Areas of Academic Strength

Law, Government and Politics

This track offers graduate students with the opportunity to work with our nationally and internationally acclaimed faculty in First Amendment theory, media law and regulation, freedom of information, media-government relations and the role of the media in fostering democracy.

The College closely cooperates with the Dickinson School of Law, and students may—with prior approval from their adviser or committee—take course work in both units.

Research Specializations

  • Traditional First Amendment Theory
  • Libel
  • Privacy
  • Free Press-Fair Trial Issues
  • Freedom of Information
  • Legal Restrictions on Violent Video Games
  • Obscenity
  • Copyright
  • Media Role in Government and Politics
  • Telecommunications Regulation
  • Internet and New Technology Law


The faculty members who specialize in these areas have published widely and are among the leading researchers working in the field today. Collectively, this faculty group has published dozens of books and treatises, scores of journal and law review articles, and hundreds of reviews and commentaries in the nation’s leading newspapers and magazines. Additionally, they appear frequently as experts in the regional and national media. They serve as consultants to industry, international organizations, and government and are called upon to testify before state legislatures and Congress.

Research Centers

The College is home to the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment and the Institute for Information Policy. These organizations serve as centers for research and outreach. Research spearheaded by these organizations has been cited widely in the public policy realm, including in testimony to Congress and in briefs and petitions to the U.S. Supreme Court.