About Our Department
In the Department of Communication Studies, we learn about communication in human relationships. We study communication in relationships that are as intense as marriage and families, as large as political communities, and as involving as the workplace. Our students go out into the world prepared to think about how communication works in a wide range of contexts, and they are ready to improve communication wherever they may find it. Explore the links on this page to find out more about our award winning faculty, graduate and undergraduate programs, and student-based clubs and camps.
Communication Studies has been an organized department since Edwin Shurter was appointed an associate professor of oratory at The University in 1899. Today, the Communication Studies Department has over 700 undergraduate majors, 110 graduate students, and 18 faculty.
Our students come from across the nation and the world. Upon leaving The University, our graduates enter the teaching, corporate, and public service ranks. While in school, the department's graduate students conduct original research, frequently teach and/or assist undergraduate classes, and participate in symposia. Many of our students publish scholarly articles, and most deliver papers at professional conventions.
In 2003-04, our students presented more than 90 competitively selected papers at international, national, and regional professional meetings. Over a dozen articles and chapters were also published. This high level of professional involvement explains a fact we are all proud of: all of our Ph.D. graduates have obtained faculty or other professional positions.
Our graduate program is student-tailored. Students develop a plan of study in consultation with advisory committees of their choosing. Ordinarily, an M.A. program is complete in 2 years, a Ph.D. in 4 years Students who complete an M.A. program in the department and would like to continue at UT-Austin must apply through the department for admission into the Ph.D. program. As the quality of the dissertation may be jeopardized when it is completed out of residence, and the increasing specialization within the various areas of communication, we encourage most students in the doctoral program to create a 4 year Ph.D. work plan.
In December, 2004, the Times of London reported a reputational study which placed the University of Texas as 15th in the world's top universities. Of all the universities listed in the top 15, the University of Texas is the only one with a Communication Studies Department.
In the June 1999 issue of Communication Monographs, the University of Texas was listed as one of only two schools with five faculty members as part of the 100 most prolific journal authors in communication journals since the inception of the field. We were also 3rd in the nation in the number of times our faculty's research has been cited in journals.