Information and Media Ph.D. Program

The School of Journalism is one of three major units associated with the Information & Media Ph.D. program in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences. Professors within the School of Journalism study environmental communication, media sociology, social media, journalistic practices, crisis communication, media economics, news and politics, journalism education and community information needs.

Students select the School of Journalism as their home department within the IM PhD program if they would like to study research topics emphasizing journalism and media. For example, our students study media industries, behaviors of journalists, the impact of media content on audiences and the effects of innovative technologies. And students work with faculty from all three departments on research topics related to social media, health, crisis communication, environment and international studies, among myriad other topics of their choosing. We invite you to join our students in this interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in which we intersect social scientific theory and quantitative, qualitative and computational methods.

Students select several paths upon graduation: active research scholars, engaging teachers and thought leaders in media and information fields in industry and at universities across the globe. For example, students have landed jobs at University of Texas-Austin, National Endowment for the Humanities, University of Michigan, United Nations, Arizona State University, and IBM upon graduation.

The IM PhD program creates a community atmosphere for students through the mentoring with professors with strong international and national reputations, encouraging of student participation on research teams and supporting of student research efforts by exposing students to a diversity of intellectual perspectives, for example.

Our IM Ph.D. program is ranked among the best of all doctoral programs in the United States:

  • Michigan State University (MSU) was ranked No. 6 in the world and No. 5 in the country for Communication and Media studies by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). (QS World University Rankings, 2015).
  • MSU ranked No. 1 in the number of faculty members and students publishing in National Communication Association and International Communication Association research journals (Bunz, 2005).
  • MSU was rated as a top doctoral program in nation based on responses from faculty members. Our faculty and the colleges Ph.D. programs were placed No. 2 in educating researchers in communication technology, No. 3 in mass communication and No. 4 in intercultural-international communication (National Communication Association, 2004).
  • MSU ranked No. 3 in the number of student research publications published in journalism and mass communication journals in two separate studies (Carpenter, 2008; Tran, 2010).
  • MSU ranked No. 3 in the number of student research articles published in advertising journals (Wang, Rodgers, Wang, & Thorson, 2016).
  • MSU ranked No. 2 in terms of placing scholars at prestigious institutions (Barnett, Danomski, Feeley, & Stalker, 2010).
  • MSU was rated No. 4 as the top place to get a Ph.D. degree in communication-related studies (Neuendorf, et al., 2007).
  • MSU was ranked as No. 15 of 83 programs in Research Output and No. 22 of 83 in Diversity according to the NRC Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs (National Research Council, 2010).

For more information about studying journalism through the Information and Media program, please contact IM PhD Director Manuel Chavez, Ph.D. at

Share via these networks: