Survey of Doctoral Programs in Communication:
Updated Report for 2008-2009 Graduates


Lee B. Becker, Tudor Vlad, Paris Desnoes, Whitney Kazragis and Chelsea Toledo


The broad field of communication has 123 doctoral programs in academic year 2008-2009 dispersed around the country.

The programs, based on their own classification, focus overwhelmingly on Communication Studies, broadly defined, including Speech Communication and Rhetoric.

Those programs granted 636 degrees in academic year 2008-2009, the last year for which such data are available.

Most of those degrees, reflecting the programs that offer them, center on the research skills and knowledge of communication, including speech and rhetoric. Only small numbers of graduates have more applied interests in journalism, telecommunications or communication technologies.

Women dominate the field, earning nearly six in 10 of the doctoral degrees conferred in communications. This figure has not changed in recent years.

Students from outside the U.S. make up a quarter of the degree recipients. That figure has been largely stable over the last decade.

Among domestic graduates, members of racial and ethnic minorities are few. In 2008-2009, only 9.4% of the domestic graduates were African-American, and only 2.0% were Hispanic. Both figures were lower than a year earlier.

The copyrighted full text of the 2009 Doctoral Report is available here.

Power Point Presentation for 2009 Doctoral Report is available here.