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This archived information is dated to the 2009-10 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.


Emeriti: (Professors) Henry S. Breitrose, Donald F. Roberts; (Professor, Teaching) Marion Lewenstein

Chair: James S. Fishkin

Director, Institute for Communication Research: James S. Fishkin

Director, John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists: James R. Bettinger

Director, Media Studies: Byron Reeves

Director, Undergraduate Studies: Fred Turner

Deputy Director, John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists: Dawn E. Garcia

Acting Director, Journalism: Ann Grimes

Professors: James S. Fishkin, Theodore L. Glasser (on leave Spring), Shanto Iyengar, Jon Krosnick, Clifford Nass, Byron B. Reeves

Assistant Professors: Jeremy Bailenson (on leave), Fred Turner

Courtesy Professors: Jan Krawitz, Walter W. Powell, Kristine M. Samuelson

Visiting Lorry I. Lokey Professorships in Professional Journalism: Ann Grimes, Glenn Frankel

Visiting Hearst Professional in Residence: Joel Brinkley

Lecturers: Thomas Hayden, Azi Lev-On, Gary Pomerantz, Howard Rheingold, James Wheaton

Department Offices: McClatchy Hall, Building 120, Room 110

Mail Code: 94305-2050

Phone: (650) 723-1941

Web Site:

Courses offered by the Department of Communication are listed under the subject code COMM on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

Stanford's Department of Communication focuses on media in all its forms. The department studies the processes and effects of mass communication: the nature and social role of the various media; their structure, function, and ethics; and their impact on the political system and on society. In this context, it considers not only traditional mass media (newspapers, magazines, radio, television, film), but also information technology, online media, virtual reality, and the Internet. Students are trained as social scientists who can study the media and as potential practitioners in the use of the media in journalism, mass communications, and digital media. The department combines theory and practice and fosters individual research opportunities for its students, employing both quantitative and qualitative approaches.

The Department of Communication engages in research in communication and offers curricula leading to the B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. The M.A. degree prepares students for a career in journalism. The department also offers current Stanford University undergraduates a coterminal program with an M.A. emphasis in Media Studies. The Ph.D. degree leads to careers in university teaching and research-related specialties.

The Institute for Communication Research offers research experience primarily to advanced Ph.D. students.

The John S. Knight Fellowships Program brings outstanding journalists to the University to study and do research for an academic year. While here, they focus on issues, challenges and opportunities of journalism innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation sponsors twelve U.S. journalists. They are joined by eight International Fellows sponsored by the Lyle and Corrine Nelson International Fellowship Fund, the Knight Foundation, Yahoo! Inc., the Shinyoung Journalism Fund and others.


The mission of the undergraduate program in Communication is to expose students to a broad-based understanding of communication theory and research. Students in this major are expected to become familiar with the fundamental concerns, theoretical approaches, and methods of the field, and to acquire advanced knowledge in one or more sub-areas of the discipline. This is accomplished by several levels of study: a core curriculum; intermediate-level electives; and internships. Majors also have the opportunity to do advanced research projects. The department is committed to providing students with analytical and critical skills needed for success in graduate programs, professional schools, or immediate career entry.


The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to demonstrate:

  1. an understanding of core knowledge within the discipline of communications.
  2. the ability to communicate ideas clearly and persuasively in writing.
  3. the ability to analyze a problem and draw correct inferences using qualitative and/or quantitative analysis.
  4. the ability to evaluate theory and critique research within the discipline of communications.


Prospective Undergraduates—Applications are available online at

Prospective Coterminal Students—Applications are available online at

Prospective Graduate Students—Applications are available online at at

The department requires that applicants for graduate admission submit verbal and quantitative scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Admission to each graduate degree program is competitive, based on the pool of applicants each year rather than on standard criteria that can be stated in advance. The GRE should be taken no later than early November prior to the early December application deadline.


The Institute is an office of project research for the faculty of the Department of Communication and operates under grants to faculty from government, industry, and non-profit organizations. Research assistantships are often available to qualified Ph.D. students in Communication.

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