2011-2012 University Catalog 
2011-2012 University Catalog

■ Communication

Phone: 703-993-1090
Web: communication.gmu.edu


Professors: Boileau, Botan, Decker, Friedley, Kreps (chair), Lichter, Lont, Maibach, Rowan

Emeritus professors: Looney, Manchester, Taylor

Associate professors: Cai, Gibson, Muir, Nicotera (associate chair), Villagran

Assistant professors: Farnsworth, Hopson, Zhao

Term professor: Pober

Term associate professor: Finn

Term assistant professors: Bedore, Wright

Term research assistant professor: Roser-Renouf

Term instructors: Craig, M. Dickerson, Haynes, Hodgson, Klein, Miller, Samoilenko, R. Smith, Tomasovic, Warren

Term research instructor: McCutcheon

Adjuncts:  Atwell, Bogino, Caes, Chaaban, Cohen, Csongos, Davis, Doyle, Feigenbaum, Gladis, Goldberg, M. Green, Greiner, Grossman, Hadji, Hansche, Hilberg, Holsonbake, Jannery, Kahn, Kamen, Kanu, Kois, Kraus, Lehman, LeValley, Ledewig-Fisher, Mangus, McCalla, Nadler, Payne, Peck, Plaag, Rensbarger, Schmeidler, Slagle, Steele, Suarez, S. Taylor, Tucker, VanZummeran, Varni, Walsch, Westpheling

Affiliate: J. R. Censer

Course Work

The Communication Department offers all course work designated COMM in the Courses  chapter of this catalog.

Undergraduate Programs

The department offers a BA in communication, which prepares students for graduate study or entry-level positions in such fields as interpersonal and organizational communication, journalism, media production and criticism, persuasive and political communication, and public relations.

Students majoring in communication complete a concentration from one of these areas: interpersonal and organizational communicaton, journalism, media production and criticism, persuasive and political communication, or public relations.


The department has an active internship program. Many students include an internship during their senior year as a way of gaining practical experience with national and international businesses, associations, or government agencies.

Student Activities

All students are encouraged to participate in one of the communication activities: Broadside, debate, forensics, GMView, Mason Cable Network, PRSSA, or WGMU.

Honors in the Major

Highly qualified students may pursue advanced work leading to graduation with honors in the major. Communication majors are eligible to apply if they have completed 90 credit hours (including COMM 200 and two of COMM 300, 301, 302, 305), have a minimum GPA of 3.25 in all coursework completed at George Mason, and a minimum GPA of 3.50 in all communication coursework completed at George Mason and applied to the major.

If accepted, students take a two-course sequence, COMM 490 and 491. COMM 490 replaces COMM 400 in the degree requirements for the major in communication. To graduate with honors in the major, students must complete 490 and 491 with a minimum GPA of 3.50 and maintain a GPA of 3.50 in the major and 3.25 overall.


The department offers minors in communication, electronic journalism, and sport communication. The latter is offered jointly by the Department of Communication and the School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism in the College of Education and Human Development. The department faculty also participate in these minors: Film and Media Studies Minor , Multimedia Minor , Consciousness and Transformation Minor , and Women and Gender Studies Minor .

Students majoring in communication may choose to minor in any discipline that offers an undergraduate minor.

Graduate Programs

The department offers a MA and a PhD in communication with two major areas of emphasis:  strategic communication and health communication. The programs provide students with a strong foundation in communication theory and research while at the same time encouraging students to apply their skills in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

The faculty in strategic communication, drawing on their expertise in organizational, public relations, and political communiction theory and research, teach courses on planning, developing, executing, and evaluating public communication campaigns and interventions. Faculty in health communication teach courses which explore the relationship between communication practices and the health and well-being of individuals and communities. This includes how to improve cooperation and coordination between health care providers and consumers, how to effectively utilize health information technologies, and to how to develop influential health promotion campaigns.

Strategic communication and health communication are two of the most rapidly expanding specialties within the broad field of communication. Graduates of these programs find a very welcoming employment market for their expertise.


The department offers teaching and research assistantships, which are awarded on a competitive basis. Other sources of funding such as grants, loans, and employment on campus are also available. Students awarded assistantships must register for a minimum of six credits a semester and show satisfactory progress toward their degree.


    Undergraduate DegreeUndergraduate MinorMaster’s DegreeDoctoral Degree