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      1. ?
        Alert Banner

        On May 28, Chancellor Gary S. May wrote:

        “The events of this week also cause me to believe even more strongly, if that’s possible, in building an inclusive environment that recognizes and respects people of all backgrounds and experiences. I remain committed to that and hope you will do what you can to eliminate racism, sexism, and other negative influences on our progression as a nation.”

        We join Chancellor May in these efforts toward building diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment in the Department of Communication and at the University of California Davis. To learn more, including a list of resources are available for students in crisis, need of support, or who have experienced racism or bias, click?here.

        Important Covid-19 Information:

        In light of the Covid-19 situation, ?all UC Davis Spring 2020 course will move to virtual instruction. ?As a result, the department’s administrative functions have moved to remote work conditions until further notice. ?At this time, the preferred method of contact for departmental staff members is e-mail; please visit our?administrative staff contact page?for further information.

        Interpersonal Communication

        Elucidate the fundamental processes that underlying interpersonal communication and social interaction in face-to-face and mediated contexts...


        Scholars who study of interpersonal communication are interested in understanding how people engage in their relationships with others. Interpersonal communication includes the processes surrounding individuals’ social interactions with each other to modify rapport and accomplish goals. Interpersonal communication occurs in a variety of settings and across multiple contexts, both face-to-face and mediated.

        Topics common to interpersonal communication include the initiation, development, maintenance, and dismantling of personal relationships (e.g., friendships, romantic relationships, family relationships); social support, (cyber)bullying and other destructive patterns of interaction; emotional expression; nonverbal behavior; the use and interpretation of language; deception; compliance gaining; conflict management; doctor-patient interaction; cultural and contextual influences of social interaction; and social identity and communication.

        Interpersonal communication informs various contexts in which people manage their relationships and exchange and process information. Our students learn about interpersonal communication from scholars whose expertise spans various domains of communication and gain research skills in experimentation, surveys, content coding, network analysis, and others.


        ?Communication Faculty: Robert Bell, Bo Feng, Nicholas Palomares, Jorge Pe?a

        Affiliated Faculty: Jeff Sherman, Richard Kravitz, Steven Henry

        Ongoing Research Programs

        Our faculty are currently involved in the following research projects:

        • Supportive communication in online forums
        • Goal pursuit and understanding
          Advice communication in personal relationships
        • Health influence in close relationships
        • Relational escalation in friends and friends with benefits contexts
        • Effects of social identity primes on virtual conversations
        • Increasing confident public speaking using virtual reality
        • Physician-patient communication in decision making
        • Uncertainty and victims’ perceptions in bullying

        Relevant Courses


        CMN 210: Experimental Methods
        CMN 230: Social Interaction Theory and Research
        CMN 231: Tactics of Interpersonal Influence
        CMN 234: Intercultural Communication
        CMN 252: Computer-Mediated Communication
        CMN 280: Special Topics in Social Interaction

        "What can I do with this?"

        Students who focus on interpersonal communication will gain insight into the ways in which people engage in social interactions with each other, which provides a broad set of potential occupational applications. Careers in social media, consulting, law enforcement and legal field, health care, marketing, organizational development, public relations, and managerial relations fit well for PhD graduates. Academic jobs at teaching and research institutions are also excellent examples of what students who emphasize interpersonal communication can do.



        "My focus on interpersonal communication has provided me with the tools to be a successful communicator and jump-start my academic career. With the guidance of my faculty collaborators, I have learned to employ a variety of research methods, such as experiments and surveys, to understand cognitions related to romantic relationships and fundamental interpersonal processes."

        Dr. Cassie Alexopoulos
        Assistant Professor
        University of Massachusetts, Boston