Mission | University of Portland


Communication & Media Department Mission

We seek to understand how people use symbols to construct knowledge, negotiate identities and exert influence. Thus we examine how humans create and share messages and negotiate meanings with others, rooted in our belief that human communication is central to sustaining diverse, just societies. The department is dedicated to educating students in the liberal arts tradition and producing knowledgeable, ethical, and responsible communicators who are skilled in all interactional arenas. 

How does this mission play out in our work at and beyond UP?

CST students at UP can specialize in organizational communication, journalism, rhetoric and media, or leadership, or tailor the degree to their particular aspirations. For example, CST graduates from UP work in health care, journalism, environmental policy, and political advocacy; mediate collective bargaining agreements, manage employees, coordinate events, write grants, create media products, develop fundraising for nonprofits; provide training, manage and design social media, and are public relations professionals and entrepreneurs. Given our program's global emphasis, our graduates also are sought for Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and other teaching positions; our students also frequently attend graduate school and law school. Students prepare through faculty-collaborative and independent research and applied communication coursework; via internships and other community-based learning; and in co-curricular activities such as our award-winning Speech and Debate Union. The department supports excellent teaching faculty who are active scholars committed to integrating social justice and reason in their work.