NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

University of California-San Diego, Department of Communication

The Ph.D. Program in Communication at UCSD is known worldwide as a center of innovative scholarship. Among the distinctive characteristics of the program are: 1) Broad interdisciplinary training, linking the study of communication with theoretical currents across the social sciences and humanities; 2) A blending of "critical" and "empirical" traditions in communication scholarship, and a reputation for producing firmly grounded research on issues related to power, inequality, democracy and social change; 3) Methodological diversity, with particular strength in the use of historical, ethnographic, comparative and interpretive methods; 4) An emphasis on the unity of theory and practice, and an opportunity for graduate students to combine research scholarship and media production; 5) A strong global focus; and 6) A strong commitment to diversity in the student body and in the focus of our research.

Association of American Universities Member


Carnegie "Doctoral University: Very High Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-19: 55


Areas of Study

  • Communication & Culture
  • Communication and the Person
  • Communication as a Social Force
  • Media Practice


QS World University Rankings—Communication & Media Studies 

  • #51-100 of 200 World Universities

URAP University Rankings—Language, Communication & Culture 

  • #41 of 300 World Universities

Admission Requirements

  • Graduate Admission Application.
  • Transcripts from each institution attended.
  • Official scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Writing sample (such as term paper, journal article, or other examples of intellectual work).

Graduate Faculty

  • Assistant Professor Patty Ahn, Ph.D., University of Southern California
  • Associate Professor Morana Alač, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
  • Professor Patrick Anderson, Ph.D., University of California
  • Associate Professor Boatema Boateng, Ph.D., University of Illinois
  • Associate Professor Angela Booker, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Assistant Professor Matilde Córdoba Azcárate, Ph.D., Universidad Completense de Madrid
  • Professor Zeinabu Davis, M.F.A., UCLA 
  • Assistant Professor Andrew deWaard, Ph.D., UCLA
  • Assistant Professor Fernando Domínguez Rubio, Ph.D., University of Cambridge
  • Professor Gary Fields, Ph.D., University of California
  • Associate Professor Kelly Gates, Ph.D., University of Illinois
  • Associate Professor Brian Goldfarb, Ph.D., University of Rochester
  • Professor Daniel C. Hallin, Ph.D., University of California
  • Professor Valerie Hartouni, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Assistant Professor Erin Hill, Ph.D., UCLA
  • Professor Robert Horwitz, Ph.D., Brandeis University
  • Assistant Professor Lilly Irani, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
  • Assistant Professor Shawna Kidman, Ph.D., University of Southern California
  • Professor Carol Padden, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
  • Assistant Professor Thomas Schmidt, Ph.D., University of Oregon
  • Associate Professor David Serlin, Ph.D., New York University
  • Associate Professor Christo Sims, Ph.D., University of California
  • Professor Stefan Tanaka, Ph.D., University of Chicago
  • Associate Professor Olga Vásquez, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Associate Professor Elana Zilberg, Ph.D., University of Texas

NCA Awards to Faculty and Students, 2000-present

  • Diamond Anniversary Book Award, 2005