NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

University of North Carolina, Department of Communication Studies

The Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina is an inquiry-based degree, offering students the opportunity to build unique programs of study around their respective research interests. The program requires the student to define a program of study organized by an evolving research question or research problem. The program ensures foundational study in sub-disciplines of Communication Studies as well as encouraging interdisciplinary work also relevant to the research question or problem.

Association of American Universities Member


Carnegie "Doctoral University: Very High Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-19: 134


Areas of Study

  • Cultural Studies
  • Media & Technology Studies
  • Interpersonal & Organizational Communication
  • Performance Studies
  • Rhetoric


QS World University Rankings—Communication & Media Studies

  • #51-100 of 200 World Universities

URAP University Rankings—Language, Communication & Culture 

  • #52 of 300 World Universities


Admission Requirements

  • Application Form
  • Application Fee
  • GRE Scores; TOEFL where applicable
  • Transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate work
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume/CV
  • Five key terms to describe research interests
  • Scholarly writing sample with abstract
  • Three letters of recommendation

Graduate Faculty

  • Associate Professor Renée Alexander Craft, Ph.D., Northwestern University
  • Professor V. William Balthrop, Ph.D., University of Kansas
  • Professor Carole Blair, Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University
  • Associate Professor Richard C. Cante, Ph.D., University of Southern California
  • Professor Cori E. Dauber, Ph.D., Northwestern University
  • Associate Professor Sarah Dempsey, Ph.D., University of Colorado
  • Professor Lawrence Grossberg, Ph.D., University of Illinois
  • Assistant Professor Julia Haslett, M.F.A., Hunter College-CUNY
  • Associate Professor Christian O. Lundberg, Ph.D., Northwestern University
  • Assistant Professor Alice Marwick, Ph.D., New York University
  • Associate Professor Steve May, Ph.D., University of Utah
  • Professor Torin Monahan, Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Professor Dennis Mumby, Ph.D., Southern Illinois University
  • Associate Professor Michael Palm, Ph.D., New York University
  • Associate Professor Patricia Parker, Ph.D., University of Texas
  • Associate Professor Tony Perucci, Ph.D., New York University
  • Professor Della Pollock, Ph.D., Northwestern University
  • Associate Professor Edward Rankus, M.F.A., Art Institute of Chicago
  • Professor Joyce Rudinsky, M.F.A., University of Washington
  • Assistant Professor Kumi Silva, Ph.D., University of Oregon
  • Assistant Professor Katie Striley, Ph.D., Ohio University
  • Assistant Professor Neal Thomas, Ph.D., McGill University
  • Associate Professor Michael Waltman, Ph.D., Purdue University
  • Associate Professor Eric King Watts, Ph.D., Northwestern University

NCA Awards to Faculty and Students, 2000-present

  • Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education, 2000, 2006
  • Woolbert Research Award, 2004, 2006, 2010
  • Phillips Award for Distinguished Applied Communication Scholarship, 2006
  • Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, 2004, 2005, 2009
  • Golden Anniversary Monograph Award, 2001, 2006