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The Graduate Program

The School of Communication at The Ohio State University offers a unique graduate program for studying the underlying mechanisms and theoretical explanations for communication phenomena. We encourage our students to become their own scholars, finding their place in the larger study of communication processes and effects by working with multiple faculty across specializations and using multiple methods. We believe this approach to graduate training is the way of the future, and will best prepare students to face the integrated communication landscape of the 21st century. 

The School of Communication offers full funding to every student we admit to our M.A. and Ph.D. programs in the form of either a Graduate Associateship or Graduate Fellowship. These funding packages allow students to focus all of their energies on better understanding communication theory and research without the need for outside employment while enrolled in course work or completing a thesis or dissertation.  

The School of Communication emphasizes the interconnectedness of various subfields in communication in our focus areas, including:

  • Communication Technology and Society
  • Health, Environment, Risk and Science Communication 
  • Mass Communication Uses and Effects
  • Political Communication and Public Opinion

Problems addressed by each of these subfields are like pieces of a larger puzzle. Each subfield taps theory and research about communication processes and effects, and each subfield has something to learn from the other. In our School, surface boundaries between subdisciplines are highly permeable, and the theories we build work to address core communication processes and effects across contexts as well as levels of analysis – but without ignoring either.

We have state-of-the-art facilities that allow for a broad range of research, including:

  • Psycho-physiological
  • Mediated messages
  • Automated eye-tracking of visual stimuli
  • Traditional laboratory experimentation
  • Media content analysis
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Online behavior tracking
  • Interpersonal and small group observation
  • Focus groups
  • Field and community-based research
  • National public opinion polls