The School of Communication, housed within RIT's College of Liberal Arts, is home to three B.S. degree programs—Communication, Advertising & Public Relations, and Journalism—an M.S. degree in Communication & Media Technologies, and an Advanced Online Graduate Certificate in Communication & Digital Media. The School also offers minors and immersions in each of its undergraduate areas.
There are 23 full-time faculty members, including the William A. Kern Professor in Communications, an endowed chair established by the Rochester Telephone Company to provide instruction and research in contemporary communication issues.
The Department of Communication was awarded the National Communication Association's Rex Mix Program of Excellence Award (2007), cited for "using superior instruction, pioneering research, and practical application evaluated through clear assessment methodology"; and in 2005 won the RIT Excellence in Online Teaching & Learning Department Award. The Department became the School of Communication in 2014.
Our faculty are dedicated to exceptional teaching and individual attention to students. The School maintains a small “feel,” with a strong sense of community, a commitment to student mentorship, and a shared purpose between students and faculty. We sponsor and encourage extracurricular activities and promote student leadership in a variety of Institute positions.
The application of theory to professional practice
Our undergraduate and graduate curricula emphasize applied theory and practical knowledge appropriate to a variety of communication settings. Graduates are prepared to perform as communication experts within a professional area of personal interest.
Both the undergraduate and graduate programs include required coursework—in effect, a professional minor—in one of RIT’s professional or technical programs. The department maintains and continually forges strong academic linkages with many programs from across the Institute.
A commitment to excellence in research
Faculty challenge and forecast the rapidly evolving communication landscape and tackle contemporary communication issues. They pursue and publish research related to spoken, written, visual and other mediated forms of communication.
A diverse faculty
Faculty come from a wide range of cultural and intellectual backgrounds and possess a variety of skills and talents.
By 2025, the School of Communication will have achieved a national reputation for excellence in communication teaching and learning, research, and service. Specifically, the School will:
- be widely recognized for offering top undergraduate degree programs in Advertising & Public Relations, Communication, and Journalism, distinguished by innovative curricula, leading-edge technology, professional experience through co-operative education, and student-centered teaching
- be known nationally for interdisciplinary and collaborative curricula and faculty research
- produce graduates who are recognized as creative and innovative problem solvers
- be known across RIT as the center of excellence for communication practice and consultation
- be housed in an identifiable space with contiguous offices and a large common area for students and events
- have at least doubled enrollments in each of the undergraduate programs
- offer an international communication experience abroad for select students
- offer a multidisciplinary master’s degree in Health Communication
- be positioned to offer a distinctive Ph.D. program perhaps allied with another RIT unit including grant-funded programs without degrees
- have an Advisory Board of top professionals in a variety of communication fields from across the country meeting two or three times a year, providing feedback on curricula of all degree programs, and championing the School in their own circles
- have a vibrant publicity program in place that includes faculty and students in promoting the School to internal and external audiences
- have an established program of student brand ambassadors who travel to, for example, advertising agencies or news organizations to gather information, create video and other material for presentation at RIT, and promote our students for co-ops and careers
- have established and maintained strong ties with academic advisors from across RIT to keep them informed of School degree programs, minors, immersions, and general education courses
- have total gifts and endowments of at minimum $500,000
The School of Communication will be characterized by:
- a continued commitment to exceptional teaching
- individual attention to students, regardless of increased enrollments, by increasing our full-time faculty to between 23 and 25 members, with commensurate additions to our support staff
- class sizes and learning spaces conducive to excellence in teaching and learning
- an educational climate that encourages academic and social involvement of students, promotes participation in extracurricular activities, encourages out-of-classroom interaction with faculty, and enhances the intellectual, social and cultural life of this campus
- the offering of, in partnership with the College of Liberal Arts, essential professional and conceptual courses—courses that anticipate rather than merely respond to evolving professional requirements—to ensure the personal and career success of the Institute’s students
- a substantial on-line presence including numerous undergraduate and graduate courses
- engaging minors and immersions with healthy enrollments
- leadership in published research in theoretical, applied and policy matters of communication, with a focus on recent and emerging communications media
- funded research by at least 50 percent of all faculty
- innovative events and activities that will engage all Institute faculty and students, the general public, as well as scholars from within the broader communication discipline
- professional connections with numerous community organizations in the greater Rochester area through our advisory board, faculty consulting, service learning, and cooperative education