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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Communication Studies

University of Denver campus and mountains

Department of Communication Studies

Communication Studies Graduate Degrees

Our graduate students design their own research, collaborate closely with our faculty of teacher-scholars and contribute to an engaged and inclusive community. Through the close study of communication, we empower our students to examine their various identities and the ideologies that impact them as they learn to resolve conflict and reach ethical decisions. 

Many of our students become passionate educators, while other establish careers in public relations, marketing, social work, government or journalism, where critical thinking, inclusive communication and flexible problem-solving are essential.

We are now accepting applications for Fall 2019 enrollment. Limited application fee waivers are available for current DU students, DU alumni, McNair Scholars, current or former Peace Corps members, current or former AmeriCorps members, current or former City Year members, and veterans. To request a fee waiver, contact [email protected].

Graduate Degree Options

Why study with us?

  • Become a more reflexive, ethical and effective communicator
  • Prepare for a career as a passionate educator or practitioner
  • Serve in leadership positions across the University of Denver 
  • Join an intimate class of 4-15 graduate students
  • Explore a wide range of creative methodologies
  • Design your own research

Prepare yourself for a meaningful career. The ability to communicate clearly is invaluable in any profession.

Debate Team


Why you'll love Denver:

We are a hub for diversity.  People are moving to Denver from all across the world. The diversity in the Rocky Mountain Region provides fertile ground for communicative analyses, whether at a public, organizational or personal level.&nbsp

Collaborate with community partners.  Denver's vibrant non-profit sector welcomes partnerships with faculty and graduate students. Several of our faculty have partnered with local non-profits, to work toward better community-driven solutions.

Internship and employment opportunities.  The University of Denver is a magnet for employers and policy-makers in the Rocky Mountain region. We have a thriving digital communications industry and positive reputation with regional employers.&nbsp

Access to regional politics.  As the state capital for a persistently purple swing state, Denver is an excellent place for our graduate students to immerse themselves in local political rhetoric that reflects national trends. Students in our program, especially those who participate in our debate club, have access to government officials as well as advocacy organizations, providing opportunities for meaningful analysis and exchange.

A rich arts scene.  From renowned museums to monthly art walks, this region is rich in arts, culture and history for you to explore. The creative community both in Denver and at DU offer numerous opportunities for inspiration, especially for our students who develop communicative performances as part of their graduate studies.


Communication Studies Classroom

Focus your study on one of three areas of specialization:

  • Interpersonal and Family Communication
  • Culture and Communication
  • Rhetoric and Communication Ethics

Read more about our specializations.

Funding Support

Typically, our M.A. students receive partial funding, including merit-based scholarships. 

Ph.D students are offered full funding for three years through a Graduate Teaching Instructorship, during which you will prepare for a career in academia, perfecting your teaching and research skills. Funding for the fourth year is awarded on a competitive basis through a limited number of fellowships.