The Department of Communication is a national leader in the study of communication as a social science, ranked among the top five by the National Research Council.

Our faculty and students are dedicated to understanding the role and enhancing the effectiveness of communication processes, systems and infrastructure in society. We explore communication in its many forms and contexts as a fundamentally social phenomenon. Our faculty members are recognized for developing and applying novel theoretical perspectives to the most pressing social and policy issues of the day.  

Our Programs & Research


Our carefully constructed curriculum provides a core of contemporary communication knowledge, theory and practice: Students learn how communication influences attitudes, opinions and behaviors; how communication systems work in society; and how to apply this understanding of communication to solve problems, sustain the environment, reach the public with new knowledge, and manage the intricate networks of technologies.


Our faculty and associated Graduate Field of Communication ensure that students are familiar with a wide range of tools, theories and methods, and can use these skills in original empirical research that asks and answers theoretically driven, socially relevant questions. Drawing from Cornell’s outstanding scholars and resources in the social sciences, natural sciences and humanities, our students find new ways to investigate how communication shapes society.

Research & outreach

We engage in a rich variety of research at the cutting edge of the field of communication and related disciplines, conducting research in many different areas. We encourage undergraduate and graduate students to explore faculty research areas and contact individual faculty members if interested in getting involved with research. Students must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA to do research.

Contact Us

Department of Communication

450 Mann Library Building
phone: (607) 255-2601
email: communication [at]

We are located on the 4th floor of Mann Library Building, accessible only by the stairs/elevators within the library, which are just past the information desk.

Communication in the News

A student working in the teaching dairy barn


Grants fund study, outreach on sustainable milk production
Two National Science Foundation grants totaling more than $1.2 million will fund projects to test a novel strategy to make milk production more efficient and sustainable and outreach to communicate animal science to the public.
  • Animal Science
  • Agriculture
  • Animals


Professors Neil Lewis Jr. ’13 and Tashara Leak are leading the new Action Research Collaborative, which will serve as an institutional hub for cross-campus action research collaborations between Ithaca and New York City, and elsewhere.

  • Communication
  • Health + Nutrition
A caucasian woman with brown hair wearing a black shirt and tan jacket standing and looking out a window with her hands clasped in front of her


Diane Bailey, the Geri Gay Professor of Communication, has begun a three-year term as director of the Cornell Institute for Digital Agriculture (CIDA). She plans to maintain current programming while improving outreach to the Global South, to...
  • Agriculture
  • Digital Agriculture
  • Communication
A black cell phone with social media icons on it


Three Cornell undergrads collaborated on an interdisciplinary class project in Spring 2020. The experience changed their academic trajectories.
  • Department of Communication
  • Behavior
  • Communication
A hand holds a phone


Cultural norms and trends used to be set by influential people in a few specific ways – in music, in films and on media outlets such as television and newspapers. Those days are long gone: Now there are myriad platforms through which “influencers” can set or reset cultural mores.
  • Department of Communication
  • Communication