We are living in the information age, and our society needs highly literate graduates with advanced knowledge of the nature, function, and evolution of communication.
Communication Studies at McMaster is an interdisciplinary program offered by the Faculty of Humanities. Students examine core issues and learn about communication theories, which will give them the tools to make sense of the tangled web of media, culture, and language, in a world where messages are embedded in all forms of information. They also take courses in different areas of communication studies such as cultural studies, performance studies, and mass communication.
Communication Studies provides students with a blended theoretical and practical approach to the study of human and mediated communication. The program is interdisciplinary, offering a wide variety of perspectives on the interplay between media, culture, technology and professional communication from linguistics, history, cultural studies, political economy, performance studies, policy studies, mass media, and public relations. Many of our faculty have experience as practitioners in various fields of applied or practical communications, such as broadcasting, musical performance, public relations, law and policy, political communications, activism, professional research, audience research, among others, which can provide our students a vision of how what they are learning in class can inform their future roles as professional communicators in industry, government or the not-for-profit sector.
Another unique facet of our Communication Studies program is its strong focus on research methods, which provides students a solid critical and practical foundation as researchers in both academic and professional settings. The Communication Studies program also hosts many top-tier invited speakers and guest lecturers from academia, industry and the not-for-profit sector – this provides networking opportunities for our students, as well as examples of leadership.
Each year over 20 students are placed as interns in media and professional communication settings throughout southern Ontario. Despite the relative youth of our program, many of our students have gone on to successful careers in public relations, academia, entrepreneurship, law, human resources, education, journalism, the civil service, and the cultural industries.
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Communication Studies is an academic discipline that encompasses many fields of inquiry. Graduates of this program will have advanced knowledge of the nature, function, and evolution of communication, and will develop both practical and theoretical skills necessary to pursue careers in the field of communications.
Skills Gained and/or Opportunities
Learn how to work efficiently, accurately, and organize information.
Communication skills, both in verbal and written expression.
Communication skills, in image and sound.
Critical understanding of performance in both live and recorded media.
Creative, technical and critical skills.
Research and analysis.
Master new skills in digital media.
What our students are saying
We asked one of the students in the Communication Studies program to tell us about their experience studying in our program was like.