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Mass Communications–Journalism and Mass Communication

Administrative Unit:Journalism and Mass Communication
College/School: College of Letters & Science
Admitting Plans:Ph.D.
Degrees Offered:Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates:Ph.D. Minor


The Ph.D. degree in mass communications is an interdisciplinary program offered jointly by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Department of Life Sciences Communication.

The program offers several internationally recognized areas of research and teaching excellence: political communication; health communication; science communication; international communication; media processes and effects; race and culture; and ethics, law and history. Working closely with a faculty advisor and drawing from courses offered in departments across the campus, students develop a plan of study in preparation for independent and original research in their areas of interest. Some areas of interest emphasized by recent Ph.D. students include international communication, history of mass communication, social or psychological factors affecting communication, legal issues related to mass communication and the social impact of new media technology.

Applicants for this program are expected to have earned a master's degree in journalism, mass communication or closely related area (with a 3.5 GPA). However, evidence of other suitable preparation for or interest in a doctorate in mass communication will be considered. Three letters of recommendation are required of all applicants. GRE scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing tests) are required for U.S. students and international students. International students are also required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. Test scores must be furnished to the school before the application is considered complete.

A candidate for a Ph.D. degree in another area may earn a minor in mass communications. Normally, the student will write a dissertation combining research in the major and minor fields. Among the areas that have been related to mass communications are economics, history, psychology, sociology, political science, business, communication arts, education, and English. A minor consists of at least 10 graduate credits in journalism and mass communication.

For more information: School of Journalism and Mass Communication, 5115 Vilas Hall, 821 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-3691; admissions@journalism.wisc.edu; www.journalism.wisc.edu.