The Communication Research Center (CRC) was established in 1959. The CRC pioneered the use of television as a research tool, conducting systematic analyses on the effects of television on children and measuring political opinions and voting intentions. This early beginning led the CRC to develop a specialty in survey research methodology.

The CRC was reorganized in 1994. At today’s Center, 22 research fellows study traditional and emerging media using qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Their work addresses both theoretical and applied problems, as well as the intersection of the two. In addition, several COM research faculty serve as editors of competitive peer-reviewed journals.