Media Studies Doctoral Program

Media Studies students having a discussion during class

Doctoral Degree in Media Studies

Research one of the most powerful forces in the modern world from a home base in the stunning Pacific Northwest. Learn from internationally recognized faculty in a school with a legacy of more than 100 years of academic excellence.

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Tablet being used during media studies class

Media Studies at the SOJC

In our doctoral program, you’re more than a student. You’ll work as a co-author, scholar, and teacher, conducting impactful research alongside pioneers in media and communication. Our faculty are well regarded for their expertise in:

  • Media institutions
  • Ethics, law, and policy
  • International and multicultural communication
  • New media, including social media data analytics and games studies
  • Science communication



Years of Academic Excellence
Students in Program
Nations Represented in Current Program
PhD Candidates Receive 4 Years of Funding


What You Can Do with a Media Studies Graduate Degree

Our PhD students graduate with the knowledge, skill, and research portfolio to claim teaching and research posts at top universities and think tanks around the world. They also develop valuable analytical and research skills that set them apart in any field. A media studies degree offers a solid foundation that can springboard you into academia or a career in media, government, law, or nonprofit work. See what two of our graduates are up to:

Fully Funded PhD

You bring the intellectual curiosity, we’ll take care of the tuition: our doctoral candidates are fully funded for four consecutive years, including health benefits and a stipend. We also offer resources for conducting research that contributes to the field while preparing you for a career in higher education or meaningful work in the public and private sectors.


Monthly Stipend

16 Hours/Week

Teaching and Research Work


Find Out About Funding 


Irene Awino

Achieving Justice Through Journalism

After the 2007 elections plunged Kenya into violence, the country was forced to grapple with the deep-seated hatred that had festered beneath its surface. Irene Awino, a Kenyan journalist at the time, is now focusing her doctoral research on the role of media coverage in her home country’s search for truth, justice, and healing.

“As the old adage goes: ‘Not only must justice be done, it must also be seen to be done,’” she says. “My study indicates that information from the mass media influenced public consciousness on the process of healing and reconciliation.”

Read About Irene's Research

University of Oregon campus

Study in the Beautiful Pacific Northwest

Named for renowned journalist Eric W. Allen, who founded the SOJC over 100 years ago, Allen Hall sits at the heart of the tree-filled University of Oregon campus in Eugene. In our state-of-the-art classrooms, studios, and collaboration spaces, you’ll get expert guidance from leading researchers and teachers in the field.


Visit Us

Pin Up The Movie

What Our Alumni Are Up To

Pinup culture pushed the boundaries of feminism. Kathleen Ryan’s documentary about it pushes the boundaries of filmmaking. The 2014 PhD graduate—now an associate professor at the University of Colorado—explores the history and resurgence of pinup style and community in an interactive documentary that lets the viewer choose which storylines to follow. Using what she learned at the SOJC and drawing on her background as a broadcast journalist, Ryan produced an award-winning film to pioneer a new type of storytelling.

Read About Kathleen’s Documentary

Chris Chavez
Meet Chris Chávez
Director of Media Studies Graduate Programs

Chris Chávez travels the world to study the intersection of globalization, media, and culture—and he takes his students with him. From a project supporting public radio in Ghana to a visit to Indonesia for UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day, the author and researcher orchestrates experiential learning trips for students while investigating the role of advertising and the media in shaping our collective identity.

Meet the rest of our faculty

Ready to Apply?

We will begin accepting applications October 15, 2019 for the 2020 cohort.

How to Apply