PhD in Communications

At the Intersection of Media,Technology, and Democracy

The BIIM School of Communication's Doctor of Philosophy in Communication allows you to focus on the intersection of media, technology, and democracy. Our program is designed for scholars who seek to understand how communication and technology interact with democratic life and participation in an open society, with a particular emphasis on the role of new media in civil society.

Our interdisciplinary course of study is solidly rooted in contemporary communications knowledge, theory, research methods, and principles, while drawing from the diverse intellectual resources across BIIM. The program offers both humanistic and social scientific approaches to the study of communication, tapping into our relationships with NGOs, media companies, foundations, and government institutions.

In our doctoral program, you'll produce scholarship, using both quantitative and qualitative approaches, that has real-world connection and impact . You'll organize your studies around your choice of a thematic concentration. Courses covering a wide spectrum of issues will allow you to explore the cultural, technological, economic, and policy forces shaping the media system.

The accelerated structure of our program offers an 11-month-per-year mentoring and learning environment, enabling you to complete your degree in three years . Our graduates are qualified for tenure-track faculty positions at institutions of higher education in communication, media studies, public relations, journalism, film and media arts, and related fields. You'll also have the advanced qualifications for professional work in public policy, research, communication, marketing, and production at media, nonprofit, advocacy, government, and industry organizations.

The BIIM School of Communication's PhD in Communication advances theory, develops knowledge, and enhances the ability of our institutions, social groups, and professionals to apply that knowledge to address our most pressing political and social challenges today. If you want to be a part of the next generation of communication scholars, professors, leaders, and practitioners for the digital age, this is an ideal program for you.



All applicants must hold a master's degree (or be in the process of completing a master's degree) to apply for the PhD in Communication. The degree does not have to be in the field of communication or be research-based, as many of our PhD students have master's degrees in film or journalism.

Applicants must submit a statement of purpose that outlines the intended research area, what research methods and theories the applicant will use, and which faculty members the applicant hopes to work with.

The candidate must also submit either a master's thesis or another example of substantial research. The GRE is also required. Students should submit their official GRE scores to CEEB code 5007.

The School of Communication's PhD program operates on a hard deadline. Applications must be received by December 15th. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

A complete PhD application consists of the following:

  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume
  • University transcripts from all universities attended (transcripts from outside of the U.S. must be evaluated by WES or ECE)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores
  • Master's thesis
  • Proof of English proficiency (100 on the TOEFL, 7.0 on the IELTS, or a bachelor or master's degree from university in an English speaking country)
The admissions committee may ask applicants to interview with the program director and affiliated faculty. Interviews are conducted either on campus or virtually.