Current Size: 100%

Communication, Culture and Media Studies

The department provides doctoral-level studies leading to the PhD which focus on communication problems of importance in an emerging digital and multicultural world.

The department provides doctoral-level studies leading to the PhD which focus on communication problems of importance in an emerging digital and multicultural world. The curriculum in Communication, Culture and Media Studies (CCMS) is designed to train scholars and academic leaders to contribute to interdisciplinary research in communication with a particular emphasis on multicultural and mediated communication.

The program offers core competencies in research strategies (qualitative, quantitative, and critical), theory and methodology. The program also responds to the university’s historical mission to advance African Americans and other underserved communities by emphasizing multiculturalism, global issues and social justice concerns in its curriculum.

Applicants to the CCMS program must possess a master’s degree by the time they enter the program. The CCMS department does not offer a master’s degree.


Communication, Culture and Media Studies at Howard University

The Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies (CCMS) offers specialties in three primary areas:

  • Media Studies, including political communication; journalism; representations of gender, race, nationality and culture; political economy of media industries; media employment; national development; and media and social movements.
  • Communication Technology & Policy, including new media, Internet and society, media-government relationship, media regulation, online privacy, and media regulation and governance.
  • Strategic Communication, including public relations, health communication, and risk communication.

New students are admitted to the program in fall semester only. Application for admission is through the Graduate School ( Deadline for application is January 15.

A limited number of teaching assistantships are available to cover tuition and provide a stipend. Once students have been admitted to the graduate program in CCMS, they are invited to apply for these department-based assistantships. Applicants are also encouraged to apply for Graduate School funding (

Contact: Dr. Carolyn M. Byerly, chair: (202) 806.5121;

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in their master’s program to receive consideration for admission to the CCMS program. In addition, applicants must have:

Completed on-line application and signature page, and submitted the following:

  • The non-refundable $45 application fee (Waivers accepted for FAMU Feeder Program and McNair Scholars),
  • Official transcripts directly from the Registrar’s Office from ALL colleges and universities attended,
  • GRE Scores (Only official score reports are accepted within 5 years of the test date),
  • A statement of Academic and Research Interest
  • An Autobiographical Sketch (Personal biography)
  • Resume (or CV)
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic sources (in Word documents)

International Applicants

In addition to the requirements listed above you must submit:

  • Official transcripts, certificates and/or mark/grade sheets. These must be sent directly from the colleges or universities you have attended to the Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions, and must show proof of degree(s) earned, courses taken and marks/grades received. Also, ALL transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES) ( or AACRAO ( and be forwarded to Graduate Recruitment and Admissions.
  • TOEFL Scores (Minimum computer-based score of 213 is required and only official score reports are accepted within 2 years of the test date). International applicants who completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree at an English-speaking university are exempt from TOEFL exams.
Degree Requirements

Credits: The Graduate School requires a minimum of 72 credits for the Ph.D. (including the dissertation). A maximum of 24 credits may be transferred from the master’s program to help fulfill the total required credits. See below for specific course requirements in the doctoral program.

Doctoral Curriculum (Adopted Fall 2013)

Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies (CCMS)

Required Core Courses (3 credits each)                                         Credit: 18 cr.

CCMS 700   Professional Seminar in Communication Studies

CCMS 701   Quantitative Research Methodology

CCMS 702   Qualitative Research Methodology

CCMS 703   Critical Studies Research Methodology

CCMS 705   African-American Issues in Communication

CCMS 750   Communication Theory & Research Foundations

Research or Language Tool                                                        Credit: 6 cr.

Language courses in the student’s non-native language that have demonstrated applicability to his or her research program may be credited if at the advanced level or at the level of literature as certified by the graduate language studies department.

Or – student may substitute two additional methods courses that have demonstrable impact on the student’s proposed area of research (i.e. Oral History, Historiography, Qualitative-Interpretative Analysis)

Seminars/Electives                                                                      Credit: 15 cr.

Students will develop a Program of Study that maps the student’s doctoral courses in CCMS. It will include the required (core) courses, electives, and dissertation in a semester-by-semester plan.

Cognate                                                                                             Credit: 6-9 cr.

A cognate is an area of knowledge in which the student wants to gain depth to complement his or her study of communication. A cognate comprises two or three courses in another field of the student’s interest (6-9 credits); some of these courses may be taken at Consortium universities (at the graduate level).

Required Dissertation Hours                                                    Credit: 12 cr.

Note:   The CCMS department continues to adapt and build the curriculum in order to respond to changes in media industries, world events, and shifts within the US society.

  • Wei Sun, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies


    Dr. Sun’s research interests include: Minority invisibility, health communication and technology, crisis communication, intercultural communication, political messaging and audience reception.

  • Natalie Hopkinson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies


    Dr. Hopkinson’s research interests include: Music, culture and the black community; cultural criticism; race, class and culture; scholarship and civic engagement; black masculinity; women and minorities in pubic leadership.

  • Carolyn A. Stroman, Ph.D., Research Associate, Howard University NOAA/for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS); Adjunct Appointment, College of Medicine, Howard University; Former Editor, The Howard Journal of Communications | 202-806-4057

    Dr. Stroman’s research interests are centered in the areas of African Americans and mass communication, and health communication and health disparities. She has published her research in a variety of journals, including Journalism Quarterly (now JQMC), Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media; Journalism Educator, Journal of Black Studies, Journal of Negro Education, Journal of Health Communication, Journal of Dental Education, and Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. Her recent and current research examines how diversity dimensions (ethnicity, race, and gender) influence how individuals and groups respond to and process health messages and risk communication.

  • Abbas Malek, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies (CCMS)

    | 202-806-5112

    Dr. Malek‘s areas of research and writing are in News Media and Foreign Policy, International Communication, Media and International Conflicts, Cross-cultural Communication and the Middle East. Among his most recent publications are two books, published by Ablex/Greenwood Press. He also writes by invitation for national and international publications. His most recent invited chapter was published in Encyclopedia of International Media and Foreign Policy and he has published numerous articles and book chapters during his nearly thirty years of academic tenure. He has also presented at national and international conferences. He serves on the editorial board of several scholarly journals and presently, he is serving as an editor of a book series for Greenwood Publishing Co.

  • Anju Grover Chaudhary, Ph.D., Graduate Professor, Department of Communication, Culture & Media Studies | 202-806-5116

    A specialist in the fields of international communication and new technologies, Dr. Chaudhary has edited numerous books, contributed several chapters in journalism textbooks, published a variety of articles in refereed academic journals, and has reviewed books in the field. Her special research interests are: International Communication, Comparative Media Systems, Internet and Mobile Technologies, Globalization, Convergence. Her co-edited book, Comparative Mass Media Systems, was considered a landmark in the field and was adopted as a text in more than 40 universities throughout the country. The book was later translated in Arabic and Malaysian languages. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals, including Journalism Quarterly, World Communication, Asian Journal of Communication, International Philosophical Quarterly, Gazette: The International Journal of Mass Communication, Media Asia, International Journal of Humanities, International Communication Bulletin and The Howard Journal of Communications, among others. She also serves on the editorial boards of The Howard Journal of Communications, Newspaper Research Journal, and Journalism & Mass Communication Educator.

  • Carolyn M. Byerly, Ph.D., Graduate Professor and Chair, Department of Communication, Culture & Media Studies | 202-806-5121

    Dr. Byerly’s research takes a critical empirical approach, addressing a range of issues related to gender and race in media, including public policy, ownership, employment and management. A longtime activist in movements for social justice, she also takes an activist approach to her research. Much of her scholarship is international in scope and is typically situated within the literature on political economy. She was the principal investigator and author of the Global Report on the Status of Women (2011), a 59-nation study on women’s employment status in news companies, funded by the International Women’s Media Foundation; she was editor of the subsequent Palgrave International Handbook of Women and Journalism (2013), which is based on the Global Report study. She is the co-author of Women and Media: A Critical Introduction (2006) and co-editor of Women and Media: International Perspectives (2004), as well as author of dozens of journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Byerly also has served on the editorial board of numerous journals, including Communication, Culture & Critique; Howard Journal of Communication; Feminist Media Studies, Journal of Communication, Journal of Culture & Media Politics, among others. In addition to reviewing manuscripts for the journals, she also reviews manuscripts for book publishers, including McGraw-Hill, Blackwell Publishing Co., Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Co.

Related Resources