PhD in Communications & Media

The ICR has one of the most renowned communications Ph.D. programs in the world. Students in the program study such topics as media economics, organization and structure; media policy; political economy of the media; new technologies and new media; telecommunications; advertising and consumer research; journalism studies; media ethics; media and communications history; social and cultural studies of science and medicine; popular culture and film; race, ethnicity and gender; democracy and the media; and global/international communications. Recent Ph.D. dissertations have addressed a wide range of topics, from intellectual property and cultural production in Africa, to the history of sound technology, Chilean television infrastructure and policy, and advertising regulation and post-Mao journalism in China.

The ICR attracts many international students from such countries as Austria, Argentina, Barbados, Canada, China, Germany, Ghana, Ireland, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia and Turkey. Our graduate student body has been extremely successful in terms of research grants and fellowships both on campus and nationally, and recent graduates are employed internationally in institutions such as McGill University, UC-San Diego, Rutgers, the University of New Hampshire, CUNY Queens, the University of Chicago and Texas A & M.

Today, nearly everyone recognizes the importance of knowing everything possible about communication. Information technologies, media mergers and computer marvels are daily convention. Intellectually significant research on communication is not commonplace, however. Work of enduring quality develops from comprehending the gravity and stature of the subject, and communication is among the most challenging and fascinating areas that humankind has been inspired to address.

Its proper study crosses the boundaries of established academic disciplines and draws upon a holistic intellectual heritage grounded in the liberal arts, in the traditions of social scientific research and cultural interpretation, and in a thoroughgoing spirit of critical inquiry. This conceptual pursuit of the highest order requires preeminent standards of imagination, academic rigor and historical awareness.

These are qualities the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois has nurtured in establishing its distinctive reputation. The Institute has encouraged innovative doctoral work, while striving to appreciate more deeply why the study of communication has endured through human history. These Web pages provide a glimpse into the Institute's intellectual environment, and they should be viewed only as a starting point. You can gain a richer understanding by discussing with faculty members and doctoral students how their special interests may relate to your own. We encourage you to do that, either through a phone call or a personal visit to the Illinois campus.

Contact us

Office location: 119 Gregory Hall, 810 S. Wright St., Urbana, IL
Phone: 217-333-1549