Graduate study in the Department of Communication provides students with the theoretical thinking and methodological skills they need to become world-class communication researchers. Broadly based in the social sciences, the department has emphases in three primary research areas: interpersonal & intergroup communication, media & digital communication, and organizational & group communication. Doctoral students may add an interdisciplinary focus in Black Studies; Cognitive Science; Feminist Studies; Global Studies; Language, Interaction & Social Organization; Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences; or Technology & Society.

The Department of Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara offers advanced study leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. A terminal MA program is not offered.

Mailing Address

Department of Communication
University of California, Santa Barbara
Social Sciences and Media Studies
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4020


Department Phone Number

Degree icon Degrees Offered

Address iconDeadlines

Fall Only:

  • December 15, 2023 (by 11:59 PM PST)

Requirements Icon


  • Online application:
  • Statement of Purpose, Personal History and Diversity Statement, and Resume or CV (Submitted in the online application)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (Requested/managed in the online application)
  • Writing sample (Submitted in the online application)
  • Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (Submitted online)
  • English Language Exam Scores (if applicable): TOEFL Internet-Based Test (IBT) total score of 80, or TOEFL Paper-Based Test (PBT) total score of 550, or IELTS Overall Band score of 7, or Duolingo English Test total score of 120, or higher
  • Final/Official transcripts will be required for all applicants who are admitted and have indicated their intent to enroll at UC Santa Barbara by submitting a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). UC Santa Barbara reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admissions process, and rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between uploaded and official transcript(s) are found.

Black Studies; Cognitive Science; Global Studies; Feminist Studies; Language, Interaction, & Social Organization; Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences; Technology & Society (All Ph.D. only)