Communication Studies - Professional Resources
divisions of the field; academic and professional associations; college communication programs.
Divisions of the Field
The Communication discipline has roots in several other disciplines. Speech and Journalism programs were once housed in English departments, whereas Mass Communication and Interpersonal Communication faculty often received extensive training in the social sciences, such as Psychology and Sociology. Today, the common theme of Communication Departments is a focus on messages and the people who send and receive them. The discipline has grown over the years, to the point where there are many subspecialties. Listed below are some of these areas of specialization.
National and international professional associations also help define the major divisions of the field. These divisions are common throughout the U.S., regions of the U.S., and world. Most universities offer distinct courses of study in these areas. Some of these areas even have web sites devoted to them; we've included several of these.
Health Communication: patient-provider communication, health campaigns, communication of health messages.
Health Comm Around the World
Instructional Communication: communication education, basic course, teaching resources, developmental communication.
National Communication Assoc. - Instructional Development Division
Intercultural Communication: training, international, and comparative cross-cultural studies.
International Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication
ICA Intercultural Communication
Interpersonal Communication: dyadic communication, small group decision-making, family communication, relationship development, and gender and communication.
The Interpersonal Web
National Communication Assoc. - Group Communication Division
Journalism: public relations, advertising, writing, broadcasting, telecommunications, film studies.
Mass Communication: media effects, television viewing behavior, audience research, popular culture, media history, law & ethics.
Media History Project
National Communication Assoc. - Mass Communication Division
New Technologies: human information technology, information systems, telephones, satellite, Internet, videoconferencing.
National Communication Assoc. - Human Communication & Technology Division
Organizational Communication: applied communication, consulting, training and development, management, business communication, negotiation/mediation, business communication.
National Communication Assoc. - Organizational Communication Division
Performance Studies: theatre, oral interpretation, readers' theatre, voice & articulation.
Stetson Univ., Theatre Arts Program
Political Communication: campaign communication, political speechmaking.
University of Oklahoma Political Communication Center
Public: argumentation, forensics, freedom of speech, legal communication, public address, public speaking, persuasion, debate.
The History Channel
ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre's American Collection
National Communication Assoc. - Public Address Division
Rhetorical Theory and Criticism: feminist scholarship, rhetorical criticism, postmodernism, Greek and Roman rhetoric.
MIT Classics Archive
Symbol Systems: nonverbal communication, semiotics, language and social interaction, semantics.
ICA Language and Social Interaction Division
National Communication Assoc. - Nonverbal Communication Division
Divisions or sections comprised of specific populations or those interested in similar professional issues also exist for: Elementary/Secondary; Community College; Small College; Senior College; Graduate School; Women's Studies; Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Studies; African American Communication; and La Raza.
Academic and Professional Associations
Professional organizations provide numerous services for their members. They all provide a place for people (a) to meet others, (b) to gain relevant knowledge and information, and (c) to become part of an organized collective with common interests and goals. These organizations often have special student sections for newcomers.
National Communication Association
This site contains a wealth of information. Be sure to look at convention information, Lambda Pi Eta and student groups listings (under What's New), an introduction to CommSearch (under Publications), listings of communication programs around the world, information on subscribing to CRTNET News (under Research), and other organizations and resources.
International Communication Association
Contained at this site is a description of the various divisions, publications, conferences, and additional information on the association. Check out the President's welcome (Association)! Also look at the different ICA publications and submission information.
World Communication Association
Read all about the World Communication Association, its officers, journal, conferences, and newsletter. Many useful internet resources are also listed.
American Communication Association
This site is, itself, a guide to the discipline. It points to different subdisciplines of the field. Click on ACA Electronic Reference Desk and then on Communication Associations.
- Central States Communication Association
- Western States Communication Association
- Eastern Communication Association
- Southern States Communication Association
- American Association of Advertising Agencies
- American Marketing Association
- Association for Business Communication
- Association for Educational Communications and Technology
- Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
- Broadcast Education Association
- International Association of Business Communicators
- International Listening Association
- National Association of Broadcasters
- National Press Club
- National Speakers Association
- Public Relations Society of America
- Society of Professional Journalists
- Speakers Platform
- Toastmasters International
- Association for Women in Communications
College Communication Programs
There are hundreds of undergraduate college programs in communication in the United States. The following list of undergraduate and graduate programs is useful in finding quality education in this discipline.
For advice on whether or not to attend graduate school:
Professional Listservs for Students
- Lambda Pi Eta
- Undergraduate Student Clubs
- Communication Institute for Online Scholarship (commgrads discussion list; see Especially for Students)
- Toastmasters International
- The Speaker's Platform
The Kent State University Communication Studies Program