The intellectual roots of Communication can be traced back to ancient Greece, but the field of Communication as we know it today is a product of the 20th century. Informal study of communication at CU began in 1892 when the University founded a Debating Club for students who showed excellence in oral argumentation. Initially the department was combined with English; later it was combined with the department of Drama; in 1973 it became a department of its own.
Today, the department studies a large array of communication practices. Not only argumentation, debate, and public speaking, but personal relationship building and dissolving; group deliberation and decision making; goal-oriented exchanges in law, business, education, and health settings; and processes of social media, conflict management, and persuasion. Combining humanistic and social scientific approaches with its commitment to build close links between theory and practice, Communication is one of the larger majors at CU. It includes over 1100 undergraduate majors and more than 50 MA and PhD students. At the graduate level it emphasizes three areas: rhetoric and cultural studies, organizational communication, and discourse and society. It is a top-ranked program whose graduate students and faculty routinely win national and international awards for their scholarship, teaching, and service.
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