Graduate Student

Cultivating Scholars, Developing Teachers

Welcome and thank you for your interest in graduate studies in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Nebraska! Our nationally recognized department offers M.A and Ph.D. degrees and a collaborative environment and expert faculty who serve as mentors.

The graduate program is dedicated to cultivating scholar-teachers capable of advancing the study of relational, organizational and civic dimensions of communication. We reflect the pluralism of the communication discipline by currently offering two primary areas of study: Interpersonal, Family & Health Communication and Rhetoric & Public Culture. The mission of the faculty and students of the Department of Communication Studies is to examine human symbolic activity as it shapes and is shaped by relationships, institutions, technology, and culture.  This work concerns the creation, analysis, and critique of messages ranging from face-to-face to digital media contexts.  The department’s research and teaching devote particular attention to three cross-cutting strategic initiatives: Health and Well-Being, Civic Engagement, and Identity and Difference.

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). Our doctoral students have great success in securing academic appointments upon graduation. Our M.A. program will prepare you for continuing your doctoral studies in prestigious doctoral programs. You will develop programs of study that serve your individual focus based on your primary area of study and our department strategic initiatives.

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, you will be 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 series on various academic topics (e.g., teaching portfolios, going on the job market), and students have the opportunity to participate in university professional development programs (e.g. Preparing Future Faculty Programs). 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.

For more information on our programs, please contact Dr. Casey Kelly, Director of Graduate Studies.

When is the application deadline?
The application deadline for Fall 2019 is January 15th, 2020. You can start your application now! Please note that we do not accept applications for Spring admissions. 

What materials are required for a complete application?
You can access suggestions for putting together application materials and information about materials here. The Office of Graduate Studies also provides short videos to assist with the application process.

Can I talk to current graduate students to learn more about the program and community?
Feel free to contact one of the University of Nebraska's graduate ambassadors. Feel free to also contact Dr. Casey Kelly to put you in touch with one of our current graduate students. You can also learn more about graduate studies from current graduate students at our university. Never been to Lincoln, Nebraska? Discover what it's like to live in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Ready to apply?