Ph.D. in Mass Communication
The Ph.D. program in mass communication is designed to prepare students for college teaching and research positions or research careers in mass communication industries, advertising agencies, market- or opinion-research firms, business or government.
The program is small and selective. Eight to 12 new students are admitted each year. Enrollment in the program – which normally takes three to four years to complete – totals about 40 students.
Once admitted, collegial faculty members work closely with each student to develop a program of study that is both interdisciplinary, allowing the student to take full advantage of the University's rich academic offerings, and tailored to meet the specific needs and interests of the student. The goal of the program is to produce outstanding scholars who are highly knowledgeable about mass communication and highly skilled as researchers.
Most of our graduates are hired as tenure-track professors at colleges and universities across the country. However, we do have a small but significant number of Ph.D. graduates who elect careers outside of a traditional academic track. These graduates hold top management positions in research, advertising and marketing firms. Some hold public sector positions, and several have started their own companies. Among the non-academic positions Ph.D. graduates have taken are Assistant vice president for commerce of Sun Trust in Atlanta, Management and program analyst at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Director of research at TRAC Media Services, and Director of polling at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
All applicants to the Ph.D. program must have completed a master's degree or a J.D.
Admissions decisions are based not only on the standard criteria — GRE scores, grade averages and letters of recommendation — but also on a determination of whether the applicant's interests and goals fit with those of the program and faculty. For that reason, the statement of purpose and statement of research interests that must accompany an application are extremely important, and applicants are encouraged to be as specific as possible in outlining their research interests and career goals.