Communication Studies

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate degrees offered


  • M.A.; Ph.D.


A specialization is a well-defined area of study that will appear on your transcript with your degree and major. Specializations are optional in most UNL programs.

Interdisciplinary Specializations
  • Ethnic Studies (M.A., Ph.D)
  • Great Plains Studies (M.A.)
  • Women's and Gender Studies (M.A., Ph.D.)
Areas of Study
  • Interpersonal, Family, and Intergroup Communication
  • Rhetoric and Public Culture
Scholarly Initiatives and Secondary Areas of Study
  • Civic Engagement
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Identity and Difference
Promotional image for Communication Studies

Contacts for Communication Studies

Graduate Chair

Dr. Jordan Soliz


Campus Address

433 Oldfather Hall

Lincoln NE 68588-0329

Application checklist and deadlines

Required by the Office of Graduate Studies

See also: steps to admission.

Required by Communication Studies in GAMES

After you apply, allow one business day for us to establish your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these departmental requirements:

  • Entrance exam(s): GRE
  • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 600, Internet TOEFL 100, IELTS 6.5
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Demonstration of teaching effectiveness, if applicable
  • Statement of purpose
  • Writing sample

When sending GRE or TOEFL scores, UNL's institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

Application Deadlines for Communication Studies
Fall: January 15


The Department of Communication Studies offers both a master's and doctoral degree specializing in two areas of study: 1) Interpersonal, Family, and Intergroup Communication and 2) Rhetoric and Public Culture.

The department’s research and teaching devote particular attention to three cross-cutting scholarly initiatives: Health and Well-Being, Civic Engagement, and Identity and Difference. The goal of these scholarly initiatives is to understand and explain the role of communication in (a) constituting individual health and well-being, promoting healthy behaviors, identifying processes that differentiate positive and negative psychosocial outcomes, and helping persons navigate relational challenges, (b) facilitating civic engagement, mediating public controversies, and organizing for social change, and (c) creating, maintaining, and challenging personal, social, and community identity in a complex and diverse world.
Students in the program work with prominent scholars and teachers to prepare them for roles in the discipline of communication studies and in our communities. The program size offers the opportunity for close mentoring relationships between students and faculty. Communication studies students are also presented with a number of professional development activities. Students have the opportunity to attend research lectures by visiting scholars, travel to professional conferences, present scholarly papers, have their work published in regional and national journals, work on collaborative research projects, and work with a nationally-ranked speech and debate program.

Courses and More

Students in Communication Studies are most likely to take courses in: See also: Course Catalog in the Graduate Bulletin.

Students will work with an advisor to create a Program of Studies or Memorandum of Courses during the first half of their coursework.

Faculty and research

Dawn O. Braithwaite
Interpersonal and Family Communication
Jody Koenig Kellas
Interpersonal and Family Communication
Kathleen Krone
Organizational Communication
Ronald Lee
Rhetorical Theory; Political Communication; Public Discourse
Damien Pfister
Rhetorical Theory; Political Communication; Public Discourse
William Seiler
Instructional Communication
Jordan Soliz
Intergroup and Family Communication
Carly Woods
Rhetorical History, Communication and Gender, Public Discourse

Departments: Have an update for this page? Contact Stacy Dam.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.