SOC is dedicated to educating the next generation of communication scholars, professors, leaders, and practitioners for the Digital Age. It fosters scholarship that builds new theory and knowledge, and enhances the ability of institutions, social groups, and professionals to apply that knowledge to undertake salient political and social challenges. Courses will cover a wide spectrum of issues—addressing the cultural, technological, economic and policy forces shaping the media system, and emphasizing the role of new media in civil society and democracy, a theme consistent with the core public service mission of American University. The PhD program at American University provides graduate students with knowledge and expertise in the major theories and methodologies of the field. Students work closely with a faculty advisor to create an individualized program of electives. Courses will include communication classes as well as courses from other units on campus, organized around the student’s choice of the following thematic concentrations: Media, Public Issues, and Engagement; Media Industries and Institutions; or Media, Technology, and Culture. A renowned and well-connected faculty prepares students for tenure-track faculty positions at institutions of higher education in Communication, Media Studies, Public Relations, Journalism, Film and Media Arts, and related fields. They will also have the advanced qualifications for work in public policy, research, communication, marketing, and production positions at media, nonprofit, advocacy, government, and industry organizations.
International Student Requirements:
International students must demonstrate their proficiency in English with the following test scores on the TOEFL exam: minimum 100 on the IBT, minimum 250 on the computer based test, or minimum 600 on the paper-based TOEFL exam. SOC also accepts a minimum score of 7.0 on the IELTS exam. International students must have completed (or may be in the processes of completing) a graduate degree in addition to a four-year undergraduate degree.