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Cathy Hughes School of Communications

The Cathy Hughes School of Communications (SOC) was founded in 1971, the same year as the debut of WHUR-FM. (WHUT began broadcasting in 1980.)

For nearly 45 years, the School has trained journalists and media communication professionals through six premier programs: advertising, audio production, journalism, media management, public relations and TV/film production. SOC graduates are known internationally for their leadership through communication research, professional practice, innovation, job creation, social justice and service.

Core Values

The SOC’s legacy of excellence is demonstrated by its track record of graduating the most African-American communications professionals; reputation as the program where the best students study communications; and engaged Board of Visitors, which assists with fundraising. SOC offers an academic environment that promotes high expectations, demands rigorous study and introduces innovative learning experiences.

The University’s first Marshall Scholar came from the School of Communications. The School’s outstanding professors are critical to the School’s culture of excellence. They include Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright recipients, prominent researchers, renowned authors and other media professionals.  

New Initiatives

SOC launched new degree programs following a University initiative called PCAR (President's Commission on Academic Renewal) that resulted in restructuring the School. New undergraduate departments of Media, Journalism and Film and Strategic, Legal and Management Communication as well as graduate departments of Communication, Culture and Media Studies and Communication Science and Disorders.


Giving Opportunities

Fundraising priorities include:

  • Student Aid Campaign / Support for existing; named scholarships
  • NewsVision (student-produced news broadcast)
  • MLK Forensics Team and Mock Trial
  • Student Study Abroad
  • 45th Anniversary Event
  • Naming Opportunities:
    • Dean's Conference Room
    • Screening Room West (SCRW)
    • Speech and Hearing Clinic
    • Studio A
    • Audio/Visual TechCenter
  • Media, Journalism and Film
  • Legal and Management Communication
  • Communication, Culture and Media Studies
  • Communication Science and Disorders


Alumni/Faculty/Student Accomplishments

  • Howard University Journalism program - "Ranked #17" in best Journalism programs in the country (USA Today)
  • HU School of Communications “Ranked 4th” for best schools for Media professionals (LinkedIn)
  • Stacey Roheman, 2016 Rhodes Scholar Finalist, senior Legal Communications major
  • Shani Hilton, alumna, is executive editor of BuzzFeed News, recognized by light in Marie Claire magazine’s "The New Guard: The 50 Most Influential Women in America."
  • Dr. Joan Cassandra Payne, ASHA Honors 2015. Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • Alumna Michelle Miller, Northeast Bureau Correspondent, CBS New York, 2015 Emmy for her correspondent role
  • Professor Yanick Rice Lamb won a 2015 NABJ Salute to Excellence award for work on “Dealing with Dementia: Caring for My Mother,” part of the website.
  • Alumnus Dr. George Daniels won the 2015 Scholastic Journalism Division’s “Robert P. Knight Multicultural Award” at the AEJMC 2015 convention
  • Alumna Ciara Allen won the  2015 Blackstar Film Festival in Philadelphia for Best Narrative Short: Black and Blue
  • Alumna Be Steadwell won the 2015 Blackstar Film Festival in Philadelphia for Best Experimental Short: Vow of Silence
  • Alumna Reina Martin is a 2015 Bronze Telly Winner at the 36th annual Telly Awards for the University of Maryland University College, UMUC Moments Campaign
  • Attorney Antonio  K, Kizzie, alumnus, 2015 recipient of 40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocates Awards by the National Bar Association
  • 100% Praxis exam pass rate Communications Sciences & Disorders

Division of Development & Alumni Relations
Howard University
1851 9th Street NW, 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20001