Graduate Student

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

The department’s research and teaching are guided by three cross-cutting strategic initiativesCivic Engagement, Health and Well-Being, and Identity and Difference.

Our mission 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 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:

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).  You will develop a program of study that serves your individual focus based on your primary area of study and our department strategic initiatives.

  • 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 programs.

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 graduate students.


  • Teach a variety of courses.
  • Serve as teaching assistants to faculty in upper-level classes. 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.
  • Participate in professional development at the departmental level (e.g., teaching portfolios, going on the job market) and university level (e.g. Preparing Future Faculty Programs).
  • Serve as an assistant coach for our nationally-recognized Speech and Debate program.

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

Learn More About the Program and Community

How to Apply