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Graduate Information


The graduate program in Communication at UC Davis is an intensive program leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. are encouraged to apply to our doctoral program even if they do not yet 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 several ways.

  1. 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.
  2. We stress knowledge generation and the primacy of scientific theory. We expect our students to master the fundamental theories that explain the dynamics of   communication, learn how to apply and critique extant theories, and develop the research skills required to generate and test their own theories and models of communication.
  3. The focus of our program is on quantitative methodologies. Our students receive advanced training in statistics, as well as instruction in experimental and survey research methods, content analysis, and emerging methods such as "big data" analysis. 
  4. Our students become involved in programmatic research in their very first quarter of studies. We expect our students to graduate well-published and we nurture them to make that happen! We also give our students experience presenting their research and arguing their positions through our weekly brown bag speaker's series. These experiences prepare our students for the job talks they will eventually need to give.
  5. Our program draws upon communication researchers from other fields to offer a rich, interdisciplinary experience. We have strong relationships with people engaged in communication research from other social sciences (e.g., Psychology, Sociology, Political Science), Computer Science, Engineering, Medicine, Public Health, and other fields. 
  6. We are able to offer financial assistance to most of our doctoral students through teaching assistantships. We also offer support for travel to conferences and have a small grants program to support student research. Many of our students are funded in the summer through teaching assistantships.
  7. Most important, our faculty is of the highest quality. As a student, you will learn about research by doing research in collaborative projects with some of the most productive and innovative thinkers in the field.