NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

Rutgers University, School of Communication & Information

The Ph.D. program in Communication, Information, and Media provides doctoral training in theoretical and research skills for scholarly and professional leadership in the fields of communication, library and information science, and media studies. The strategic combination of these areas helps prepare you to address key questions facing our society in the 21st century. We focus on the nature and function of communication, information, and media institutions, policies, processes, and systems, examining their impact on individuals and social, organizational, national, and international affairs. Interdisciplinary approaches to these issues are strongly supported and encouraged.

Association of American Universities Member


Carnegie "Doctoral University: Very High Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-19: 87


Areas of Study  

  • Communication
  • Library and Information Science
  • Media Studies


QS World University Rankings--Communication & Media Studies 

  • #101-150 of 200 World Universities

URAP University Rankings—Language, Communication & Culture 

  • #58 of 300 World Universities



Admission Requirements 

  • A personal statement from the student relating experience and research interests to the Ph.D. program.
  • A writing sample. Examples of acceptable writing samples include a chapter or portion of your masters thesis, a term paper from a previous class, an academic conference paper or journal publication, a professional work product, etc.
  • A curriculum vita (CV) listing academic degrees, positions, and accomplishments, or a professional resume.
  • Undergraduate and graduate academic transcripts (records equivalent to at least the 3.0 or B level).
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons with a relationship to the student in academic (or professional) contexts.
  • Score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for non-native English-speaking applicants (scores should ideally be above 600 paper-based or 80 Internet-based).
  • Graduate Records Exam (GRE) scores are OPTIONAL for applicants. All applications will be reviewed equally with or without GRE scores. Not submitting GRE scores will not hurt an applicant's chances of admission, nor will submitting GRE scores give applicants an advantage in admissions.
  • Students applying for admission to the Ph.D. program typically have completed a master's degree in communication, information science, library studies, media studies or another related academic or professional field. Highly qualified students from strong programs or research backgrounds without a master's degree may also apply in special circumstances.
  • We also encourage applicants to reach out to faculty in the Ph.D. program to express interest in working with them, learn more about their program of research, and gain insights into the program.


Graduate Faculty 


  • Mark Aakhus, Professor (Associate Dean of Research)
  • Galina Bolden, Professor
  • Marya Doerfel, Professor & Department Chair
  • Sophia Fu, Assistant Professor
  • Kathryn Greene, Professor
  • Alexa Hepburn, Research Professor
  • Shawnika Hull, Associate Professor
  • Jeffrey Lane, Associate Professor
  • Matthew Matsaganis, Associate Professor
  • Lisa Mikesell, Associate Professor
  • Katherine Ognyanova, Associate Professor
  • Jonathan Potter, Distinguished Professor
  • Yonaira Rivera, Assistant Professor
  • Brent Ruben, Distinguished Professor
  • Kristina Scharp, Associate Professor
  • Sarah Shugars, Assistant Professor
  • Lea Stewart, Professor
  • Jennifer Theiss, Professor
  • Maria Venetis, Associate Professor
  • Matthew Weber, Associate Professor & Area Coordinator
  • Dajung Woo, Assistant Professor
  • Itzhak Yanovitzky, Professor


Library and Information Science

  • Tawfiq Ammari Assistant Professor
  • Jessica (Yi-Yun) Cheng Assistant Professor
  • Kaitlin Costello Associate Professor
  • Marija Dalbello Professor
  • Kiran Garimella Assistant Professor
  • Shagun Jhaver Assistant Professor
  • Sunyoung Kim Associate Professor
  • E. E. Lawrence Assistant Professor
  • Britt Paris Assistant Professor
  • Marie Radford Professor
  • Rebecca Reynolds Associate Professor & Department Chair
  • Charles Senteio Associate Professor
  • Vivek Singh Associate Professor & Area Coordinator
  • Nina Wacholder Associate Professor


Media Studies

  • Melissa Aronczyk Professor & PhD Program Director
  • Jack Bratich, Professor
  • Lauren Feldman, Professor
  • David Greenberg, Professor
  • Amy Jordan, Professor & Department Chair
  • Susan Keith, Professor and Associate Dean for Programs
  • Youngrim Kim, Assistant Professor
  • Deepa Kumar, Professor
  • Dafna Lemish, Distinguished Professor & Interim Dean
  • Regina Marchi, Professor
  • John Pavlik, Professor
  • Caitlin Petre Associate Professor & Area Coordinator
  • Khadijah White, Associate Professor
  • Todd Wolfson, Associate Professor


NCA Awards Received by Faculty and Students, 2000-present 

  • Bernard J. Brommel Award for Outstanding Scholarship or Distinguished Service, Family Communication – 2023
  • Roderick P. Hart Outstanding Book Award, Political Communication – 2023
  • Dale E. Brashers Distinguished Mentor Award, Health Communication – 2023
  • Outstanding Contribution to Promoting Equity and Inclusion Award, Health Communication – 2023
  • Distinguished Book Award, Health Communication – 2023
  • Outstanding Health Communication Scholar Award – 2023
  • Outstanding Manuscript Award, Public Relations – 2022
  • Donald P. Cushman Memorial Award–– 2020
  • Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Awards – 2019, 2014
  • Woolbert Award for Outstanding Scholarship – 2018
  • Gerald R. Miller Book Award, Interpersonal Communication – 2018
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award, Division on Communication and Aging – 2015
  • Sandra Petronio Dissertation Excellence Award, Family Communication – 2014, 2013
  • Early Career Award, Interpersonal Communication – 2013
  • Top Paper Awards (in alphabetical order):
  • Applied Communication Top Paper – 2018
  • Communication and Aging Top Paper – 2018, 2014, 2011
  • Communication and Law Top Paper – 2016
  • Family Communication Top Paper – 2022, 2013
  • Freedom of Expression Top Paper – 2015
  • Health Communication Top Paper – 2019, 2013
  • Human Communication and Technology Top Student Paper – 2017, 2016, 2014
  • Instructional Development Top Paper – 2019
  • Interpersonal Communication Top Paper – 2021, 2019, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012
  • Language and Social Interaction Top Paper – 2016, 2013
  • Organizational Communication Top Paper – 2021, 2014
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Top Paper – 2016
  • Public Relations Top Paper – 2012
  • Public Relations Top Student Paper – 2011
  • Student Section Top Paper – 2015