The Communication Program at GW offers undergraduates course of study in a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of sciences.
Students probe communication events as media-bound occurrences, studying the verbal, nonverbal, oral or written, live or mass media nature of communication. In addition to academic study in the discipline, students of communication can learn more about themselves, become more socially adept, and increase their marketability to future employers. Because of their interest and expertise in communication, majors often play an active role in student government affairs and become leaders in extracurricular activities such as president of the University Honors Program Council, president of the Interfraternity Council, editor of The Hatchet , station manager of WRGW radio, and so on.
What do you mean we don't communicate?
Just yesterday I faxed you a reply to the recorded message
you left on my answering machine.
-- Wall Street Journal
The career outlook for students of communication is highly promising. The environment of tomorrow will continue to be communication-oriented, and communication graduates are increasingly in demand to apply their specialized knowledge of the human communication process. Majors have served as interns in leading business, entertainment, and political organizations. Many have matriculated to graduate, law or medical school, or have found employment on graduation with a variety of organizations such as the White House speech-writing staff, major advertising and public relations firms, and Fortune 500 companies.
Current curricular offerings explore communication phenomena such as how human beings constitute meaning in an abstract world, how this meaning creates alternatives, how to decide on a meaningful course of action among alternatives, how to live with the choices we make, and how we share these choices with others. This human symbolic activity is investigated in different contexts: Thus, students study communication events as they transpire intrapersonally, dyadically, in small groups, in organizations, across cultures, and in public settings.
The Communication Program sponsors the Henigan-Stevens Communication Award (established in honor of former Communication professors by Eugene Lambert in 1997), which recognizes a student's project to improve communication within the community, and the Isaac Davis (governor of Massachusetts at the time the gift was established in 1869) Public Communication Award , which recognizes excellence in oral communication. Both awards annually recognize motivated and talented Communication students. The program is also the seat of the Chauncey M. Depew Professorship in Communication , an endowed position established in 1936 and currently held by Dr. Clay Warren. Depew was President of the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad (1885-1899) and a U.S. Senator from New York (1899-1911).
Several GW departments and programs are disciplinarily related to the Communication Program. Students of the Communication Program may double major or minor in these, as well as other, fields. Examples include the Journalism Program, Political Communication Program, Speech and Hearing Science, and the graduate program in Human Sciences. The primary differences between the Communication Program and those listed above are:
- the approach taken toward the subjects studied and
- the degree of specialization.
These differences are best gauged by either contacting the program you are interested in or perhaps e-mailing current students and alumni about the Communication Program.
The Communication Department gives two awards each year to a Communication student for excellence in project completion and performance, etc. One is the Henigan-Stevens award, and the other is the Isaac Davis award. Both are cash awards. Detailed information for the two awards can be found in the two documents below.