Welcome to the Department of Communication at Cornell University.
Andrew Dickson White, the first president of Cornell university, knew the importance of communication in society. His initiation of the world's first teaching of journalism at the university-level has, over the years, morphed into what is now the Department of Communication.
We begin from the premise that, to understand communication in its many forms and contexts, it should be understood as a fundamentally social phenomenon. Communication is a process engaged in by people, between people, and with the aim of influencing people. It happens inside of real social contexts, whether that be communities, organizations, teams, or cultures. It happens with the aid of technologies that are themselves a product of the social world. For us, this means the study of communication draws its theoretical strength and methodological rigor from the social sciences. We are therefore committed to engaging in grounded, empirical research, drawn from an array of social science traditions and a variety of research methodologies, and both developing and applying novel theoretical perspectives to the most pressing social and policy issues of the day.