Ph.D. in Media & Public Affairs

The Manship School is home to the nation’s only doctoral program in media & public affairs. We offer a focus on political communication through course study in partnership with the Department of Political Science. Doctoral students may also pursue other avenues of research with a public affairs focus, and can take outside courses from many other schools and colleges including LSU’s internationally acclaimed College of the Coast & Environment. Our doctoral students have pursued research agendas in the areas of political communication, health communication, science communication, race and gender, mass communication and technology, and communication law as they intersect with media and public affairs. We fund all of our doctoral students for four years ($25,000 per year), and admit only a small class to ensure personal attention and mentorship from faculty. Our acceptance rate is about 15%. Our doctoral program graduates work at a variety of institutions: research-intensive, teaching-centered, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and international institutions.


How do I apply?

Ph.D. online application

You need to submit: GRE scores, all transcripts from prior universities/colleges attended, a statement of purpose, a resume, a writing sample, three recommendation letters and a TOEFL score if you are an international applicant.


Minimum requirements

You must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA, undergraduate and master’s. You must have earned a completed master’s degree or a terminal graduate degree (for example, an M.F.A. or a J.D.)  We prefer to see GRE scores above 156 verbal & quantitative and above 4.5 analytical writing.  For TOEFL we prefer scores above 100 on the internet-based test.


When you complete the online application:

Make sure you choose Mass Communication as your degree program (NOT Communication Studies)
The LSU institution code for the GRE and TOEFL is 6373
Encourage your recommenders to submit letters to the online system. If they insist on paper, they can mail letters to: 

Attn: Graduate Program, Manship School of Mass Communication, Journalism Building,
Baton Rouge, LA 70803.



January 25 for fall admission (no spring admission for Ph.D.)



After initial screening, finalists for admission to the doctoral program are invited to LSU and the Manship School for a campus visit and interview at our expense.  Applicants living outside the U.S. are invited to participate in the interview process via Skype. Final offers for admission are made after the campus visit, typically the first or second week in March.