NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

University of Kansas, Department of Communication Studies

The Communication Studies program at the University of Kansas offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Five program areas have been ranked among the top doctoral programs in the country including rhetorical studies, political communication, organizational communication, interpersonal communication, and intercultural communication. Graduate students study communication theory in depth and master at least one research methodology, choosing from course sequences in rhetorical/historical, experimental, and qualitative methods. Each student is encouraged to develop two personal research interests and to work independently and with faculty members in pursuit of those interests.

Association of American Universities Member


Carnegie "Doctoral University: Very High Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-19: 93


Areas of Study  

  • Rhetorical & Political Communication
  • Communication & Relationship
  • Intergroup Communication


URAP University Rankings—Language, Communication & Culture 

  • #73 of 300 World Universities

Admission Requirements

  • An online application
  • An application fee
  • Official GRE and/or TOEFL scores
  • One copy of official transcripts of all previous college work, both undergraduate and graduate
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals in a position to comment meaningfully on the applicant's potential for graduate work
  • A two to three page statement of purpose letter indicating goals and academic interests
  • A resume or curriculum vita

Graduate Faculty  

  • Associate Professor Mary Banwart, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma
  • Associate Professor Jay P. Childers, Ph.D., University of Texas
  • Assistant Professor Angela Gist-Mackey, Ph.D., University of Missouri
  • Associate Professor Jeffrey A. Hall, Ph.D., University of Southern California
  • Professor Mary Lee Hummert, Ph.D., University of Kansas
  • Professor Beth Innocenti, Ph.D., University of Illinois
  • Professor Adrianne Kunkel, Ph.D., Purdue University
  • Assistant Professor Ashley Muddiman, Ph.D., University of Texas
  • Associate Professor Dorthy Pennington, Ph.D., University of Kansas
  • Professor Robert C. Rowland, Ph.D., University of Kansas
  • Associate Professor Dave Tell, Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University
  • Assistant Professor Alcides Velasquez, Ph.D., Michigan State University
  • Associate Professor Alesia Woszidlo, Ph.D., University of Arizona
  • Professor Yan Bing Zhang, Ph.D., University of Kansas

NCA Awards to Faculty and Students, 2000-present

  • Bacon Award for Lifetime Teaching Excellence, 2014
  • Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education, 2005
  • Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award, 2011
  • Golden Outstanding Student Essay in Rhetoric Award, 2009
  • Wallace Memorial Award, 2012
  • Golden Anniversary Monograph Award, 2013