Communication Studies, PhD
The graduate program is dedicated to cultivating scholar-teachers capable of advancing the study of relational and civic dimensions of communication.
We reflect the pluralism of the communication discipline by currently offering two primary areas of study: Interpersonal, Family & Health Communication and Rhetoric & Public Culture. The mission of the faculty and students of the Department of Communication Studies is to examine human symbolic activity as it shapes and is shaped by relationships, institutions, technology, and culture. This work concerns the creation, analysis, and critique of messages ranging from face-to-face to digital media contexts. The department’s research and teaching devote particular attention to three cross-cutting strategic initiatives: Health and Well-Being, Civic Engagement, and Identity and Difference. Our goal is to nurture scholars who appreciate and embrace the interconnectedness of these primary areas as well as other faculty foci (e.g., organizational communication). Our doctoral students have great success in securing academic appointments upon graduation. Our M.A. program will prepare you for continuing your doctoral studies in prestigious doctoral programs. You will develop programs of study that serve your individual focus based on your primary area of study and our department strategic initiatives.
For more information, visit https://comm.unl.edu/graduate.
Great Plains Studies
Women's & Gender Studies
Graduate Admission Requirements
- Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee.
- One set of transcripts.
- If International: upload copies of all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certiﬁcates, diplomas, and degrees plus certiﬁed English translations.
* Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certiﬁed records are not acceptable. International students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certiﬁed copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by their current school’s registrar office.
- If the student’s native language is not English, verification of English proficiency is required.
- If applicant is not a US citizen and expects an F or J visa: financial information.
- Applicants must also fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies at the time of application.
Major Admission Requirements
- Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 600, Internet TOEFL100, IELTS 6.5
- Three recommendation letters
- Curriculum Vitae
- Demonstration of teaching effectiveness: A summary of your teaching experience or a discussion of your teaching potential.
- Personal Statement: At minimum, your statement should include the following:
- A discussion of your overall academic goals
- A review of your undergraduate and graduate experiences that prepare you for master's or doctoral-level graduate work
- A clear articulation of your perspective on the potential intersections between our research endeavors and scholarly initiatives and your current research interests.
For this last point, it is not necessary to link your research interests with all faculty members. For instance, you may identify a specific faculty member's program of research or you may see a cluster of scholarly foci from different faculty that you believe will assist you in achieving your academic goals. In your statement, we ask that you be very clear on what faculty member you would like to serve as your primary academic advisor. However, we are open to changes in this as students progress through the program.
- Writing sample
- Assistantship: If you wish to be considered for an assistantship, be sure to check the appropriate box(es) in the Funding section.
NOTE: When sending GRE or TOEFL scores, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed
The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.