New Name: Department of Communication and Media

Posted on Friday, July 31st, 2020

UNI NEWS SERVICE – The University of Northern Iowa announces the name change of its Department of Communication Studies to the Department of Communication and Media, effective Aug. 1.

The new name was approved by the Board of Regents earlier in the year, and reflects the success of the department’s media-oriented programs.

“We are one of UNI’s largest academic departments, and increasingly close to half of our undergraduates are enrolled in our very successful media-related programs,” said Ryan McGeough, head of the Department of Communication and Media. “Digital media skills also are integrated across our curriculum, so highlighting the term media in our name tells everyone who we are and what we do.”

The department’s media programs include majors in Digital Media (with emphases in Digital Journalism, Digital Media Leadership, and Digital Production), and Interactive Digital Studies. Both programs have nationally acclaimed faculty and high placement rates for graduates.

The Department of Communication and Media also has programs in Public Relations (with emphases in Strategic PR, Sports PR, and Event Planning), Communication, Communication-Theatre Teaching, and Political Communication, and also offers undergraduate minors in those areas, plus a minor in Business Communication. The department also offers a Masters of Arts degree program in Communication.

The Department of Communication and Media had more than 550 undergraduate students in Fall 2019, and about 25 full-time faculty members.

The department is housed in the historic Lang Hall at UNI, with some of the best communication and media facilities in the Midwest, including 24 multimedia classrooms, 25 digital audio and video editing suites, two computer labs, two television studios, a performance studies lab, and a two-level restored Lang Hall auditorium.

The study of communication at UNI dates back to the very first decades of the Iowa State Normal School in the late 1800s, with classes and competitions in oratory and debate, and the study of media began at about at the same time, with the establishment of the college newspaper in 1892.