Director's Message

Dear prospective applicants,

Thanks for your interest in our graduate programs!

The UB Department of Communication is ranked #5 out of 144 communication departments (97th percentile) in the Scholarly Research Index of Academic Analytics (combining metrics of publications, grants, awards, and citations). We distinguish ourselves as a department that focuses on communication as a science and are devoted to the scientific study of communication phenomena through rigorous empirical and applied approaches, using quantitative and mixed methods.

Our major areas of expertise include social influence, health communication, communication technology, and social networks, under the traditional umbrella of interpersonal, organizational, mass, and international/intercultural communication. Our major domains of grant activity are in the areas of risk communication, deception detection, health communication, and technology, areas with substantial societal benefit.

Overall, our graduate programs (both MA and PhD) emphasize the social scientific study of human communication processes, with coursework focusing on integrating communication theory with current research methods and intriguing topics. Below are some examples:

  • Narrative communication and social influence (e.g., media processes and effects, narrative persuasion, entertainment-education)
  • Science, health, environmental, and risk communication (e.g., risk perception, risk analysis, innovative interventions, campaign/program evaluation)
  • Digital and social media (e.g., technology and well-being, social networks, computational research)
  • Political communication (e.g., mediated public discourse)
  • Misinformation and society (e.g., mass and social media, morality, and extremism)
  • Nonverbal communication (e.g., facial expressions and deception)
  • Interpersonal communication (e.g., social support, and end-of-life communication, close relationships)
  • Media psychology of entertainment (e.g., media entertainment and morality, positive media psychology)
Graduate Faculty.

We have world-class graduate faculty who are devoted to cutting-edge and scientific research into communication phenomena and mentoring graduate students to pursue careers in academia, business, and government. In fact, four of our faculty have been named the world’s top 2% scientists by Stanford University. Many have federal, regional, and/or private grants for funded projects.

Our faculty work closely with students, who have had great success in presenting at (inter)national conferences, publishing in high-impact journals, and securing positions at prestigious intuitions – a testament to the collaborative environment for professional development that we have built at UB. In addition, our graduate students are very supportive of each other, through personal networks, various research groups/labs, and the Communication Graduate Student Association . We offer a welcoming and collegial community, and always look for highly motivated and outstanding candidates. 

We only admit new students once a year. The application deadlines are:

  • December 1 for all PhD applicants
  • April 1 for international MA applicants
  • August 1 for domestic MA applicants

Please be sure to browse through our website for details about the application tips, frequently asked questions (FAQs) for MA applicants and PhD applicants as well as our graduate faculty and student led research. If you have any further questions about our graduate programs, do not hesitate to contact me at any time.

Best wishes,

Hua “Helen” Wang, PhD

Director of Graduate Studies