Why Choose UC?

Top Five Reasons to Choose our Program

  1. External reviews rate UC as having one of the best Masters-only programs in the country.
  2. Faculty includes top scholars in:
    • Organizational Communication
    • Health & Environmental Communication
    • Media Studies
    • Culture, Diversity & Globalization
    • Interpersonal Communication
  3. Small program facilitates strong faculty-student relationships, amazing sense of community, and many research and professional opportunities.
  4. Program offers a strong communication foundation that can be customized to your interests through elective choices and research and internship opportunities. Our Thesis and Praxis options are excellent preparation for doctoral study or professional careers.
  5. Graduate assistantships give students the opportunity to teach their own course sections or develop professional experiences.

Recent Graduate Student Research Accomplishments Awards

  • Sarah Jernigan, College of Arts & Sciences Graduate Teaching Award, 2015-2016
  • Keally DeWitt (Class of 2011) received a Top Student Paper award from the Environmental Communication Division of the National Communication Association in 2010. "The (Priestly) Voice of the Scientist in the Climate Change Debate: A Rhetorical Analysis of Dr. James Hansen's 'Global Warming Twenty Years Later: Tipping Points Near.'"
  • Hannah Bush, Presidential Fellowship from the University of South Florida in 2016
  • Branden Elmore, a Bunton-Waller Graduate Assistantship from Penn State University in 2016
  • Leland Spencer, the Presidential Fellowship from the University of Georgia in 2009

    Conference Presentations
  • Kelsey Niehauser, Steven Ingham, Branden Elmore & Brendan McDonough (Classes of 2015 and 2016). Voices of Diversity Discussion Panel – “Whiteness: Understanding Privilege from Those who Have it and Those who do Not.Presented at the 2016 Eastern Communication Association Convention in Baltimore.
  • Hannah Bush (Class of 2016), “Understanding white feminism through identification and division.”  Presented at the 2014 Organizations for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender Conference in San Francisco.
  • Kevin Dmytryka (Class of 2015), "Teachers on Teaching" Roundtable presentation at the 2013 National Communication Association Convention in Washington, D.C.
  • Stephanie Whitenack (Class of 2015) “Parasocial Relationships: An Opportunity for People with Down Syndrome to Offset Loneliness and Isolation.” Presented at the 2014 Midwest Popular Cultural Association in Indianapolis.
  • Haas, S. M., Bezerra, L. (Class of 2014), Lewis, A. (Class of 2014), Marshall, J. (Class of 2017), & Traicoff, D. (Class of 2015). “Exploring relational dynamics surrounding health behaviors in long-term male same-sex couples.” Paper presented at the 2015 International Association for Relationship Research (IARR) conference on “Relationships, Health, and Wellness”
  • Janeen Foriest (Class of 2013) “Connecting the Dots: African American Women Surviving and Thriving at Predominately White Institutions of Higher Education.” Presented at the 2013 National Communication Association Annual Conference in Washington, DC.


  • Lynch, J.A., Bennett, D.E., Luntz, A., Toy, C.T., VanBenschoten, E. (2014). Bridging Science and Journalism: Identifying the Role of Public Relations in the Construction and Circulation of Stem Cell Research among Laypeople. Science Communication 36(4): 479-501.
  • Stephen Haas, Meghan Irr, Nancy Jennings, and Lisa Wagner (2011). "Communicating Thin: A Grounded Model of Online Negative Enabling Support Groups (ONESGs) in the Pro-Anorexia Movement." New Media & Society, 13(1), 40-57.
  • Gail Fairhurst, Marthe Church, Danielle Hagen, and Joe Levi (Class of 2010). In Reframing difference in organizational communication studies: Research, pedagogy, and practice edited by D. Mumby (2011). The chapter is titled "Leadership discourses of difference: Executive coaching and the Alpha male syndrome."

Recent Graduate Student Professional Accomplishments


The department’s consulting firm, “UCommunicate,” (www.ucommunicate.org) recruits and works with real clients. Recent Projects:

  • Mount Auburn Community Council
  • University of Cincinnati School of Information Technology
  • UC Office of Research

Professional Research Reports:

  • Living with Juvenile Arthritis: Children and Health Advocacy: A Report (2015). Submitted to the Arthritis Foundation. Dr. Nancy Jennings and Shauna Bradley; Yasmin Chilton; Mercedes Jones; Jemannie Luong; Samantha Molony; Akilah Patterson (Class of 2016).
  • Jennings, N., Hooker, S., Hunt, K., Altenau, M. & Linebarger, D.L.  (2009, April). Television’s Impact on Children’s Reading Skills: A Longitudinal Study.  Research Brief 20 prepared for Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Philadelphia, PA: Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Jennings, N., Hunt, K., Altenau, M. & Linebarger, D. L. (2008). Electronic Company: Children’s Parasocial Relationships and Loneliness. A final report prepared for Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Philadelphia, PA: Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. 

Recent Internships:

  • eRecruitFit Social Media Specialist 
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Pediatrics/Asthma Research: Communication Intern
  •  University of Cincinnati Office of the Provost Summer Writing Intern 
  • Marketing and Promotions Coordinator, College of Education 
  • ConnXus Digital Marketing Intern 
  • Prolanthropy Communication Intern 

Recent Professional Positions:

  • Manager of HR Communications for Macy’s Corporate, Cincinnati
  • Public Relations Specialist, Stewart Media
  • Senior Digital Manager and Analytics Specialist, Frontgate, Cincinnati
  • Senior Vice President, Nahigan Campaign Strategies, Washington DC
  • Senior Manager, Sun Run Solar, San Francisco CA
  • Account Director, Pivot PR, Charlotte NC
  • Admissions Officer, Multicultural Student Recruitment, Univ. of Cincinnati
  • Program Director, Learning Abroad Center at University of Minnesota
  • Director of Communication/Grant Writer, Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati
  • Individual Giving Manager, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
  • Advocacy Manager, YWCA of Greater Cincinnati

Our Faculty Disciplinary Leadership

Steve Depoe:

  • Robert Cox Award for Environmental Communication and Civic Engagement, Environmental Communication Division,                NCA, 2013.
  • Career Achievement Award, International Environmental Communication Assoc. 2013.

Gail Fairhurst:  

  • NCA Distinguished Scholar, 2011.    
  • ICA Fellow 2010.
  • Associate Editor, Human Relations, 2012-2016

Ron Jackson:

  • 2nd Vice-President of NCA.
  • Former Co-Editor of Critical Studies in Media Communication.  

Heather Zoller:

Senior Editor, Health Communication 2012-2016, Human Relations 2016.

Recent Research Awards and Grants

  • Eric Jenkins: 2013 NCA Visual Communication Division Top Paper Award
  • Nancy Jennings: 2015 Seasongood Foundation Grant - "The Superhero Inside"
  • Gail Fairhurst: Communication Theory 25th Anniversary Issue, 2014; One of Three Most Influential Articles of the Past 25 Years. Fulbright Scholar, Sweden, 2009
  • John Lynch: 2016 Distinguished Book Award from the National Communication Association's Health Communication Division for his book, What are Stem Cells? Definition at the Intersection of Science and Politics (Univ. of Alabama Press, 2011).  Article of the Year Award from the Association for the Rhetoric of Science and Technology for Lynch (2013). "Prepare to Believe:" The Creation Museum as embodied conversion narrative. Rhetoric &Public Affairs 16:1-27.
  • Heather Zoller: 2015 Research grant from the Waterhouse Family Institute for “Innovations in Worker Participation: Communicating for Healthy and Sustainable Food and Work.”  Article of the Year awarded by the PR Division of NCA for Ganesh, S., & Zoller, H. M. (2012). Dialogue, activism, and democratic social change. Communication Theory, 22(1), 66-91.



Pursuing an MA in Communication at the University of Cincinnati really developed my writing and critical thinking skills. I credit much of my success in the professional world with the education and training I received through this graduate program. The program provides students with a thorough knowledge of communication theory and concepts that provides a deeper understanding of human communication, able to be used in all facets of personal and professional life. My career since graduation included positions in non-profit organizations. My current place of employment is a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to providing functional financial and economics education to students and teachers in local schools. Our focus is on the low-income, urban schools and students in Cincinnati. I am currently responsible for all internal and external communication efforts of our organization, positioning of new products and services, and assisting with fundraising efforts. Adrijana G. Kowatsch, Assistant Director of Development, Lindner College of Business, University of Cincinnati (BA 2003, MA 2005)

My experience as a graduate student in the Department of Communication at the University of Cincinnati was one I will never forget. I was challenged everyday by both my professors and peers. It was chance to take what I had learned as an undergraduate and delve into the fields of study that I was most passionate about. It was an opportunity to grow academically and personally and prepare myself for my professional career. Kim Richardson (BA 2004, MA 2006)

Going through a mid-life career change, I found the program invaluable. In my work with BFI, I perform a variety of functions, all relating to communication. I work as a lobbyist, develop new business accounts, and oversee advertising and other promotional campaigns. Robert Case, Manager, External Affairs/Business Development, Browning-Ferris Industries, Inc. (MA 1993)


It is easy for me to say that the master's program in Communication at the University of Cincinnati has prepared me very well for doctoral training, research, and publishing. The cumulative knowledge of the faculty is exceptional, and they are each happy to share their knowledge, experiences, and wisdom with their students. The teaching experience afforded to me while pursuing the MA in Communication has also situated me to continue teaching during my doctoral training and has helped me to better sharpen my teaching skills and pedagogy. Even after graduating from the program and pursing a doctorate in Urban Educational Leadership, the Communication faculty and staff have been very supportive of me as an adjunct faculty member, both in terms of teaching and publishing. Further, the mentorship and relationships established during the Master's program have been some of the most enriching of my personal and professional life. In all, I am very proud and grateful to be affiliated with such a strong and rich program. For these reasons and more, I can without hesitation recommend the master's program in Communication at the University of Cincinnati. Michael J. Sharp, doctoral student, Urban Educational Leadership, University of Cincinnati (MA 2005)

(The master's program provided) faculty who instilled within me a love of wisdom...I hope to pass on to my students. My areas of research interest and teaching include rhetorical theory and criticism, communication theory, and cultural criticism. Eric Watts, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina (BA 1988, MA 1989, PhD 1995, Northwestern)