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Ph.D. Communication

The doctoral program in Communication Washington State University provides world-class curriculum, faculty, and facilities to prepare students as scholars and educators. In our doctoral program, you will work with diverse faculty who study health communication, media, society, and politics or science communication.

Program Areas

Media & Health Promotion

Focuses on media messages and health behavior. This includes social level analysis of mainstream and alternative media as products of and influences on the health of individuals and society; individual level analysis of psychological processes through which health-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors are shaped; and the creation of messages related to health and social well-being, as well as how strategic messages campaigns can influence decision making and social development.

Media, Society, and Politics

Focuses on the role that communication plays in political institutions and in creating robust civic engagement. We examine political communication from multiple perspectives and examine the interplay of emerging technology, media, and communication with information seeking, processing, and decision making. Our research focuses on both individual and societal-level outcomes. Faculty and graduate students work in teams to test and develop theory related to political communication.

Science and Environmental Communication

Focuses on enhancing the relevance and accessibility of scientific information and local context needed for collaborative and sustainable resource management, especially among local populations most at-risk. The program focuses on environmental communication, natural or technological hazards and the use or communication of public policy. Faculty and students specialize in science education, communication campaigns, communicating risks, risk perception analysis, spatial modeling of vulnerability and adaptive capacity of the human population, audience segmentation, media analysis, and public engagement.

Apply to the Program

Visit the WSU Graduate School website to apply to the Murrow College of Communication Graduate Program

Apply at the WSU Graduate School

 

PhD Application Deadlines

Students are admitted to the PhD program for the Fall semester only. The program does not admit for Spring semester. The priority deadline for applications to the Murrow College of Communication Graduate Program is December 31 for admission the following fall.

Questions?

General questions about applications should be directed to Christine Curtis.

Christine Curtis
Graduate Coordinator, Student Services
509-335-5608

Student Learning Outcomes 

 

  • Knowledge of the field. Understand the breadth and depth of knowledge within the discipline, including current theories and methods and demonstrate competency in identifying and interpreting research on topics in communication.
  • Scientific reasoning and research process. Conduct independent research to identify research questions and hypotheses and design, execute, analyze, report on original research.
  • Communication. Communicate complex problems and research effectively to diverse audiences using appropriate media and communication tools.
  • Original scholarly contribution. Make original contributions to the discipline through presentations at academic conferences and publication in peer-reviewed academic outlets.
  • Teaching proficiency. Nurture and train graduate students to become effective teachers in the field of communication.

Student placing electrodes on subjects forehead

Program Requirements

Core 6 credits
COM 570Communication Theory3
COM 509Quantitative Research Methods3
Research Methods9
Major Area of Concentration
18 credits
Supporting Area
12 credits
COM 500Colloquium (8 x 1 credit)8
Dissertation Credits23
TOTAL:76 CREDITS

Note: 3 credits of independent study (S/F) may be substituted for three credits of graded coursework.  At least 21 out of the 30 credits from Major + Supporting Area must be from Murrow College.

Application Process

The application for admission is completed through the Washington State University Graduate School. All required test scores, forms, and transcripts must be submitted directly to the Graduate School. Supplemental materials indicated below should be sent to the Murrow College of Communication (address below).

Students are admitted to the Ph.D. program for the Fall semester only. The program does not admit for Spring semester. The priority deadline for applications to the Murrow College of Communication Graduate Program is December 31 for admission the following fall. The final deadline for applications is January 10.

Degree

Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Communication or related field. If your degree(s) is not in a related field, additional undergraduate coursework may be required. One set of official transcripts for each college or university you have attended. These must be sent directly from those institutions to the Graduate School. If you are currently attending Washington State University you do not need to have your transcripts sent.

(Note: Prospective international students must have the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from an approved institution.)

GRE:

Official GRE scores including Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing obtained within the last three years of the date of application. As a point of reference, the average GRE scores of successful PhD program applications in the past year were: verbal 156, quantitative 151, and analytical writing 3.7. WSU GRE code is 4705.

TOEFL:

For international students, a minimum *TOEFL score of:

  • Paper-based minimum score: 600
  • Computer-based minimum score: 250
  • Internet-based minimum score: 100

* Waived if applicant has received a U.S. degree within the last two years

Resume

A resume or curriculum vita

Recommendations

Submission of three letters of recommendation. The references should be from people who know you well, and who can comment on your academic ability. Please have these individuals send both a letter and the WSU reference form accessed through the WSU Application web page.

Personal Statement

A 1,000-word statement of purpose explaining your academic area of interest and why you feel The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University is a good fit for you. In that letter please discuss the personal, professional and academic factors that have prepared you to pursue a doctoral degree.

Supplemental

Submit any additional material you feel might enhance your application. Writing samples are particularly encouraged. Send supplemental material directly to the Murrow College of Communication.

 

Graduate School
Washington State University
French Administration Building
PO Box 641030
Pullman, WA 99164-1030
The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication
Washington State University
226 Murrow Hall East
PO Box 642520
Pullman, WA 99164-2520

Apply to the Program

Visit the WSU Graduate School website to apply to the Murrow College of Communication Graduate Program

Apply at the WSU Graduate School

 

Ph.D. Application Deadlines

Students are admitted to the Ph.D. program for the Fall semester only. The program does not admit for Spring semester. The priority deadline for applications to the Murrow College of Communication Graduate Program is December 31 for admission the following fall. The final deadline for applications is January 10.