We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Communications PhD Programs?

By G. Wiesen
Updated Feb 29, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in communications is usually the ultimate degree earned by people interested in either journalism or human communication. There are many different communications PhD programs, often based on the school at which the PhD is earned and usually divided into separate but somewhat interconnected categories. These communications PhD programs are typically named by the college or university that offers them, so there are not many strictly set titles for different programs. Common programs include areas of study such as journalism and public life, social impact of media, interpersonal and health communication, and rhetoric and political communication.

Communications is a field of inquiry, usually found at universities as part of the journalism program, which seeks to better understand how people transfer information. This can include a focus on interpersonal communication between two people or small groups of people, or mass communication between a news anchor and millions of viewers. The various disparate aspects of communication study means that a number of different specializations and fields of study are available to someone interested in pursuing a degree and a multitude of communications PhD programs are offered by many different schools.

Journalism and public life and the social impact of the media are both different communications PhD programs offered by various schools. The focus of a journalism and public life program is to analyze how journalists impact the daily lives of people in creating the sense of a “public life.” With 24 hour news broadcasters needing material to fill programming times, more and more information has become public knowledge over the past few decades. This has led to the formation of a public life that many people feel interconnected through and studying this modern phenomenon typically involves interdisciplinary study through both communications and sociology.

The social impact of the media is a branch of communications that examines how different forms of media impact society. These types of communications PhD programs will often combine aspects of social sciences and artistic analysis along with understanding communications to better comprehend the way media affects society. Other communications PhD programs might focus on issues such as interpersonal communications or political communications.

Interpersonal communications programs will typically focus more on how people relate to each other and small group communications rather than analyzing media trends or a larger public life. These types of programs may also have a specific aspect of interpersonal communications that is studied, such as changes in communications based on age or studying communication and familiarity. Political communications PhD programs will typically focus on how political leaders communicate and relate to people. These programs might focus on issues such as propaganda, public speaking, or the use of rhetoric and other communication methods to influence people.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.