Graduate Programs in the School of Communication Studies

The School of Communication Studies offers two distinct graduate programs: Master of Arts in Organizational Communication and the Ph.D. in Communication Studies.

The Master’s program is designed to make high-quality graduate education more accessible by providing program offerings designed for the working professional. This online program features flexible schedules and technology enhanced delivery to support excellence in communication consulting and organizational improvement.

The Ph.D program is designed for students who want to become excellent teachers, researchers, and consultants in the field of Communication.

What We Value


Doctoral Program Alumni Testimonials

“I value the School of Communication Studies’ commitment to helping students grow as researchers and teachers. The faculty encouraged me to complete independent research throughout my entire program. Because of their generous support, I graduated with multiple solo-authored and a few team publications, which helped me obtain an R1 job immediately after graduating. I also appreciate the School’s commitment to helping doctoral students become effective teachers. I had the opportunity to learn about the art of teaching as a teaching assistant, an instructor of record, and through several semester-long, professional development seminars. I rely on the best practices I learned at Ohio University regularly as a teacher still today—almost a decade later. Looking back, I can say with confidence that I left COMS with the skills and confidence needed to teach college courses and launch my own independent research agenda.” – Dr. Sarah Heiss, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Vermont

“Ohio University’s graduate program in Communication Studies set me on the path for academic success by encouraging me to become a well-rounded, critical academic citizen. While I consider myself a rhetorician, spending time in classes engaged with my peers in health or organizational communication gave me an ability to engage with the entire discipline that not all of my colleagues possess. At my small liberal arts college, this ability to be conversant in the discipline at large is crucial to forming good relationships with my students, but also with other professors, leading to productive discussions across the faculty body.

I also quickly noticed, after leaving OU, that the five course preps the department gave me set me head and shoulders above other recent graduates. Between the teaching experience and grad students’ ability to gain administrative experience within the department (with the speech & debate team, as an assistant to the graduate director, as journal editors…) I was able to slide into faculty life with little-to-no confusion about what the role entailed. As I watch my professional colleagues struggle to integrate their research into increased teaching and administrative roles, I am grateful to Ohio University’s school of communication studies for preparing fully equipped teacher-scholars.

And of course, I remain appreciative of the efforts of the graduate faculty, who dedicated themselves to ensuring that every class they taught pushed me to move my scholarship beyond the classroom. Out of the 12 classes I took in the department, 9 lead directly to a competitive conference presentation and/or publication – plus my dissertation led to a book contract one year after graduation! In summary, if you’re looking for a program that’s focused on preparing PhD students holistically for success in the 21st century – Ohio University’s School of Communication Studies is it.” – Dr. Alane Presswood, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor and Director of Oral Communication, Hollins University

See our doctoral students’ recent achievements here!

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Honors & Awards

Carson S. Kay
2019 Outstanding Doctoral Student. School of Communication Studies, Ohio University.

Elizabeth M. Jenkins
2019 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Associate. School of Communication Studies, Ohio University.

Courtney Hook
2019 Outstanding Researcher. School of Communication Studies, Ohio University.


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