NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

University of Illinois, Institute for Communications Research

The Institute for Communications Research has one of the most renowned communications Ph.D. programs in the world. Students in the program study such topics as media economics, organization and structure; media policy; political economy of the media; new technologies and new media; telecommunications; advertising and consumer research; media ethics, media and communications history; social and cultural studies of science and medicine; popular culture and film; race ethnicity and gender; democracy and the media; and global/international communications.

Association of American Universities Member


Carnegie "Doctoral University: Highest Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-16: 76


Concentrations/Research Emphases 

  • Media Economics, Organization and Structure
  • Media Policy
  • Political Economy of the Media
  • New Technologies and New Media
  • Telecommunications
  • Advertising and Consumer Research
  • Media Ethics
  • Media and Communications History
  • Social and Cultural Studies of Science and Medicine
  • Popular Culture and Film
  • Race Ethnicity and Gender
  • Democracy and the Media
  • Global/international Communications


NCA 2004 Reputational Study 

  • Not Ranked

NRC Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs  

  • #47 of 83 programs in Research Output
  • #5 of 83 programs in Diversity


  • Top Ten Research Program in 2 of 99 Research Areas

QS World University Rankings--Communication & Media Studies 

  • #7 of 200 World Universities

Admission Requirements 

  • An application for admission along with a credentials fee
  • Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate courses taken and grades earned
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Graduate Record Examination scores

Graduate Faculty 

  • Associate Professor Jason Chambers, Ph.D., Ohio State University
  • Assistant Professor Anita Say Chan, Ph.D., MIT
  • Assistant Professor Amanda Ciafone, Ph.D., Yale University
  • Professor CL Cole, Ph.D., University of Southern California
  • Assistant Professor Janice Collins, Ph.D., Ohio University
  • Associate Professor Stephanie Craft, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Assistant Professor Brittany Duff, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • Assistant Professor Chang Dae Ham, Ph.D., University of Missouri
  • Professor James Hay, Ph.D., University of Texas
  • Professor Jacqueline Hitchon, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • Assistant Professor Amanda Mabry-Flynn, Ph.D., University of Texas
  • Professor Cameron McCarthy, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • Associate Professor Isabel Molina-Guzman, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • Associate Professor Michelle Nelson, Ph.D., University of Illinois
  • Assistant Professor Sanghwa Oh, Ph.D., University of South Carolina
  • Assistant Professor Veronica Paredes, Ph.D., University of Southern California
  • Associate Professor Ann Reisner, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • Associate Professor Sela Sar, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • Professor Jan Slater, Ph.D., Syracuse University
  • Associate Professor Mira Sotirovic, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • Associate Professor Hari Sundaram, Ph.D., Columbia University
  • Assistant Professor Julie Turnock, Ph.D., University of Chicago
  • Professor Angharad N. Valdivia, Ph.D., University of Illinois
  • Associate Professor Patrick Vargas, Ph.D., Ohio State University
  • Assistant Professor John Wirtz, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • Associate Professor Kevin Wise, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Associate Professor Mike Zhangyu Yao, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
Research Specialties : 
Risk-Science-Environmental Communication