Communication Studies

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate programs offered

Earn a Graduate Degree

Areas of Study

These informal areas of focus may help to shape your course of study but they will not appear on transcripts.

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

Online and Distance Opportunities

Some online coursework may be available for your program; contact dept. for details.

Contacts for Communication Studies

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Other Ways to Connect

On the Web
Communication Studies

Graduate Chair
Dr. Jordan Soliz

Campus Address
433 Oldfather Hall
Lincoln NE 68588-0329

Promo image for Communication Studies

Application checklist and deadlines

1. Required by Graduate Studies

Submit these items as part of the standard steps to admission.

2. Required by Communication Studies

After you apply, allow one business day for us to set up your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these 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
  • January 15 for Fall.

Application/admission is for entry in a specific term and year. UNL's academic year is divided into 3 terms: Fall (August-December), Spring (January-May), and Summer (multiple sessions May-August). Some UNL programs accept new students only in certain terms and/or years; if your desired entry term isn't mentioned here, you may want to consult the department for clarification.


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.

Cost of attendance

Cost differs from one student to another. For details see Tuition, Fees, and Funding or try our Cost Estimator.

Courses and More

Admitted students will choose courses from the Course Catalog, typically in: During the first half of their coursework, students will work with an advisor to create a plan of study — one of the essential Steps to Degree Completion.

Faculty and research

Where available, faculty names link to bios or homepages and conversation icons () link to directory listings with address, phone, and email.

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 DiscourseLecturer

This summary page is maintained by Graduate Studies.
For additional details check out the dept./program website: Communication Studies.

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