NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

American University, School of Communication

American University's School of Communication began admitting doctoral students to its Ph.D. program in the Fall of 2011.

The Doctor of Philosophy program in Communication offers an interdisciplinary curriculum designed around the intersections of media, technology, and democracy. It combines humanistic and social scientific approaches to the study of communication to analyze the complex interactions among various players – including news media, entertainment media, digital communications, nonprofit organizations, government, and business. The accelerated design of the program offers an 11-month mentoring and learning environment, enabling students to complete their degrees in three years.

Carnegie "Doctoral University: High Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-19: 15


Areas of Study

  • Media, Public Issues, and Engagement
  • Media Industries and Institutions
  • Media, Technology, and Culture


URAP University Rankings--Language, Communication & Culture

  • #217 of 300 World Universities

Admission Requirements

  • Hold a researched–focused master’s degree in Communication or a related field from an accredited college or university with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher.
  • Obtain a combined score of at least 316 on the GRE General Aptitude test (or a score of at least 1200 if the test was taken prior to November, 2011).
  • Include in the statement of purpose a section outlining the applicants' intended research area.
  • Submit a copy of the master's thesis or other sample of academic work.

Graduate Faculty

  • University Professor Patricia Aufderheide, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • Professor W. Joseph Campbell, Ph.D., University of North Carolina
  • Professor Laura DeNardis, Ph.D., Virginia Tech University
  • Professor Kathy Fitzpatrick, J.D., Southern Methodist University
  • Associate Professor Lindsay Grace, M.F. A., University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Assistant Professor Ericka Menchen-Trevino, Ph.D., Northwestern University
  • Professor Kathryn Montgomery, Ph.D., UCLA
  • Associate Professor Aram Sinnreich, Ph.D., University of Southern California
  • Assistant Professor Benjamin Stokes, Ph.D., University of Southern California
  • Professor Rodger Streitmatter, Ph.D., American University
  • Assistant Professor Filippo Trevisan, Ph.D., University of Glasgow
  • Associate Professor John Watson, Ph.D., University of North Carolina
  • Professor Rhonda Zaharna, Ed.D., Columbia University