Primary Contact

Dr. Benjamin Bates
Associate Dir. for Grad Studies

Welcome to the Ohio COMS Graduate Program!

Hello and thank you for your interest in the Doctoral Program in Communication Studies at Ohio University!  The mission of our program is simple: Through our research, teaching, and service, scholars from our school seek to improve, entertain, and enlighten the world around us.  We feel strongly that our scholarly efforts are directly tied to the academic community that we are able to build.  Consequently, we are continually searching for students and faculty who are passionate about their work as scholars.

Our graduate program offers the Ph.D. degree for advanced study in three primary areas. Our reputation in these areas is very strong with top ten rankings in organizational and health communication and top 20 rankings in interpersonal and rhetoric according to the most recent NCA reputation study:

  • Relating and Organizing.  This track allows students to blend theory from both organizational communication and interpersonal communication to ask provocative questions about communication contexts ranging from traditional organizational settings to the classroom and more traditional interpersonal relationships.  Although students and faculty in this track do conventional focuses like Organizational, Interpersonal and Instructional Communication (to name a few), many also select coursework and research projects that blend across one or more of those traditional areas.
  • Health Communication: Our Health Communication track is broad in its orientation, with students and faculty addressing topics ranging from narrative approaches to understanding health to health message effects.  Scholars in this area have developed meaningful connections with the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, the College of Health Sciences and Professions, as well as several health related community advocacy organizations.
  • Rhetoric and Public Culture: Students and faculty in the rhetoric and public culture track tend to specialize in the study of contemporary discourses on issues ranging from politics to sports.  Students in this track are exposed to a wide range of rhetorical theorists including Burke, Bakhtin, Foucault, Fisher, as well as many other interdisciplinary theorists.

As a faculty we are committed to outstanding graduate mentoring.  Several of our faculty have been awarded university-wide teaching awards for their work in graduate and undergraduate classrooms; our faculty are also very “present” in Lasher Hall.  This commitment pays off in the productivity of our graduate students; for the past two years our graduate students have had over 70 publications each year!

As you will learn, our program has much to offer academically. Equally important is our commitment to collegiality, respect, and compassion among those who are part of our community.  We are confident that you will be excited about our program if you take time to learn more.  Please feel free to contact Dr. Bates if you have questions or would like to schedule a campus visit.

COMS Graduate Students in a research methods
seminar with Scott Titsworth