Media, Culture, and Communication (PhD)

Department Website

Program Description

The PhD program in Media, Culture, and Communication is committed to interdisciplinary, theoretically sophisticated, multi-methodological, historical, and comparative approaches to the study of media and culture. Five research areas operate as guiding frameworks for intellectual inquiry across the department: Global Communication and Media, Technology and Society, Visual Culture and Sound Studies, Media Industries and Politics, Interaction and Experience. Students attend special events throughout the year and can apply to present their original research at the department’s annual Neil Postman Graduate Conference. 

Doctoral student work is shaped by the program's commitment to:

  • Engaging with theoretical concepts from a range of disciplines—media and cultural studies, visual culture, history, science and technology studies, anthropology, sociology, disability studies, sound studies, political science.
  • A multi-methodological approach to research—from semiotics, global ethnography, gender and queer theory, critical race theory, qualitative and quantitative discourse analysis, to political/cultural economy, among other critical frameworks.
  • A global perspective—conceiving of the global mediascape as transnational and transcultural.
  • Recognizing media and technology’s long history and antecedents.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the PhD program join academic departments of media and communication, with placement in the social sciences and interdisciplinary humanities becoming increasingly common. MCC PhDs who graduated in the past ten years are now tenure-track or tenured professors at the University of California, Berkeley; University of Washington, Seattle; Cornell University; Stanford University; UCLA; Rutgers; Fordham; University of Michigan; George Mason University; University of North Carolina; University of Arizona; College of Charleston; Memorial University of Newfoundland; University of San Francisco; Scripps; Pratt; University of Maryland; American University of Beirut; American University of Paris; Ryerson University; Trent University; St. Joseph’s College.

Over the past decade, PhD graduates have received numerous prestigious postdocs, including a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities in the Department of Comparative Media Studies/Writing at MIT; Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at MIT's Center for Art, Science, and Technology; Postdoctoral Fellow, Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University; Postdoctoral Researcher, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science; Postdoctoral, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University; Postdoctoral Fellowship at Rice University in Technology, Culture, and Society; Research Associate, Center for Digital Humanities, Princeton University; Postdoctoral Fellow, Media, Inequality & Change Center, University of Pennsylvania.


Admission to graduate programs in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development requires the following minimum components:

  • Résumé/CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Proficiency in English

See NYU Steinhardt's Graduate Admissions website for additional information on school-wide admission. Some programs may require additional components for admissions.

See How to Apply for admission requirements and instructions specific to this program.