Communication Studies is the intellectual home of Ithaca College’s liberal arts approaches to communication.

Our students and faculty share an interest in human interaction in its many fascinating forms and in the elements of culture that both affect and result from communication.

We offer two majors and a minor, each of which allows you to make many important choices about what you study and how you learn.

Our outstanding undergraduates are actively engaged across the College as they seek to better understand a diversity of communication forms, practices, and organizations in an increasingly complex global culture. They are student leaders, community leaders, and emerging scholars. Our wonderful alumnae use their communication ability to make a difference. They are successful professionals in law, education, business, hospitality, politics...the list is long and varied (see below).

The Communication Studies Department is proud of our small, very active classes, strong advising, and close student-faculty interaction. We offer a wide range of courses and co-curricular opportunities to provide a strong foundation in communication theory and skills, as well as multiple avenues for each student to find his or her own passion and craft a meaningful academic experience.

The Communication Studies Major

The major program titled Communication Studies focuses on how, why, and with what effects people communicate through language and associated nonverbal messages. A communication studies major develops competence in theoretical analysis, as well as the practical implementation, of communication. The program is recommended for students who want a broad liberal arts background as preparation for careers in such fields as public relations, business, government, social services, and law, or for graduate study.

The Culture and Communication Major

Are you independent? Are you curious? Do you want the freedom to design your education? Are you ready to take responsibility for your education?

The Culture and Communication major is a radically interdisciplinary program that draws on the resources of all of the schools and departments at Ithaca College. It examines the rich connections between two areas—human communication and human culture—as they intersect in a variety of ways. Culture and Communication students take a set of core courses offered in both the School of Humanities and Sciences and in the Park School of Communication. The backbone of the major, though, is an 18-credit concentration that each student designs with their faculty mentor. The concentration allows you to choose classes from across the campus that show the links between communication and the many ways that culture expresses itself.

Students have constructed a number of fascinating concentrations:

  • International Communication
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Communication and Religion
  • Communicating Social Justice & Activism
  • Scientific and Technological Communication
  • Rhetoric
  • Communicating Race and Ethnicity
  • Propaganda
  • Political Communication
  • Visual Culture
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Performance Studies
  • …and many others

Almost all students in Culture and Communication expects a strong relationship to develop between its students and faculty. Each student is assigned an academic advisor to help them navigate through their requirements. In addition each student chooses a faculty mentor to work with them as they grow as scholars and citizens. A degree in culture and communication provides excellent career preparation, as well as a great foundation for graduate level study in law, business, and/or critical studies.

Communication Studies Alumnae —Sample Career Fields and Jobs

Careers in Law

Michael Ahl, Assistant Staff Judge Advocate at United States Air Force, Goldsboro, NC

Scott Rogoff, Civil Litigator, Hiscock and Barclay (partner), Rochester, NY

Jennifer Weinstein, Claims Attorney, The American International Group, New York, NY

Careers in Advertising and Public Relations

Peter Friedland, Digital Media Planner, Universal McCann, New York, NY

Michael Hedrick, Account Manager, Hedgecon Corporation, Greater NY Area

Gregg Goldstein, Client Services Team Leader/Sr. Account Executive, AdServices, Inc., Miami/Fort Lauderdale, FL

Shari Robinson, Sr. Director, Client Service, Digital Advertising Technologies, San Francisco, CA

Careers in Sales and Marketing

Kyle Truscott, Web Developer, Free Association, New York, NY

Stacy Mendelson, Sales Executive, MTV Networks, New York, NY

Kevin Bolum, National Sales Manager, Medical Ethics Magazine, Robbinsville, NJ

Pam Vivenzio, Retail Promotions Manager, Liz Claiborne, Inc., New York, NY

Careers in Media

Aaron Terkel, Assistant Program Director, Cayuga Radio Group

Brian Dailey, Director of Digital Partnerships, ESPN, Greater NY Area

Jonathan Baime, Owner, Jonathan Baime Productions, LLC, Atlanta, GA

Peter Gerraghty, Assistant Director, Mark Damon Productions, Venice, CA

Lawrence Wolpe, Production Coordinator, WSKG Radio, Binghamton, NY

Careers in Education

Polly Kyle, New Media Organizer, Women's Rights Blog, Denver, CO

Cariann Harsh, Autism Division Director, Policy, Planning & Children's Services, Boston MA

Adena Flitt, Product Information Coordinator, Pearson Education, Boston, MA

Robin Sidman, Founder, Greenschools, Boston, MA

Judith Brownell, Professor of Communication, Cornell School of Hotel Administration, Ithaca, NY

Jennifer Paul, Alumni Relations Director, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. Area

Careers in Business and Human Resources

Sarah Richards, MIS Manager Corporate Programs, Thomson-Reuters, New York, NY

Nicholas Abdo, HR Director, X Ray Optical Systems, Albany, NY

Lisa Yakuboff, VP of Fund Development, Food Bank for NYC, New York, NY

Lisa Steinberg, Consulting Director, Sermo, Philadelphia, PA

Contact Us

424 Muller Center

Laurie Arliss, Chair

Terrie Miller, Administrative Assistant

Scott Thomson, Forensics