There are no Ph.D. programs specifically in visual communication, but interested students can pursue a Ph.D. in Communication or Rhetoric and Communication with a concentration in visual communication. Other specialization options include strategic communication and media arts. Over the course of these programs students learn about societal communication factors, media, community, culture, rhetoric and politics. Students in these programs can expect to take theoretical coursework (although some credits may be transferred from master's degree coursework) and conduct independent research that leads to a final dissertation. These programs usually take one to five years to complete.
In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's and master's degree, and many schools give preference to applicants with several years of previous work experience. Students must also submit a statement of purpose, examples of scholarly writing, a resume, and letters of recommendation.
Doctoral programs in Visual Communication
Coursework in these programs generally consists of core requirements and electives in the student's chosen concentration. Common classes include:
- Research methods
- Teaching approaches
- Mass communication studies
- Theory of mass communication
- Visual Communication
Popular Career Options
Most graduates pursue research and teaching positions at colleges and universities. They may also pursue these careers in an industrial or business environment.
To summarize, Ph.D. programs in Communications give students the chance to take advanced courses and conduct in-depth research into a particular area of interest, such as visual communications.