Graduate Program in Communication

gradThe Department of Communication is recognized for its overall excellence in graduate education. In one survey of department chairs, MU was ranked 12th in the nation in communication programs offering a doctoral degree. In another study, the University of Missouri ranked among the top 12 PhD granting institutions to receive NCA and ICA top convention paper awards in five different divisions. In the 2007 Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index the Department of Communication at Mizzou was ranked 9th in the nation for communication graduate programs.

The faculty in the Department of Communication include some of the top scholars in the field. They are committed to remaining on the cutting edge of the discipline through exciting research projects. Their work can be found in the best journals including Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, Communication Monographs, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, Journal of Applied Communication Research and other prominent professional outlets. The faculty also have produced a number of important books covering emerging areas in the field of communication.

Collaborative research projects between faculty and graduate students are the departmental norm. In this way, graduate students actively participate in the department's research mission while simultaneously learning how to conduct meaningful research projects.

Not only are the faculty well known scholars in the field of communication, but they also have been recognized for their teaching excellence through a number of teaching awards, including five Kemper teaching awards, the University of Missouri's highest teaching honor.

Applicants are considered once a year for Fall admission, with January 15 as the application deadline.

If you have a question about the Communication Department Graduate Admissions, please contact:

Dr. Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz
Director of Graduate Studies

Top 10 Reasons to Choose the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri for Your Graduate Education

1. A long tradition of excellence: The Department of Communication has a long and prestigious history in the field of communication. The Department was established in 1940 (then the Department of Speech and Dramatic Art). From 1945-1951, Switzler Hall was home to the National Communication Association (then called the National Association of Teachers of Speech). You can feel confident that your education will be grounded in the rich traditions unique to our field.

2. Cutting edge research and activities: The faculty in the Department of Communication are some of the top scholars in their respective areas. You will find research by Missouri faculty in the field’s top journals, highly acclaimed books authored by members of the faculty, and numerous top paper awards presented at conferences. Rest assured that when you graduate from the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri, you will be at the cutting edge of our field.

3. National recognition for excellence: Our program has been recognized as a top program nationally by numerous surveys over the last decade. The 2007 Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index ranked our department as 9th in the nation among communication graduate programs. In the 2005 National Doctoral Program survey of graduate programs, our program was ranked 1st in the nation in communication studies for graduate students’ satisfaction with their educational experience. Other recent studies ranked our department 4th nationally for faculty research productivity. These surveys document many of the intangible differences that make Missouri an exceptional choice for your graduate education.

4. A collegial working environment: Unlike some programs, graduate students in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri maintain a culture of collegiality. As a result, students generally feel supported by their colleagues in the department, a very important consideration when deciding where to spend the next critical years of your life.

5. An opportunity for collaboration with faculty: Most students in the Department of Communication collaborate with their professors on multiple research projects. As a result, student professional development is higher at Missouri than in many other programs. In the last 3 years our graduate students published 34 articles and presented 128 conference papers, many of which were top papers in their various divisions. When you finish at Missouri, not only will you have a degree but you will also be a scholar.

6. A high completion rate for Ph.D’s: The average completion rate for students in Ph.D. programs in communication who finish their course work is 28%. In the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri, we have implemented a series of procedures designed to encourage students to complete their degree. As a result, our completion rate is 91%, 63% higher than most other Ph.D. programs. When you begin your program at Missouri, you can have greater confidence that you will ultimately prevail in your quest for a degree.

7. Technology in the classroom: The Department of Communication is at the cutting edge of educational technology. With web assisted courses, and technology enhanced dedicated classrooms for the basic course, we offer students the best that technology has to offer without forgetting the humanity and individuality of our students. As a result, you will be able to teach your classes with a variety of technological aids not available to most graduate assistants in other departments.

8. Lively discussions: As you walk into Switzler Hall, the historic building that houses the Department of Communication at Missouri, you might observe graduate students and professors sitting on the front steps of the building discussing various communication issues. We enjoy an environment of lively exchange in which learning occurs both in and out of the classroom. The department’s colloquium serves yet another important outlet for this type of exchange. By choosing to participate in departmental conversations, your education at Missouri will be a richer and more rewarding personal experience.

9. Emphasis on multiple research methods: As a graduate student in the Department of Communication, you will learn how to use multiple research methods through which communication processes can be explored. This diverse knowledge is important in our field because of the incredible complexity of human communication. As a result of your training, you will be equipped to study a broad array of communication phenomena in interesting ways.

10. Columbia is a great place to live: Columbia has been consistently ranked by Money Magazine as one of the best cities in the United States. This designation is based on our low crime rate, low cost of living, vital downtown area, and other amenities. Columbia also provides a much lower cost of living than many other cities hosting graduate programs in Communication. On average, Columbia’s cost of living runs 5 to 6% below the national average. This means that your graduate funding will stretch further and provide a more comfortable life style than other graduate programs.

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We Look Forward to Hearing from You!