From Making Headlines to Making History: A Timeline of SMPA

Although it is relatively short, the School of Media and Public Affairs’ history is an illustrious one full of influential, pioneering achievements. As we take a moment to look back and reflect upon where we’ve been, let us remember that it’s our forward-thinking vision that got us to where we are in the first place. 

GW begins offering Journalism courses.

First degree issued in Radio/Television.

GW becomes the first university in the world to offer an undergraduate degree in Political Communication.

The Documentary Center is founded.

The National Center for Communication Studies is founded. It housed four programs: Speech Communication, Journalism, Radio/Television, and Political Communication. 

The Center is renamed by the Board of Trustees to become The School of Media and Public Affairs to reflect the department's vision for the future. Speech Communication becomes part of the current department of Organizational Sciences and Communication.

Radio/Television becomes the Electronic Media Program

SMPA launches the Masters in Media and Public Affairs program, melding elements of the three B.A. programs

Construction begins on the building designed to house, among other units, SMPA's programs, faculty, classes and video studio facilities. The building was dedicated in 2001.

Electronic Media and Digital Arts (EMDA) program ends; The Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communicationlaunches

The Documentary Center becomes a part of SMPA in September.

Center for Innovative Media founded. The Institute for Public Diplomacy partners with the Elliott School of International Affairs and SMPA to launch an MA in Global Communication.  The Institute changes name to Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication.

 Planet Forward joins the Documentary Center as part of the Center for Innovative Media.

The Media and Public Affairs MA evolves focus and changes name to Media and Strategic Communication.

SMPA celebrates its 25th anniversary