At the core of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism Ph.D. program is the conviction that a deep understanding of the past, present, and future of journalism is critical to democracy. We foster this inquiry through faculty members at the College who research journalism, a network of courses and colleagues across the university who teach our students in related subjects, as well as elite cohorts of Ph.D. students who pursue the deep study of journalism in its current and evolving forms.

Ph.D. students enter our program to take seminar courses directly with faculty members in the College, then add a concentration from another world-class subject area at the University (including communication, information sciences, sociology, political science, history, psychology and public policy). Admission is highly competitive and we provide generous funding for those admitted to the program. Our Ph.D. students are a key component in the teaching and research environment at the College, co-publishing with faculty members and presenting widely at national and international conferences. Please see our ‘Cohorts’ page  for more details on our current outstanding students.
What do our faculty and Ph.D. students explore together at the Philip Merrill College College of Journalism? Ph.D. students take core courses in theories of journalism, quantitative research methods, and qualitative research methods. They also take classes in special topics in journalism studies, ranging from theorizing the online sphere to analyzing the coverage of conflicts. After a set of comprehensive exams, PhD students defend their dissertation proposal and work on their Ph.D.
Most of the students we admit have significant journalism experience and already hold a master’s degree though neither is a prerequisite. We admit (and fund) students from both the United States and around the world. We have outstanding success in both program completion in an average of five years and in job placement. A recent review of Ph.D. graduates from the past 10 years found that 80 percent of them were working in academia, while others were working in media and other areas, including at the World Bank.
Applications for the doctoral program are considered only for Fall semester enrollment. The deadline to apply for the 2015-16 session is February 1, 2015. Here's more information about the application process.
For informal inquiries, please contact Prof. Sarah Oates (Ph.D. director) at soates@umd.edu.