Ph.D. Program


The doctoral program in Media and Communication (SMC) at BGSU is known for its balance in teaching and research, the diversity of its student body, and excellent record in graduate placement. The key commitment of the SMC faculty is to motivate and educate students to become independent intellectual leaders.

PH.D Information

Global Communication: Within the School of Media and Communication, the subject area of Global Communication is based on faculty research interests in international media and intercultural communication.

International Media: Faculty who study international media examine issues related to built environments, comparative broadcasting systems, information technology diffusion, international press, media globalization, political economy, and telecommunication networks. The faculty work from perspectives grounded in critical/cultural studies, media theory, and political economy.

Intercultural Communication: Faculty who research intercultural communication explore issues related to conflict, cross-cultural communication, domestic co-cultural groups within the United States, international intercultural communication, migration, and religion. The faculty conducts its research from theoretical perspectives such as critical theory, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, rhetoric, and interdisciplinary studies.

Public Communication: Many on the faculty teach classes and conduct research on the subject of Public Communication, which is based on their expertise in media & society and rhetoric.

Media & Society: Faculty who research media & society explore issues related to advertising, citizenship and the public sphere, documentary studies, journalism history, media and culture, media ecology, media geography, media history, media law and policy, media literacy, media management and economics, media technology, online journalism, political economy, and public relations. The faculty utilizes theories such as agenda setting, audience analysis, cultivation theory, cultural studies, media criticism, political economy, selective processes, social norms, and spiral of silence.

Rhetoric: Faculty who study rhetoric examine issues related to civil rights, democracy, globalization, peace and conflict, rhetorical criticism, rhetorical theory, social movements, and sport culture. The rhetoric faculty conducts research from perspectives such as critical/cultural studies, critical rhetoric, feminist critique, and textual analysis.

Development/Health Communication: Students can study the subjects of Development/Health Communication, which are based on faculty research concerning the role, place, process, and effects of media and communication in directed social change, health & wellness.

Development Communication: Faculty interested in development communication are engaged in finding a place and a role for media and communicative actions in efforts to tackle the challenges of underdevelopment, unequal development, and marginalization of millions of people and thousands of communities worldwide through a process of directed change. This necessitates a focus on media/ communication for development, empowerment, and social justice. The faculty approach such issues from perspectives grounded in development theory, diffusion of innovations, social marketing, critical/cultural studies, post-modern and post-structural theories, participatory action research, and political economy.

Health & Wellness: The faculty who research health & wellness investigates issues such as access to healthcare, body image, cultural difference, health campaigns and promotions, healthcare organizations, physician/patient interaction, relational health, and sexuality. The faculty works from perspectives grounded in critical theory, health consciousness, information processing, interpersonal communication, media effects, and social marketing.


A minimum of 64 credit hours: 48 hours of graded coursework & 16 hours of reading for dissertation

Core (12 hrs)

MC 6000 Introduction to Media and Communication
MC 6100 Philosophical Foundation of Communication


MC 6300 Social Scientific Research Methods


MC 6400 Humanistic Research Methods

Tool (9 hrs)

Graduate courses with focus on research methodology

Emphasis (12 hrs)

Graduate courses related to individual research and academic interests

Cognate/Elective (15hrs)

Graduate courses, inside or outside of the School, that complement the emphasis

Dissertation (16 hrs)

MC 7990 Dissertation Research


Additional Requirements:

  • A minimum of 3.0 cumulative GPA in all coursework
  • No incomplete grades in graduate coursework
  • Complete the degree within 8 years from the end of the semester of the first course
  • Continuous enrollment in consecutive Fall/Spring semesters (Summer optional)
  • Completed dissertation defended and uploaded by the Graduate College Deadline
  • Completed English Requirements (for international students. See ESOL courses and requirements)

Most students take 4 years to complete their degree: 2-3 years on coursework and 1-2 years on dissertation. 

  • Our students come from all over the world, including but not limited to Eastern Europe, Africa, Middle East, East Asia, South Asia, as well as rural, urban, and suburban USA. Doctoral students come with a wide range of backgrounds and are both traditional and non-traditional.
  • Recent Ph.D. dissertations have addressed a wide range of topics. Visit OhioLink Electronic Theses & Dissertations Center to view recently published work of our graduate students:,P6_ETD_INST_DEPTID:4,842
  • Recent graduates found employment at such institutions as Boise State University, Cedar Crest College, Central Michigan University, Cleveland Clinic, Coastal Carolina University, Fayetteville State University, Indiana University East, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Northern Michigan University, Saint Mary's College, SEE University in Macedonia, University of Michigan-Dearborn, University of Nebraska, Utah Valley University, American Academy on Communication in Healthcare, John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, and Lowes.