NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

George Mason University, Department of Communication

The doctoral program in communication at George Mason University focuses on health and strategic communication. It prepares students for increasingly complex public and private communication environments. Students receive a strong theoretical and multi-methodological foundation, which enables them to examine the critical role communication performs in health promotion, disease prevention, quality of care, risk assessment, and crisis management. Students may also emphasize science communication in conjunction with either of these areas of focus.

Carnegie "Doctoral University: Very High Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-19: 43


Areas of Study

  • Health Communication
  • Strategic Communication


URAP University Rankings—Language, Communication & Culture 

  • #144 of 300 World Universities


Admission Requirements

  • Completed online Application for Graduate Study.
  • Nonrefundable application fee.
  • Application for Virginia In-State Tuition Rates, if claiming entitlement to these rates.
  • One official transcript from all institutions attended for each program applied to unless the programs are in the same college or school.
  • Goals statement.
  • Letters of recommendation as required by the program.
  • Official test scores such as GRE or GMAT sent directly from testing agency, if required by your program.
  • Other materials specified by the program, which may include departmental forms, writing sample, portfolio, or interview.

Graduate Faculty

  • Professor Carl Botan, Ph.D., Wayne State University
  • Assistant Professor Melissa A. Brockelman-Post, Ph.D., Ohio University
  • Associate Professor Xiaomei Cai, Ph.D., Indiana University
  • Assistant Professor Chris Clarke, Ph.D., Cornell University 
  • Associate Professor Richard T. Craig, Ph.D., Howard University
  • Professor Warren D. Decker, Ph.D., Temple University
  • Associate Professor Tim Gibson, Ph.D., Simon Fraser University
  • Associate Professor Mark C. Hopson, Ph.D., Ohio University
  • Assistant Professor Sojung Claire Kim, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • Professor Gary Kreps, P.D., University of Southern California
  • Professor Samuel Robert Lichter, Ph.D., Harvard University
  • Professor Edward Wile Maibach, Ph.D., Stanford University 
  • Associate Professor Star A. Muir, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • Professor Anne M. Nicotera, Ph.D., Ohio University
  • Professor Katherine Rowan, Ph.D., Purdue University
  • Assistant Professor Emily K. Vraga, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • Professor Kevin B. Wright, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma
  • Associate Professor Xiaoquan Zhao, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

NCA Awards Received by Faculty and Students, 2000-present

  • Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, 2012
  • Becker Distinguished Service Award, 2014