Mission Statement

Whether locally or globally, it is through communication that people define and interpret the world around them and enter into community with others. It is therefore crucial to foster critical awareness of the choices made when people communicate and to create conditions that enable people to communicate well.

To those ends, the Department of Communication at the University of Pittsburgh is committed to providing exceptional educational opportunities for its students and to shaping the direction of communication studies and practices in state, national, and international settings.

We seek to develop and synthesize new philosophical, theoretical, critical, cultural, and historical approaches to the examination of communication. We attend to symbolic action and public advocacy through diverse media with critical attention to history, culture, and rhetoric.  We consider the ramifications of technologies for the production, dissemination, and reception of communicative artifacts. We share a common commitment to intellectual and cultural pluralism, public issue awareness, and concern for social justice.

Our research faculty is particularly strong in drawing on the past to understand the future of communication, and using future trends to guide historical study of communication texts, practices, and technologies. Recognizing that the past is always present, we see history as a resource for understanding cultures as complex fields of communication. Studying communicative cultures as both tradition and legacy, we aim to make positive interventions into the public life streaming through them.