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Rutgers University - New Brunswick

Ph.D. program in Communication, Information and Media

New Brunswick, NJ


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Fostering Intellectual Autonomy & Excitement

The Ph.D. program in Communication, Information and Media provides you doctoral training in theoretical and research skills for scholarly and professional leadership in the fields of communication, library and information science, and journalism and media studies. The strategic combination of these areas helps prepare you to address key questions facing our society in the 21st century. We focus on the nature and function of communication, information and media institutions, policies, processes and systems, examining their impact on individuals and social, organizational, national and international affairs. In doing so, our program’s interdisciplinary approaches to these issues are strongly supported and encouraged.


The Communication area of the interdisciplinary doctoral program in the School of Communication and Information has faculty with research interests in five interconnected areas:

  • Communication and Technology
  • Health Communication
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Language and Social Interaction
  • Organizational Communication

Doctoral students in Communication conduct problem-oriented research that focuses on a variety of prominent contemporary topics, such as:

  • Social networks
  • Social media
  • Online privacy and anonymity
  • Children's media use
  • Community health programs
  • Health campaigns
  • Medical provider-patient interaction
  • Interaction on emergency and emotional support telephone lines
  • Family involvement in palliative care
  • Global teams
  • Organizational change
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Institutional leadership

Multiple centers and labs provide various opportunities for doctoral students, including:

For more information contact COM area coordinator, Itzhak Yanovitzky. 

Library And Information Science

The LIS area of concentration (also known as iSchool) in our interdisciplinary Ph.D. provides an excellent environment for research in such areas as: 

  • Health Information and Technology
  • Human Information Behavior
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Information Institutions, Artifacts and Documents
  • Information, Learning, and Technology
  • Information Retrieval and Language Analysis
  • Social Computing and Data Science

Multiple centers and labs provide various opportunities for doctoral students, including:

For more information, contact LIS area coordinator Nicholas Belkin. 

Media Studies

Media Studies examines the role of media—of all types and on all platforms—in culture, society, politics and history. SC&I faculty members are trained in a variety of disciplines (communication, media studies, history, anthropology, and journalism and mass communication) and use a range of research methods including interpretive, qualitative, quantitative, and historical.

Our faculty members work in fields that include:

  • Cultural Studies
  • Political Economy
  • Media History
  • Journalism Studies
  • Technology and Digital Innovation
  • Media and Politics
  • Promotional Culture
  • Science Communication

Scholars who are seeking to be engaged, and whose work connects with real-world issues, our faculty examines the roles of media in understandings of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, class, and ideology; local, national, and international social movements, politics, and networks; and development and transmission of political and cultural ideas, including through journalism and popular culture. They also consider media law, regulation, and policy; media activism; and technological developments and emerging media forms.

For more information, contact Media Studies coordinator Melissa Aronczyk.

The Ph.D. Program encourages students whose interests are interdisciplinary and fall across these three areas to develop an individual plan of study in consultation with the program director, area coordinators and advisors. For more information, contact Ph.D. Program Director Jennifer Theiss

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Doctoral Degrees 11

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes
Evening/weekend programs available? No
Distance learning programs available? No
Terminal master's degree available? Yes

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Doctoral Degrees Entrance Exam GRE General Test
Comp Exam Required
Thesis Required
Qualifying exams


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?
Applications processed
on a rolling basis?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline January 15th January 15th Yes

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Doctoral Degree Exam GRE General Test
Doctoral Degree Requirements Proficiency in statistics

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL Paper score: 600

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards February 1
Types of financial support available Fellowships
Research Assistantships
Teaching Assistantships
Institutionally-sponsored Loans

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
Not Reported
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Hispanic/Latino 0.98%
Black or African American 6.86%
White or Caucasian 66%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 25.49%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Not Reported
Two or more races Not Reported
Unknown 0%


Male (26%)
Female (73%)


Total faculty
Full-time - 43
Part-time - 0
Male (22)
Female (21)


Focus of faculty research: Information science, media studies
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year:

Location & Contact

Address School of Communication and Information
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ  08901
United States
Contact Jennifer Theiss
Director of the Ph.D. Program & Professor of Communication
Phone: 848-932-8719

Rutgers University - New Brunswick