Business professionals at a meeting

Bachelor of Science inOrganizational and Professional Communication

Program summary

Learn to analyze and facilitate interpersonal and organizational communication to help teams resolve conflict and build stronger relationships. The online professional communication program’s flexibility allows you to prepare for a career in law, business communication, health administration, or human relations.

100% Online

Complete your Penn State course work at your own pace and 100% online.

Application deadline

Apply by March 15 to start May 13

Credits and costs

120 Credits$626/$671 per credit

Nationally Recognized

US News and World Report Bachelor's badge
Our bachelor's degrees are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Gain Effective Communication Skills to Help Companies Thrive

  • Use quantitative and qualitative research methods to study various forms of communication.

  • Understand how organizational communication influences relationships within and between groups and its effects on their leadership.

  • Interpret and analyze interpersonal communication.

  • Facilitate effective communication between diverse global groups and organizations.

  • Improve effective interaction to resolve conflict or build stronger relationships between teams.

  • Apply the principles of leadership in both interpersonal and group situations.

Customizable and Flexible Course List

The online learning format offered by Penn State World Campus makes it possible for you to fit a degree program into your life.

Explore course work in subject areas such as: 

  • research methods — Focus on data collection tools for focus-group interviewing, observing, and recording to inform qualitative inquiry based on theoretical frameworks. 
  • communication theory — Apply communication theory to examine interpersonal, group, organizational, mediated, and cross-cultural interactions. 
  • communication ethics — Learn the role of communication in ethical issues and expressing and realizing individual and social values.

The Bachelor of Science in Organizational and Professional Communication program requires successful completion of 120 credits.

If you are a transfer student, the number of credits you must take will vary according to the courses that transfer into the program. Once you are admitted to the program, your assigned academic adviser can help you select the remaining required courses. 

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major.

Prescribed Courses (24 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Overview of the skills necessary to evaluate commonly reported communication research.

  • 3
    credits

    History and theory of public advocacy and civic discourse.

  • 3
    credits

    This course is intended as a foundational course in communication theory for Communication Arts and Sciences majors and others interested in social science theory in general. It is designed to show how communication theory can be applied to understand and improve communication in your professional (and personal) life. The theories examined will span the range of communication contexts, including interpersonal, group, organizational, mediated, and cross-cultural interactions.

  • 3
    credits

    An understanding of both qualitative research methods and the theoretical frameworks that inform qualitative inquiry. Additionally, this course focuses on tools for data collection such as individual and focus-group interviewing and observing and recording interaction. This course provides practical experience for students in collecting and analyzing qualitative data with and without the use of technology and examines particular difficulties in the interpretation and reporting of qualitative findings. Qualitative Research Methods is course that bridges disciplinary boundaries and is useful to any student who will be investigating human interaction.

  • 3
    credits

    Ethical issues in public and private communication; role of communication in expressing and realizing individual and social values.

  • 3
    credits

    Students will learn how to assemble a portfolio that reflects their progress, knowledge, and insight into college-level study.

  • 3
    credits

    Experiential-based course covering the four main social research methods: available data, survey research, experiments, and field research.

  • 3
    credits

    Creative projects, including research and design, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

Additional Courses (select 18 credits)

Speaking and Argumentation Additional Courses (select 6 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Organizing, adapting and presenting ideas in public informative, persuasive, technical and ceremonial speeches.

  • 3
    credits

    This course provides an in-depth examination of argumentation in both public and private contexts.

  • 3
    credits

    Review and practice of various communication forms used in modern organizations.

  • 3
    credits

    Communication behaviors contributing to civil and uncivil discourse; their implications in business, public life, across cultures and in interpersonal relationships.

Interpersonal Communication or Conflict Management (select 6 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    This class is designed as an opportunity to explore the complexities of interpersonal communication and to develop a repertoire of interpersonal communication skills.

  • 3
    credits

    Focus on topics such as language, identity, prejudice, and intergroup relations on a domestic/ international level.

  • 3
    credits

    Explores how humans influence others through communication.

  • 3
    credits

    Examines the function and structure of communication in both formal and informal situations.

Leadership/Group Communication (select 6 credits)

    • 3
      credits

      Theory- and research-based communication skills for leaders dealing with work-related problems in contemporary groups and organizations.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Surveys the theory, research, and practice related to the communication processes by which individuals in groups and organizations exercise influence, whether or not they occupy positions of acknowledged leadership.

    • 3
      credits

      Application of theories of decision-making to work-related issues in groups and organizations requiring collective resolution and action.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Application of theories of decision making to work-related issues in groups and organizations requiring collective resolution and action.

  • 3
    credits

    This course explores the science and practice of leadership around the globe through pertinent scholarly literature and related instructional resources.

  • 3
    credits

    Applies organizational behavior theories, concepts, and skills to leading and motivating individuals and groups.

  • 3
    credits

    Survey of theory and research with respect to attitudes, morale, and motivation of employees and management.

    • Prerequisite

      PSYCH 100; PSYCH 200 or STAT 200

  • 3
    credits

    Review of research and application of behavior principles in the areas of management and supervision.

    • Prerequisite

      PSYCH 100; PSYCH 281 or 3 credits MGMT; fifth-semester standing or permission of instructor

  • 3
    credits

    The study of social influence, leadership and status, and social cohesion and commitment processes in small groups.

  • 3
    credits

    The role of gender in shaping contemporary North American patterns of employment, occupational roles, and statuses.

Supporting Courses and Related Areas (select 15 credits)

Select 15 credits from the following courses; 6-9 credits must be at the 400-level. You cannot use a course as both an Additional course and as a Supporting course.

  • 3
    credits

    This class is designed as an opportunity to explore the complexities of interpersonal communication and to develop a repertoire of interpersonal communication skills.

  • 3
    credits

    Organizing, adapting and presenting ideas in public informative, persuasive, technical and ceremonial speeches.

  • 3
    credits

    Review and practice of various communication forms used in modern organizations.

  • 3
    credits

    Focus on topics such as language, identity, prejudice, and intergroup relations on a domestic/ international level.

  • 3
    credits

    Explores how humans influence others through communication.

  • 3
    credits

    Communication behaviors contributing to civil and uncivil discourse; their implications in business, public life, across cultures and in interpersonal relationships.

  • 3
    credits

    Examines the function and structure of communication in both formal and informal situations.

  • 3
    credits

    Theories and strategies important for conceptualizing, developing, and managing conflict negotiation, mediation, and third-party intervention.

  • 3
    credits

    Explores the nature and functions of communication in organizations, with emphasis on concepts, tools, and skills for effective management of communication.

    • Prerequisite

      CAS 202 or CAS 252

  • 3
    credits

    Explores the literature on gender research in the discipline of human communication.

  • 3
    credits

    History and criticism of public discourse; intensive analysis of selected public addresses and social movements.

    • Prerequisite

      6 credits of CAS

  • 3
    credits

    Provides an overview of the various media and communications methods that comprise modern integrated marketing campaigns.

  • 3
    credits

    Preparing and editing professional papers for subject specialists and for others interested in careers as writers or editors.

  • 3
    credits

    Preparing and editing reports and presentations common to business, industry, and government.

    • Prerequisite

      ENGL 202A, ENGL 202B, ENGL 202C, ENGL 202D

  • 3
    credits

    Analysis and composition of informative, persuasive, and "creative" Web texts, based on rhetorical principles; no prior Web writing experience required.

    • 3
      credits

      Theory- and research-based communication skills for leaders dealing with work-related problems in contemporary groups and organizations.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Surveys the theory, research, and practice related to the communication processes by which individuals in groups and organizations exercise influence, whether or not they occupy positions of acknowledged leadership.

    • 3
      credits

      Application of theories of decision-making to work-related issues in groups and organizations requiring collective resolution and action.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Application of theories of decision making to work-related issues in groups and organizations requiring collective resolution and action.

  • 3
    credits

    Applies organizational behavior theories, concepts, and skills to leading and motivating individuals and groups.

  • 3
    credits

    This course explores the science and practice of leadership around the globe through pertinent scholarly literature and related instructional resources.

  • 3
    credits

    Survey of theory and research with respect to attitudes, morale, and motivation of employees and management.

    • Prerequisite

      PSYCH 100; PSYCH 200 or STAT 200

  • 3
    credits

    Review of research and application of behavior principles in the areas of management and supervision.

    • Prerequisite

      PSYCH 100; PSYCH 281 or 3 credits MGMT; fifth-semester standing or permission of instructor

  • 3
    credits

    The study of social influence, leadership and status, and social cohesion and commitment processes in small groups.

  • 3
    credits

    The role of gender in shaping contemporary North American patterns of employment, occupational roles, and statuses.

General Education Requirements

Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Foundations: 15 credits  
    All courses require a grade of C or better. Inter-Domain courses may not be used for foundations requirements. 
    • Writing/Speaking: 9 credits 
    • Quantification: 6 credits 
      3-6 credits are selected from mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics; 3 credits may be selected from computer science or symbolic logic. 
  • Knowledge Domains: 15 credits  
    Inter-Domain courses may not be used for knowledge domain requirements.
    • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits 
    • Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits 
    • Arts (GA): 3 credits 
    • Humanities (GH): 3 credits 
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits  
  • Integrative Studies: 6 credits
    • Inter-Domain course work: 6 credits  
  • Exploration: 9 credits 
    • Natural Sciences (GN) (may be Inter-Domain): 3 credits
    • GA, GH, GN, GS, and Inter-Domain courses: 6 credits  
      May include 3 credits of World Language course work beyond the requirements of the student’s degree program or at the 12th credit level, whichever is higher.

These General Education Requirements are for students who started in summer 2023 or later. Students who started earlier can review the prior version of the general education requirements

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Start or Advance Your Career

A team of business professionals listening to a woman speak in a meeting

You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.


Job Titles Related to This Degree

The following roles are often held by people with this type of degree:

  • Communications Coordinator
  • Corporate Communications Specialist
  • Grant Writing Specialist
  • Marketing Communications Specialist
  • Media Relations Specialist
  • Speech Writer
  • Technical Writer
  • Web Content Writer

Employment Outlook for Occupational Fields Related to This Degree

Estimates of employment growth and total employment are provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and are subject to change. While these occupations are often pursued by graduates with this degree, individual outcomes may vary depending on a variety of factors. Penn State World Campus cannot guarantee employment in a given occupation.

Public Relations Specialists

6.1%
employment growth (10 years)
264,750
total employment

Fundraisers

5.2%
employment growth (10 years)
94,630
total employment

Technical Writers

6.9%
employment growth (10 years)
48,620
total employment

Writers and Authors

3.7%
employment growth (10 years)
54,010
total employment

News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists

-3.3%
employment growth (10 years)
44,530
total employment

Editors

-4%
employment growth (10 years)
101,430
total employment

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

Student having a virtual meeting on a laptop with a career counselor

From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

Additional Job Fields and Opportunities

The organizational and professional communication degree could be of particular interest if you want to pursue graduate studies or if you currently work in a more specialized technical field. 

The program's flexibility could also prepare you for a career in:

  • law
  • business communication
  • health administration
  • social services
  • human relations

Prospective careers could include communications consultant, human resources manager, public information officer, nonprofit program officer, public interest advocate/lobbyist, corporate trainer, development officer, market researcher, and conflict resolution specialist.

Ready to Learn More?

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Apply by March 15 to start May 13. How to Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

Learn about this program's tuition, fees, scholarship opportunities, grants, payment options, and military benefits.

Costs and Financial Aid

Undergraduate Tuition

Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State.

Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$626 per credit$671 per credit
12–19$7,602 per semester$8,206 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$632 per credit$678 per credit
12–19$7,678 per semester$8,288 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

A Degree to Meet Your Needs: B.S. or B.A.

The Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Organizational and Professional Communication are both 120-credit programs, with the same General Education requirements and the same prescribed course work.

In the B.S. program, students select additional course work in areas closely related to the major. The B.A. program takes a more expanded focus, allowing students to study a foreign language and take supporting course work in global culture and humanities.

When choosing which program best meets your needs, consider your personal interests and strengths, professional aspirations, and plans for graduate school. If you have prior learning experience, earlier course work may be considered toward degree requirements.

Set Your Own Pace

Adult student doing course work online while a child plays nearby

Whether you are looking to finish your program as quickly as possible or balance your studies with your busy life, Penn State World Campus can help you achieve your education goals. Many students take one or two courses per semester.

Our online courses typically follow a 12- to 15-week semester cycle, and there are three semesters per year (spring, summer, and fall). If you plan to take a heavy course load, you should expect your course work to be your primary focus and discuss your schedule with your academic adviser. 

To Finish Your Degree in Two to Three Years

  • Take 6 courses each semester

To Finish Your Degree in Three to Four Years

  • Take 4–5 courses each semester 

To Finish Your Degree in Five or More Years

  • Take 2–3 courses each semester

Convenient Online Format

This program's convenient online format gives you the flexibility you need to study around your busy schedule. You can skip the lengthy commute without sacrificing the quality of your education and prepare yourself for more rewarding career opportunities without leaving your home.

A Trusted Leader in Online Education

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Penn State has a history of more than 100 years of distance education, and World Campus has been a leader in online learning for more than two decades. Our online learning environment offers the same quality education that our students experience on campus.

Information for Military and Veterans

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Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or a military spouse? Please visit our military website for additional information regarding financial aid, transfer credits, and application instructions.

How to Apply to Penn State

A new student holding a sign that reads, We Are Penn State and #PennStateBound

Apply by March 15 to start May 13

Application Instructions

Deadlines and Important Dates

Complete your application and submit all required materials by the appropriate deadline. Your deadline will depend on the semester you plan to start your courses.

  • Summer Deadline

    Apply by March 15 to start May 13
  • Fall Deadline

    Apply by June 30 to start August 26
  • Spring Deadline

    Apply by October 31, 2024, to start January 13, 2025

New students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by March 1. Please visit the Office of Student Aid website for more information about applying for financial aid and recommended deadlines.

Steps to Apply

  1. To apply for this program, you must be a high school graduate, or have completed your GED.

  2. You will need the following items to complete your application:

    High school transcripts or GED transcript — First-year applicants are required to submit Self-Reported Academic Records (SRAR) when applying. Official high school transcripts for first-year applicants will only be required at the time a student accepts an offer of admission to Penn State.

    Transfer international students will need to submit their high school transcript before their application can be reviewed.

    Official college or university transcripts and/or official military transcripts (if applicable) — All college or university transcripts are required regardless of the length of time that has passed, the grades earned, or the accreditation of the institutions attended. Acceptance of transfer credit toward your degree is subject to final approval by the academic department. For detailed information, see the Transfer Students page.

    Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation.

    English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Language Proficiency section on the Undergraduate Admissions International Requirements page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

  3. To begin the online application, you will need a Penn State account.

    Create a New Penn State Account

    If you have any problems during this process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

    Please note: Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application or create a new Penn State account. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.

  4. Accessing MyPennState

    The MyPennState Portal provides access to our online admissions services. Before accessing MyPennState, you must have a Penn State account that will be used to access all Penn State systems. After creating an account, you will receive a unique Penn State User ID. You will need to enter your User ID followed by @psu.edu when signing in to MyPennState and other Penn State sites. For example, you should be entering something like '[email protected]' in the Sign In field.

    The application consists of six sections:

    1. Application Setup
    2. Program of Study
    3. Citizenship and Residency
    4. Academics and Experience
    5. Miscellaneous
    6. Review and Submit
    Application Setup
    • Be sure to select "Online" for the "How would you like to complete your degree" question if you plan to attend Penn State World Campus.

    • The rest of this section will ask some basic questions about your education experience and military affiliation.

    Program of Study
    • You will choose the degree type and then the starting semester.

    • Your starting campus will be selected as Penn State World Campus by default as long as you picked "Online" in your Application Setup. Click Continue.

    • On the Choose a Program page, select your intended major from the list.

    • Review your selection on the summary screen and click Continue to move on to the Citizenship and Residency section.

    Citizenship and Residency
    • Complete the series of questions about your citizenship status, demographic information, Pennsylvania residency status, and family history.

    Academics and Experience
    • You will need to enter academic experience information about your high school and any attempted courses at a college or university after high school.

    • The Education Gap Statement offers a place to explain any time that has elapsed between your high school graduation and your anticipated enrollment at Penn State. Please provide a summary of why that gap occurred. Some examples that would explain a gap in your education include work, family, attending another college or university, etc.

    Miscellaneous
    • In the Miscellaneous section, you will provide any program-specific requirements (e.g., a personal statement), information about activities, and financial aid information.

    Review and Submit

    Review your information, digitally sign your application, and provide payment for the application fee ($65 domestic or $75 international).

    High School Transcripts and Academic Record
    • After your application is completed, you will also need to self-report your high school course work before the application deadline. You will be directed to fill out the Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR). It is helpful to have a high school transcript available when completing this section. In the third section, you'll select your program of study and campus.

    • Official high school transcripts or GED transcript, along with records from high school, are required, regardless of the length of time that has passed.

    • Include any college/university transcripts (required), military transcripts, and Proof of English Language proficiency (if applicable). SAT/ACT scores are not required if you are identified as an adult learner or transfer student.

    All official documents should be sent to: 

    Undergraduate Admissions Office
    The Pennsylvania State University
    201 Shields Building
    University Park, PA 16802

    You can also have your transcripts sent electronically through Parchment, eScript-Safe, or the National Clearinghouse directly to Penn State from the college/university where course work was attempted.

    Acceptance

    After receiving your application, application fee, and all required materials, your application will be evaluated for admission. You can check your application status online. This will provide the most up‐to‐date information about the status of your application and is updated once daily, before 8:00 a.m. (ET). Once a decision has been made regarding your application, it will be available to you through the MyPennState portal.

    For information on when you can expect an admissions decision, visit the Dates and Deadlines page of the Undergraduate Admissions website. Make sure you click the "+" sign to see these dates for World Campus Applicants (First-Year and Transfer).

  5. 5. Complete the application.

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

Contact Us

Customer service representative wearing a headset

Have questions or want more information? We're happy to talk.

To learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Organizational and Professional Communication, please contact:

World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: 814-863-5386
Email: [email protected]

Learn from the Best

This program will give you the opportunity to study with well-respected faculty from Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts, one of the premier liberal arts institutions in the world.

Faculty

  • Kurt Braddock

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Communication Arts and Sciences, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., Communication, University of Delaware
    • Degree
      B.A., Business Management, The College of New Jersey

    Dr. Kurt Braddock is an assistant teaching professor of communication arts and sciences and homeland security. His research centers on the persuasive tactics employed by terrorist groups to radicalize and recruit fighters, as well as how persuasion strategies can be used for counter-radicalization. He teaches Violence and Threats; Radicalization, Counter-Radicalization, and De-radicalization; Disaster Communication; and Effective Speech: Group Communication.

  • Kristin Mathe Coletta

    Kristin Mathe Coletta studies the rhetorical dynamics and techniques that bring certain social policies into being. Her research focuses on social movements of homeless and working-class individuals. She approaches these movements by looking at the perspectives of participants, leaders within movements, and policy makers. Her dissertation considered to what extent democratic practices can extend into the workplace without undermining the stability of government. She considered historical moments in which the rights of public workers to organize, strike, and/or bargain collectively were called into question.

  • Lyn Freymiller

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    • Degree
      B.A., University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

    Dr. Lyn Freymiller is particularly interested in studying media portrayals of underrepresented or socially stigmatized populations, both in terms of the portrayals themselves and the cultural impacts of such representation. His research involves rhetorical analysis of texts (most notably television programs) and qualitative research methods such as interviewing. Dr. Freymiller has presented his research at professional conventions across the country and is also represented in publications. He has received formal recognition on several occasions for teaching excellence and his contributions to the education of undergraduates at Penn State.

  • Amanda Goodwin

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., University of Maine
    • Degree
      B.A., University of Connecticut

    Dr. Amanda Goodwin is a communication scientist with expertise in the area of interpersonal communication. She teaches courses on interpersonal communication (CAS 203), human communication (CAS 101), conflict resolution (CAS 404), effective speech (CAS 100A, CAS 100B, CAS 100A for engineers), small group communication (CAS 100B, CAS 250), and organizational communication (CAS 352).

  • Christopher Kroft

    • Degree
      D.Ed. course work, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.L.A., Johns Hopkins University
    • Degree
      B.A., York College of Pennsylvania

    Dr. Christopher Kroft studies the communication experiences of adults with mood disorders. He is particularly interested in how adults with bipolar spectrum disorder communicate during euthymic mood states. His research also investigates the ways in which students with cognitive disabilities approach higher education courses in communication. He has previously worked within the Department of Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, and he volunteers his time with Consumer Satisfaction Services of Harrisburg, an organization that studies relapse among patients receiving mental health treatment.

  • Matthew Lamb

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Bowling Green State University
    • Degree
      M.A., Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
    • Degree
      B.A., Purdue University

    Dr. Matthew Lamb conducts research at the intersections of urban communication, architectural theory and criticism, performance studies, cultural studies, and philosophies centering on the production of space. Primarily, his research focuses on architecture's place in communication processes, which produce understandings of how to use and efforts to control and frame interpretations of the moving body in city space. Dr. Lamb’s work has been featured in Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies, Journal of Urban Cultural Studies, Communication and Sport, and others. He is also a regular attendee and active participant with the Urban Communication Foundation.

  • Erina MacGeorge

    • Degree
      Ph.D., University of Illinois
    • Degree
      B.A., University of Alaska

    Dr. Erina MacGeorge is a social scientist specializing in interpersonal and health communication. Her research examines social support and social influence, with a particular focus on advice. Her work includes the development of Advice Response Theory, which explains advice outcomes for recipients as a function of message, adviser, situation, and recipient characteristics. Recent research examines advice between doctors and parents about childhood antibiotic use, breast cancer patients making surgical decisions with input from their social network, and college student friends coping with everyday problems.

  • Ines Meyer-Hoess

    • Degree
      M.A., American University, School of International Service
    • Degree
      M.A., Boise State University
    • Degree
      M.A., University of Vienna

    Ines Meyer-Hoess is the lead faculty and organizer of the department's study abroad program in Vienna, Austria. She worked as a political consultant before attending the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C., where she focused on international politics and international communication. What she finds most rewarding is the opportunity to connect with the many dedicated, hardworking Penn State students she teaches online, on campus, and abroad.

  • Marcy Milhomme

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., Suffolk University
    • Degree
      B.A., Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

    Dr. Marcy Milhomme's pedagogy is largely informed by an epistemological underpinning of sociological factors that powerfully shape and affect civil discourse. In the classroom, students are encouraged to contextualize communication based on the probable needs of one's audience, appropriate problem-solving strategies, identification of policy instruments, and the ethics of deliberative speaking. She integrates classical rhetorical strategies, such as Aristotle's Appeals, historically significant rhetorical events, and contemporary phenomena like that found in "hashtag activism." Her passion for teaching relies upon high levels of student engagement and student growth as consumers and technicians of the rhetorical situation.

  • Elizabeth Mills

    • Degree
      M.A., Ball State University
    • Degree
      B.A., Ball State University

    Elizabeth "Betsy" Mills' teaching interests center on making her classroom a welcoming and productive space for students, reaching them across the globe through Penn State World Campus, and raising their sense of civic duty, both during the semester and beyond it. She also serves as an affiliate member on the Penn State President's Commission for LGBTQ Equity.

  • Peter Miraldi

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Kent State University
    • Degree
      M.A.C.T.M., Cleveland State University
    • Degree
      B.A., Cleveland State University

    Dr. Peter Miraldi has been teaching communication, conflict management (e.g., CAS 404), and presentation skills (e.g., CAS 100) for more than 15 years at colleges and universities. Dr. Miraldi has taught several courses and workshops on public speaking, group communication, mediation, and technical presentation. In addition, he has served as a judge for several public speaking competitions, including the Speak for Peace: MLK Oratorical Contest and the New York Times’ Civic Engagement Public Speaking Contest. He serves as the lead speaker consultant for TEDxPSU.

  • Karen Peters

    Degree
    Ph.D., Penn State
  • Robert Richards

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Penn State
    • Degree
      J.D., University of Virginia
    • Degree
      M.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    • Degree
      M.A., University of Iowa
    • Degree
      B.A., Yale University

    Dr. Robert Richards studies legal and political communication and information. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, he conducts research on ordinary citizens' legal communication, legal information intermediaries such as lawyers and legal journalists, and legal information systems. He also studies deliberative democratic theory. His dissertation concerns how legal information about ballot initiatives is communicated to voters.

  • Denise Solomon

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Northwestern University
    • Degree
      M.A., Northwestern University
    • Degree
      B.A., Lewis & Clark College

    Dr. Denise Solomon is a communication scientist with expertise in interpersonal communication. Her research focuses on communication experiences in personal relationships, such as support and conflict, which enhance or erode well-being. Dr. Solomon developed the relational turbulence model, which describes how transitions in romantic relationships promote relationship qualities that polarize cognitive, emotional, and communicative reactions to both ordinary and extraordinary experiences. The relational turbulence model has been used to gain insight into how people experience breast cancer survivorship, cope with infertility, and navigate post-deployment military family life.

  • Ellen Taricani

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Penn State
    • Degree
      Master's Certificate, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., Penn State
    • Degree
      B.S., Indiana University of Pennsylvania

    Dr. Ellen Taricani’s scholarly explorations include a capacious range of topics related to learning and communication integration. Many of the publications relate to topics ranging from connected life online to cognitive mapping and to learning design, as well as social media applications and influence. She is interested in finding ways to capture structural knowledge and making connections both online and face-to-face.

  • Tara Traeder

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., Emerson College
    • Degree
      B.A., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

    Dr. Tara Traeder has been studying and practicing health communication for more than a decade. Her research has predominantly focused on cancer communication, with specific focus on disparities in cancer prevention rates and breast cancer communication with nurse navigators. She is a supporting author on two publications in the Journal of Health Communication and Health Communication, both of which consider genetic determinism in single-gene disorders. Future research endeavors will consider the use of technology as a tool for discharge planning in hospitalized heart disease patients, with a focus on reducing readmission rates.

  • Amber Walker Jackson

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Penn State
    • Degree
      M.A., University of Arkansas
    • Degree
      B.A., Columbus State University

    Dr. Amber Walker Jackson studies family and relational communication, focusing primarily on parent-child communication. She often teaches courses in public speaking (CAS 100), communication and technology (CAS 283), and communication and conflict (CAS 404). She is a recipient of the Cynthia Finch Award for Teaching Excellence. In addition to teaching and scholarship, Dr. Jackson is involved in the oversight of Penn State World Campus courses and degree programs for the department.

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