Our faculty members are recognized nationally and internationally for outstanding research spanning political communication, media content and effects, communication law and ethics, rhetorical theory and criticism, communication history, and public relations. Our researchers have been part of nearly $4 million in external funding from several organizations, including the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, National Science Foundation, the Political Communication Research Foundation, Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation, the U.S. State Department, and the Hungarian-American Fulbright Association.
Communication Research Opportunities
You can register for our independent study or undergraduate research courses, which provide opportunities to complete a research project with the guidance of a faculty mentor. Ask your academic advisor for more information.
Department faculty are always interested in talking to students about their research. If you're curious about a professor's area of research, ask about pursuing a collaborative project.
In the University Honors Program you will complete a thesis to fulfill requirements for the “in Honors” or “Honors Baccalaureate” degrees. It is an excellent opportunity to develop and demonstrate your knowledge and to prepare for graduate study or careers requiring advanced research skills.
Presenting Your Research
Our research facilities consist of several experimental and observation rooms. The Virginia Tech Gaming and Media Effects Research Laboratory (VT G.A.M.E.R. Lab) is housed in Shanks Hall 033. The lab resembles a living-room setting and facilitates research investigating the social effects of video games and related media technology. Under the direction of assistant professor Dr. James D. Ivory, the lab conducts numerous research projects each year and hosts several research colloquia during spring semesters.
Research equipment contained in the labs includes the Biopac MP35 system with peripherals to measure skin conductance (EDA), electrocardiogram (ECG), facial electromyogram (EMG), electroencephalogram (EEG), noninvasive blood pressure, and push-button reaction time tasks. The research facilities also house Perception Analyzer real-time-response equipment, multiple large plasma-screen monitors, multiple video game console systems (e.g., PS2, Xbox360, Nintendo Wii, PS3), multiple presentation systems, networked laptop computer system, and dedicated internal wireless servers.
We also have an open space room where most group-administered research projects, such as computer-assisted experiments and surveys, focus groups, and projects using the Perception Analyzer, are conducted. The facilities include a two-way mirror, an observation room, and multi-purpose rooms designed to accommodate research projects involving individual or small groups of research participants.