Prospective Graduate Students

We held a PhD program Information Session on Zoom on November 3, 2023. You can access the Google slides and the Zoom recording from our Application Process page.

The Communication PhD program at UMass Amherst approaches communication as the primary social process through which social realities are constituted, maintained, and changed. We research communication processes at global, national, institutional, group, and interpersonal levels. We promote a consciously critical disposition in communication research. We aim to address matters of pressing social and cultural concern through the lens of communication as a process essential to our survival as a species and a polity.

We offer a distinctive set of research areas, embracing interdisciplinarity and scholarly approaches spanning the social sciences and humanities. Our areas of focus include digital technology studies; film studies; media and cultural production; media effects; policy and the political economy of global communication; rhetoric and performance studies; and social interaction and culture. From these research traditions, there are several cross-cutting themes and urgent social issues we directly address in our work, including identities and social group formations, communication flows and networks, democracy and discourse, and media power and social justice.

Our scholarly activity spans written, creative, and outreach modes, taking a number of forms including performances, public speech, documentary and media making, and the writing of essays, articles, chapters, and books. We believe that knowledge matters outside as well as inside of the academy, and we actively pursue ways of engaging our work with the concerns, priorities, and actions of communities, advocacy organizations, policy making bodies, and the general public. Widely known for our profile in public and community engagement and for our commitment to teaching and learning and student support, we are a place where theory meets practice and ideas shape action.


To learn more about our program and the application process, visit the following links: