This specialization focuses on the study of how the communicative practices of relating in everyday life construct, shape, sustain, and change who we are as individuals and the quality of our lives as social beings. The program is centered on theory complemented by a multi-method commitment to both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Coursework in this area concentrates on the study of relationships—those familial, personal, social, and workplace bonds of which everyday life is comprised. 

Doctoral students are encouraged to take 3 courses each semester, drawing upon coursework in Interpersonal Communication & Relationships, as well as relevant coursework from the other two specializations in the department and from courses in cognate departments (including but not limited to Anthropology, Community & Behavioral Health, Education, Psychology, Social Work, and Sociology).

The next four-year rotation of coursework in Interpersonal Communication & Relationships tentatively includes:

  • Communication Theory
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Ethnographic Methods
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Family Communication
  • The Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication
  • Dialogic Communication
  • Communication & Narrative
  • Health Communication
  • Health Communication Campaigns
  • Constructs, Communication & Identity; Advanced Relational Theory
  • Persuasion Theories & Research
  • Communication, Cognition, & Emotion

Faculty Specializing in this Area

Shelly Campo

Shelly Campo, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Helen Lillie

Assistant Professor
Kate Magsamen-Conrad

Kate Magsamen-Conrad, Ph.D.

Rachel McLaren

Rachel McLaren, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Sylvia Mikucki-Enyart

Sylvia Mikucki-Enyart, Ph.D.

Associate Professor