NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

University of Minnesota, Department of Communication Studies

The University of Minnesota's Department of Communication Studies continues a rich heritage of teaching and research that began in 1914 under the leadership of Frank M. Rarig and H. B. Gislason. Today, with 14 faculty members, about 50 graduate students, and over 600 undergraduate majors, the department pursues a wide range of interests including: the criticism of public discourse, interpersonal communication, language and gender, small group communication, discourse analysis, intercultural communication, mass media studies, feminist and African-American rhetoric, communication theory, and rhetorical theory.

Association of American Universities Member


Carnegie "Doctoral University: Very High Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-19: 122


Areas of Study

  • Communication and Social Movements
  • Critical Cultural Communication
  • Critical Media Studies
  • Environmental Communication
  • Feminist Communication Studies
  • Interpersonal and Organizational Studies
  • Relational Communication
  • Rhetorical Studies


QS World University Rankings—Communication & Media Studies

  • #51-100 of 200 World Universities

URAP University Rankings—Language, Communication & Culture 

  • #38 of 300 World Universities

Admission Requirements

A bachelor's degree from an accredited college is required to apply to the doctoral program. Additionally, applicants must submit the following items.

  • A strong statement of purpose telling us exactly why you want a graduate degree from our department 
  • A one-page statement on how you would contribute to the diversity of our student body 
  • Writing sample of academic nature 
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Resume/ CV
  • Unofficial transcripts 
  • TOEFL exam scores, if applicable 
  • An application fee

Graduate Faculty

  • Professor Emerit Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, Ph.D., University of Minnesota 
  • Professor Ronald Walter Greene, Ph.D., University of Illinois 
  • Assistant Professor Atilla Hallsby, Ph.D., University of Georgia 
  • Professor Elaine Hsieh, Ph.D., J.D., University of Illinois 
  • Professor Susanne M. Jones, Ph.D., Arizona State University 
  • Assistant Professor Zornitsa Keremidchieva, Ph.D., University of Minnesota 
  • Professor Ascan F. Koerner, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin Associate 
  • Professor Kate Lockwood Harris, Ph.D., University of Colorado 
  • Professor Laurie Ouellette, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts 
  • Professor Emerit Mark Pedelty, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley 
  • Associate Professor Gilbert B. Rodman, Ph.D., University of Illinois 
  • Professor Emerit Catherine Squires, Ph.D., Northwestern University 
  • Professor Mary Douglas Vavrus, Ph.D., University of Illinois 
  • Assistant Professor Emily Winderman, Ph.D., University of Georgia 
  • Assistant Professor Deborah Yoon, Ph.D., Rutgers University 

NCA Awards Received by Faculty and Students, 2000-present

  • Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education, 2010
  • Diamond Anniversary Book Award, 2003, 2009
  • Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, 2002, 2008
  • Golden Anniversary Monograph Award, 2005
  • Golden Outstanding Student Essay in Rhetoric Award, 2015
  • Winans-Wichelns Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address, 2009
  • Woolbert Research Award, 2013, 2016