The Department of Communication Studies at Colorado State University announces the launch of its new doctoral program in Communication. The Ph.D. degree expands the department’s nationally-recognized graduate program, which has garnered awards based on the stature of its faculty and the quality of its graduate student mentoring. The first-ever cohort of doctoral students will begin classes in the 2017-18 school year.
According to Karrin Anderson, director of graduate studies for the department, the new program features a dynamic and flexible curriculum that allows students to take courses from three areas of study: rhetoric and civic engagement, relational and organizational communication, and media and visual culture.
“Our graduate program emphasizes engagement,” Anderson says. “So we train scholars and practitioners to engage with academic and professional communities and meet the challenges of our increasingly interdependent and globally diverse social worlds.”
She recognizes the Center for Public Deliberation, which is housed in the Department of Communication Studies, as a model of engaged communication in action. The Center trains students to be impartial facilitators, design deliberative dialogues on complex problems in the local community, and conduct research in the area of public deliberation.
Dr. Eric Aoki, Professor in the department of Communications Studies in the College of Liberal Arts at Colorado State University teaches courses in Interpersonal, Co-Cultural, and Intercultural Communication at the undergraduate level and Communication & Cultural Diversity at the graduate level, October 12, 2016.
“There are no limits on the breadth and depth of how Ph.D. candidates can integrate resources such as the CPD into their scholarship,” says Greg Dickinson, department chair. “Our faculty also conducts grant-supported applied research, improves communication in diverse organizational contexts, develops deliberative processes to educate voters, and responds to the problem of human trafficking.
Dickinson also points to the ground breaking ACT Human Rights Film Festival as evidence the department’s commitment to engaged communication. “ACT brings together filmmakers, scholars, and community organizations for a collaborative opportunity to learn about and respond to local and global human rights concerns,” he says. “It’s the pinnacle expression of what a 21st Century land grant institution can do.”
The new program also is committed to developing students as teachers.  “We have a graduate course in Communication Pedagogy and attentive mentoring in teaching from faculty members who deeply value instructional excellence,” says Anderson.
Doctoral students have the option to complete the graduate certification in teaching that is available from CSU’s Institute for Learning and Teaching. They also will have the opportunity to teach a range of classes in their area of expertise while at Colorado State University.
For more information about the new Ph.D. in Communication from Colorado State University, visit