Our doctoral program in mass communication, jointly administered with the Department of Life Sciences Communication, is internationally recognized for our faculty and areas of research. Applicants to the Joint Ph.D. in Mass Communications may apply to one or both departments, depending on your areas of research interest. Options are:
- Mass Communications: Journalism & Mass Comm (code G630L)
- Mass Communications: Life Sciences Comm (code G630A)
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 consultation with their advisors. Our Ph.D. graduates become some of the most successful researchers and leaders in the field of mass communication. We require our students to engage in a systematic search for answers to well-formulated and substantive questions. The research process culminates in the discovery and reporting of new knowledge to others.
A doctoral dissertation in Mass Communications demonstrates a student’s ability to examine in detail an important issue in the field, using original research. Faculty members expect the dissertation to be clearly presented while conveying the student’s close familiarity with his or her research area.
The program offers several internationally recognized areas of research and teaching excellence:
- civic and political communication
- health and environmental communications
- history of media institutions
- information technologies
- social networking and digital media
- process and effects of mediated communication
- law and ethics of media
- international and inter-cultural communication
- public opinion
- science and risk communication
- social marketing
- journalism studies
- media ecologies
- race and media
Working closely with their advisor and committee, students draw from courses offered in departments across campus to develop a plan of study in preparation for independent and original research in their area of specialization.
Visit the Ph.D. in Mass Communications website for more information.
Application deadline: December 15th
In rare cases, late applications might be considered until April 15. Late applications will not be processed unless approved beforehand by at least one of the two Directors of Graduate Studies. Late applications may not be eligible for full funding consideration.
**Important notes regarding application requirements for Mass Comm-LSC
GRE: The Department of Life Sciences Communication understands that Covid-19 restrictions are making it challenging for some applicants to take the GRE. Therefore, submission of GRE scores is optional for applicants to the Mass Comm-Life Sciences Communication Ph.D. program for the fall 2022 application cycle. The absence of GRE scores will not be held against applicants for the fall 2022 application cycle.
If you choose to submit GRE scores to UW-Madison, use institution code 1846. GRE scores are downloaded directly to the Graduate School’s central database and shared with departments so you do not need to list a department code.
Writing sample: The Department of Life Sciences Communication does not require a writing sample for applications to Mass Comm-Life Sciences Communication.