Graduate Overview

Our graduate program is grounded in theory and research concerning human communication, and provides excellent preparation for further graduate study and careers in academia.

Graduate students participate in research teams with a guiding faculty member, enabling hands-on research experience, sometimes on grant-funded projects. Our program emphasizes the practical skills required of someone pursuing a career in academic research and teaching, and training those people is our mission.

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Masters of Arts

Most students who enter our MA program consider it a stepping stone to a PhD program, either at the University of Arizona or elsewhere. Like the PhD, the MA degree is heavily focused on research and theory. An accelerated option is available for University of Arizona students; applications for the accelerated program are due in the Spring of a student's junior year. 

Doctor of Philosophy

This program offers in-depth study and research training for scholars seeking careers in academia. Programs of study combine major and minor coursework to fit individual intellectual needs and areas of research specialization. Graduates have pursued academic careers at research institutions such as Texas A&M University, The Pennsylvania State University, Arizona State University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, University of Illinois, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, The Ohio State University, and the University of Oklahoma. Students applying to the PhD must have completed an MA by the time they begin the program; students with only a BA should apply first to our MA program. 

Areas of Specialization

The department offers a broad range of coursework and educational research opportunities, with specialization in the following:

Interpersonal Communication

A number of faculty members specialize in the study of interpersonal communication. Specific areas of study include family communication, small group decision making, relational communication, communication between individuals from different social groups, and interpersonal persuasion.


In the media area, faculty specialize in portrayals of groups in the media (e.g., cultural minorities, older adults), the effects of television on perceptions of social groups, media effects on children and adolescents, media portrayals of sex and violence, policy issues concerning the media, the Internet and new technology, and the media's coverage of politics.

Health Communication

Several faculty members specialize in research that has health implications. These include examinations of talk about safer-sex, the relationship between communication and aging, mental health issues in communication, and the effects of the media on adolescents' sexual behavior.

Contact Us

For more information about our program, please call: 520-621-0505.