UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara


Division of Social Sciences
4101 Social Sciences and Media Studies Building
Telephone (805) 893-4479
Undergraduate Advising: commadvising@comm.ucsb.edu
Graduate Advising: comm-gradadvising@ucsb.edu
General E-mail: comminfo@comm.ucsb.edu
Department Chair: Tamara Afifi

Graduate Program

Graduate education in the Department of Communication is provided in interpersonal/intergroup communication, media communication, and organizational communication. Additional emphases are available in language and communication, health communication, new media communication, group communication, family communication, political communication, media literacy, human-computer interaction, information technology, communication law and policy, and global and international communication. Because the M.A. degree is designed to prepare students for the Ph.D., students without a master’s degree should apply to both degree programs. Students interested in attaining a master’s degree only will normally not be considered for the program.


In addition to departmental requirements for admission, applicants must also fulfill the university requirements for admission described in the “Graduate Education” section of the UCSB online catalog.  Applicants will be evaluated on their educational record; statement of purpose; the verbal, quantitative, and writing portions of the Graduate Record Examination; and three letters of recommendation. Most applicants who have completed a M.A. or are in the process of doing so generally are able to show some proficiency in research by means of an empirical M.A. thesis, although this is not necessary if applicants can demonstrate research experience and/or have outstanding potential for doctoral research.

Applications may be submitted online via the Graduate Division website: www.graddiv.ucsb.edu/eapp. Students accepted for graduate study typically receive either fellowship support or teaching/research assistantships. Competition for admission is intense. To be fully considered for admission and support, applications and supporting application materials must be received by January 1st..

Master of Arts - Communication (Requirements - PDF)

Doctor of Philosophy - Communication (Requirements - PDF)

Optional Interdisciplinary Emphases

Students pursuing a doctoral degree in Communication may petition to add the following Optional Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Emphases: Black Studies; Cognitive Science; Feminist Studies; Global Studies; Information Technology and Society; Language, Interaction, and Social Organization; Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences.

Requirement sheets for each emphasis may be found on this page.