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Ph.D. in Mass Communication

Ph.D in Mass Communication

The School of Media Arts and Studies and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism jointly offer the doctoral program in Mass Communication. Our world-renowned Journalism and Media Arts and Studies faculty work with doctoral students in a range of areas, including:

About the Program

The doctoral program is structured as a three-year course of study, with major milestones including the completion of coursework, comprehensive exams, dissertation proposal, and dissertation. In the first year, students develop their knowledge of theory and research, select an advisor and other members of their program committee, and begin work in their area of specialization. In the second year, students choose their advisor and take additional coursework in their area of specialization and other relevant areas of study. The second year ends with completion of the comprehensive examination during the summer. A formal approval of the dissertation research proposal should occur at the beginning of the third year, and the rest of the year is then devoted to dissertation research and writing.

Meet current students

Program outcomes

Past graduate students have on gone on to work as faculty at universities and colleges, professionals in the media production industry, researchers and activists at NGOs, and journalists around the world. Learn more about our program alumni.

How to Apply

Please apply through OHIO's Graduate College portal. The Ph.D. in Mass Communication program has two tracks: choose program code PH5307 for Media Arts and Studies (MDIA), and program code PH5308 for Journalism (JOUR). 

Applications are accepted for fall admission only (the start of the academic year). For each academic year's admissions, the application portal will open on September 15 the year prior.  

We ask for the following materials as part of your application:

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Optional. We encourage the submission of GRE scores, but we will evaluate each applicant in a holistic manner. If you are including your GRE scores, they must be sent by the testing agency to the Graduate College. Please note in your application if you are not submitting scores. 
  • International applicants must provide TOEFL or IELTS scores to the Graduate College, unless they completed their education in a country where English is the language of both instruction and common daily use (e.g. Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom). No other test of English proficiency (such as Duolingo) can be accepted as a substitute. Applicants who have completed a degree at an accredited U.S. university with English as the language of instruction can have the English proficiency test score requirement waived.
  • Official transcripts from all universities previously attended
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of purpose: 500-1,000 words explaining your reasons for pursuing a Ph.D. in Mass Communication, and why you would be a strong applicant for an Ohio University doctoral program
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Writing sample
  • The GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS reporting code for Ohio University is 1593.

You also are welcome to submit samples of your professional work, but they are not required.

Applicants should have a Master's degree. You need not have an undergraduate major or master’s degree in mass communication, media studies, or journalism to apply for a Ph.D. in mass communication. However, the admissions committee will look favorably on relevant academic and professional experience.

Application deadlines:

The deadline for international applicants is December 31.
The deadline for domestic applicants (U.S. citizens or permanent residents) is February 1.


Graduate assistantships are competitively awarded based on academic record, professional experience, recommendations and current needs of the School of Media Arts and Studies and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. All doctoral students with a graduate assistantship are required to work a minimum of 15 hours per week (and no more than 20 hours) in exchange for a stipend and full tuition waiver and may be assigned as teaching assistants, research assistants, or instructors. 

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Contact us

For questions or more information about our doctoral program, contact:


Professor and Director for Graduate Studies, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism; Associate Dean, Scripps College of Communication
Schoonover Center 231
Associate Professor and Graduate Director
Schoonover Center 303