NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

University of Utah, Department of Communication

The Department of Communication at the University of Utah has a long and distinguished tradition of excellence in graduate education. As one of very few integrated communication departments in the country, they provide rigorous theoretical and methodological training across the spectrum of communication studies. Their nationally ranked and acclaimed graduate program currently offers graduate study in four of the Department's five areas of emphasis: Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk (CommSHER); Critical/Cultural Studies; Digital Media; and Rhetoric. Moreover, fluidity and flexibility across all of the Department's areas of emphasis is not only possible but encouraged; most of their renowned faculty have expertise in two or more of these areas, and graduate students are likewise supported in creating uniquely tailored programs of study that draw from across areas and faculty.

Carnegie "Doctoral University: Very High Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-19: 77


Areas of Study

  • CommSHER (Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk)
  • Critical/Cultural Studies
  • Digital Media
  • Rhetoric


URAP University Rankings—Language, Communication & Culture 

  • #60 of 300 World Universities

Admission Requirements

  • Statement of personal and professional goals
  • Academic writing sample
  • A curriculum vita or short resume
  • Unofficial transcripts of all previous college and university coursework (official transcripts required upon admission)
  • Names and email addresses of three references

Graduate Faculty

  • Associate Professor Mark Bergstrom, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma 
  • Associate Professor Suhi Choi, Ph.D., Temple University
  • Associate Professor Kevin Coe, Ph.D., University of Illinois
  • Assistant Professor Ashley Cordes, Ph.D., University of Oregon
  • Associate Professor Ann L. Darling, Ph.D., University of Washington
  • Professor Kevin M. Deluca, Ph.D., University of Iowa
  • Professor Danielle Endres, Ph.D., University of Washington 
  • Associate Professor Glen M. Feighery, Ph.D., University of North Carolina
  • Assistant Professor Rachel Alicia Griffin, Ph.D., University of Denver
  • Assistant Professor Avery Holton, Ph.D., University of Texas
  • Assistant Professor Chris Ingraham, Ph.D., University of Colorado Boulder
  • Professor Jakob Daniel Jensen, Ph.D., University of Illinois
  • Professor Robin Elizabeth Jensen, Ph.D., University of Illinois
  • Professor Kimberly Kaphingst, Sc.D., Harvard School of Public Health
  • Associate Professor Sean T. Lawson, Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Assistant Professor Tae Kyoung Lee, Ph.D., Cornell University
  • Assistant Professor Ben Lyons, Ph.D., Southern Illinois University
  • Associate Professor Kimberley Mangun, Ph.D., University of Oregon
  • Assistant Professor Michael Keith Middleton, Ph.D., University of Utah
  • Professor Kent Alan Ono, Ph.D., University of Iowa
  • Professor Helene Shugart, Ph.D., University of Washington
  • Associate Professor David J. Vergobbi, Ph.D., University of Washington
  • Assistant Professor Sara K. Yeo, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

NCA Awards Received by Faculty and Students, 2000-present

  • Diamond Anniversary Book Award, 2006
  • Donald Cushman Memorial Award, 2017
  • Golden Anniversary Monograph Award, 2003, 2015, 2016
  • Wallace Memorial Award, 2015
  • Winans-Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address, 2017
  • Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award, 2018