From the Dean

Diederich College of Communication website


Innovation and revolutionary changes are happening in the field of communication and students in the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication study and practice in this creative and exciting discipline. Through our academic programs, students actively engage with award-winning faculty and media professionals to integrate theory with new practices and develop critical thinking skills. With our state-of-the-art technology in emerging and multiplatform media, our location in the media center of a vibrant urban area, and opportunities to practice and train in diverse local and international communication venues, we are an exceptional place to study this challenging, creative and exciting discipline.

Students gain knowledge, skills and hands-on training across a wide range of communication interests – from developing marketing campaigns for non-profits to investigative in-depth reporting for online news sites, from designing sets for main stage theatre productions to creating a documentary film. Our eight degree programs in Advertising, Communication Studies, Corporate Communication, Digital Media, Journalism, Media Studies, Public Relations and Theatre Arts offer challenging and enlightening courses taught by outstanding faculty and professionals, as well as opportunities for hands-on experiences in student media, study abroad programs, professional internships, clubs and more.

What makes us unique? We’ve been providing journalism education for over 100 years. Our theatre and performing arts programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. A $28 million endowment from the Diederich family in 2005 not only enhanced our national reputation, but continues to enable us to enhance learning as well, by bringing outstanding leaders in communication into the classroom, keeping instruction and technology current, inviting guest directors and acting groups for theatre productions and supporting transformational experiences for our students. Exciting programs like the O’Brien Fellowship, Neighborhood News Service, Insight Summit Series and theatre for young audiences encourage public service and community outreach.

We stress the integration of theory and practice, working to build an understanding of human behavior, faith and culture. A degree from the Diederich College of Communication prepares students to use their communication skills to lead, inspire and make a difference.

Ana C. Garner, Ph.D.
Interim Dean, Diederich College of Communication

College Mission Statement

The Diederich College of Communication advances knowledge and prepares students for intellectual, artistic, professional and ethical leadership in a complex technological and multi-cultural world. The College uses a core of common knowledge, values and communication skills to improve understanding of communication as a cultural and social process and to develop the skills necessary for success in constantly changing information environments. Specifically, we are committed to learning centered on critical thinking, theoretical development, aesthetic judgment and evaluation, professional skills and standards, socio-cultural impact and relationships and the ethical and moral questions facing the field.