Inquire, Interpret, Explore

The School of Communication at the University of Northern Colorado guides and coordinates the programs of Communication Studies (COMM) and Journalism and Media Studies (JMS), formerly Journalism and Mass Communications. Together, the programs emphasize written, oral, visual and aural communication theory, practice and professional career application within a liberal arts, value-based education.

In tandem, the COMM and JMS programs reflect the critical, creative and interpretive dimensions of the humanities, as well as the empirical inquisitiveness and investigative strategies of the social sciences. Coupled with our programs’ commitments to career preparation, multicultural connections and life-long learning, the school seeks to embody the best of the college and university’s goals and mission.

News and Announcements

The UNC School of Communication recently rebranded the popular conference Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery as the Society for the Academic Study of Social Imagery, which will now be hosted at UNC. The call for proposals is now open. The 2017 theme is the image of rebirth. 

View call for papers

The School of Communication recognized outstanding students at the 2016 College of Humanities & Social Sciences Honors Convocation. Congratulations to our students in both Journalism and Communication Studies.

The Journalism and Media Studies program and the School of Communication welcomes new faculty member for Fall 2016, David Staton. 

The School of Communciation hosted the 30th annual Rocky Mountain Communication Association conference on April 9. UNC Alumnus, Phillip K. Tompkins, was presented the Award for Communciation Excellence. Presenters at the conference included School of Communication faculty members Lin Allen, Kelley Raisley, James Keaten, Charles Soukup, Thomas Endres and Sherilyn Marrow.

The 2nd Annual World Conference on Media and Mass Communication (MEDCOM 2016) was held on April 21-22, 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand with the participation of more than 200 participants from all over the world. School of Communciation faculty, Dr. Thomas Endres, who also serves as the conference chair, and Dr. Dale Edwards provided the keynote addresses for the conference.

Message from the Chair

Welcome to the School of Communication at the University of Northern Colorado. The word “communication” comes to us from the Latin communicare, meaning “to impart or share.” That word stems from the more literal communis, (“to make common”), which is a combination of the roots com (“together”) and munia (“public duties”). The two disciplines which combine to create the School of Communication—Communication Studies and Journalism and Media Studies—have not strayed far from that original meaning. Together, the two programs seek to improve people’s ability to disseminate information, to create common meaning, and to foster effective message exchange for the common good.

There is something intuitively logical about a coalition between the Communication Studies and Journalism and Media Studies programs. It is an exciting structure in which each program maintains its uniqueness and disciplinary integrity, while simultaneously allowing them to combine efforts on resource, space, technology, curricular, and extracurricular issues.

Consumers are faced with an overwhelming number of information, news and entertainment choices, while producers of those messages continuously wrestle with advances in technology, ethical dilemmas, and changes in distribution channels. Simultaneously, we all deal with an increasingly complex web of relationships at home and in the workplace.

Understanding the messages we receive from a myriad of fronts—the government, the media, our families, our group affiliations—requires an advanced and in-depth understanding of the process of information exchange. Both COMM and JMS courses provide the critical tools allowing us to “come together” and “make common” that which has been imparted or shared, and that which we intend to impart and share.

I invite you to look more closely at our programs and determine which one is right for you. Enter our school prepared to learn and thrive in a scholarly and supportive environment. Leave our school prepared to excel in your chosen life and career choices.


Thomas G. Endres, Ph.D.
School of Communication Chair

Journalism and Media Studies: Coming Fall 2016

The fields of journalism and mass communications have changed immensely since the beginning of the 21st century. To keep pace, UNC’s journalism program is changing as well. Beginning in the fall of 2016, the Journalism and Mass Communications program will become the Journalism and Media Studies program. The program, which currently features three emphasis areas, will be streamlined to two: The current Public Relations and Advertising Media track will become the Strategic Communications emphasis and the Telecommunications and News-Editorial tracks will merge to become the News and Multimedia Journalism emphasis. New and updated courses will better prepare students to work in the real world. Students will still be able to minor in Media Studies.

Strategic Communications Emphasis

Students in the Strategic Communications emphasis will learn social scientific research, creative concept development, writing and editing, media planning and persuasive campaign execution. The emphasis combines the principles of public relations, marketing and advertising.

News and Multimedia Journalism

The News and Multimedia Journalism emphasis is intended for students interested in providing news for the public, whether it will appear in print, broadcast or online. This emphasis will allow students to learn everything necessary to produce news, including reporting, writing, shooting video, editing video and audio and working in a studio.