NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

Cornell University, Department of Communication

The graduate program in the Department of Communication at Cornell University is geared toward training and mentoring the next generation of Communication scholars. Students, all of whom are financially supported, have the opportunity to work closely with top faculty on cutting-edge research, take courses with world-class scholars across campus, and actively participate in a diverse community of innovators and ideas. Cornell's graduates have gone on to faculty positions at top universities and jobs at the forefront of industry research.

Association of American Universities Member


Carnegie "Doctoral University: Highest Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-15: 29


Concentrations/Research Emphases  

  • Children, Adolescents, and the Media
  • Cultural & Intercultural Communication
  • Communication and Public Policy
  • Communication of Science & Technology
  • Groups, Organizations, & Communities
  • Health Communication
  • Interactive Media Design
  • Media Psychology
  • Media, Technology, & Society
  • Risk & Environmental Communication
  • Social Influence & Persuasion
  • Social Networks
  • Technology & Social Behavior


NRC Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs

  • #1 of 83 programs in Research Output
  • #4 of 83 programs in Diversity

Allen, et al., 2012

  • #24 of 60 programs in Number of Citations


  • Top Ten Research Program in 10 of 99 Research Areas

QS World University Rankings—Communication & Media Studies

  • #17 of 200 World Universities

Admission Requirements

  • GPA and GRE Scores
  • TOEFL examination - International students are required to take the TOEFL exam, and must score a minimum of 100 (Internet-based), or 250 (computer-based).
  • Statement of Purpose - The statement of purpose should indicate your intellectual interests and any prior research training that you believe has prepared you for our program.
  • Reference Letters - Strong letters of recommendation incorporating details of the applicant's educational and research background are preferred over generalizations about the applicant.
  • Writing Sample - Applicants are required to submit form of scholarly writing such as a sample essay, article, or book chapter that you have written.

Graduate Faculty

  • Assistant Professor Natalie Bazarova, Ph.D., Cornell University
  • Associate Professor Sahara Byrne, Ph.D., University of California
  • Assistant Professor Brooke Erin Duffy, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • Associate Professor Susan Fussell, Ph.D., Columbia University
  • Professor Geri Gay, Ph.D., Cornell University
  • Associate Professor Lee Humphreys, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania 
  • Professor Bruce Lewenstein, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • Assistant Professor Drew Margolin, Ph.D., University of Southern California
  • Professor Katherine McComas, Ph.D., Cornell University
  • Associate Professor Poppy McLeod, Ph.D., Harvard University
  • Associate Professor Jeffrey Niederdeppe, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • Associate Professor Dawn Schrader, Ed.D., Harvard University 
  • Assistant Professor Jonathon Schuldt, Ph.D., University of Michigan
  • Professor Michael Shapiro, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • Assistant Professor Andrea Stevenson Won, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Associate Professor Y. Connie Yuan, Ph.D., University of Southern California
Research Specialties : 
Communication & Technology, Health Communication, Intercultural-International Communication, Mass Communication-Media Studies, Organizational Communication, Persuasion-Social Influence, Risk-Science-Environmental Communication