The PhD program offers three areas of specialization:
Rhetoric, Politics, and Society (MA & PhD)
The graduate program in Rhetoric, Politics, and Society challenges students to consider
the core question of rhetoric’s role in the diverse settings of America’s culture.
Located in a city with a rich and controversial legacy involving civil rights, faculty
in this program focus on how public address, advocacy, media, and the arts—historically
and theoretically—have influenced the multiple meanings of American citizenry and
The Department also honors the top incoming PhD student in its "Rhetoric, Politics,
and Society" area with the Michael and Suzanne Osborn Fellowship for the Study of Rhetoric and Public Address.
Health Communication (MA & PhD)
The Health Communication area at the University of Memphis provides graduate students
an interdisciplinary experience in the theoretical and research practices in the study
of health communication. Focusing on qualitative approaches to health communication,
our faculty and students bridge social scientific, rhetorical, and critical/cultural
research perspectives and methodologies. Faculty research includes patient-provider
communication, health professional education, palliative care, end-of-life communication,
health information technology, science communication, and public health communication.
Media, Technology, and Society (MA & PhD)
The Media, Technology, and Society emphasis in the Department of Communication offers
a diverse, interdisciplinary approach to the study of how communication technologies
and cultural processes shape identities, communities, relationships, and subjectivities.
Faculty research focuses on science & medicine, Internet & new media studies, and
critical pedagogy, and pays close attention to issues of race, class, gender, and
sexuality in society.