Top PhD Programs in Communication: List of Schools

Jul 30, 2018

A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in the field of communication is for those who wish to pursue a career in teaching at the college or university level. Learn about the top communication Ph.D. programs in the nation, including degree offerings, program concentrations, and other distinctions.

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  • 0:03 School Overviews
  • 0:35 Columbia University in…
  • 1:18 University of Southern…
  • 1:54 Florida State…
  • 2:17 Top Communication…

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School Overviews

A Ph.D. in communications can be earned from several top schools in the country. Programs generally offer funding and research opportunities in addition to individualized paths of study and specialization. Three of the best places to earn a Ph.D. in communication are Columbia University, the University of Southern California, and Florida State University. These institutions offer accredited doctoral programs that allow students to select a concentration in the communication field to best suit their academic interests.

Columbia University in New York City

Columbia University's School of Journalism administers some of the top awards for written communication including the Pulitzer Prize and the Chancellor Award. The school features several research centers and institutes focusing on specific issues pertaining to media and communications, such as the Brown Institute for Media Innovation and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. The Ph.D. in Communication at Columbia University involves the study of several disciplines, including political science, anthropology, business, and film studies. Students create an individualized course of study and concentrate on specific areas pertinent to communications, such as history, sociology, or international affairs.

University of Southern California in Los Angeles

The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California offers a Ph.D. in Communication. The program provides an interdisciplinary focus on behavior in communication and has various areas of concentration, which include culture and community, information and political economy, health communication, rhetoric and political communication, and groups, organizations, and networks. Starting their second year, Ph.D. students have numerous opportunities for assistantships in research centers such as the Annenberg Innovation Lab and the Center for the Digital Future.

Florida State University in Tallahassee

At Florida State University, communication research areas include South Asian media studies, which focus on the emerging media industry in that region. The College of Communication and Information offers a Ph.D. in Communicaitons with areas of specialization including emerging communication technologies, social media, social movements, marketing communication, and media psychology.

Top Communication Ph.D. Programs

Let's discuss more schools with highly individualized, notable communications Ph.D. programs:

College/University Name Distinction Location
Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN Offers a Ph.D. in Communication and Culture, with areas of research including rhetoric and public culture, film and media studies, and performance and ethnographic studies
New York University New York, NY The communication Ph.D. program features areas of focus in technology and society, global and trans-cultural studies, visual culture and sound studies, critical theories of media and communication, and media institutions and politics
North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC Home to a Ph.D. in Communication Rhetoric and Digital Media; program faculty represent over a dozen research areas, including social networks and social media, game studies, visual rhetoric, and online information design
Purdue University West Lafayette, IN Students can pursue a Ph.D. in Health Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Organizational Communication, Public Relations, or Media Technology and Society
Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX Offers a Ph.D. in Mass Communications with courses focused on advertising, public relations, electronic media, and journalism
University at Buffalo Buffalo, NY The Department of Communication is home to the Communication Science Center, which focuses on applying quantitative research methods to the study of communication activities in such areas as law, health care, marketing, and law enforcement
University of California - San Diego La Jolla, CA Houses a communication department that explores race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, visual culture and communication, and disability studies
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Champaign, IL Doctoral students create an individualized study and research program specific to their interests
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA The Annenberg School for Communication provides graduate students with 100% funding for a total of five years of study, including money for research and travel to conferences both in the U.S. and abroad

To summarize, communications Ph.D. programs are offered by several top schools in the country, all with a high degree of personalization for students to build the best education for their futures.

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