Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Blair Thompson (Director), Dr. Angela M. Jerome, Dr. Kumi Ishii

Degree Program

Department of Communication

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This research examined how college students feel about their professors requesting them to be a Facebook friend. Recognizing the ways in which professors and students communicating through social networking could produce additional educational opportunities for collaboration and instruction, while also causing tension or awkwardness as the process develops. Semistructured interviews were utilized by the researcher to obtain information from the selected participants, and the data were analyzed by comparative methods. Through this study, it was revealed that students are split on the appropriateness of professors as Facebook friends. They prefer little to no self-disclosure from their professors. They do not see Facebook friendships with professors as an invasion of their privacy. Although most students believe Facebook can be an effective educational tool, there are mixed feelings whether using Facebook as an educational tool strips the site of its originally intended social purpose, most students will accept their professor’s Facebook request but only because they feel that they have to. This study extends the limited initial research on Facebook usage in education, namely with students.


Communication | Communication Technology and New Media | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Social Media