A-to-Z Index

Message from the Director

Welcome to the School of Communication Studies (SCOM) at James Madison University. 

Undergraduate programs in the School focus on the study of human communication in a variety of forms— advocacy, conflict, cultural, health, interpersonal, organizational, and public relations.  When prospective undergraduate students ask me what they can do with a degree in Communication Studies, I tell them what employers tell me.  In today’s job market and global communication environment employers are looking for college graduates who are excellent public speakers, who can write well, who are knowledgeable about a broad spectrum of topics, who can think critically, and who are engaged in/with the world round them.  Our innovative undergraduate curriculum provides the groundwork for students to achieve all of the above regardless of their specific concentration. SCOM does not “train” students for specific jobs in specific industries. Rather, we offer students a true liberal arts education from which they leave with the tools to succeed in a range of careers or advanced educational endeavors. 

In addition to our undergraduate programs, we are excited to welcome our first class of graduate students this fall!  Our new Master of Arts in Communication and Advocacy offers students a unique program in the area of advocacy studies—a rapidly growing area of study and practice that provides graduates with the tools to be voices for change in today’s world.

Our faculty are dedicated and experienced teachers—committed to academic rigor and intellectually challenging undergraduate and graduate students.  Many are active scholars, practitioners, or consultants who draw on their academic expertise and professional experience to inform their teaching. 

The School is also home to the nationally-ranked Individual Events and Debate Teams—both of which provide opportunities for students inside and outside of the School to become more effective communicators.  These are but two of the co-curricular opportunities offered to our students. 

Take a look around the site and learn about the exciting opportunities offered in SCOM at JMU!


Sharon R. Mazzarella, Ph.D.

Professor & Director