From the Director of Graduate Studies

Welcome and thank you for your interest in graduate studies in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. We offer M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Communication Studies. Our department is nationally recognized as a leader in research and teaching in Communication Studies, and we are proud to extend this tradition of excellence to a new generation of scholar-teachers through graduate education.

Our community is a collaborative one. Our graduate students develop strong working relationships with their primary advisor, other faculty, and fellow graduate students as they progress through the program. At Nebraska, our goal is not simply to guide students through the degree requirements but to mentor students in all facets of their future scholarly lives. For instance, we offer professional development workshops on topics such as searching for an academic position, developing a program of research, and creating a teaching portfolio. In order to encourage our students to make their scholarship visible, we offer financial support for attending regional and national conferences.

Since we emphasize our doctoral program, the M.A. in Communication Studies is most appropriate for students who wish to continue in academia. As you go through this process, please feel free to contact me to further discuss our department, faculty, and/or life as a graduate student. The application deadline for Fall 2014 is January 15th.

I look forward to hearing from you!


Jordan Soliz, Director of Graduate Studies

The graduate program is dedicated to cultivating scholar-teachers capable of advancing the study of relational, organizational, and civic dimensions of communication. Our department reflects the pluralism of the communication discipline by currently offering two primary areas of study: Interpersonal and Family Communication and Rhetoric and Public Culture. Our goal is to nurture scholars who appreciate and embrace the interconnectedness of these primary areas as well as other faculty foci (e.g., organizational communication). Students develop programs of study that serve the individual focus of the student. We encourage students to identify intersections across areas of study reflecting the three cross-cutting scholarly initiatives: Civic Engagement, Identity and Difference, and Health and Well-Being.

Our faculty members are active scholars with established and innovative areas of research. We pride ourselves on our student-faculty collaborations and the independent scholarship produced by our students. You can find our work published in highly respected journals including Argumentation & Advocacy, Communication Education, Communication Monographs, Communication Studies, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Family Communication, Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Management Communication Quarterly, Personal Relationships, and Rhetoric and Public Affairs. The quality of the scholarship produced by our faculty and students is evident in the recognition they receive from the university and at national and regional conferences.

To support research efforts, students have access to analytical and survey development software. Additionally, we have research space dedicated to focus groups and interviewing as well as a new Communication and Social Interaction Lab.

In addition to working with our faculty in and outside of the classroom, the department’s visiting and summer scholars programs allow students access to distinguished scholars in our discipline. In the last decade, our students have benefited from research presentations, individual or small group meetings, and/or summer course offerings from Betsy Bach, Patrice Buzzanell, George Cheney, James Darsey, Kory Floyd, John Lyne, Valerie Manusov, Gordon Mitchell, Gerry Philipsen, Allan Sillars, and Jo Sprague.

Members of our faculty have been recognized for teaching and advising on the undergraduate and graduate level and we make it a point to share philosophies and practices with our students as part of graduate education. Throughout the program, students are given the opportunity to teach a variety of courses and may also serve as teaching assistants to faculty in upper-level classes. We offer professional development programs on teaching (e.g. Preparing Future Faculty Program), graduate courses in instructional communication, and departmental mentoring. We take great pride in the quality of our graduate teaching assistants and the numerous awards they have received on campus and in the discipline. Our department also houses a nationally-recognized Speech & Debate program which offers opportunities for assistant coach positions.

We hope you will consider applying to our program!

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Living in Lincoln

Lincoln, with a population of about 250,000 people is a large city that feels like a small town. The people are extremely friendly and the businesses are easily accessible with cheap or free parking located throughout the downtown Haymarket area. Lincoln isbiker- and pedestrian-friendly with many of the best restaurants, shops, bookstores, and attractions within a ten minute walk from campus. Lincoln isfamily friendly and has a low cost of living. It is in an excellent location within a driving distance of cities like Omaha, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis and Des Moines.

Lincoln is full of attractions of historical interest like the home of William Jennings Bryan and the statue of Abraham Lincoln...Beautiful architecture like the Capitol building...Many museums including the Telephone Pioneer Museum, the Nebraska History Museumand the National Museum of Roller Skating...Art museums like the Sheldon Museum on campus and galleries that host art crawls...Theaters like the acclaimed Lied Center and Rococo Theater...There are also a number of fine restaurants unique to Lincoln includingBlue Orchid (Thai), Lazlo's (Americana) and The Oven (Indian)...Many children's attractions like the excellent Lincoln Children's Museum and Children's Zoo...over 6,000 acres of public parks including the massive Pioneers Park...farmer's markets...and esteemed sporting events like Saltdogs Baseball,No Coast Derby Girls roller derby, and of course, Huskers Football!