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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 masters 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 comm; social influence and mass media; or organizational comm 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 Ph.D. level are ideally completed within three years, with the dissertation defended within four years. Funding through the dissertation is generally for five or six years for those entering at the master’s level and four years for those entering at the doctoral level, although 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, Graduate Record Exam scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical), letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose, are all considered.

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 undergrads to prepare them for graduate level course work, 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 two admissions deadlines each year:

January 15 is the deadline for Fall admission with full consideration for financial support in the form of a teaching or research assistantship. All students wishing to be considered for funding are strongly advised to meet this deadline; failure to do so will diminish one’s chances for an award.

April 15 is the deadline for Fall admission for those who do not desire an assistantship. Although there may be assistantships available at this date, there is no guarantee. Thus, the best way to optimize one’s chances for consideration for a teaching or research assistantship is to meet the January 15 deadline.

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, which should provide you with most if not all the of the information you need. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me via email or by phone.


Dr. Claude Miller, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies 
Department of Communication
University of Oklahoma, Norman; office: 405.325.0861