Mar 01, 2024  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
2020-2021 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Studies (Graduate Program)


For information regarding the UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM, click here.  

Program Overview

Established in 1928, the LSU Department of Communication Studies is one of the oldest communication departments in the nation and the first in the South to develop a doctoral program. Situated in a research-intensive university, the department and its faculty strive to foster the intellectual growth of each student while also attending to their development in the areas of teaching and service. Our goal is to prepare graduate students for success in their chosen profession in an environment that is innovative, stimulating, friendly, and humane.

The program is based in three inter-related areas of research interest: Interpersonal Communication, Performance Studies, and Rhetoric. Within and between areas, a broad range of courses is offered, and each student is encouraged to design a departmental-level academic course plan that fits their interests. Course emphases include: argumentation; cognitive information processing; contemporary performance theory and practice; conversation analysis; crime and public culture; crisis communication; critical and cultural studies; critical race studies; environmental communication; family communication; feminist and gender studies; ethnography; health communication; interpersonal communication; nonverbal communication; qualitative and quantitative research methods; performance history and historiography; performance of diverse literary, oral, and other materials; persuasion; performance art; political communication; queer studies; rhetorical criticism; rhetorical theory; theories of the body, technology, and trauma; tourism studies; and visual culture and rhetoric.


Loretta Pecchioni, Chair
Bryan McCann, Graduate Advisor
TELEPHONE 225-578-4172
FAX 225-578-4828


Applications and supporting materials for all graduate study must be submitted through the online application site for the LSU Graduate School. Official transcripts, official test scores, and other materials that come from third-party sources must be submitted electronically or mailed to: LSU Office of Graduate Admissions, 114 West David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. All documents submitted by or on behalf of the applicant are stored electronically and departments have access to them.

To apply to the graduate program in Communication Studies, applicants are required to complete the online application form, which includes a statement of purpose, and submit official GRE scores and transcripts of all college work. International students whose native language is not English also must submit an acceptable TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score.

The department also requires a personal statement regarding research interests, three letters of recommendation (on letterhead and signed), and a sample of scholarly writing – e.g., a term paper or a thesis chapter. A vita or resume is welcomed but not required.

Applications for admission are received and evaluated by the department from September through May. Applications for admission and an assistantship are due by December 31 and awarded in February for the upcoming fall semester. All applicants must adhere to the application procedures and deadlines established by the LSU Graduate School and the CMST department.

Applications for admission and an assistantship are due by December 31 and awarded in late January or early February for the upcoming fall semester. All applicants must adhere to the application procedures and deadlines established by the LSU Graduate School and the CMST department. Admission decisions are made by the department’s Graduate Admission Committee, which consists of one graduate faculty member from each of the three areas. Each committee member serves as a representative for their respective area and, as such, will consult with their area colleagues regarding graduate applications prior to meeting with the Graduate Admission Committee. Final admission and funding decisions are based on the strength of application materials and guided by the goal of equal balance of students and assistantships across the three areas. Prospective students who do not meet the requirements may be admitted provisionally on a case-by-case basis.

Financial Assistance

Each year we award approximately 28 graduate assistantships to continuing and new graduate students. Our assistantships are teaching assistantships largely; we do not award research assistantships unless they are funded by a grant. For prospective students, the application documents play a key part in the decisions we make as does the availability of assistantships within the program or within the applicant’s proposed area(s) of research emphasis.

Graduate Faculty

(check current faculty listings by department here)

Renee Edwards (M) • Interpersonal communication, research methods, message processing
Serap Erincin (6A) • Performance studies, performance and technology, performing protest
Stephanie Houston Grey (7M) • Rhetoric and culture, science studies, aesthetics, trauma studies, identity
Ashley Noel Mack (6A) • Rhetorical criticism, critical/cultural studies, feminist/queer theory, historical materialism
Bryan J. McCann (M) • Rhetorical theory and criticism, cultural studies, race, social movements
Loretta Pecchioni (7M) • Health communication, family communication, communication and aging
William Saas (6A) • Rhetorical and political theory and criticism, rhetorics of finance, war, and peace
Tracy Stephenson Shaffer (M) • Performance studies, ethnography, popular culture, film
Patricia A. Suchy (7M) • Performance studies, film studies, Bakhtinian theory
David Price Terry (M) • Performance studies, cultural studies, oral history, new media

The program offers a MA degree with a thesis, non-thesis, or professional practice option, a MA-PhD fast track program, and a PhD degree. All students develop a departmental-level academic course plan in consultation with and approved by their graduate committee. The committee consists of the student’s major advisor and at least two additional members of the graduate faculty such that the LSU Graduate School’s requirements for graduate committees are satisfied.


    Doctor of PhilosophyMaster of Arts