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SJMC/LSC doctoral program in mass communication ranked top in the nation

The UW-Madison’s joint doctoral program in mass communication — jointly administered by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Department of Life Sciences Communication — ranks first among 102 such programs across the nation, according to a study of 102 such programs across the nation.

The study highlights the novel quality of graduate training here compared with private and public schools all over the U.S., says Dietram Scheufele, John E. Ross Chair in Science Communication who directs the LSC graduate program.

“The area of science communication is so central to many of the big issues of our time – ranging from global warming, to health care and oil spills,” Scheufele says. “And our graduates go on to train the next generation of students in the Wisconsin tradition everywhere from Taipei to Baltimore.”

The research, based on a network analysis of links among doctoral programs and 2,194 tenure-track faculty members, revealed that the UW-Madison mass communication program was best in terms of placement centrality, meaning that graduates are hired and promoted to jobs at other highly ranked departments and universities.

Graduates of the program go on to be leaders across the wide discipline of mass communication, in areas such as political communication; international communication; health and science communication; media history; media law; media and youth; new media technologies; and race, gender and culture in the media.

The latest study confirms earlier research showing faculty in the field consider the program among the most prestigious, says Hemant Shah, a professor and director of graduate studies for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“The joint doctoral program is a national leader in research and professional training,” Shah says. “We’re proud that the graduates from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Department of Life Sciences Communication carry with them the UW-Madison tradition of excellence in mass communication studies and make a significant impact at campuses around the country and the world.”

Other top-ranked programs included those at Michigan State University, the University of Texas-Austin and the University of Illinois.

The results are published in the current issue of Journal of Communication. To read the full study, please visit