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 family eats dinner.


New research led by Adam Pearson ’03, associate professor of psychological science at Pomona College, and Jonathon Schuldt ’04, associate professor of communication in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and interim executive director...
  • Cornell Atkinson
  • Department of Communication
  • Communication
A hand holds a smart phone


Almost from the day it launched in March 2012, the media company Upworthy began conducting experiments, testing which headlines and photos on their stories people responded to best. The experiments worked. A year after its launch, Upworthy was...
  • Department of Communication
  • Behavior
  • Communication
Natalie Bazarova


In classical Greek theater, the chorus served a specific purpose: to explain and comment on the particular moral issue being dramatized on stage. These days, the “Greek chorus” – in the form of commenters on social media – can sometimes...
  • Department of Communication
  • Communication
  • Health + Nutrition
Kevin Lam in his home office.

Field Note

Kevin Lam '20 is a graduate student at University College London (UCL), earning his Masters of Public Administration (MPA) in digital technologies and policy. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lam’s master’s dissertation focuses on remote...
  • Department of Communication
  • Communication