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PhD in Communication Studies

Our communication studies PhD program prepares you for a successful career in both post-secondary teaching and research. No matter which concentration you choose, this program emphasizes the connections between sub-fields of communication.

All PhD applicants must have previously completed an MA or its equivalent in communication studies; however, talented undergraduates entering the MA program may accelerate the MA/PhD program if all milestones are met. While requirements for the PhD can be completed within three years after the MA is completed, many students take four or even five years to finish. Students are currently guaranteed four full years of PhD funding past the MA (six years including the MA), and the department does everything possible to support students who require a full five years. We make every attempt to provide all of the support necessary for you to enroll in a timely fashion, complete your degrees, and gain meaningful academic employment. Transfer credits for equivalent graduate level work will be accepted.


Areas of Research Specialization

Critical Media Studies

Critical media studies approaches mediated communication as a cultural phenomenon, emphasizing media that are socially influential, economically powerful, and politically significant.

Rhetorical Studies

Rhetorical studies includes rhetorical criticism, rhetorical theory and public address, mass media criticism, and the history of public address.

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication focuses on social scientific research in communication studies. In addition to taking courses in communication theory, research methods, and statistics, students focus on relational communication, marriage and family communication, social support, mindfulness, small group communication, intercultural communication, and gender and linguistics. Students are expected to have a proclivity toward quantitative reasoning and statistical training upon entering the program and will advance their quantitative skills and statistical knowledge through coursework and directed research.

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