The graduate program in Communication at UC Davis is an intensive program leading to the Master of Arts and a Ph.D. Students interested in pursuing a PhD are encouraged to apply to the PhD program even if they do not have a Master's degree. The programs emphasizes the scientific study of social interaction and mediated communication especially as they relate to communication and information technology. The program is distinctive in three ways.
- First, we maintain small class sizes to provide a personal educational experience and extensive student-faculty contact. Most courses are taught as seminars in which students learn from each other in small, faculty facilitated groups.
- Second, we stress knowledge generation and the primacy of scientific theory. We expect our students to master the fundamental theories that explain the dynamics of social interaction and mediated communication, learn how to critique extant theories, and develop the research skills required to generate and test their own theories and models of communication.
- Third, our program draws upon communication researchers from other fields to offer a rich, interdisciplinary experience. In addition to the Department of Communication, our program faculty comes from Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Medicine.
The M.A. program offers thesis and non-thesis tracks. The thesis option requires students to complete 32 units of course work and carry out independent research, culminating in a thesis. The non-thesis option requires students to complete 40 units of coursework and pass a comprehensive examination that includes written and oral components.
The Ph.D. program requires 56 units of coursework and involves qualifying examinations, a dissertation and a final examination.