The Ph.D. in Communication is designed as a 4-year program, culminating in a dissertation. First year students take core coursework in theory and research. Once the core material is mastered the program’s focus is directed toward specializations in communication as well as outside courses in one or more other fields. Internal specializations include social network analysis, social media, communication analytics, mass communication, persuasion and social influence, health and risk communication, interpersonal and group communication, diffusion of innovations, organizational communication and quantitative research methods.
For students interested in applying to the Department of Communication PhD program, there is an option to specialize in hospitality research and teaching and varied roles that communication plays in organizational, interpersonal and media context in relation to hotels, restaurants, resorts and other types of businesses in the hospitality industry worldwide. The department admits small numbers of highly qualified students who will teach and work in the Michigan State University School of Hospitality Business while serving on research teams in the Department of Communication, ultimately earning the doctorate in communication. This collaboration has led to outstanding hospitality communication scholars who have faculty appointments with major universities. Students interest in this option should communicate their interest at the time of application.