NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

University of Wisconsin, Ph.D. Program in Mass Communications

University of Wisconsin-Madison's doctoral program in Mass Communications is an interdisciplinary program offered jointly by the Department of Life Sciences Communication and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.  The Ph.D. degree in Mass Communications provides future academics and professionals with rigorous training in theory and research with highly individualized programs that students develop in consulation with their advisors. Working closely with their major professor and committee, students draw from courses offered in departments across campus to develop a plan of study in preparation for independent and orignial research in their area of specialization.

Association of American Universities Member


Carnegie "Doctoral University: Very High Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-19: 157


Areas of Study

  • Computer Mediated Communication (including Communication and Technology)
  • Critical Cultural Communication (including Gender/Race/LGBTQ+ Communication)
  • Environmental Communication
  • Health Communication
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Journalism
  • Mass Communication/Media Studies (including New Media)
  • Political Communication
  • Public Relations and Strategic Communication (including Risk and Crisis Communication)
  • Science Communication


QS World University RankingsCommunication & Media Studies 

  • #12 of 200 World Universities

URAP University RankingsLanguage, Communication, & Culture

  • #5 of 300 World Universities


Admission Requirements

  • Complete and submit online application
  • Non-refundable application fee
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • GRE Scores
  • Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended
  • Writing Samples
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL Scores (international applications only)

Graduate Faculty

  • Professor Dominique Brossard, Ph.D., Cornell University
  • Assistant Professor Chris Cascio, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • Assistant Professor Kaiping Chen, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Assistant Professor Katheryn Christy, Ph.D., Ohio State University
  • Associate Professor Kathleen Culver, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • Professor Greg Downey, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
  • Professor Lewis Friedland, Ph.D., Brandeis University
  • Associate Professor Lucas Graves, Ph.D., Columbia University
  • Associate Professor Young Mie Kim, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Assistant Professor Kathryn McGarr, Ph.D., Princeton University
  • Professor Douglas McLeod, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • Assistant Professor Todd Newman, Ph.D., American University
  • Associate Professor Lindsay Palmer, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Professor Karyn Riddle, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Professor Susan Robinson, Ph.D., Temple University
  • Professor Hernando Rojas, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • Professor Dietram A. Scheufele, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • Professor Dhavan Shah, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • Professor Hemant Shah, Ph.D., Indiana University
  • Associate Professor Bret Shaw, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • Professor Michael Wagner, Ph.D, Indiana University
  • Professor Michael Xenos, Ph.D., University of Washington
  • Assistant Professor Sijia Yang, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania