Fully Funded PhD Programs in Communications

Feb 26, 2013
University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication Fully Funded PhD in Communications
University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication offers PhD students full funding for up to five years

Last updated July 22, 2022

Next in my series on How To Fully Fund Your PhD, I provide a list below of universities that offer full funding to all students admitted to their PhD programs in communications. 

In the ProFellow database, we list several competitive fellowships for graduate and doctoral study. However, to be successful in fully funding your studies I recommend seeking out Ph.D. programs that offer full funding to all admitted students. When a university indicates that they provide full funding to their Ph.D. students, in most cases this means they provide each admitted doctoral student full tuition and a stipend for living expenses for the four to six-year duration of the student’s doctoral studies. Not all universities provide full funding to their doctoral students, so be sure to research the financial aid offerings of all the potential Ph.D. programs in your academic field, including small and lesser-known schools both in the U.S. and abroad.

Would you like to receive the full list of more than 1000+ fully funded programs in 60 disciplines? Download the FREE Directory of Fully Funded Graduate Programs and Full Funding Awards!

1. Columbia University, Journalism School

(New York, NY): A full-time Ph.D. student is generally offered a standard financial aid package that can include tuition exemptions, coverage of medical fees, and a stipend. Some services as a teaching or research assistant are required.

2. New York University, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development

(New York, NY): Full-time NYU Steinhardt PhD students are eligible for a generous five-year funding package that includes an annual stipend, scholarship coverage, and health insurance.

3. Northwestern University, School of Communication

(Evanston, IL): As a doctoral student in Communication Studies, you’ll receive five years of university funding. Nine months of funding is through a graduate assistantship; during the summer months, it is through a fellowship. Both include a stipend and tuition waiver.

4. Ohio State, School of Communication

(Columbus, OH): The School of Communication funds every student they admit to M.A. and Ph.D. programs with either a Graduate Associateship or some form of Graduate School Fellowship. Ph.D. students receive a $2,364/month stipend plus a tuition waiver for a nine-month assistantship for four to five years depending on prior academic experience.

5. Purdue University, Brian Lamb School of Communication

(West Lafayette, IN): With few exceptions, graduate students accepted into the program receive funding, contingent on fulfilling degree milestones and requirements. Stipends funding is comparable to other Big Ten universities and peer institutions.

6. Syracuse University, Newhouse School of Public Communications

(Syracuse, NY): Newhouse doctoral students are funded fully for three years and receive financial support from University Fellowships or research or teaching assistantships.

7. University of Kentucky, College of Communication and Information

(Lexington, KY): Both teaching and research assistantships are available to students. Typically, all students accepted into the program are fully funded.

8. University of Maryland, Department of Communication

(College Park, MD): All of our Ph.D. students are funded. For students entering with a bachelor’s degree, assistantships are guaranteed for five consecutive years, as long as the student remains in good standing and is making satisfactory progress toward their degree.

9. University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School for Communication

(Philadelphia, PA): All ASC graduate students are fully funded for up to five years, including tuition and fees, health care, teaching and research fellowships, and dissertation research fellowships.

10. Boston University, College of Communication

(Boston, Massachusetts): All Ph.D. students in Emerging Media Studies are funded for the duration of their study, up to a maximum of five years. Funding includes a full tuition scholarship, health insurance credit, and stipend in return for teaching and research obligations.

11. University of Oregon, School of Journalism and Communication

(Eugene, OR): If you’re admitted to our Communication and Media Studies Doctoral program, the School of Journalism and Communication provides four years of graduate employment funding that covers your entire tuition, health insurance, and a monthly stipend to offset the costs of living. The monthly Stipend is $1,757.

12. University of Minnesota, Department of Communication

(MinneapolisMN): All accepted to the program receive five years of full funding support. Full support involves a 50% appointment as a graduate instructor or teaching assistant for a normal academic year. The current salary is about $18,907.

13. Texas Tech University, College of Media & Communication

(Lubbock, TX): Most of our full-time Ph.D. students are funded. For out-of-state students, the funding package covers out-of-state tuition and fees. In addition, funded students receive a generous stipend for their graduate assistantship duties.

14. University of Southern California, School For Communication And Journalism

(Los Angeles, CA): The USC Annenberg School of Communication provides funding to all doctoral students for up to five years, contingent on satisfactory academic progress. Funding packages include up to 12 units of tuition per semester, payment of all required health care fees, and a monthly stipend totaling $34,000 annually.

15. University of Maine

(Orono, ME): Funding options are more diverse for Ph.D. students, but Ph.D. students who are eligible for three years of funding, and may petition for a fourth year. All funding is awarded on an annual, renewable basis based on the candidate’s academic progress and job performance. There are competitive Summer research fellowships. Assistantships include a stipend, a full tuition waiver, and health insurance.

16. University of Washington, Department of Communication

(Seattle, WA): Graduate assistant appointments are continuing commitments offered at the time of admission and reviewed annually. The department maintains approximately 35-40 assistantships, which are merit-based awards available to students in the M.A./Ph.D. and Ph.D. programs. The vast majority of these are teaching assistantships that provide a salary, a partial waiver, and health insurance coverage.

17. University of Colorado Boulder

(Boulder, CO): All entering Graduate students are currently funded.  Ph.D. students are supported throughout the academic year by teaching and research assistantships. Financial support is also available for conference travel, research projects, and, frequently, summer research and teaching.

18. University of Michigan

(Ann Arbor, MI): The PhD program provides assistance to all admitted students for the full five years of their study. They offer students a combination of fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships that include a full tuition waiver for each term of enrollment, and a stipend (ranging from $10,200 to $10,500 per term).

19. Texas A&M University, Department of Communication

(College Station, TX): Full-time doctoral graduate students are often funded through departmental graduate assistantships. All funded graduate students serve as teaching assistants, research assistants to graduate faculty in the department. Communication graduate assistants receive funds for tuition and a 9-month stipend of $18,000. Additional summer teaching appointments are sometimes available.

20. Cornell University

(Ithaca, NY): Once admitted, all students are fully funded by the Department for five years through assistantships and/or fellowships, provided suitable progress is being made toward completing the degree.

21. University of Arizona, Department of Communication

(Tucson, AZ): In addition to aid available from the University office of Financial Aid, The department offer paid teaching assistantships to the majority of students admitted into the graduate program. Teaching assistantships come with a tuition waiver, health/accident insurance, and an annual stipend. Research assistantships, merit-based fellowships, and scholarships are also available.

22. University of California Santa Barbara, Department of Communication

Graduate students receive teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or fellowships during their time here, which means no student is admitted to the program without funding. Graduate students’ tuition fees, health insurance, and campus-based fees are all covered, and the graduate students receive a monthly stipend over a 9-month period.

For application tips on applying to a PhD program, see How To Get Into a Fully Funded PhD Program: Contacting Potential PhD Advisors.

To view over 2,200 professional and academic fellowships, including fellowships for graduate and doctoral study and pre- and post-doctoral research, sign up to view ProFellow’s fellowships database.

© Victoria Johnson 2020, all rights reserved.

14 thoughts on “Fully Funded PhD Programs in Communications”

  1. Thank you for this post! I was wondering how to get my MA in communication funded and I stumbled across this. So encouraging 🙂

    1. Glad this is helpful! It is generally easier to get university funding for a PhD than a stand-alone MA, so that is something to consider when you are planning to continue your education.

  2. Hi. why do most American universities require English proficiency certification yet some countries in Africa use the English language for their O-level examinations? English is a compulsory subject for the entire 8-4-4 programme in countries like Kenya and all exams and classroom instructions are carried out in English.

  3. Dear Sir/ Ma’am,

    Myself Lokesh Vachheta.

    I’m from India and would like to pursue Phd in Communication as a distance course.

    Please advice me with more information and procedure to begin with.

    I would look forward for your earliest revert.


  4. I am looking for a university which assists with a full scholarship which includes air ticket from my my country Zimbabwe. My preferred area of study is media, journalism or communication. I hold a masters degree in journalism and media studies.

  5. Hi Vicki,


    I have to surely pursue a Ph.D in communications from U.S. But was unsure of the fully-funded opportunities. I came across such opportunities in Singapore as well. With a six-year experience in journalism and communication and a masters in business management, do you think, I can make it to Columbia or Steinhardt?


  6. Hi. My husband has done BSc in electronics and communication. Now, he want to apply for a PHD program through funding in Germany. Where can we get total funding and help. Thanks.

  7. I have done my Master in Journalism and Mass Communication under Utkal University , Bhubaneswar, India. I want to apply for a PHD programme Through funding in Germany or USA. Looking for total or partial funding. Please suggest. Thanks.

  8. It is stated that i am a female journalist from Pakistan and have been working in the field of journalism for the past fifteen years. Now i want to enhance my professional skills and expertise and intend to do Ph.D in journalism from this prestigious university. I have been working on Malala Yousaf Zai’s representation in Pakistani English print media and want to extend this work in a doctorate research project but this desire is now hampered by my limited financial resources. My work on the way Malala Yousaf Zai’s struggle has been perceived and portrayed in Pakistani English print media will prove quite beneficial in the understanding and challenging of the ways gender discrimination works in Pakistani society. It will pave the way for the understanding of the ways in which a more moderate environment with regard to girls education and empowerment in a conservative society can be built and sustained. To achieve this very purpose, i need financial assistance to secure admission in Ph.D programme. My limited resources do not allow me to contribute for the betterment of my society. It is hence humbly requested that kindly provide me with financial assistance so that this dream of mine may be fulfilled.
    Looking forward to positive and considerate response.

  9. Hi I am a masters student of mass communication university of Lagos and I want to apply for my PhD in a school I USA for full or partial funding .pls suggest thanks.

  10. Hello,
    I have MSc. in Mass Communication. I need information on PhD Scholarships in Canada or UK for Development Communication. Any idea please..?

  11. I, Amore have masters in Agricultural communication, would like fully funded PhD in communication related course in s university in Miami. Pls recommend. Thanks

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