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Graduate Program Overview

Graduate students and advisors

Typically 70 students are enrolled in the graduate program at any one time (30 master's and 40 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).

What makes our graduate program distinctive is the focus on the role of culture and change in communication. We
define culture broadly as pertaining to emergent identities, discursive practices and norms, performative, 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.

The M.A. program features culture and communication applied to the following areas: intercultural communication, health communication, rhetorical communication, mass communication, interpersonal communication, and organizational communication. The program is designed to prepare individuals for a career in professional fields or to continue toward a doctorate degree. Regardless of whether you are a part-time or full-time student, we help you design a program of studies to meet your needs.

The 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.

Concern with inter-ethnic and cross-cultural communication

This concern is emphasized in each of these areas in the department. 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 a multi-ethnic context. This concern with cultural influences may become a focus of study in any of the areas of concentration.

Relationships with Other UNM Programs

The UNM department of Communication and Journalism maintains relationships with other departments, programs, centers and research institutes in the University, including but not limited to linguistics, anthropology, education, sociology, women studies, business, community and regional planning, sustainability studies, comparative literature and cultural studies, American studies, geography, and the Latin American and Iberian Institute. Graduate courses and seminars often include students from these allied disciplines.


Each month during the academic year graduate students and faculty gather into a colloquia featuring local, regional, national, and international speakers.

Graduate Student Visiting Days

Visiting days are arranged periodically for prospective students interested in the graduate program at UNM. If you would like to visit the campus, sit in on some classes, and meet faculty and other students, simply contact our Graduate Directors:  Dr. Myra Washington (Ph.D. applications) and Dr.Ilia Rodríguez (M.A. applications).

Online application

You can start the application process right now by applying online here.