Our History

Academic study of communication in Pittsburgh dates to 1794, when students delivered orations and debated as part of their coursework at the Pittsburgh Academy. The teaching of classical rhetoric continued as the school evolved into a modern university at the turn of the 20th century, when Pittsburgh professors helped to drive a movement to establish freestanding speech departments in the United States.

Today, scholars in the Department of Communication critically analyze artifacts such as speeches, films, public arguments, media technologies, and interpersonal encounters. Our undergraduate major draws from a liberal arts tradition to cultivate skills and knowledge that empower students in personal, professional, and cultural settings.