NCA's Doctoral Program Guide

Duquesne University, Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies

The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies integrates the mission of Duquesne University within its curriculum, recruitment, and program development, while simultaneously attending to disciplinary expectations for scholarly excellence. We invite students into a learning environment attentive to narrative ground and the historical moment. The Ph.D. in Rhetoric program seeks to discern and offer answers to questions confronting the human condition from a humanities grounded rhetoric and philosophy of communication perspective. The department educates the next generation of communication professors whose primary mission is to educate undergraduate students.

Carnegie "Doctoral University: Higher Research Activity"


Communication doctorates conferred between 2010-15: 12


Concentrations/Research Emphases 

  • Communication Ethics in the Public Sphere
  • Interpersonal/Organizational Communication
  • Integrated Marketing Communication
  • Rhetoric of Technology



  • Top Ten Research Program in 4 of 99 Research Areas

Admission Requirements

  • Completion of a valid master's degree from an accredited institution, or its professional (J.D., M.D., etc.) equivalent.
  • Demonstration of undergraduate and graduate study sufficient and appropriate to undertake doctoral study in the field of rhetoric and philosophy of communication.
  • Submission of official transcripts, recording all baccalaureate and graduate work, and substantiating receipt of degrees.
  • Submission of Graduate Record Examination scores; Verbal and Analytical scores are of greater concern than Quantitative scores.
  • Submission of three letters of recommendation, at least two of which should be from academic sources.
  • Completion of a statement describing why the Ph.D. Program in Rhetoric at Duquesne University is appropriate for your educational development as a teacher/scholar (not more than 500 words).
  • Submission of a representative writing sample produced for an audience (a course paper or a published article).
  • An official score report indicating satisfactory performance on TOEFL, when appropriate.

Graduate Faculty

  • Associate Professor Pat Arneson, Ph.D., Ohio University
  • Professor Ronald C. Arnett, Ph.D., Ohio University
  • Assistant Professor Garnet C. Butchart, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts
  • Professor Janie Harden Fritz, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
  • Assistant Professor Erik Garrett, Ph.D., Purdue University
  • Assistant Professor Craig T. Maier, Ph.D., Duquesne University
  • Associate Professor Kathleen Roberts, Ph.D., Indiana University
  • Associate Professor Richard H. Thames, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • Associate Professor Calvin L. Troup, Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University
  • Assistant Professor Inci Ucok-Sayrak, Ph.D., University of Texas

NCA Awards Received by Faculty and Students, 2000-present

  • Kibler Memorial Award, 2006
  • Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Expression, 2013
Research Specialties : 
Communication & Technology, Interpersonal-Small Group Communication, Organizational Communication, Public Relations-Strategic Communication, Rhetorical Studies