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History of the Department

The Department of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa traces its roots back to the Department of Speech, which became an autonomous department in 1920. Originally focused on elocution and debate, the department quickly added faculty and courses in drama and theatre, as well as audiology and speech disorders, becoming the Department of Speech and Dramatic Art in 1929. 

Throughout its history, the Department has served as an interdisciplinary hub for innovative teaching and scholarship, spawning the Department of Theatre Arts, the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, and the Department of Cinematic Arts over the years. Today, the Department continues this tradition of innovation in its curriculum, its research, and its collaborations across the campus and the world.

Communication builds worlds.

Dept timeline