Media Studies PhD Programs

Would you like to help future generations understand, and thus make better use of, media and communications systems? If so, a Ph.D. in Media Studies program may be right for you. Read on to find out what you would learn in a media studies program, what you would need to get into one and what your career options might be. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Might I Study in a Media Studies Ph.D. Program?

Doctoral programs in media studies generally are interdepartmental in nature, such as a Ph.D. in film and media studies. They might also offer the opportunity to carry a graduate minor in an area like Mexican American studies, in women, gender and sexuality or in critical theory. Thus, while all doctoral students may complete a few required courses in media theory and research, the rest of your curriculum likely will be tailored to your interests.

In addition to your coursework, you'll usually have to complete at least 32 credits' worth of research toward your dissertation, which you will have to defend before a committee of faculty members. Some programs also require passage of a comprehensive exam in media studies.

Degree OptionsDoctoral programs in film and media studies; graduate minors in areas such as gender and women's studies or Mexican American studies
PrerequisitesLower level degree, GRE, writing sample, letters of recommendation, work history
Job Outlook (2014-2024)4% employment growth in the media and communications field
Median Annual Salary (2014)$52,370 in the media and communications field

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Prerequisites Might I Need?

To apply to a media studies Ph.D. program, you'll need a minimum of a bachelor's degree, and some programs will require a master's degree. This degree may need to be in a related field, such as the humanities or social sciences. In most cases, you'll be required to provide evidence of both professional and scholarly commitment to the field; this may include a writing sample, work history or letters of recommendation. You also may be required to submit your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

What is My Career Outlook?

Though some graduates of doctoral programs in media studies go on to research or executive careers, you and your classmates are likely to find work in postsecondary education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of postsecondary teachers, generally, is expected to grow by 13% between 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Postsecondary teachers earned a median annual salary of $70,790 in May of 2014.

In the field of media and communications, according to the BLS, employment should grow by 4% from 2014-2024, which will add approximately 27,400 new jobs. The median annual salary in this field was $52,370 in May of 2014.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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