NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

University of Georgia, Department of Communication

The Graduate Program of the University of Georgia's Department of Communication Studies offers a rigorous, theoretical, and intensive study in foundational and cutting-edge perspectives in Rhetorical Studies (RS) and Interpersonal and Health Studies (I and H). Research is a central focus in all coursework and training at the M.A. and Ph.D. level. In both areas of specialization, students work closely with faculty to become successful teachers, independent scholars, and innovative researchers with the ability both to produce new knowledge about communication and to effectively share it with others in order to make a positive difference in people's private and public lives. Our goal is for our graduate students to be well versed and competent in communication research and theory, whether they choose to pursue careers in academia or public and private sectors.

Carnegie "Doctoral University: Very High Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-19: 80


Areas of Study

  • Health Communication
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Rhetoric
  • Science Communication


QS World University Rankings—Communication & Media Studies 

  • #101-150 of 200 World Universities

URAP University Rankings—Language, Communication & Culture 

  • #75 of 300 World Universities

Admission Requirements

  • The Graduate School application
  • Application Fee
  • GRE scores officially sent from the testing agency (The GRE is waived for Fall 2021 applicants)
  • Domestic applicants: Two official transcripts in sealed envelopes from each institution of higher education where a degree was earned
  • International applicants: Two official transcripts (official academic records and certified English translations, if applicable) from each institution of higher education attended; TOEFL scores officially sent from ETS; Certificate of Finances (COF) form
  • Names and e-mail addresses of three individuals who will be providing letters of recommendation

Graduate Faculty  

  • Assistant Professor Analisa Arroyo, Ph.D., University of Arizona
  • Professor Barbara Biesecker, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • Professor Celeste Condit, Ph.D., University of Iowa
  • Associate Professor Kelly Happe, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • Professor Thomas Lessl, Ph.D., University of Texas
  • Assistant Professor Jiaying Liu, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • Professor Soroya McFarlane, Ph.D., University of Miami
  • Assistant Professor Mackensie Minniear, Ph.D., University of Nebraska
  • Assistant Professor Peter A. O'Connell, Ph.D., Harvard University
  • Professor Edward Panetta, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • Assistant Professor Chelsea Ratcliff Bush, Ph.D., University of Utah
  • Associate Professor Jennifer Samp, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • Associate Professor Roger Stahl, Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University
  • Associate Professor Belinda Stillion Southard, Ph.D., University of Maryland
  • Assistant Professor Bjorn Stillion Southard, Ph.D., University of Maryland

NCA Awards for Faculty and Students, 2000-present 

  • Cushman Memorial Award, 2008
  • Diamond Anniversary Book Award, 2014
  • Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award, 2007
  • Golden Anniversary Monograph Award, 2014
  • Lucas Debut Publication Award, 2015
  • Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, 2007, 2016