The University of Wisconsin-Madison was one of the first American universities to establish a program in communication, and the Department of Communication Arts has taken a leading role in the development of the discipline throughout its history. The department features undergraduate concentrations in Communication Science & Rhetorical Studies and Radio, Television & Film alongside graduate programs in Film, Media & Cultural Studies, Rhetoric, and Communication Science. Students are offered both studies and media production courses.
Part of the university's College of Letters & Science, the department houses the Center for Communication Research and is affiliated with the UW Cinematheque, the Wisconsin Film Festival, the Digital Studies Initiative, the REDD Project (Research on Education, Deliberation, and Decision Making), and the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research (WCFTR). Scholarly outreach and publications hosted by the department include the media & cultural studies blog Antenna and the film & media studies journal The Velvet Light Trap (co-edited with the University of Texas-Austin).