NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

University of Maryland, Department of Communication

The Department of Communication at the University of Maryland takes as its intellectual focus the strategic use of discourse in the public sphere. The Department encourages applications for graduate study from students wishing to pursue interests identified with one or more of its research foci. The graduate program in Communication is designed for students whose educational objective is the Ph.D. degree. Most graduates of the doctoral program pursue academic careers; however, some work in public policy research and other professions requiring highly developed research skills. The Ph.D. degree is research-oriented rather than applied. The graduate curriculum treats disciplinary methods of inquiry, communication concepts and theories, and specialized research problems, and all graduate students engage in independent research projects, including the Ph.D. dissertation.

Association of American Universities Member


Carnegie "Doctoral University: Very High Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-17: 81


Areas of Study

  • Communication Science and Social Cognition
  • Public Relations and Strategic Communication 
  • Rhetoric and Political Culture


QS World University RankingsCommunication & Media Studies 

  • #101-150 of 200 World Universities

URAP University RankingsLanguage, Communication, & Culture

  • #8 of 300 World Universities


Admission Requirements  

  • Official Transcripts
  • GRE Scores
  • Demonstrated Proficiency in English (for international applicants)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Description of Research Interests
  • A Writing Sample
  • CV/Resume
  • Three Letters of Recommendation

Graduate Faculty  

  • Professor Linda Aldoory, Ph.D., Syracuse University
  • Assistant Professor Lindsey B. Anderson, Ph.D., Purdue University
  • Associate Professor Dale Hample, Ph.D., University of Illinois 
  • Assistant Professor Nicholas Joyce, Ph.D., University of Arizona
  • Associate Professor Sahar Khamis, Ph.D., University of Manchester, UK
  • Assistant Professor Jiyoun Kim, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • Assistant Professor Sun Young Lee, Ph.D., University of North Carolina
  • Associate Professor Brooke Fisher Liu, Ph.D., University of North Carolina 
  • Associate Professor Kristy Maddux, Ph.D., University of Georgia
  • Assistant Professor Kang Namkoong, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • Professor Xiaoli Nan, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • Professor Shawn J. Parry-Giles, Ph.D., Indiana University
  • Professor Trevor Parry-Giles, Ph.D., Indiana University
  • Associate Professor Damien Smith Pfister, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • Associate Professor Anita Atwell Seate, Ph.D., University of Arizona
  • Associate Professor Erich Sommerfeldt, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma
  • Assistant Professor Catherine Knight Steele, Ph.D., University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Professor Elizabeth L. Toth, Ph.D., Purdue University
  • Professor Andrew D. Wolvin, Ph.D., Purdue University
  • Assistant Professor Carly S. Woods, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • Assistant Professor Michelle Murray Yang, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

NCA Awards Received by Faculty and Students, 2000-present 

  • Diamond Anniversary Book Award, 2007
  • Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, 2003, 2013, 2014, 2017
  • Golden Outstanding Student Essay in Rhetoric Award, 2007
  • Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award, 2013
  • Lucas Debut Publication Award, 2017