NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

University of California Davis, Department of Communication

The graduate program in Communication at UC Davis is an intensive program leading to the Master of Arts and a Ph.D. The programs emphasizes the scientific study of social interaction and mediated communication especially as they relate to communication and information technology. The program is distinctive in three ways. First, it maintains small class sizes to provide a personal educational experience and extensive student-faculty contact. Most courses are taught as seminars in which students learn from each other in small, faculty facilitated groups. Second, it stresses knowledge generation and the primacy of scientific theory. We expect our students to master the fundamental theories that explain the dynamics of social interaction and mediated communication, learn how to critique extant theories, and develop the research skills required to generate and test their own theories and models of communication. Third, the program draws upon communication researchers from other fields to offer a rich, interdisciplinary experience. In addition to the Department of Communication, our program faculty comes from Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Medicine.  

Association of American Universities Member


Carnegie "Doctoral University: Very High Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-19: 19


Areas of Study

  • Cognition, Emotion, and Communication
  • Computational Communication Research
  • Health Communication
  • Information and Communication Technologies 
  • Media Uses, Processes & Effects
  • Political Communication


QS World University Rankings—Communication & Media Studies

  • #151-200 of 200 World Universities

URAP University Rankings—Language, Communication & Culture 

  • #84 of 300 World Universities

Admission Requirements

  • Application Fee
  • Official Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 on a 4.0 grade point average scale
  • 50th percentile in Verbal and Quantitative GRE
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Personal History Statement
  • Letters of Recommendation

Graduate Faculty

  • Professor Robert Bell, Ph.D., University of Texas
  • Associate Professor Jaeho Cho, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • Assistant Professor Drew Cingal, Ph.D., Northwestern University
  • Associate Professor Bo Feng, Ph.D., Purdue University
  • Assistant Professor Seth Frey, Ph.D., Indiana University
  • Associate Professor Martin Hilbert, Ph.D., University of Southern California
  • Associate Professor Nicholas Palomares, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Associate Professor Jorge Pena, Ph.D., Cornell University
  • Associate Professor Cuihua (Cindy) Shen, Ph.D., University of Southern California
  • Associate Professor Laramie D. Taylor, Ph.D., University of Michigan
  • Associate Professor Magdalena Wojcieszak, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • Associate Professor Narine Yegiyan, Ph.D., Indiana University
  • Assistant Professor Jingwen Zhang, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania