible for appointment to department committees, especially those related to graduate study, including Graduate Program (admissions), Colloquium, IRB, Awards, Faculty Search, and others. To express an interest in serving, send a message to the department head by the end of the second semester, indicating any committees preferences.

Department Wiki

The Department encourages healthy teamwork and discourages unhealthy competitiveness among students. Graduate students have established a wiki where they create pages for collaboration related to courses, research projects, and other scholarly exchanges. The page is password protected, so that students can work without concern for the larger world watching.

Social Events

Students and faculty gather for informal brown-bag lunchtime discussions and socializing, usually once or twice a month during regular semesters on the weekday when no colloquium is on the schedule. Students writing theses and dissertations organize themselves to meet weekly for happy-hour discussions about their progress and research issues.

The Department Head or Director of Graduate Studies organizes occasional events in faculty homes to gather with professors, graduate students, staff, and alumni. Each spring, the Department hosts an open house for applicants interested in admission to the graduate programs.

Student Council

The UIC Graduate Student Council (GSC) is the student governing body representing graduate students to the university administration. The Department has one representative on the Graduate Student Council, who attends a monthly meeting and reports to the other students, usually through the listserv. Students in departments with a GSC representative attending the meetings are eligible for travel support. Further information is available from the GSC representative.

Faculty Mentoring at UIC-Communication

Effective mentoring of the faculty enhances academic excellence, builds a strong and diverse faculty, and develops a respectful and positive work climate where all members of the UIC community can thrive. The Department of Communication makes regular, sound faculty mentoring practices a priority. The head appoints faculty mentors and reviews mentoring relationships annually. Assistant Professors have two meetings per academic year with their mentors, one of which should include the Department Head. Associate Professors meet with their mentors at least once per academic year. The Personnel Committee and the Department Head review the CVs of all Associate Professors annually to determine their progress toward promotion. All mentoring meetings review teaching, research, and service leading to tenure or promotion. For faculty with a joint appointment, the executive officer of the home department takes the lead in developing the plan, and the departments share mentoring and coordinate with each other. Through the process of annual review, the Department recognizes mentors for their efforts, which count as service for promotion and tenure. The Department assesses the effectiveness of its mentoring program periodically and implements adjustments as needed. Mentoring plans are designed to demonstrate sensitivity to potentially different challenges faced by diverse faculty.

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: Fri 13 Apr 2012 06:24:14 PM CDT