Prospective Graduate Students | LSU Department of Communication Studies

Prospective Graduate Students

The Department of Communication Studies promotes and engages in the study of human communication. Established in 1928, The Department of Communication Studies at Louisiana State University is one of the oldest communication departments in the nation and, in the South, it was the first to develop a doctoral program.

Situated in a research-intensive university, the department and its faculty strive to foster the intellectual growth of each graduate student while also attending to their development in the areas of teaching and service. Our main goal is to prepare graduate students for success in their chosen profession, academic or otherwise, in an environment that is innovative, stimulating, friendly, and humane.

In our graduate program, students will obtain an awareness of the history and scope of the communication discipline and will use performance, empirical, and critical/ interpretive methods to engage local and global social issues and generate original research.

Whether your passion or goal is to be an artist, academic, or professional, our M.A and Ph.D programs provide facilities for creative communication expression and experimentation, including the Mary Frances HopKins Black Box performance lab, the Matchbox Interaction Lab, RSA@LSU, and Studio 151, a video editing lab. The department also is home to the Harold Mixon Lyceum, our forensics and debate team. Frequent colloquies, lectures, and workshops given by LSU and visiting scholars further enhance the lively community of scholarship we hope to foster here.

Design Your Own Path

Our graduate program is organized into three broad areas of specialization: Interpersonal Communication, Performance Studies, and Rhetoric and Cultural Studies. We recognize that scholarship and interests may exist within and between these areas. Each graduate student is encouraged to design a program of study that fits their interests. A student may, for instance, concentrate their graduate course work and research in one area or work across areas.

Interpersonal Communication

This area of study investigates interpersonal communication with special attention to marriage and family, relationships, social cognition, listening, health settings, and the role of the individual in communication. Our approach is primarily quantitative and mixed-methods.

Performance Studies

Performance Studies features communication and practice-centered approaches to performance in three main contexts: the cultural, the historical, and the aesthetic. Our approach is qualitative, focusing on interpretive and critical analyses of performance texts, events, and processes.

Rhetoric and Cultural Studies

This area of study focuses on the critical analysis of public discourse, media, and culture. We are especially interested in how rhetorical criticism functions as a mode of social critique. This type of critical practice often examines how rhetoric addresses and constitutes publics, and also how discourses work to challenge and sustain power relations.

Degree Options

We offer a M.A. degree with a thesis, non- thesis, or professional practice option; a M.A.-Ph.D fast track program; and finally a Ph.D degree option for those who have already received their MA degree.

For more information please visit: Graduate Course Descriptions and Offerings

Application Requirements

For more information please visit: CMST Graduate Application Requirements

LSU Graduate School

Apply to the LSU Grad School

Graduate Course Offerings

For more information please visit: Graduate Course Descriptions and Offerings

Assistantship & Financial Information

The Department of Communication Studies offers funding in the form of graduate assistantships to graduate students in our program to support them in obtaining their MA and PhD degrees. Each year approximately 25 graduate assistantships to continuing and new graduate students are awarded. Our assistantships are teaching assistantships largely; research assistantships are not awarded.

Graduate assistants typically teach or assistant in one class each semester. Assistantships offer a stipend, tuition exemption, and a competitive health insurance option. Assistantships do not cover student fees. All the assistantships are renewable within certain term limits and given the student’s satisfactory fulfillment of his or her academic and teaching responsibilities. The noted term limits are: The noted term limits are 4 years total for doctoral students and 2 years for

master students. PhD Fast-track students are funded for a total of 6 years as long as they satisfactorily fulfill teaching and academic responsibilities.

For prospective students, the application documents play a key part in the decisions made as does the availability of assistantships within the program or within the applicant’s proposed area(s) of research emphasis.

At this time, our department does not offer funding for the support of research or conference travel. However, students may apply to competitive awards offered through the graduate school and college.

For more information please visit: LSU Graduate School - Assistantships

Course Offerings

Graduate Course Descriptions and Offerings

Our expert faculty offer a range of graduate classes each semester. Our graduate curriculum is designed to enable students to specialize in area(s) of interest, while gaining a broad understanding of the communication discipline. Course offerings are both flexible and rigorous. Below you will find the courses in our course catalog along with the course offerings for the past few semesters.