OSU's School of Communication is one of the top three Communication Graduate Programs in the country, and is top ranked in many of its specialty areas. Graduate study in communication at OSU is flexible and tailored to the individual, with coursework and individual study taking place within the context of theoretical perspectives grounded in empirical social science.
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.
Program Fundamentals: Theory and Methods
One cannot understand current thinking about the nature of communication without an understanding of a range of theoretical approaches and the methods used to test and refine theories. The OSU School of Communication is top-ranked in the study of communication theory and is a top-ten program in the study of communication methods.
Both the master's and Ph.D. programs begin with an examination of the basic research methods and theories that serve to guide students in selection of a particular area of study and the choice of an adviser. This set of courses provides students with an understanding of contemporary theory and methods that span the broad field of communication.
After gaining a foothold in the current state of the field, students specialize in the area of their choice. Faculty in the Graduate Program of the School of Communication offer particular expertise in one or more specializations:
- Communication Technology
- Health, Environment, Risk, and Science Communication
- Mass Communication
- Political Communication and Public Opinion
After mastering the basic research methods and theory courses, students begin to develop their own expertise and knowledge through specialization in a particular area. Teaching and research in these areas are centered on the complex relationships between audiences, communicators and media.
Master's students focus on the social and psychological processes involved in communication and/or the relationship between communication and society. In addition to courses directly related to their communication interests, students may take some courses in sociology, psychology or other social sciences. Many of our M.A. students pursue a Ph.D. after the completion of their M.A.
Doctoral students focus on the theoretical and methodological study of communication, including understanding communication processes and effects by individuals and organizations. Most doctoral students in this area enter academic careers and go on to teach and research in communication programs around the world. Some enter media or entertainment industries as research directors, and some work in government agencies as communication specialists.