Prospective Graduate Students | LSU Department of Communication Studies

Prospective Graduate Students

The Department of Communication Studies promotes and engages in the study of human communication. Established in 1928, The Department of Communication Studies at Louisiana State University is one of the oldest communication departments in the nation and, in the South, it was the first to develop a doctoral program.

Situated in a research-intensive university, the department and its faculty strive to foster the intellectual growth of each graduate student while also attending to their development in the areas of teaching and service. Our main goal is to prepare graduate students for success in their chosen profession, academic or otherwise, in an environment that is innovative, stimulating, friendly, and humane.

In our graduate program, students will obtain an awareness of the history and scope of the communication discipline and will use performance, empirical, and critical/ interpretive methods to engage local and global social issues and generate original research.

Whether your passion or goal is to be an artist, academic, or professional, our M.A and Ph.D programs provide facilities for creative communication expression and experimentation, including the Mary Frances HopKins Black Box performance lab, the Matchbox Interaction Lab, RSA@LSU, and Studio 151, a video editing lab. The department also is home to the Harold Mixon Lyceum, our forensics and debate team. Frequent colloquies, lectures, and workshops given by LSU and visiting scholars further enhance the lively community of scholarship we hope to foster here.

Design Your Own Path

Our graduate program is organized into three broad areas of specialization: Interpersonal Communication, Performance Studies, and Rhetoric. We recognize that scholarship and interests may exist within and between these areas. Each graduate student is encouraged to design a program of study that fits their interests. A student may, for instance, concentrate their graduate course work and research in one area or work across areas.

Interpersonal Communication

This area of study investigates interpersonal communication with special attention to marriage and family, relationships, social cognition, listening, health settings, and the role of the individual in communication. Our approach is primarily quantitative and mixed-methods.

Performance Studies

Performance Studies features communication and practice-centered approaches to performance in three main contexts: the cultural, the historical, and the aesthetic. Our approach is qualitative, focusing on interpretive and critical analyses of performance texts, events, and processes.


This area of study focuses on the critical analysis of public discourse, media, and culture. We are especially interested in how rhetorical criticism functions as a mode of social critique. This type of critical practice often examines how rhetoric addresses and constitutes publics, and also how discourses work to challenge and sustain power relations.

Degree Options

We offer a M.A. degree with a thesis, non- thesis, or professional practice option; a M.A.-Ph.D fast track program; and finally a Ph.D degree option for those who have already received their MA degree. 

Application Requirements


LSU Graduate School

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