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The Department of Communicology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa offers nationally-ranked undergraduate (B.A.) and graduate (M.A.) programs focused on human communication processes and functions.


The mission of the Department is to advance research, theory, and education in the field of communication. Our curriculum is organized around four foci: message processing, relational communication, persuasion/social influence, and intercultural communication. Through our teaching and research, we promote a comprehensive understanding of human communication by including evolutionary, biological, and socio cultural approaches. Where our knowledge and skills can contribute to the local and global communities, we serve in a variety of capacities.

Communicology students obtain an education of considerable breadth and depth in human communication theory and research. Students are provided with many opportunities to develop knowledge and skills in communication through the testing of theories and the practical application of theory across a variety of settings. To achieve this end, we cultivate our students’ ability to observe, explain, and evaluate communication processes in their personal and professional lives.


Communication is a vast and diverse field, which encompasses the study of:
  • Functions of communication (things we do with communication such as creating understanding, managing relationships, and persuading and influencing people;
  • Contexts in which communication activity is highly prevalent (situations that are characterized by significant amounts of communication such as interpersonal/dyadic situations, small groups, organizations, intercultural settings, and public settings);
  • Messages, message outcomes, and message effects (exploring the various forms of messages created within organizations, social systems, and cultures such as media programming and movies, books and graphic novels, speeches and rhetoric, and songs and music);
  • Message delivery and communicative performance (studying how people present or perform messages such as in public speaking, performance of literature, and storytelling); and
  • Augmented communication (examining the technology that extends or enhances our communicative abilities such as the internet, cinema, television, radio, and telephone).
Depending on their area of interest, a department in the field of Communication may call itself Communication, Communications, Communication Arts, Communication Studies, Communication & Theater, Communicology, Mass Communications, Rhetoric, Rhetorical Studies, Speech Communication, or Telecommunications.

Our Department focuses exclusively on Communicology. Communicology is a scholarly and academic discipline within the larger field of Communication. Communicology is distinguished from other areas of Communication through its use of scientific methodology to study communicative phenomena with the ultimate goal of building theory-based knowledge about the process and outcomes of communication. To that end, Communicology researchers design studies and experiments to test theory-derived hypotheses. Data obtained from these studies are then analyzed for consistency with the hypotheses. Knowledge derived from these studies ultimately makes its way into our classrooms and outside the university into practical applications in a variety of professional and industrial settings.


The Department of Communicology is a member of regional, national, and international associations in the field of Communication.

Western States Communication Association (WSCA)

National Communication Association (NCA)

International Communication Association (ICA)
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