NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

University of Tennessee, School of Communication Studies

The School of Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee collaborates with the College of Communication and Information to offer a concentration in Communication Studies as part of the Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees offered through the college's graduate program. Students pursuing either degree work with an energetic faculty who are actively engaged in cutting-edge research focusing in the areas of interpersonal and organizational communication. Students choosing the Communication Studies specialization in the doctoral program work closely with School faculty learning how to generate new knowledge of communication processes.

Carnegie "Doctoral University: Very High Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-19: 60


Areas of Study

  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Organizational Communication


QS World University Rankings—Communication & Media Studies

  • #151-200 of 200 World Universities

URAP University Rankings—Language, Communication & Culture 

  • #210 of 300 World Universities

Admission Requirements

  • A 3.0 (4.0 system) grade point average in undergraduate studies, and 3.5 in graduate work.
  • At or above the 50th percentile in verbal, quantitative and analytical aptitude on the Graduate Record Examination.
  • A Writing Sample.
  • Recommendation letters from at least three former instructors or professional supervisors.
  • A statement of the applicant’s goals and reasons for pursuing the doctorate.
  • Personal interviews with members of the College of Communication and Information’s Graduate Studies Committee may be required.

Graduate Faculty

  • Assistant Quinten Bernhold, Ph.D., University of California Santa Barbara
  • Associate Professor John Haas, Ph.D., University of Kentucky
  • Assistant Professor Jenny Crowley, Ph.D., University of Iowa
  • Associate Professor Michael Kotowski, Ph.D., Michigan State University
  • Professor Virginia Kupritz, Ph.D., Virgina Tech
  • Associate Professor Laura Miller, Ph.D., University of Illinois
  • Assistant Professor Emily A. Paskewitz, Ph.D., North Dakota State University
  • Professor Joan Rentsch, Ph.D., University of Maryland 
  • Associate Professor Michelle Violanti, Ph.D., University of Kansas
  • Assistant Professor DaJung (DJ) Woo, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Associate Professor Courtney N. Wright, Ph.D., Northwestern University