Communication - PhD

Students sitting on Bearcats Commons

The School of Communication, Film, and Media Studies at the University of Cincinnati now offers a PhD program in Communication with an emphasis on social justice issues and communication solutions.

This is a funded, four-year, full-time program that results in a doctorate in Communication. Students will receive academic training in various approaches to communication and will have the chance to make connections with social justice issues and organizations through built-in research externship experiences. Application to the program opens fall 2022. 

Our Vision

Neon sign displaying the word Change

Our vision is to create a community of scholars dedicated to the study and practice of communication. We are deeply concerned with issues of social justice in our local community and believe these issues have many global applications. Whether it be in health, interpersonal, mediated, organizational, or public relations contexts, we seek to train the next generation to be better scholars, change agents, and advocates for a just world.

Why Communication and Social Justice at UC?

Rationale

Stairs with the words "All ideas grow out of other ideas" - Anish Kapoor

We recognize the central role that communication plays in our understanding of social justice issues (e.g., race, gender, health, environment, globalization-related, etc.) and in finding solutions to those issues.

Our graduate faculty see a demand for social justice-informed communication studies. Our program offers rigorous training for students interested in communication and in centering social justice in their scholarship and/or career.

Why Us?

students sitting in a lecture hall

Our PhD program uniquely centers on social justice at the program level.

The social justice focus is reflected in our emphasis on engagement with local and global issues in research programs, particularly, through research externships that connect student research with local communities.

The school and UC both have established externship-placement programs that help to connect students to industry organizations. (UC ranks No. 3 among the nation's elite institutions for co-op and internships for 2020 beating out the MIT, Duke, Stanford, and many more. We come in No. 1 in the nation among public universities in this category.)

Benefits

Student climbing the stairs

We will help you achieve your academic and career goals:

Academic: Our program-level focus on social justice and diverse expertise in various approaches to communication (i.e., health, interpersonal, organizational/PR, media studies, rhetorical, etc.) will allow you to explore the expansive terrain of communication to identify the approach that works best with you and your issue of interest.

Community Connections: As part of the PhD curriculum, you will make connections with social justice issues and organizations through built-in research externship experiences.

Academic Life: You will work closely with leading scholars in the discipline. You will join a close-knit community of communication alumni and current student scholars passionate about social justice.

Career Preparation: Both the school and UC have established internship-placement programs that help to connect students to industry organizations. If you are interested in academic jobs, you will receive guidance approaching the end of the program concerning job search in academia.

Who should apply?

Person walking through library stacks

You should consider our program if:

You are trained in communication theories, research, and practice, and want guidance to steer and hone your expertise to a career in academic, industry, or social work that deals with issues of social justice.

OR

You have focused interest in general or specific issues of social justice and want to approach those issues from a communicative perspective.

OR

You find your research interests align well with one of our graduate faculty members. 

You should consider our program if:

You are trained in communication theories, research, and practice, and want guidance to steer and hone your expertise to a career in academic, industry, or social work that deals with issues of social justice.

OR

You have focused interest in general or specific issues of social justice and want to approach those issues from a communicative perspective.

OR

You find your research interests align well with one of our graduate faculty members.

Curriculum Map (TBD)

Graduate Faculty

(1)  Use PDF from the handbook and/or

(2)  Pull the list from e-professional

FAQs

  1. What kind of financial support will I get as a PhD student?
    1. Tuition remission, TA/RA-based stipend comparable to similar PhD programs in areas with similar cost of living.
    2. Travel support for conferences
    3. Encouraged and guided for success in Taft research support applications. (High funding rate. Typical amount?)
  2. How many credits do I need to take to complete the program?
    1. You need to take 60 credits to complete the program, including 9 credits for research externship and dissertation.
    2. A typical student will take around 4 academic years to complete the program.
  3. When will the program start accepting applications?
    1. Fall 2022
  4. How do I apply for the PhD program?
    1. Application package includes: Personal Statement, CV, transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and writing sample(s). We do not currently require the GRE for admission.
    2. Application link can be found on school website. (Beth: Can we hyper link this to the application? I don’t know where that is. I can find out)
  5. Who do I contact for more information about the program?
    1. Graduate Director: Dr. Omotayo Banjo, banjooo@ucmail.uc.edu
    2. Additional Contact: Dr. Gail Fairhurst, fairhug@ucmail.uc.edu