Communication, Culture and Media Studies

Communication, Culture and Media Studies

The department provides doctoral-level studies leading to the PhD which focuses on communication problems of importance in an emerging digital and multicultural world. The curriculum in Communication, Culture and Media Studies (CCMS) is designed to train scholars and academic leaders to contribute to interdisciplinary research in communication with a particular emphasis on multicultural and mediated communication.

The program offers core competencies in research strategies (qualitative, quantitative, and critical), theory and methodology. The program also responds to the university’s historical mission to advance African Americans and other underserved communities by emphasizing multiculturalism, global issues and social justice concerns in its curriculum.

Applicants to the CCMS program must possess a master’s degree by the time they enter the program. The CCMS department does not offer a master’s degree.


Students in the Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies (CCMS) will focus their studies in one of three tracks:

Media & Cultural Studies

The Media and Cultural Studies track seeks to answer increasingly complex questions about connections among individuals, media, and society through quantitative, qualitative and critical approaches and theories drawn from multiple disciplines, including sociology, history, politics, economics, and the humanities. This track is concerned with issues of power in society, including the ways in which media enter into power relations, convey political discourse, shape international relations, hinder or enable protest and dissent, and influence cultural expression and identity formation. Media activism, political campaigns, and community-level and international relations are some of the research areas encouraged in this track.

Technology, Policy & Society

The underlying emphasis of the Technology, Policy and Society (TPS) track is on how information and communication technologies and their impacts shape the communicative power of different actors and social constituents. To this end, the track focuses analysis on the development as well as social, political, and policy implications of varied forms of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The TPS track applies social science theories and empirical research methodologies to the study of issues related to social, economic, political, and cultural implications of ICTs.

Health Communication

The Health Communication track concentrates on communication and health-related issues specifically related to African American and other under-represented groups. The research focuses on the role communication plays in health promotion and disease prevention. Students are encouraged to develop culturally appropriate communication studies designed to help reduce health disparities. Emphasis is also placed on social justice research and research designed to help achieve health equity among minority populations and communities.


A limited number of teaching assistantships are available to cover tuition and provide a stipend. Once students have been admitted to the graduate program in CCMS, they are invited to apply for these department-based assistantships. Applicants are also encouraged to apply for Graduate School funding (


New students are admitted to the program in fall semester only. Application for admission is through the Graduate School ( Deadline for application is January 15.

Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in their master’s program to receive consideration for admission to the CCMS program. In addition, applicants must have completed on-line application and signature page, and submitted the following:

  • The non-refundable $45 application fee (Waivers accepted for FAMU Feeder Program and McNair Scholars),
  • Official transcripts directly from the Registrar’s Office from ALL colleges and universities attended,
  • GRE Scores (Only official score reports are accepted within 5 years of the test date),
  • A statement of Academic and Research Interest
  • An Autobiographical Sketch (Personal biography)
  • Resume (or CV)
  • Three current letters of recommendation from academic sources

International Applicants

In addition to the requirements listed above you must submit:

  • Official transcripts, certificates and/or mark/grade sheets. These must be sent directly from the colleges or universities you have attended to the Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions (, and must show proof of degree(s) earned, courses taken and marks/grades received. Also, ALL transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES) ( or AACRAO ( and be forwarded to Graduate Recruitment and Admissions.
  • TOEFL Scores (Minimum computer-based score of 213 is required and only official score reports are accepted within 2 years of the test date). International applicants who completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree at an English-speaking university are exempt from TOEFL exams.


Credits: The Graduate School requires a minimum of 72 credits for the Ph.D. (including the dissertation). Students will take a minimum of 48 credits in the CCMS program, though many take all required 72 hours. Students may transfer up to 24 credits in communication-related courses from their master’s program to help fulfill the total required credits.

View program courses here.

For more information, contact CCMS Department Chair Dr. Carolyn M. Byerly.

Contact Information
Dr. Carolyn M. Byerly
  • (202) 806.5121
  • Dr. Carolyn M. Byerly
    Professor and Chair
    525 Bryant Street, NW, Room C-248
    (202) 806-5121 (Office)
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Our Faculty

Natalie Hopkinson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies (CCMS)

Natalie Hopkinson, Ph.D.

Education: PhD, University of Maryland; MA, University of Maryland; BA, Howard...
Yong Jin Park, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies (CCMS)

Yong Jin Park, Ph.D.

Education: PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; MA, University of Southern California...
Wei Sun, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies (CCMS)

Wei Sun, Ph.D.

Education: PhD, Howard University; MA, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania; MA,...
Carolyn A. Stroman, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies (CCMS)

Carolyn A. Stroman, Ph.D.

Education: PhD., Syracuse University; M.L.S. Syracuse University; M.A. Atlanta University;...
Abbas Malek, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies (CCMS)

Abbas Malek, Ph.D.

Education: PhD., International Communication, School of International Service, The...
Carolyn M. Byerly, Ph.D.
Graduate Professor and Chair, Department of Communication, Culture & Media Studies (CCMS)

Carolyn M. Byerly, Ph.D.

Education: PhD, Mass Communication, University of Washington, Seattle; M.A., Mass...