School of Media and Communication
The doctoral program in Media and Communication is designed to prepare students for a career in scholarship, academic research, and teaching at the university and college levels. The courses in the program, as well as the experience of writing a dissertation, provide doctoral students with a deeper understanding of theories related to media and communication, as well as more specific subject areas related to the graduate faculty’s areas of expertise. Ultimately, the doctoral program will help students to build an expertise that will guide their research and teaching throughout their careers. In addition, courses in the program help to hone doctoral students’ research skills necessary for rigorous scholarship.
The doctoral program in the School of Media and Communication (SMC) is known for its excellent placement records; its balance in teaching, research, and service; and the diversity of its student body. The key commitment of the SMC faculty is to motivate and educate students to be independent intellectual leaders and professionals. A full listing of our faculty can be found on our faculty web page. The faculty within the School of Media and Communication specialize in the following Areas of Research:
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 approaches 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.
Students accepted into the doctoral program are required to take the following core courses:
MC 6000: Introduction to Media & Communication
MC 6100: Philosophical Foundations of Communication
MC 6300: Social Scientific Methods
MC 6400: Humanistic Research Methods
MC 6200: Communication Pedagogy (required for students funded as teaching assistants).
Students will also work with an adviser to assemble a program of study from coursework that is offered over the course of two academic years. Graduate coursework in the School of Media and Communication focuses on the following areas: Global Communication, Public Communication, and Development/Health Communication. The program of study includes emphasis courses, research tools courses, and cognate or elective courses. Emphasis courses are those courses that are related to the students' specific research and academic interests. Tools courses are method courses (and in some cases theory courses) that prepare the student for their dissertation research. The cognate courses constitute courses outside the School that supplement a students' emphasis. Those students who do not choose to engage in a cognate may choose to take additional emphasis courses within the School that will supplement or strengthen their emphasis.