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Communication is at the core of our understanding of our world and the cultures that compose humanity. It is the means through which humans teach, learn, negotiate, lead, express emotions and conduct commerce.

Scholars in the UC Davis Department of Communication examine communication theories, channels, technologies and message content from a bottom-up (micro) and a top-down (macro) perspective in a multidisciplinary context. Bottom-up communication converts collections of individuals into communities and societies, constructs societies' collective identities, and facilitates social evolution. Top-down communication primes people's perception of reality, their social context, and their personal evolution.

 

Technology in communication

The ongoing digital revolution has intensified the role of technology in communication. Digitalization is so powerful that technological systems now for the first time mediate the majority of human communication. We spend 8 of our 11 hours of daily net communication time communicating with or via some kind of technology. The outcome is the global socio-technological ecosystem that constitutes the current driving force of social evolution.

 

Communication in society

We view communication as the point at which the realms of the individual, technology and society intersect and overlap. The communicated message itself is at the center of our approach to understand reality.

Venn Diagrom of Communcation

From here, communication informs the most diverse disciplines by contributing a distinctive focus on the messages that link social structures as diverse as interpersonal relationships, businesses, conversations, citizenries, communities, social networks, entertainment audiences and political systems. As such, our approach is naturally interdisciplinary and turns out to be especially relevant during the current times of intense technological changes that affect how people and social systems communicate.

 

Distinctions of our department

The UC Davis Department of Communication is composed of faculty members who have attained notable distinctions in their field. Our research faculty is augmented by a roster of dedicated continuing lecturers who bring to the classroom a wide variety of practical experience in various aspects of communication. Our faculty members have earned international recognition for their insightful research in wide-ranging applications of communication, including corporate messaging, public relations, health care and physician-patient relationships, survey research, news propagation, online games and virtual reality, organizational communication, international development, work process engineering, and other pursuits.

 

Why study communication

Many of the ills in the world are attributable to miscommunication. At the same time, communication is currently the driver of our digital age. As communication scholars, we analyze opportunities, flaws and limitations in the means through which humans communicate, and seek ways through which human, technological and social interactions can become more constructive and effective. The undergraduate major prepares students for careers in communication as well as for graduate studies in communication and related disciplines. Students in our department gain understanding of phenomena related to social media, public health communication, the political process, the history and evolution of human communication, the relationships between communication and globalization, and other facets of society.

 

Careers in communication

Communication studies prepares students to pursue positions in a wide variety of occupational fields, including industrial and labor relations, public information, opinion research, legislative staff positions, mediation and negotiation, legal research, business management and other disciplines in which effective communication is essential.