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Communication in Social Sciences


The program’s two major interest areas intersect with those represented in other Ph.D. programs. Most of these occur within the Division of Social Sciences in the College of Letters and Science.  The Ph.D. program most similar to the Ph.D. in psychology; both programs are essentially quantitative in nature, and there is some theoretical and methodological overlap between the two, providing opportunities for collaboration and cross-training.  This is particularly true in the areas of cognition and perception and social psychology.


Other Ph.D. programs in the Social Sciences  offer courses that are likely to be of interest to some Communication Ph.D. students.  Interest is likely to center on courses in Political Science, Linguistics, Anthropology and Sociology. Communication Ph.D. students will be required to complete a quantitative methods sequence offered in Psychology, Sociology or Political Science.


The program is consonant with the mission and vision of the University of California at Davis.  That vision stresses achieving “the highest level of intellectual excellence within a diverse, collaborative community.”  The program is highly selective, recruiting only young scholars with the potential for outstanding intellectual work.  Further, by encouraging students to take related courses in other departments, the program encourages collaboration across multiple disciplines.  The university’s commitment to “discovery through research” is reflected in the program’s emphasis on educating future scholars with strong theoretical orientations rather than professional practitioners.  According to the campus’s strategic plan, UC Davis’s distinction lies in its “unparalleled breadth of superior academic and extracurricular programs.”  The program represents a graduate program in a distinct branch of the social sciences, Communication.