Our Graduate Program

We are an international, interdisciplinary, boundary-spanning graduate program with a vision of social justice.

The emergence of Communication as a multifaceted social science discipline is connected with both the search for new perspectives on contemporary problems and the profusion of technologies of communication. Our graduate program approaches communication as the primary social process through which social realities are constituted, maintained, and changed. Those varied processes and contexts constitute the core of our work, with opportunities to pursue communication theory and research in the following areas:

  • Film Studies
  • Media Effects and Popular Culture
  • Media, Technology, and Society
  • Rhetoric and Performance Studies
  • Social Interaction and Culture

Our faculty offers a wide variety of methodological expertise, some resolutely social scientific, others rooted in the humanities, including but not limited to:

  • Critical text analysis
  • Performance studies
  • Ethnography
  • Survey/Experimental designs
  • Content analysis
  • Computational methods

Our doctoral program is known for:

  • R1-level research productivity
  • Interdisciplinary, boundary-spanning scholarship: our department is represented by scholars in humanities and social science, bringing in a diverse set of methodological knowledge in critical studies, ethnography, survey/experimental design, content analysis, and computational methods. Many faculty have relationships with programs and certificates across the university, and many of our graduate students pursue interdisciplinary certificates, including Feminist Studies, Film Studies, Ethnographic Research, and Data Analytics and Computational Social Science.
  • Social justice perspective that recognizes links between theory and practice, believing that knowledge matters outside of the academy
  • Comparative and international focus with many of our faculty being born and raised outside of the U.S. context.

Our graduate student body is known for:

  • Being diverse and international: Currently, We have 25 international and 18 domestic students. Our international students represent East Asia, Latin America, North America, Africa, Eastern Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. We have a graduate student organization Scholars of Color in Communication (SCC) that serves and supports graduate students, faculty, and staff of color in the Department including international scholars who do not identify with the racial majority in the United States.
  • A strong record of job placement: Based on our recent alumni survey, the majority of our PhD graduates (70%) are employed at universities in the U.S. and abroad. Of these 60% have secured tenure track academic appointments, split between the U.S. (43%) and abroad (17%). Our alumni teach and do research at large institutions ranging from Vanderbilt, University of Amsterdam, University of Limpopo, Toronto Metropolitan University, and University of Colorado-Boulder, to private colleges (Bentley, Wooster, Hampshire) and smaller state (Framingham, Western Washington) and private universities (Santa Clara, Sacred Heart) or community colleges (Northern Virginia, Berkshire).
  • A global alumni network: Our alumni can be found teaching, in research posts, and in other professional positions across the United States and around the world. Check out this list of recent alumni placements as well as this interactive Graduate Alumni Map to see where they are making an impact

For more information for prospective students, click here.