NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

University of North Dakota, Department of Communication

The Ph.D. program in communication and public discourse at the University of North Dakota provides the opportunity to explore the range of ways human symbolic activity affects the public sphere. This program will provide a rigorous learning environment and foster excellence in teaching, research, and application, consistent with the University’s liberal arts tradition. The intent of the Ph.D. program is to graduate students with scholarly competencies enabling them to assume roles as intellectual leaders of the field of communication as well as public intellectuals stimulating discussion of significant communication issues. 

Carnegie "Doctoral University: High Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-19: 16


Areas of Study

  • Advertising
  • Broadcasting
  • Visual Communication
  • Public Relations
  • Print Journalism
  • Media Studies
  • Digital Media
  • Communication & Public Discourse
  • Organizational Communication



Admission Requirements

  • Successful completion of a master's degree in communication or related discipline.
  • Statement of interest.
  • Original academic paper, 10-15 pages in length.
  • Three letters of recommendation from sources familiar with the applicant's potential as a doctoral student in Communication.
  • Graduate Record Examination General Test (500 Verbal, 500 Quantitative).
  • To be considered for a teaching assistantship, the student must submit a statement of teaching philosophy and letters of recommendation must address the student's teaching abilities.
  • A minimum TOEFL Score of 550 on the paper-based test or 213 on the computer-based test, or for the Internet based TOEFL, a composite score of 79, with minimum scores of 21/30 (Speaking*); 19/30 (Listening); 19/30 (Reading); and 17/30 (Writing) for applicants whose native language is not English. Applicants may also meet language requirements by presenting IETLS scores of 6.5.

Graduate Faculty

  • Assistant Professor Sarah Cavanah, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • Professor Pamela Kalbfleisch, Ph.D., Michigan State University
  • Assistant Professor Soojung Kim, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • Assistant Professor Joonghwa Lee, Ph.D., University of Missouri
  • Associate Professor Timothy Pasch, Ph.D., University of Washington
  • Assistant Professor Brad Serber, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University