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Graduate Studies

The graduate program in Communication at Oklahoma is designed to prepare students to conduct original research in one or more specialty areas exploring the process of human communication, with emphases on the social, psychological, political, and cultural effects of human interaction.

Given that the University of Oklahoma is one of only 115 Research One (R1) Doctoral Universities in the United States—designated by the Carnegie Classification System as engaging in the “Highest Research Activity"—our graduate program maintains a sharp focus on rigorous theory-driven research, and we encourage our graduate students to work closely in collaboration with our faculty as they explore and investigate areas of mutual research interest.

Most of our doctoral graduates apply their degrees toward careers in academic teaching and research, or communication-related fields making use of their research skills and expertise. Our students, both at the master's and doctoral levels, generally enter the program with interests focusing on one or a combination of our six areas of specialization:

Intercultural/International Communication
Interpersonal Communication/Social Influence
Political/Mass Communication
Health Communication
Organizational Communication
Communication Technology/CMC

Within our department, students tend to concentrate in one area while exploring and incorporating key empirical and theoretical concerns in other areas, often combining research objectives at the intersection of several sub-disciplines; for example, intercultural and health communication; social influence and mass media; or organizational communication and international health, to name but a few possibilities.

General Information

Upon a foundational core curriculum of quantitative and qualitative methods, statistics, and history and theory of communication, our students build a concentrated program of research within their own specialized area of interest, through advanced courses, seminars, independent study, and research task force projects in their chosen content area.

Beyond two years of master’s study, course requirements at the doctoral level are ideally completed within three years, with the dissertation defended in the student's fourth year. Funding through the dissertation is generally for five or six years for those entering at the master’s level and continuing on at the doctoral level, and for four years for those entering at the doctoral level. An additional year of funding may be available, depending on student and departmental needs. Graduate awards and scholarships are also available for students excelling within the program at both the master’s and doctoral levels.

An undergraduate major in communication is not required; we welcome applicants from other academic backgrounds, and we accept students who hold baccalaureate as well as master's degrees. Our graduate committee reviews each candidate's complete application package to evaluate its promise for predicting a successful career in teaching and research. One’s academic course record, GPA, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose, are all considered. GRE scores are not currently required but highly recommended, especially for those wishing to be considered for funding.

Our department places major emphasis on the conducting of research, therefore, students who are admitted to the Ph.D. program have generally been involved in independent research during the pursuit of their MA degrees. Although there are no course requirements for admission, all applicants should have sufficient foundational knowledge as undergraduates to prepare them for graduate level coursework, and to immediately begin conducting communication research.

How to Apply

Application and Deadlines:

Graduate admissions and requirements for the application process are available via the Graduate College's Website.

All admission materials for the Department of Communication must be submitted to the Graduate College's online system available here.

The Department of Communication has three deadlines each year:

The application deadline is January 5th of each year for full funding consideration. If January 5th falls on a weekend, materials will be due on the following business day. Funding is unlikely for applications after January 5. You may also apply by May 5th for fall admissions but with limited opportunities for funding. The department does not process regular admissions for the spring semester. 

We encourage you to submit your application to pursue graduate work here in the Department of Communication at Oklahoma, and we look forward to receiving your application materials. To answer your questions about our program, please explore this website. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me via email or by phone.


Dr. Lindsey Meeks, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies 
Department of Communication
University of Oklahoma, Norman