The PhD in Journalism Studies offered by the Department of Journalism is one of three separate and distinct tracks of the Media Research and Practice doctoral program within the College of Media, Communication and Information.
The PhD in Journalism Studies focuses on exploring the intersection of journalism, journalism practice and society. Students gain a solid foundation through coursework that explores the theories and methods that shape mass communication research. The multidisciplinary program examines not only traditional journalism, but also the ever-increasing boundaries of the industry, including user-generated content, citizen journalism, the audience’s impact on news production, the new technologies shaping practice, social media’s role in news, new quasi-journalistic outlets, etc.
Students research institutions, content, audiences and publics—and they can approach these subjects through a multitude of methodologies and theoretical lenses: sociological, psychological, historical, cultural, political, economic, legal and more. Students are encouraged to develop their own approach (both theoretical and methodological) to the study of mass communication and journalism, all while learning and collaborating with faculty who have a diverse range of specialties. An integral part of our doctoral students’ education is their participation in the department’s research and teaching missions through their assignments as research assistants, teaching assistants and graduate instructors.
The strategic communication and journalism studies tracks for the PhD are administered together by the departments of Advertising, Public Relations and Design, and Journalism. Students in both tracks are taught by and have access to the faculties of both departments. The curriculum includes an overview of mass/public communication literature with specific modules and courses dedicated to advertising, journalism and public relations. Classes also focus on areas that straddle each industry such as social media, political communication, ethics, media organizations, health communication and video games. We welcome and appreciate both qualitative and quantitative approaches to research. Graduates pursue teaching and research positions at universities as well as work in the private sector.