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Interpersonal Communication

Why is this major important?

From speaking at the family dinner table to writing an email to business colleagues, effective communication is important. Interpersonal communication is the study of how we send and receive messages. Where two or more people are gathered, interpersonal communication is at play, helping us send and decode verbal and nonverbal cues. Many students who major in interpersonal communication pursue careers that rest on communicating efficiently, including human resources, recruiting, teaching and counseling.

What do our students learn?

Interpersonal communication students study the interplay between communication and relationships on both micro and societal levels. At the micro level, students develop analytic and communication skills needed to understand the process of relationship development, maintenance and deterioration. At the societal level, students acquire critical reasoning skills needed to interpret images and messages about families, teams and other small groups. In the classroom, we use a narrative, story-driven approach to help students understand core interpersonal communication theories.

Our interpersonal communication students are prepared for entry-level communication positions in organizations and for advanced research in communication studies and fields that analyze human behavior.

What makes us unique?

The Valenti School of Communication is nestled within one of the most diverse campuses in one of the most diverse cities in the country. Our students engage in discussions with classmates of varying backgrounds and life experiences. As a result, our students are uniquely situated to hone the interpersonal communication skills needed to negotiate and manage all types of relationships.

Class discussions focus on various challenging contexts, including end-of-life decisions, life transitions, family relations, and workplace conflicts.

Our interpersonal communication students learn

  • how to manage different personalities
  • how to understand and acknowledge diversity
  • how to utilize and respond to various communication styles
  • how to assess the challenges and opportunities in most situations and determine the viability of the given choices

Featured Courses

  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Family Communication
  • End-of-Life Communication
  • Crisis Communication

Want to learn more about the courses and requirements for this area of study?

Visit the UH Course Catalog.