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Communication Doctorate (PhD)

Program overview

The PhD in Communication provides students with advanced training in media and cultural analysis. Communication academics pursue a range of different inquiries at the crossroads of humanities and social science research. Our faculty members are scholars, artists, and media-makers who have extensive experience in graduate supervision and who have published award-winning books and articles in internationally leading journals, as well as producing innovative projects in time-based media and other non-textual formats. You will study areas as varied as game studies, representations of gender and race, digital media, feminist media studies, and research-creation. You will have the opportunity to work on a variety of research projects and benefit from Montreal’s fertile media arts environment.

Program Details

Admission Requirements

  • MA in Communication or its equivalent.
  • A thoroughly articulated research project outline.
  • Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the English language proficiency page for further information on requirements and exemptions.
  • Language Requirements. Applicants should have a level of competence that would allow them to read technical material and follow lectures and discussions in English. Students may participate in discussions, write reports, examinations and theses in English or French, as they choose.

Degree Requirements

Fully-qualified candidates are required to complete a minimum of 90 credits.

Please see the Communication Studies Courses page for course descriptions.

Communication PhD (90 credits)


credits of Required Courses:

  COMS 800 Integrative Seminar (3.00)
  COMS 835 Doctoral Pro-Seminar (3.00)

12credits chosen from Communication PhD Electives


  COMS 815 Doctoral Examination (3.00)



  COMS 890 Doctoral Thesis Proposal (6.00)



  COMS 896 Doctoral Thesis Research (63.00)

Communication PhD Electives (12 credits)

  COMS 805 Research Workshop (3.00)
  COMS 822 Advanced Seminar in Research Methods I (3.00)
  COMS 823 Advanced Seminar in Research Methods II (3.00)
  COMS 841 Cultural Industries (3.00)
  COMS 842 Media Reception (3.00)
  COMS 843 Communication Policy (3.00)
  COMS 844 Uses of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) (3.00)
  COMS 851 Speech Communication (3.00)
  COMS 853 Discourse and Representation (3.00)
  COMS 854 Discourse within Social Formations (3.00)
  COMS 861 Organizational Culture (3.00)
  COMS 864 Communication and Change in Organizations (3.00)
  COMS 873 Identities and Cultural Exchange (3.00)
  COMS 874 Globalization of Communication (3.00)
  COMS 875 Technology and Organization (3.00)
  COMS 876 Media Technology as Practice (3.00)
  COMS 877 International Communication and Development (3.00)
  COMS 878 Communication, Conflict and Peace (3.00)
  COMS 879 Human-Computer Interactions (3.00)
  COMS 880 Communication Networks and Organization (3.00)
  COMS 882 Communication, Democracy and Power (3.00)
  COMS 883 History and Historiography of Media and Culture (3.00)
  COMS 884 Cultural Theory in Communication Studies (3.00)
  COMS 885 Popular Culture (3.00)
  COMS 886 Alternative Media (3.00)
  COMS 887 Strategies and Styles in Communication (3.00)
  COMS 888 Discourses of the Body (3.00)
  COMS 889 Theories of Organizational Communication (3.00)
  COMS 891 Communication Technologies and Society (3.00)
  COMS 892 Epistemology and Methodology of Media Creation (3.00)
  COMS 893 Advanced Seminar in Special Topics in the PhD in Communication (3.00)

Your completed application will include:

  • Application form and Fee
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Three Letters of Reference and assessment form
  • Statement of Purpose (approx. 500 words ) that describes your academic and/or professional background (including publications, awards and relevant employment), your career goals, and the reasons why you believe Concordia’s PhD in Communication program will offer you the right ‘home’ for your studies. If relevant, please also indicate any scholarships, fellowships or bursaries you have already secured for your PhD studies or for which you intend to apply.
  • Research Statement (approx. 1500-2000 words) that describes in detail the proposed area(s) and program of research. Please also append a bibliography (max. 1 page) representing key works in your proposed area of study.
  • Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship (if applicable)
  • Applicants whose primary language is not English, are required to submit official language test scores, unless exempted
  • Optional support material may include writing samples or completed research/creation projects (website links, cds, dvds, or other documentation) to be sent to the university drop-off courier address.

Please apply online. Read the how-to guide for application procedures. 

Communication PhD Feb. 1 n/a n/a

Consult the graduate calendar for a complete list of current courses.

The department’s interdisciplinary faculty are known nationally and internationally for their scholarship. They regularly garner significant grants and fellowships for their contributions to the fields of communications, media studies, media arts, cultural studies and design art. They are also gaining acclaim for ground breaking research situated at the crossroads of fine arts, science and the humanities.

Faculty interests include: 

  • cultural studies
  • the nature and conception of audiences
  • rhetoric
  • the history of communication
  • film and documentary production
  • film and television studies
  • feminist and postcolonial theory
  • gender and technology
  • media and ICT policy
  • religion and media
  • international and development communication
  • visual studies
  • semiotics of landscape and environment
  • political communication
  • alternative and activist media
  • video advocacy
  • intermedial art practices
  • sound art
  • video and media arts
  • performance and game studies
  • nuclear culture and history

Doctoral theses are based on extensive research and advanced theoretical or empirical knowledge within the field of communication. Doctoral students who undertake research-creation theses include a practical component of creation or innovative production along with a written component demonstrating how the work advances knowledge in the field. 

Review an inspiring list of thesis topics.

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