The Ph.D. in Communication Studies is designed as an intensive, 4-year program in either Relationships & Social Interaction or Rhetoric & Political Communication. Along with classes on specific content and theories, graduate courses taught by our award-winning research faculty include experimental, qualitative, quantitative, and rhetorical methods. Students work closely with their faculty advisor(s) to meet program requirements while creating a unique research identity.
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.
Contact Information(Both PhD and MA) 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. Jay Childers
The University of Kansas, Department of Communication Studies
Bailey Hall, 1440 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 102
Lawrence, KS 66045-7574
*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.
The Graduate Handbook for the Communication Studies program is the most comprehensive and authoritative document for all matters regarding the program. While we strive to maintain the website as accurately as possible, students and potential students should ultimately rely ONLY on the graduate handbook as the authority on questions regarding the program.
- Download the Handbook (PDF)
- 2016 Doctoral Program profile (PDF)
- Communication Studies Graduate Brochure (PDF)