The Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State offers a master’s degree in media studies and Ph.D. in mass communications. Our curriculum allows students to design a program of study tailored to their interests, choosing from an array of classes each semester that explore theory and cutting-edge research methods in mass communication.
Students work closely with advisers and faculty committees in choosing coursework to support and expand their expertise. Doctoral students are provided mentorship and experience in classroom teaching.
The College’s special enterprises -- including the Media Effects Research Laboratory, the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism and the Institute for Information Policy -- bring faculty members and students together around cutting-edge research initiatives.
Students and faculty have jointly presented research at dozens of global conferences and have collaborated on hundreds of publications. Students may apply for internal research grants and get guidance and support in seeking external funding.
Faculty & Students at a Glance
Quality of Faculty and Effectiveness of Educating Researchers, Doctoral Programs, National Communication Association Survey
Scholarly Productivity of Program Faculty, Mass Communications and Media Studies The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 12, 2007
Graduate Students in Journalism and Mass Communications who Authored Referred Major Academic Journal Articles, Past Decade AEJMMC Conference Paper, 2008
Top Ten Department
in 22 Categories
Research in the Field of Communications Communication Institute for Online Scholarship Study
Number of Papers Published by U.S. Institutions over the Past Five Years in Communications Journals Indexed by Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch 2008
Our experience confirms the proposition that graduate students thrive in a program that facilitates their active and ongoing collaboration with leading scholars. Therefore, rather than offering graduate programs based on the expected, generic list of graduate communication courses, our focus is centered on seminars and track configurations that reflect our faculty’s expertise.
Graduates find placement at prestigious universities such as Illinois, Florida, Connecticut and the London School of Economics.
The mass communications graduate faculty at Penn State is among the very best in the country. Faculty members have a diversity of specializations uncommon elsewhere, and their individual and collective national reputations and research productivity have been widely recognized.
The College’s graduate programs maintain a highly diverse student population with a healthy balance of women, minorities, and internationals progressing toward advanced degrees. The 2004 internal program review by the Penn State Graduate School noted that "the College again deserves to be commended for its outstanding efforts to successfully attract an increasingly diverse student body."
Applications for admission for Fall 2017
- Deadline: Ph.D. in Mass Communications, Dec. 15, 2016
- Deadline: M.A. in Media Studies, Feb. 1, 2017
Where You'll Find Our Alumni
Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University
Assistant Professor, University of Florida
UX Researcher, Facebook
Associate Professor, St. Francis University
Associate Professor, University of Denver
Assistant Professor, Florida International University
Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut
Assistant Professor, University of Ontario
Assistant Professor, Boston University
Associate Professor, University of Colorado
Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington
Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University
Assistant Professor, University of Idaho
Assistant Professor, Towson University
Assistant Professor, Clemson University
Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas
Assistant Professor, University of Texas