Doctoral Degree in Communication

About the Program

The Ph.D. program features the study of culture and communication applied to three areas of concentration: critical intercultural studies, health communication, and media studies. The doctoral program is designed to prepare individuals for university teaching and research positions or positions in the private and public sectors that require the ability to conduct research in applied contexts. 

The 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.

Areas of Concentration

You 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:

Critical Intercultural Studies: The study of communication, culture, and power in social interactions and discourses, with a focus on the understanding and critique of normative assumptions about communication and cultural practices. Faculty approaches draw on cultural, critical, race, queer/trans of color, decolonial, border, and transnational studies.   

Media Studies: The study and critique of the discourse, organizational practices, political economy, and sociocultural impact of mass media, digital media, and other emerging, mediated forms of communication.  

Health Communication and Culture: The communication processes associated with improving health outcomes, with a focus on understanding the cultural contexts and inequities that determine health outcomes. 

Unique features of our Ph.D. Program in Communication 


The Ph.D. Program in Communication has unique features that can make our program the right choice to meet your academic and career goals. 

  • The Department of Communication & Journalism at the University of New Mexico enjoys a national reputation for providing a high-quality program leading to the doctoral degree.
  • Doctoral program has a distinctive focus on communication and culture. We approach communication as central to the social construction and structural production of culture. We define culture broadly as pertaining to emergent identities; discursive practices and norms; performative, artistic, and mediated expression; locations of speaking/acting/producing; organizational systems; and institutional structures.  
  • We offer three areas of emphasis:  critical intercultural studies, health communication, and media studies. We teach a wide variety of courses each term in the department and encourage students to take courses and get engaged beyond the department, as well. Various campus research centers and programs provide opportunities for collaboration, such as the Latin American & Iberian Institute, the Southwest Hispanic Research Institute, the Institute for American Indian Research, Women Studies, Africana Studies, and Sustainability Studies. 
  • We have outstanding, award-winning faculty whose work is nationally and internationally recognized. The faculty ranks among the top in communication research and creative publications, and is oriented toward working with you to design a program of studies to meet your needs.  
  • Doctoral students have ample opportunities to work with the faculty on research projects to gain valuable experience. Additionally, we are committed to excellence in teaching and mentoring of graduate students, and to fostering community engagement. Our graduate students from around the country and world are known for building a sense of intercultural community that is evident in their collaborative relationshipstheir creation of structures of support, and their production of excellent work. 
  • Wprovide different forms of financial assistance. Most doctoral students admitted to the program are offered an assistantship that includes a stipend, tuition waiver, and health insuranceThe department is consistently rated as a student favorite across campus. 
  • Our graduates get jobs. Over the past several years, Ph.D. graduates have accepted positions at institutions of higher education, ranging from small colleges to research one universities, including California State Universities, Dartmouth College, Clemson, Montana State, Florida State, and the Universities of Arkansas, Denver, Hawaii, San Francisco, Portland, North Carolina, Illinois, and Texas, to name a few. Our graduates obtain employment in their chosen areas, including those who choose to do important work in the public sector and not in academia.
  • We are in the heart of Albuquerque, a high desert city with a multicultural population of 700,000 that offers a grounded opportunity to study culture and communication, and get involved with local communities beyond the classroom.

Program Information and Contacts

For additional program informationplease look through our Graduate Student Handbook located to the left of this greeting and explore our website. You may also send an email directly to: 

Dr. Sun Hong, Ph.D. Program Director 

Dr. Cleophas Muneri, M.A. Program Director 

Toya MartinezC&J Academic Program Coordinator 

We can answer your questions or put you in contact with current graduate students if you'd like to know more about the departmentPlease be aware that our deadline is January 15 for fall admission. 

Apply Now

See C&J Application Procedures and Apply Online