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On May 28, Chancellor Gary S. May wrote:

“The events of this week also cause me to believe even more strongly, if that’s possible, in building an inclusive environment that recognizes and respects people of all backgrounds and experiences. I remain committed to that and hope you will do what you can to eliminate racism, sexism, and other negative influences on our progression as a nation.”

We join Chancellor May in these efforts toward building diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment in the Department of Communication and at the University of California Davis. To learn more, including a list of resources are available for students in crisis, need of support, or who have experienced racism or bias, click here.

Important Covid-19 Information:

In light of the Covid-19 situation,  all UC Davis Spring 2020 course will move to virtual instruction.  As a result, the department’s administrative functions have moved to remote work conditions until further notice.  At this time, the preferred method of contact for departmental staff members is e-mail; please visit our administrative staff contact page for further information.

Sample Four-Year Program

This is a representative sample of how a four-year doctoral program may be structured.

Programs of study vary, to accommodate the scholarly interests and career ambitions of each student.

Year 1 (total: 24 units)

Fall QuarterWinter QuarterSpring Quarter

CMN 201: Theoretical Perspectives on Strategic Communication (4 units)

CMN 202: Communication Theory Construction (4)

CMN 210: Experimental Methods and Analysis in Communication (4), or

CMN 211: Survey Methods in Communication (4) 

(offered in alternating years)

PSC 204A: Statistical Analysis of Psychological Experiments (5)

CMN 203: Scientific Methods for Communication (4)

PSC 205E: Applied Psychometrics and Measurement Theory – psychological statistics (4)

CMN 396: Teaching Assistant Training Practicum (1–4)

PSC 204B: Causal Modeling of Correlational Data – psychological statistics (4)

CMN 250: Mediated Communication Theory and Research (4)


Year 2 (total: 24 units)

Fall QuarterWinter and Spring Quarters
CMN 210: Experimental Methods and Analysis in Communication (4), or
CMN 211: Survey Methods in Communication (4)

(offered in alternating years)

Electives such as:

CMN 221: Communication and Cognition (4)
CMN 231: Tactics in Interpersonal Influence (4)
CMN 252: Computer-Mediated Communication (4)

PSC 204D: Advanced Statistical Inference from Psychological Experiments — psychological statistics (5) or Elective

CMN 220: Persuasion Theories and Message Design (4)
CMN 244: Organizational Communication (4)
CMN 245: Media Technologies and the Political Process (4)
PSC 245: Social Psychology (4)

CMN 230: Social Interaction Theory and Research (4)

POL 261: Political Behavior (4)
POL 211: Research Methods in Political Science (4)
POL 212: Quantitative Analysis in Political Science (4)
POL 213: Quantitative Analysis in Political Science II (4)

Year 3 (total: 8 units)

CMN 280: Special Topics in Social Interaction (4)
CMN 299R: Thesis Research (1–12)

Qualifying Examination taken at the conclusion of fall quarter.


Year 4

CMN 299R: Thesis Research (1–12)

Normative Time from Matriculation to Degree

As depicted in the sample programs, the normative time from matriculation to degree is four (4) years. This estimate assumes that the student is full time and enters the program with no deficiencies. However, students who already have an M.A. degrees in communication or related areas before they enroll in the doctoral program may be able to complete their Ph.D. studies in a shorter time frame, especially if they have received extensive methodological training as part of their M.A. degree work.