The Ph.D. in Communication at Colorado State University is shaped by the three areas of expertise present in our department. These three areas examine communication and engagement from three perspectives:

  • Interpersonal, Intercultural, and Organizational Communication:  For many individuals, engagement with the public world grows out of their relational lives and is expressed in the organizations to which they belong and in which they work. Professors and students in this area will explore communication in relational or interpersonal systems, organizing and work contexts, and within national and global arenas. Here, the focus is on exploring how individuals respond to and participate as active members in various forms of community, paying special attention to the ways in which communicative actions can create, sustain, and disable engaged citizenship.
  • Media and Visual Culture:  In the contemporary, globalized world, engaged citizenship often flows through media and is represented and enacted within popular culture. Professors and students in the area explore the mediation of public culture with particular attention to film, television, digital discourse, and the globalization of media institutions. Here, the focus is on the construction of critical media literacies and understandings of how our mediated forms of communication engage or disengage individuals as community members, empowering or disempowering them as political agents.
  • Rhetoric and Civic Engagement:  In popular conversation, “rhetoric” is often understood to mean empty speech. Communication scholars, however, trace the meaning of “rhetoric” to antiquity when thinkers such as Aristotle and Cicero placed rhetorical studies at the center of democratic engagement. Since then, rhetorical studies have explored public engagement and community building, examining the role of communication in civic life. The resurgence of rhetorical studies in the humanities is founded on a renewed sense of the importance of rhetoric to engaged citizenship in the 21st century. Professors and students in this area explore the role of public communication in creating, maintaining, and undermining civic culture.

Detailed Programme Facts

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • History of Rhetorical Theory
  • Rhetorical Criticism
  • Communication Research Methods
  • Communication Theory
  • Media Theory
  • Speech Communication Pedagogy

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS
  • Minimum required score:


    PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic) is a language test that enables students to demonstrate their writing, listening, speaking, and reading skills when applying to study in English. Delivered and marked by computer, it reports on a scale between 10 and 90.

Academic Requirements

  • One official transcript of all collegiate work completed post-high school.  Additionally separate transcripts are not required for study abroad credits if the GPA and credits are recorded on the transcript of the university that sponsored the study abroad experience. CSU transcripts are not required.
  • Any other materials that individual departments or programs may require of applicants.
  • Regardless of citizenship, applicants may be required to demonstrate proof of English language proficiency, if they do not have a degree from an institution where the primary language of instruction is English.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    1391 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1391 USD per credit and a duration of .
  • National

    567 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 567 USD per credit and a duration of .
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Fort Collins

  • 1210 - 1800 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Institutional scholarships are funded by CSU and are awarded to students who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership qualities, or outstanding talent. Requirements vary by scholarship. 

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.