Thank you for your interest in the Ph.D.
Program in Communication at the University of New Mexico. I'd like
to take a moment to describe why you should consider the University
of New Mexico's doctoral program in Communication.
First, the Department of
Communication and Journalism at the University of New Mexico enjoys
a national reputation for providing a balanced, quality graduate program
leading to the doctoral degree. A recent survey conducted by the
National Communication Association ranked our program in intercultural
communication as third best in the country.
Second, the doctoral program
has a distinctive mission and focus unlike any other program in the
U.S. Our mission is to promote the study of communication, culture,
and change. The curriculum and research programs of the faculty address
the complex relationship between communication and culture as interaction,
artifact, and text. We are committed to excellence in teaching and
mentoring of graduate students, research, and service, and to fostering
a sense of social community which extends to the graduate community.
Third, the Ph.D. Program
offers an emphasis in three core areas of communication: intercultural
communication, health communication and mass communication and is
designed to prepare individuals for university teaching and research
positions. We encourage and engage a breadth of theoretical and methodological
orientations to the study of communication.
Fourth, we have an excellent
faculty whose work is internationally recognized. The faculty ranks
among the top schools in communication in research and creative publications.
The faculty has contacts with research institutions in many countries
across many continents including South Africa, Kenya, Mexico, Puerto
Rico, the West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Denmark, England,
Ireland, Palestine, Israel, Japan, India, China, and Taiwan.
Fifth, our faculty is not
only collegial but also collaborative. Doctoral students have ample
opportunities to work with the faculty on research projects to gain
valuable experience. Additionally, the faculty is oriented toward
working with you to design a program of studies to meet your needs.
Sixth, our graduate students
are known for building a sense of intercultural community that is
evident in their collaborative relationships, their abilities to engage
difference, their creation of structures of support, and their production
of excellent work.
Seventh, we provide different
forms of financial assistance. Most doctoral students who are admitted
to the program are offered an assistantship that includes a stipend,
tuition waiver, and health insurance. We have 17 teaching assistantships
and other research assistantships available each year. Our teaching
assistantship includes the opportunity to individually teach two classes
per semester, teach a variety of classes, and teach undergraduates
who bring a variety of cultural experiences into the classroom. The
specific details are available in the assistantships
section on the web.
Eighth, our graduates get
jobs. Over the past five years, Ph.D. graduates have accepted positions
at California State Univ., Northridge, Clemson, Montana State, and
the Universities of: Arkansas, Denver, Hawaii, South Alabama, San
Francisco, and Texas, to name a few. Our graduates obtain employment
in their chosen areas. The doctoral program prepares students for
a career in academia or in a research field.
Ninth, the length of the
program allows for efficient completion. For a full-time student with
a background in communication, the program may be completed in approximately
three years. Course work may be completed in two years plus a summer,
with a year for dissertation research and writing.
Tenth, the city of Albuquerque
and the state of New Mexico offer a number of unique advantages. New
Mexico is a multicultural state and the opportunity to study culture
and communication in the field is limitless. Additionally, Albuquerque
is the largest city in New Mexico and thus there are a number of health
and environmental organizations, television and radio stations, museums
and galleries, and businesses to access. The locale offers an environment
of beauty begging to be explored. We have over 340 days of sunshine,
mild winters, miles of recreational trails in the city, mountains
within 30 minutes, breathtaking open spaces and vistas, beautiful
sunsets, not to mention excellent cuisine.
Please call the Communication & Journalism
Department at (505) 277-5305, or send an e-mail to Dr. Ilia Rodríguez
and we'll be happy to put you in contact with some of our current graduate
Please be aware that our deadline
is January 15 for fall admission.
P.S. If you are in the area, please come
for a visit. We'd love to show you around and have you meet the faculty
and graduate students.
70 students are enrolled in the graduate program at any one time (40
Master's and 30 Doctoral). This provides a program large enough to
have a variety of communication interests but small enough to have
individual attention (with a 1-to-3 ratio of faculty to graduate students
and an average seminar size of 10 to 15 students).
makes our doctoral program distinctive is the focus on the role of
culture and change in communication. We define culture broadly as
pertaining not only to social/psychological orientations held by particular
groups, but also emergent identities, discursive practices and norms,
artistic and mediated forms, locations of speaking/acting/producing,
organizational systems, and institutional structures. We view culture
as socially constructed and structurally produced and therefore a
factor that is influential across all communication contexts.
Ph.D. program features culture and communication applied to three
areas of concentration: intercultural communication, health communication,
and mass communication. The doctoral program is designed to prepare
individuals for university teaching/research positions or positions
in the private/public sector that require the ability to conduct research
in applied contexts.
Ph.D. Program in Communication requires 36 hours of course work beyond
a Master's Degree, plus 18 credit hours for the dissertation. Additionally,
12 credits from M.A. programs/other doctoral programs may be transferred
to meet UNM requirements.
will work closely with faculty advisers to design a program of study
suitable to your interests and goals. While completing core courses
in communication theory and research methodology, you will concentrate
your study in one or two of the following areas:
The role of culture and cultural difference in discourse and social
Culture and Mass Communication: The structure,
practice, social impact, and criticism of the mass media
Culture and Health Communication: The communication
processes associated with improving health outcomes.
C & J Departmental requirements for the Ph.D. Program in Communication
are 36 credits of course work beyond a Master's Degree, plus 18
credit hours for the dissertation. Check the graduate
course schedule for when courses are offered.
Five theories/historical foundations, introductory courses:
C&J 600 History and Philosophy of Communication C&J 601 Theories of Communication C&J 602 Theorizing Culture and Communication C&J 509 (1 credit) Introduction to Graduate Studies in Comm I C&J 510 (2 credit) Introduction to Graduate Studies in Comm II
Three methods coursesselected from the following list:
C&J 507 Quantitative Data Analysis C&J 604 Qualitative Research Methods I [Field Research] C&J 605 Qualitative Research Methods II [Textual Analysis] C&J 606 Qualitative Methods Practicum C&J 607 Communication Research Methods: Quantitative C&J 609 Mixed Methods Research Designs
for selecting methods courses
1. If you have
NOT completed a quantitative course at the M.A. level equivalent
to C&J 507, you are required to take C&J 507. For the two
additional courses (in order to give you exposure to both qualitative
and quantitative methods), select at least one course from the qualitative
series: C&J 604, 605, 606 or 609 (mixed methods).
you HAVE completed a quantitative methods course at the M.A. level
equivalent to C&J 507, you are required to take C&J 607
and two other methods courses. (You may not take C&J 507 if
you have already had the equivalent in your MA program.) In order
to give you exposure to both qualitative and quantitative methods,
at least one course should be from the qualitative series: C&J
604, 605, 606 or 609 (mixed methods).
Electives – The remaining 18 credits of course work are electives
that can be taken in the C&J Department. (See Course Names under
Tentative Graduate Courses (2010-2014). Students should secure approval
from their Plan of Studies Committee Chair for classes taken outside
the department. For students who have an MA from another institution,
of these 18 elective credits, no more than 6 credits may be from
topics courses and no more than 6 credits may be independent study.
For students who have an M.A. from C&J, and have already taken 6
credits of topics courses or 6 credits of independent study, you
may take only 3 additional credits of topic courses or independent
Language/Tool Requirement – Students must demonstrate competency
in either a language or research tool. There are two options to
meet this requirement. (1) They may demonstrate competency in a
language other than English. Competency is demonstrated by proof
of fluency in the language (e.g., being a native speaker) or by
passing the equivalent of a second year proficiency level course
with a B or better (B-, B, B+). Being able to demonstrate non-English
language competency may require taking language courses (200-level
or higher). (2) Competency may also be demonstrated by taking two
foreign language courses or learning the use of a research tool,
such as statistics, or a specific communication methodology. This
way of meeting the requirement is by taking two additional graduate
level methods courses and passing them with a B or better (B-, B,
B+). Courses can be taken in other departments when approved by
studentsí Plan of Studies Committee. Courses generally cannot be
ones from your MA program and may include methods that are applied
in your dissertation. Credits for courses taken to meet the language/research
tool requirement are taken in addition to the 39 credits required
for the degree. Usually, the Plan of Studies Committee makes the
final determination as to credits that may be substituted or transferred.
4. Required Training for Teaching Assistants – All teaching
assistants (including those pursuing an MA degree) must take TARC
or I-TARC, (1 credit) during Fall semester. This is a course about
teaching and offered through the Teaching Assistant Resource Center.
5. Communication Background – Students coming into the C&J
Ph.D. degree program who do not have an M.A. in communication may
be required to take C&J 500 (theories) and C&J 501 (methods). The
Ph.D. program director generally makes this determination after
a review of the studentís application materials and/or a meeting
with the student. These courses do not fulfill any of the graduate
course requirements but are taken in addition to required Ph.D.
and Outside Cognate
remaining 18 credits of course work are electives. Nine credits
(three courses) are to be taken outside the Communication department
to constitute an outside Cognate.
must demonstrate competency in a language/research tool. There are
two options to meet this requirement.
All doctoral students must write a Comprehensive Examination that
is read by a Comprehensive Examination Committee and participate in
an oral defense of this written work to the satisfaction of the committee.
Upon the successful completion of the comprehensive exam, you are
advanced to doctoral candidacy and begin work on the dissertation.
students must choose a Dissertation Committee of four people. The
chair of the committee must be a regular faculty member in the C&J
department. Two of the other members are members of C&J, while
the remaining member is a faculty member from a different department.
Ph.D. students must then write a dissertation prospectus that is read
by a Dissertation Committee and gain endorsement from a dissertation
committee for the prospectus in an oral defense of the prospectus.
If your dissertation involves human subjects, a completed IRB (Institutional
Review Board) Application must accompany the dissertation prospectus
when it is submitted to the committee.
enrolled, you must remain continuously enrolled (except for summers
unless you are graduating that summer semester) in dissertation hours
until the work has been completed and defended. The completed dissertation
is also presented in an oral defense in front of the committee.
Mission to Honor Cultural Diversity
New Mexico provides a rich cultural environment in which such diverse
communities as Chicano/a, Hispanic, Anglo, Native American, and others
have interacted for centuries. One of the strengths and missions of
the University is to engage in teaching and research within our multi-ethnic
for admission must be received by the following deadline:
January 15 for Fall admission (Ph.D. and M.A. programs)
Procedures and Materials
is a two-step process:
1. Apply to UNM’s graduate programs via the university’s
online process at http://www.unm.edu/apply/.
citizens and international students submit
an online application to University of New Mexico’s Office of
Graduate Studies (OGS) at this site.
will find detailed directions at this link.
Send the following additional materials to the Department of Communication
A. Official transcripts from all previous universities (please be advised that a second official copy must be sent to UNM Admissions),
test scores (have testing center send C&J official scores and
include unofficial copies in application packet)
Statement of Purpose/Letter of Intent
for Teaching or Research Assistantship (if applicable)
or Academic Vita
Letters of Recommendation:
Address for #2:
Department of Communication and Journalism
Attn: Graduate Administrator
The University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
Asked Questions about the Doctoral Program
Q. How many applications
do we receive each year and how many people are admitted?
A. For the PhD program, we receive about 40-50 applications per year.
We admit 6 to 9 applicants per year depending on funding.
Q. What criteria do we use
A. We utilize GPA, GRE, letters of recommendation, statement of intent,
writing sample, and other qualifications (e.g.,
conference presentations, publications, work experience, lived experience,
awards and honors, etc.). We analyze these criteria holistically.
That is, one is not more important than the others. We also address
how well your specific goals for research and teaching fit with the
goals and opportunities provided in the doctoral program. Our goal
is to accept a cohort of excellent students with diverse interests
across the areas of concentration and diverse backgrounds and whose
research goals are consistent with our program.
Admission to the MA and PhD
program is competitive. We only admit 6-9 people per year in the PhD
program. We choose to limit the number of people into the program
in order to maintain our intimate and supportive climate. We want
to make sure that students have ample opportunities to interact with
faculty by maintaining a relatively small faculty to student ratio
(about 3 students for every faculty member).
Q.I didn't receive a 300
on my GRE test. Should I still apply?
A. Probably. You do need to have at least 300 on the GRE. While the
GRE is an important part of our application process, it isn't the
only criterion. In particular, the GRE doesn't measure a student's
motivation and perseverance. We have admitted students with scores
below 300 before and we will do so in the future. We will carefully
examine your other qualifications and look for other evidence of your
abilities to succeed. (Note: GRE scoring benchmarks changed in October 2011; the old scoring benchmark was 1000).
Q. What are the qualifications
for receiving an assistantship?
A. For a teaching assistantship, we utilize the following criteria:
(a) background in communication (i.e., we want you to have knowledge
about what you are teaching); (b) prior teaching experience (not required,
but certainly helps and can come in a variety of areas such as training);
(c) potential for being an effective teacher; and (d) academic credentials
(a degree from a respected institution and strong letters of recommendation
that include observations of your teaching).
Research assistantships are
positions on funded research projects conducted by professors in the
department. Therefore, these professors make decisions about the RAs.
Generally, they are looking for people who have good research skills
in one or more of the following: (a) library research, (b) internet
research, (c) grant writing, (d) statistics, (e) quantitative or (f)
qualitative research methods.
Q. How many assistantships
does the department have at any one time? A. At the Ph.D. level, we have 17 teaching assistantships (TA)
at any one time and usually assign 6-7 per year for new students.
We usually have about 10 TA slots available in the fall semester and
2-4 available in the spring semester for new students. Exact numbers
will vary year to year.
We also have research assistantships
(RA), but we don't have any set numbers. These positions depend on
the amount and nature of funded research being completed by the faculty.
Q. How long is the program
and how long does my funding (for a TA or RA) last?
A. The PhD program takes a minimum of 3 years if you attend full-time.
Funding for teaching assistantships is currently for 3 years with the
possibility of a 4th year. The University requires the degree to be
completed within 5 years of passing your comprehensive exams.
Q. May I research what I
A. Yes, for the most part. Your assignments are limited only by the
parameters of the class (e.g., a theory class may require you to investigate
a theory) and you are free to choose the topics that you wish to work
on. For your thesis/dissertation research, you may select any communication
topic you wish so long as you are able to form a committee who will
work with you.
Q. Will I have trouble getting
a committee together and graduating?
A. Our faculty members are committed to helping you finish your degree
in a timely manner. We readily serve on committees and we will make
sure that you have the support to complete your degree.
Q. How many students who
enter the program actually graduate?
A. For the PhD program, we have a graduation rate of 91% (within five
years of entering).
Q. Do I need to have a degree
in communication to apply?
A. We do not require a communication degree to apply to the PhD program.
A degree in a closely related field, or work experience in communication,
are beneficial for your application, but we accept and consider applicants
from all disciplines. If you do not have any (or you have limited)
academic communication experience, we may require you to take foundational
courses as a pre- or co-requisite. For PhD students, these courses
are our MA level theory and research methods courses.
Q. What do people do with
a communication degree?
A. Most students with doctorates assume teaching and/or research positions
in universities, research centers, and nonprofit agencies, or become independent consultants.
If you have further questions
or want clarification about these questions/answers, please contact
the Ph.D. director: Dr. Ilia Rodríguez.