• Chapman students talking in class.
School of Communication

» Ph.D. in Communication

If you’re driven to pursue research and to empower the next generation of impactful communicators, Chapman University’s Ph.D. in Communication program will prepare you to lead. Here, you’ll develop your own research identity as you explore options aided by a supportive community built on mentorship and collaboration. You’ll gain extensive knowledge of communication processes grounded in both quantitative and qualitative approaches to research and teaching.   

The Chapman Ph.D. program offers three principal areas of emphasis:

  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Health Communication
  • Media and Communication Technology

If you choose to focus on other sub-disciplines in Communication, faculty mentors are eager to help guide your specialty research pursuits, including in:

  • Family Communication
  • Instructional Communication
  • Intercultural Communication

Our Students and Alumni

Here are some of the employers who have hired graduates with a Chapman Ph.D. in Communication:

  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Planned Parenthood
  • UCLA Health
  • Orange County United Way
  • Clemson University
  • Lighthouse Health and Wellness
  • Concordia University Irvine
Noel H. McGuire (Ph.D. candidate ’24)
“One of the reasons I chose to do my Ph.D. at Chapman was because of the faculty. All of the graduate faculty here are incredible researchers AND are incredible people. They are so kind and supportive in every aspect of the graduate experience. Whether it be academics or personal stress, they are always there for you and that is not something yo...
Sarah Downey (Ph.D. candidate ‘25)
“One of the opportunities that stood out to me about Chapman’s Ph.D. program was the grant writing opportunity! Grant writing is often not a part of the Ph.D. curriculum, so I love that I’ll have the opportunity to write my own grant by the end of my time here. I also appreciate the small class sizes and mentorship that faculty provide students!...
Arielle Leonard (Ph.D. candidate ’24)
“ I am so thankful to be a part of a community that values supportiveness and academic rigor equally. It is a privilege to work and learn alongside Chapman SoC faculty and students – you all inspire me to be a better Ph.D. student, instructor, and human being!”
Erin Craw (Ph.D. ’22)
“In earning my Ph.D. in Communication from Chapman University, I graduated with an understanding of and enthusiasm for applied research and evidence-based practice. My experiences as a Ph.D. student gave me a foundation of knowledge that I continue to build to identify communication-related problems and ways in which theory-driven research can h...

Sampling of Faculty-Student Research

  1. Digital Flourishing: Conceptualizing and Assessing Positive Perceptions of Mediated Social Interactions by Dr. Sophie H. Janicke-Bowles, Tess M. Buckley (Ph.D. ’22), Rikishi Rey (Ph.D. ’22), Tayah Wozniak (Ph.D. ’22), Adrian Meier & Anna Lomanowska
  2. Understanding First Responders’ Perspectives of Mental Health Communication within Their Departments by Erin Craw (Ph.D. ’22) and Dr. Michelle Miller-Day 

  3. “Like Being Deployed to War”: Stress and Resilience in Frontline Nurses During the COVID-19 Pandemic by Erin Craw (Ph.D. ’22), Tess Buckley (Ph.D. ’22), and Dr. Michelle Miller-Day

  4. The impact of HPV vaccine narratives on social media: Testing Narrative Engagement Theory with a diverse sample of young adults by Leader, A., Dr. Michelle Miller-Day, Rikishi Rey (Ph.D. ’22), Selvan, P., Pezalla, A., & Hecht, M.L

  5. “This isn’t just busy, this is scary”: Stress, Social Support, and Coping Experiences of Frontline Nurses during the COVID-19 Pandemic by Erin Craw (Ph.D. ’22), Tess Buckley (Ph.D. ’22), and Dr. Michelle Miller-Day

  6. Men’s stories: an account of translating vaccine decision narratives from young men in the US into a targeted public health intervention by Erin Craw (Ph.D. ’22) and Dr. Michelle Miller-Day

  7. Ambiguous loss, stress, communal coping, and resilience: A mixed-methods study of K-12 teachers’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic by Erin Craw (Ph.D. ’22) and Dr. Jennifer Bevan
  8. Extending Psychological Reactance Theory to Include Denial of Threat and Media Sharing Intentions as Freedom Restoration Behavior by Noel H. McGuire (Ph.D. Candidate ’24) & Dr. Hannah Ball

  9. Shot Talk: Development and Pilot Test of a Theory of Planned Behavior Campaign to Combat College Student COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy by Dr. Hannah Ball, Tayah Wozniak (Ph.D. '22), & Cailin M. Kuchenbecker (Ph.D. Candidate ’24)

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School of Communication
Graduate Programs
Email: socgrad@chapman.edu

Graduate Financial Aid
Call: (714) 628-2730
Email: gradfinaid@chapman.edu