Media & Information Studies

Our program name expresses our vision of a field of social science that combines conventional mass media research with the search for new knowledge about the implications of evolving information and communication technologies including the Internet, social media, mobile devices, and digital games.

Top ranked nationwide, this Ph.D. program in Media and Information Studies prepares students to become active scholars, teachers and leaders. Our approach is multidisciplinary, combining faculty members with degrees in communication, advertising, public relations, journalism, economics, information studies, sociology, marketing, and computer science, all pursuing teaching and research opportunities in three participating departments, each with their own specialties:

Department of Advertising and Public Relations

Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media

School of Journalism

Join Us
Helping our students succeed is our top priority. Our Ph.D. program enjoys top national rankings for the scholarly productivity of both our faculty and our students. We support more than 80 percent of our incoming students with teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and University fellowships and provide funds for conference travel and student research projects.

From the first day, we encourage students to participate in faculty research projects so that they can become active and prolific scholars. We offer regular course offerings that impart a thorough grounding in theory and research methods as well as a wide array of summer courses and special topics seminars so that students can tailor their coursework to their individual interests.

The Lansing area is an inviting and economical location in which to live and work. We invite you to join us here in the search for new knowledge about the media and information technologies in our lives.

For More Information
The Media and Information Studies Ph.D. Program is administered by the College of Communication Arts & Sciences.

For additional information, please contact:
Nancy Ashley
340 Comm Arts Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1212
Tel: 517.355.3410

Degree Requirements

► Current Students

► Faculty & Staff

Faculty in the PhD Media & Information Studies program are drawn from the departments of Advertising and Public Relations (AD+PR), Communication (COMM), Telecommunication Information Studies and Media (TISM) and the School of Journalism in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

Saleem Alhabash - AD+PR, TISM
PhD, University of Missouri
Digital persuasion, new & social media

Johannes M. Bauer - TISM
PhD, University of Vienna
ICT governance, economics, & international developments

Howard Bossen - Journalism
PhD, Ohio State University
Photojournalism, visual & art analysis, journalism design

John Besley - AD+PR
PhD, Cornell University
Public relations

Serena Carpenter - Journalism
PhD, Michigan State University
Innovative technologies, content analysis, sociology of media

Sue Carter - Journalism
JD, Wayne State University
Media ethics, law, sports & religion reporting

Manuel Chavez - Journalism
PhD, University of Wisconsin
International journalism, media sociology, security and risk reporting

Richard Cole - AD+PR
PhD, Michigan State University
Public relations & health communications

Constantinos Coursaris - TISM
PhD, McMaster University
Human-computer interaction, Web usability

Lucinda Davenport - Journalism
PhD, Ohio University
Media technology, social media, history, ethics, public relations

Fred Fico - Journalism
PhD, Indiana University
Journalism research methods, theory, public affairs reporting

Eric Freedman - Journalism
JD New York University
International journalism, public affairs reporting, Euro-Asia

Darcy Greene - Journalism
MFA, Michigan State University
Visual & digital journalism, design, visual analysis

Linda Good - AD+PR
PhD, Oklahoma State University
Human resource morale & loyalty

Kayla Hales - TISM
PhD, Pennsylvania State University
Interpersonal relationships in ICTs

Carrie Heeter - TISM
PhD, Michigan State University
Serious games for social change

Patricia Huddleston - AD+PR
PhD, University of Tennessee
Customer loyalty, retail branding

Jina Huh - TISM joining the faculty in Fall 2013
PhD, University of Michigan
Online health communities, design of socio-technical systems

Joshua E. Introne - TISM joining the faculty in Fall 2013
PhD, Brandeis University
Computer-supported cooperative work, social media, socio-computational systems

Anastasia Kononova - AD+PR joining the faculty in Fall 2013
PhD, University of Missouri
Multi-tasking across multi-media

Ann Kronrod - AD+PR
PhD, Tel Aviv University
Advertising language & marketing communication

Steve Lacy - Journalism
PhD, University of Texas
Media economics, media sociology, content analysis

Robert LaRose - TISM
PhD, University of Southern California
New media uses & effects

Mark Levy - TISM
PhD, Columbia University
Information & communication technologies for development (ICT4D)

Hairong Li - AD+PR
PhD, Michigan State University
Advertising media

Anna McAlister - AD+PR
PhD, Queensland University
Consumer behavior & children's consumer socialization

John Molloy - Journalism
PhD, University of Cincinnati
Media law ethics, public affairs reporting

Casey O'Donnell - TISM
PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Ethnography of game design & development

Folu Ogundimu - Journalism
PhD, Indiana University
Comparative media systems, public health communications

Swarnavel Eswaran Pillai - TISM
PhD, University of Iowa
Aesthetics & production of documentaries

Dawn Pysarchik - AD+PR
PhD, Michigan State University
International consumer behavior & supply chain

Elizabeth Taylor Quilliam - AD+PR
PhD, Michigan State University
Advertising, children, and public policy

Emilee Rader - TISM
PhD, University of Michigan
Social processes that affect information sharing

Rabindra Ratan - TISM
PhD, University of Southern California
Social and psychological implications of media use

Jef Richards - AD+PR
PhD, University of Wisconsin
Advertising law and history

Nora Rifon - AD+PR
PhD, City University of New York
Consumer psychology

Charles Steinfield - TISM
PhD, University of Southern California
Social and organizational impacts of information and communication technologies

Wei Peng - TISM
PhD, University of Southern California
Serious games, health communication, media effects

Michael Stamm - Journalism
PhD, University of Chicago
Media & journalism history, communication theory

Bruno Takahashi - Journalism
PhD, State University of New York
Environment and science journalism, international journalism

Wietske Van Osch - TISM
PhD, University of Amsterdam
Online communities, social media, sociomateriality and affordances

Joe Walther - COMM, TISM
PhD, University of Arizona
Dynamics of computer-mediated communication and the Internet in interpersonal relationships, work groups, social support, and educational systems

Rick Wash - Journalism, TISM
PhD, University of Michigan
Social media impacts, new media research, methods

Steve Wildman - TISM
PhD, Stanford University
Economics and policy for communication industries, including the broadcasting, cable television, and recording industries

Susan Wyche - TISM
PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology
Information and communication technologies and development (ICTD), human-computer interaction (HCI) and cultural studies of technology

Geri Zeldes - Journalism
PhD, Michigan State University
Broadcasting and multiplatform journalism, race & ethnicity

► Our Graduates

Graduates with a Ph.D in Media & Information Studies are active scholars, teachers and leaders around the world. Here are a few examples of the places they are making a difference in the field.

Peng H. Ang, Ph.D. - Dean at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore

Serena Carpenter, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor at Arizona State University

Susan Chang, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor at the University of Miami

Sejung Choi, Ph.D. - Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin

Brad Love, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin

Timothy S. Penning, Ph.D. - Professor at Grand Valley State University

Aileen Webb, Ph.D. - Deputy Director at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Michael O. Wirth, Ph.D. - Dean at the University of Tennessee

We love to hear from our graduates! Please contact us at to send us an update.

► Apply for a Ph.D. in Media & Information Studies

Applicants to the Ph.D. in Media and Information Studies are expected to have a Masters in Communication or a comparable field. Applications are reviewed by the M.I.S. Steering Committee. This is a competitive review with applicants ranked among all that apply for a given year. Admission is for Fall semester only. The review of applications begins December 1 with later applications considered until at least February 1. Application Deadline is Jan. 1.

Step 1: Complete the online MSU Graduate School application
The fee is $50 and can be paid with credit card, check (US funds), or money order (see application for details). Please remember to write down the application ID number for you will need this for the next step.

Step 2: Complete the 0nline college application
After submission and payment of the University Graduate Application please go to the College GIMS Online Application site,, and create your online account. You will need your application number from the university graduate application to create the GIMS account.

This GIMS system will require online submission of the following (no hardcopies):

  1. Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic or professional work and are willing to assess your aptitude for graduate work. Note: Once you have listed your recommenders and their email addresses the GIMS system will generate an email to your recommenders explaining the process to submit their letters electronically therefore the university graduate application cover form for letters of recommendation is not necessary.
  2. Academic Statement - The University Graduate Application Academic Statement will automatically populate in GIMS but you can edit this statement in GIMS if desired.
  3. Personal Statement - The University Graduate Application Personal Statement will automatically populate in GIMS but you can edit this statement in GIMS if desired.
  4. Please complete the research interests section.
  5. Please complete the essay (approximately 400 words) answering the following question, "Discuss an experience in your life where you had to overcome a significant challenge or adversity."
  6. Resume or vita including listings of conference presentations and/or publications.

Step 3: Send transcripts directly to the Nancy Ashley:
One official transcript from each university or college attended. Mail directly to Nancy Ashley, 404 Wilson Road, Room 340 Communication Arts & Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1212:

Step 4: Send test scores directly to the university:
Graduate Record Examination Scores (GRE)-when submitting scores please use only the university code of 1465 and department code of 4502.

For International Applicants ONLY: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); Paper version, a minimum average of 580 with no subscores below 55. For the Computer version a minimum average of 237 with no subscores below 21 required. For the internet based test an average of 93 minimum with no subscores below 21.When submitting scores please use only the university code of 1465 and department code of 83 and submit directly to the Office of Admissions, 250 Administration Bldg. Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.

Step 5: Track your application
The GIMS system will allow the tracking of your application status online. This includes all documents. We strive to update the system regularly but during high volume times we ask your patience.

All questions should be directed to:

Media and Information Studies,
Academic Programs,
Michigan State University,
East Lansing, MI 48824-1212,
Tel: 517.432-1526
Fax: 517.355-7710

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