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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 a comprehensive and scientific understanding of human communication grounded in evolutionary, biological, and socio-cultural approaches.

We conduct research, develop theory, and educate in the field of communication, centered around three foci: creating understanding, relational communication, and persuasion/social influence, along with a strong emphasis in intercultural communication. Students develop knowledge and skills in communication through the testing and practical application of theories across a variety of settings and technologies to contribute to the local and global communities.


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 the scientific study of human communication. We use theories and scientific methodology to study how people communicate and what effects communication has, with the ultimate goal of building theory-based knowledge about the process and outcomes of communication. Communicology researchers design studies and test theory-derived hypotheses. A majority of the work we do is quantitative in nature, meaning we collect numeric data and analyze it using statistics. The knowledge we gain from these studies ultimately makes its way into our classrooms and into practical applications in a variety of professional and community settings beyond the university.


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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