Communication Studies
Effective Communicators, Ethical Advocates

TEDxChapmanU - Lisa Sparks - Smiling Can Save Your Life

Lisa Sparks, Ph.D., is a highly regarded teacher-scholar whose published work includes more than 100 research articles and scholarly book chapters and is the Founding Director of Graduate Studies, M.S. Health and Strategic Communication and Chair of Communication Studies. She is also the author and editor of more than ten books in the areas of communication, health, and aging.

Sparks is the Foster and Mary McGaw Endowed Professor in Behavioral Sciences at Chapman University and directs the Master of Science graduate program in Health and Strategic Communication at the university. She also serves as a member of the Chao Family/NCl Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, Irvine, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Population Health and Disease Prevention, Program in Public Health. Her research goal is to understand and create evidence-based health messages that effectively change health behavior resulting in better health outcomes.

See more of Dr. Sparks here as she discusses "Health Literacy & Inspiration to NAC Students" at the last Chapman Visiting Scholars Series lecture of 2012-2013.

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»Welcome to the Communication Studies Department!

Comm Students L-R: Madison Kline, Tracy Silagi, Stephanie Argyres, and Victoria MorseThe faculty of the Department of Communication Studies is a dynamic mix of researchers, teachers, thinkers and practitioners. We make communication theory come alive for students in our classrooms as we discuss the implications of exciting research about human communication that is conducted in our discipline, and through the use of cases and discussions grabbed from the headlines and our own experiences.

The communication studies degree at Chapman University begins with a survey course that introduces students to the study of communication. Some topics covered in this course include rhetorical studies and criticism; the study of human communication in interpersonal, group, organizational, and intercultural/global contexts; mass media, and public speaking. Early in the major, our students complete an introductory course in communication research methods which prepares them for required and elective courses in the major. From then on, an exciting curriculum of courses with contemporary and historical significance is offered every semester – from Issues in Mass Communication to Gender and Communication, to Conflict, Negotiation, and Power. Your experience culminates with a capstone course in which students design and conduct their own original research project on a topic of their choice under the guidance of a professor/mentor.

Outside of the classroom, we give students plenty of opportunities to apply what they learn in real-world performance and professional settings. Some of these activities include the Speech Team, Chapman Radio, Lambda Pi Eta (Communication Studies Honors Society), and our internship program. Our faculty is committed to working with students to design independent study opportunities to create a personalized education experience. Independent study allows our students, to acquire knowledge and experience in any of our faculty’s areas of specialization, including communication and relationships, organizational communication, communication on the global business stage, mass media, and culture.

The mission of the Department of Comm Studies is to educate and train our students to be effective communicators and ethical advocates prepared to address local, national and global issues. Our goal is to prepare students to effectively negotiate the complex communication processes occurring in our global society.

+-Recently Published Faculty Books

+-Intern in Australia or New Zealand!

Communication internships available for you!

Are you looking for a valuable internship experience to help boost your resume? Here is an opportunity you can't pass up!

Click here to find out more about internships that can provide valuable professional training while living in a foreign country, allowing you to improve on skills such as problem solving, independence, and critical thinking.


+-National Organizations

The National Communication Association advances communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific and aesthetic inquiry. Learn More ...

The Western States Communication Association is a non-profit 501 c (3) organization. The Association's purpose is to unite people in the Western States who have an academic, lay or professional interest in communication and who want to promote their mutual educational interests. Learn More ...

+-Communication Studies Alumni in Action

Stephanie Robbins graduated with her BA in Communication Studies from Chapman in 2007,  and completed her MA and Ph.D. in Communication at UC Santa Barbara.  While studying interpersonal communication and new media at UCSB, she won the Top Masters Thesis award from the Interpersonal Communication Division of the International Communication Association in 2011.  Her dissertation is entitled “The Confidant Response Model: Examining the Impact of Structure on Response Decisions for Recipients of Distressing Disclosures.”  She is currently beginning her first semester as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Communication Studies in the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University.

    Contact Us!

    Communication Studies
    (714) 744-7088
    Doti Hall 202

    (714) 744-7088

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