Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania

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There are multiple Annenberg Schools. For the communications school at USC, see USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. See also Annenberg (disambiguation).
Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania
ASC at Penn.jpg
The Walnut Street entrance to the school
Parent institution
University of Pennsylvania
PresidentAmy Gutmann
DeanJohn L. Jackson Jr.
Academic staff
Administrative staff
3620 Walnut Street
, , ,
ColorsRed and Blue[1]
AffiliationsUniversity of Pennsylvania
Annenberg School for Communication.svg

The Annenberg School for Communication is the communication school at the University of Pennsylvania. The school was established in 1958 by Wharton School alum Walter Annenberg as the Annenberg School of Communications. The name was changed to its current title in 1990.


Walter Annenberg founded the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 1958.[2] The school, whose first class began in 1959, was initially a master's-only program.[3] The first Annenberg students were admitted in the Fall semester of 1959 and graduated in the Spring semester of 1960.[4]

Gilbert Seldes was the first dean at the school, serving from 1959 until 1963.[3][5][6] George Gerbner, an advisor to communications commissions and a major contributor to cultivation theory, became dean in 1964.[7] He founded the Cultural Indicators Project in 1967,[8] measuring trends in television content and how it shaped perceptions of society.[9][3][10] The Annenberg School launched its doctoral program in 1968.[3][11] The school retained ownership of the Journal of Communication from 1974 to 1991, which was published by Penn while Gerbner was editor.[3][12][13] Dean George Gerbner held the post until 1989.[3][9]

Kathleen Hall Jamieson was dean from 1989 to 2003.[14] In 1989, the Annenberg School and Oxford University Press published the four-volume International Encyclopedia of Communications, the first broad-based attempt to survey the entire communication field.[15] In 1990, the school changed its name to Annenberg School for Communication.[16] During Jamieson's deanship, the school received two large endowments from the Annenberg Foundation. In 1993, Walter and Leonore Annenberg, through their foundation, granted Penn $120 million to endow the school and establish the Annenberg Public Policy Center.[2] In 2002, the Annenberg Foundation gave $100 million to the school for scholarships, faculty chairs, and classroom refurbishment.[17][18][19] Also during this time, the Annenberg School ended its master's program, with prospective students only being able to apply to their doctoral program.[3]

After Jamieson stepped down as dean in 2003, the school named Michael X. Delli Carpini to the position.[20] In 2017, after leaving the Obama Administration, former Vice President and future President of the United States Joe Biden became the Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor at the Annenberg School, and also joined the Annenberg Public Policy Center and the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, which is a research center principally focused on diplomacy, foreign policy, and national security, in Washington, D.C.[21] Dean Michael X. Delli Carpini's term was extended until 2018.[22] In 2019, John Jackson became the new dean at Annenberg.[3]


Annenberg School's faculty and staff primarily work in the following core research areas:[23]

  • Activism, communication and social justice
  • Communication neuroscience
  • Critical journalism studies
  • Culture and communication
  • Digital media and social networks
  • Global and comparative communication
  • Health communication
  • Media and communication effects
  • Media institutions and systems
  • Political communication
  • Visual communication

Annenberg School offers a five-year doctoral program.[24][25] Annenberg also offers a joint doctoral degree in communication and political science.[26] The school hosts postdoctoral fellowships and visiting scholars.[27]

Notable faculty[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Logo & Branding Standards". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Sontag, Deborah (20 June 2017). "Publisher gives $365 million to 4 schools". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Mission & History". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Mission & History". Annenberg School for Communication. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  5. ^ Conn, Charis (22 February 2013). "A 'lively' rant on popular film, McCarthyism, and genre fiction". WNYC. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  6. ^ Lyle, Anthony A. (29 April 1959). "Author, critic, Seldes is appointed director of Annenberg School". The Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Dr. Gerner to assume post as Annenberg dean". The Daily Pennsylvanian. 7 April 1964. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  8. ^ Gerbner, George; Gross, Larry (1976). "Living With Television: The Violence Profile". Journal of Communication (Spring 1976): 174.
  9. ^ a b Oliver, Myrna (29 December 2005). "George Gerbner, 86; educator researched the influence of TV viewing on perceptions". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  10. ^ Gerbner, George (1998). "Telling Stories, or How Do We Know What We Know? The Story of Cultural Indicators and the Cultural Environment Movement". Wide Angle. 20 (2): 116–131. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Annenberg to offer Ph.D in communications". The Daily Pennsylvanian. 21 February 1968. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  12. ^ Bochner, Arthur (1977). "Whither Communication Theory And Research?". Quarterly Journal of Speech. 63 (3): 328–329. doi:10.1080/00335637709383392.
  13. ^ Levy, Mark R. (1992). "Editor's note". Journal of Communication. 42 (1): 3–4. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.1992.tb00764.x.
  14. ^ "The Pennsylvania Scholars Series" (PDF). ESU Scholar. 2012. p. 58. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  15. ^ Wilhoit, Frances Goins (1991). "Book reviews: International Encyclopedia of Communications". American Journalism. 8 (4): 275–277. doi:10.1080/08821127.1991.10731387.
  16. ^ "Archival Collections: Annenberg School for Communication Records, 1958 - 1990". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  17. ^ June, Audrey Williams (19 September 2002). "Annenberg Foundation gives $100-million each to Penn and the U. of Southern California". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  18. ^ Trounson, Rebecca (19 September 2002). "Foundation to give USC $100 million". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  19. ^ "Annenberg Foundation gives two schools $100 million each". The Wall Street Journal. 19 September 2002. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  20. ^ "Jamieson steps down as dean at Penn's Annenberg School". The Associated Press. 29 April 2003. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  21. ^ "Vice President Joe Biden Joins Annenberg as a Presidential Practice Professor". Annenberg School for Communication. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  22. ^ Cooperman, Harry (14 May 2014). "Annenberg dean extends term until 2018". The Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  23. ^ "Research areas". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  24. ^ "Graduate admissions". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  25. ^ "Graduate program". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  26. ^ "Joint degree with political science". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  27. ^ "University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School of Communication". National Communication Association. 2016-10-26. Retrieved 18 September 2017.

External links[edit]