Communication, Culture, & Media Studies (Ph.D.)

Communication, Culture, & Media Studies (Ph.D.) | Graduate

Our scholars investigate contemporary issues and practices in mass media, communication, and cultural studies, and apply critical interdisciplinary frameworks in communication theory, discourse and network analysis, semiotics, and other methodological approaches to better understand mediated cultural and social phenomena locally, nationally, and globally.

The Ph.D. in Communication, Culture and Media Studies at Howard's Graduate School welcomes applicants who hold a master’s degree (M.A., M.F.A. or M.S.) with backgrounds in the social sciences, humanities, fine arts, and other communication-related fields. Our program highly encourages an interdisciplinary, multicultural approach to investigating communication issues locally, nationally, and globally. Students engage theoretical concepts across diverse fields, including critical media and cultural studies, visual culture, sociology, history, science and technology studies, anthropology, history, and political economy. As a graduate of the program, you'll be prepared to compete successfully for postdoctoral positions, tenure-track teaching appointments at colleges and universities, and senior-level communications consulting or research positions in the public or private sector. Our program emphasizes critical frameworks and mixed methodological approaches to communications studies, including quantitative and qualitative methods, discourse analysis, network analysis, semiotics, critical communication theory, and ethnography. You may choose from three distinct areas of specialization: health communication; media, and cultural studies; and technology, policy, and society. You'll enjoy a highly collegial atmosphere and the close mentorship of faculty notable for their wide-ranging research, including examinations of the role of communication in health promotion, mass communications and public policymaking, strategic communication, culture and media history, the political economy of media, multicultural and mediated communication, and interrelations between global social movements, art, and media. 

Program Snapshot

      ❱  72 credit hours 

      ❱  Full-time

      ❱  On-campus format

      ❱  Degree: Ph.D.

Application Deadlines

Spring 2024 entry: 

      ❱  No spring entry

Fall 2024 entry: 

      ❱  Dec. 1, 2023 (early deadline)

      ❱  Feb. 15, 2024 (priority deadline)

      ❱  Apr. 15, 2024 (final deadline)

Applicants should submit their applications as early as possible for earlier consideration of departmental funding opportunities. Applicants have until the final deadline to apply. However, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the admissions cycle. 

Transfer credits accepted (reviewed by committee; students may transfer up to 24 credits in communication-related courses from their master’s program)


Dr. Loren Saxton Coleman

Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. Frances Gateward

Department Chair

Program Details

  • Degree Classification: Graduate
  • Related Degrees: Ph.D.

Admission Requirements

Application for Admission

  • Online GradCAS application
  • Statement of academic interest & research goals (500-1,000 words)
  • GRE scores required (GRE scores taken up to 3 years prior to application)
  • Official transcripts sent to GradCAS
  • 3 letters of recommendation (faculty and.or academic advisors)
  • Master’s degree from an accredited university or the international equivalent 
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Autobiographical statement/Personal statement (500-750 words)

GRE Required?

  • Yes (GRE scores taken up to 3 years prior to application)

GRE Preferred Minimums

  • GRE Verbal Reasoning: 140
  • GRE Quantitative Reasoning: 135
  • GRE Analytical Writing: 4

GPA Required Minimums

  • Overall GPA minimum: 3.0
  • Undergrad GPA minimum: 3.0

Reference Requirements

Evaluator type accepted:

  • Faculty/Academic Advisors (Required)

Evaluator type not accepted:

  • Friend
  • Family Member
  • Coworker
  • Clergy
  • Other
  • Supervisor/Manager