Degrees

M.A. or Ph.D. in Communication Studies

The Communication Studies program offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) at the Lawrence Campus and the Edwards campus and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) only at the Lawrence campus. Five program areas have been ranked among the top doctoral programs in the country including rhetorical studies, political communication, organizational communication, interpersonal communication, and intercultural communication. Graduate students study communication theory in depth and master at least one research methodology, choosing from course sequences in rhetorical/historical, experimental, and qualitative methods. Each student is encouraged to develop two personal research interests and to work independently and with faculty members in pursuit of those interests. Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships are available.

Why KU?

While there are many fine graduate programs in the nation, there are four ways in which the KU program excels. The first is a commitment to teaching that has resulted in numerous honors for both the department and individual faculty. The list of significant teaching awards won by the department and by KU faculty members that is included elsewhere on the website is a very long one. Virtually every faculty member who has been in the department for more than a year or two has won one or more significant awards. Several faculty members have won multiple awards at KU, as well as national and regional awards. Second, the department is student-friendly and works extraordinarily hard to nurture graduate student teaching and research. Surveys of graduate student satisfaction place the department at the very top of the discipline. Third, KU faculty members are not only fine teachers, but committed and very productive scholars. Review of faculty CVs and recent publications makes it obvious that several faculty members are among the leading figures in their sub-disciplines. Young faculty members are building records as rising stars. Finally, KU provides the intellectual room and support for graduate students to build innovative programs that may bridge different areas of the discipline. For example, it is that openness to ideas that led faculty in the department to be among the first in the discipline develop courses and research focused on organizational rhetoric.

Want the straight scoop? Ask a current graduate student!

Prospective graduate students often find it valuable to talk to current graduate students to find out about their perception of the program. Students who have a question about the program can email COMSGradQuestions@ku.edu Your email will not be reviewed by faculty and will be answered by a current grad student.

COMS Expands Efforts at Graduate Professional Development

Continuing efforts of past years, the department has established a major program of professional development for graduate students.  The development effort focuses on three main areas:  research, teaching, and professional opportunities.  The department offers a series of seminars, research workshops, colloquium programs, and research completion efforts to help graduate students develop a research program.  The department is equally committed to teaching, offering a training workshop, courses, and other seminars with a pedagogical focus to help Graduate Teaching Assistants develop a strong teaching record.  Finally, the department offers a number of special workshops on such topics as creating an academic CV, the job search process, and how to present an effective job talk to help students develop a strong professional record.  For additional information on the development efforts click here.

Contact Information:

Communication Studies is a department with its own graduate programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Science. All correspondence concerning admission to graduate study in Communication Studies should be addressed to the Director of Graduate Study for the department:

Dr. Robert Rowland

The University of Kansas
Department of Communication Studies
Bailey Hall 
1440 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 102 
Lawrence, KS 66045-7574 

Voice: 785-864-9868 
Email: rrowland@ku.edu

*For general information about KU Graduate Studies, visit the Graduate School Web site.

*For information about the COMS graduate program at the Edwards Campus, visit our Edwards Campus page.


Calendar of Events
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Advising Information

Advising for summer 2014 and fall 2014
(March 24 – April 11)
More info (PDF)

Colloquium Series
Departmental Awards

Communication Studies Department Awarded Inaugural Chancellor's Doctoral Fellowship!
More Info

Check out (Pro)Social's upcoming event on campus- we hope you can make it!

KU-Van Go partnership supports young people in need Van Go, a Lawrence social service agency, and student interns from the University of Kansas use art to teach job and life skills to high-needs youth. Since the program was established in 1997, hundreds of teens in crisis have found success as they create art for the community. In 2013, Van Go and KU received the inaugural Outstanding Community & Campus Collaboration Award at the Campus Compact Heartland Conference on Civic Engagement. The award recognizes an outstanding, involved, and sustained campus--community partnership.


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46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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