Ph.D. in Media Arts & Sciences

The freedom to research your passions

Whether you want to dive more deeply into a current interest or branch out into fresh fields of inquiry, we’ll prepare you for a successful career in academia. Our Ph.D. in media arts and sciences program is one of the top research programs in media and communication, with one of the most productive graduate student research records in the world.

Our customizable curriculum will give you plenty of room to grow and explore. It grants the opportunity to dive deeply into your disciplinary focus, but also provides a space in which you can explore meaningful interdisciplinary discussions and collaborations. Our doctoral students research topics as varied as embodied cognition, Israeli satire and black Twitter.

Plus, you’ll join a dynamic, diverse group of students who share your love of media research.

You must have a master’s degree (learn more about our M.A. or M.S. programs) to begin our doctoral program. Credits from your master's can be transferred and applied to the Ph.D. program.

Epistemologies of Media

Gain familiarity with concepts and ideas critical to the study of media.

Media Pedagogy

Explore the theory and practice of college pedagogy, paying specific attention to skills required for teaching mass communication.

Media Theories

Gain exposure to the wide range of social scientific and humanistic theories that guide research in media.

What’s the historical significance of the demise of Kodak Park? How does India’s caste system impact portrayals of sexual harassment accusations? Do we respond differently to advertisements based on the gender identity of the model?

Black Film Center & Archive

The Black Film Center & Archive is a resource for scholars, students, and researchers studying films and related materials by and about Black people. Included are films that have substantial participation by Black writers, actors, producers, directors, musicians, and consultants, as well as those that depict some aspect of black experience.

Visit the BFCA’s website

Center for Documentary Research and Practice

The Center for Documentary Research and Practice serves as a research hub for historical, theoretical and critical research on nonfiction film and video, and hosts visiting artists and scholars who are working on projects with nonfiction media components.

Visit the CDRP’s website

Center for International Media Law and Policy Studies

The Center for International Media Law and Policy Studies researches the legal protection of media rights in Indiana, the United States and the world. The center studies free expression rights, educates the public and develops opportunities for students.

Visit CIMLAPS’s website


Our graduates frequently move on to tenure-track positions at prestigious institutions around the world.

Explore media research careers
Jacob Groshek

The training I received was both methodologically rigorous and theoretically informed, and came from some of the warmest and best faculty in the world.

Jacob Groshek, PhD’08, associate professor, Boston University