Jun 13, 2024  
2018-2019 University Catalog 
2018-2019 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Brian Lamb School of Communication (Graduate)

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Website URL:


Department/School Head:

Marifran Mattson

Academic Programs:

Master’s and Ph.D. Programs

Masters of Communication. Students can earn either an MA or MS in Communication from the Brian Lamb School of Communication. Students have an option to choose a thesis track or a non-thesis track. The program is designed to be flexible and students can tailor the program to meet their individual interests. Our graduate program is organized along five instructional units:

Students take courses both within and outside of the school and within and outside their areas of specialty. All admitted students receive funding.

Ph.D. in Communication. The Brian Lamb School of Communication offers a Ph.D. in Communication. The program is designed around these five instructional units:

One of the defining features of the program is its flexibility. Students design their own course work to create a program that is tailored and unique to each individual student. All admitted students receive funding.

Concentrations (Areas of Study):

Health Communication: Issues of health have become increasingly critical and complex, generating the need for individuals who can communicate effectively about health. The health communication program at Purdue seeks to fulfill this growing need for trained health communicators by exposing students to the theory, research, and practice.

Interpersonal Communication: Scholarship in interpersonal communication focuses on the study of fundamental processes that occur in all social interactions (interpretation, message production), the codes (verbal and nonverbal) through which everyday interactions are accomplished, and the functions that people pursue in these interactions (persuading, informing, providing support, etc.) We also investigate how communication shapes, and is shaped by, human relationships, including friendships, romances, families, and work relationships.

Media, Technology & Society: Graduate work in Media, Technology and Society covers research on media and technological processes, their consequences, and the role that mass communication plays in both public and private life. Courses focus on local, national, and global media systems and audiences, as well as emerging information and communication technologies and environments.

Organizational Communication: Organizational communication examines the relationships between communication and organizing through the study of discourse, meanings, symbols, and information flow.

Public Relations: Purdue’s public relations program emphasizes negotiation and maintenance of relationships among organizations and their social, political, and economic environments. The program emphasizes the integration of public relations theory and research into practice to develop an understanding of the interactions between organizations and their publics. The Public Relations unit at Purdue prepares students to cultivate and sustain mutually-beneficial relationships between organizations of all types and their strategic publics both as practitioners and researchers.

Online/Distance Programs:

Online MS in Communication: The online MS program in communication, along with the graduate certificate in strategic communication management, is specifically designed for fulltime professionals working in industry. The program focuses on strategic communication concepts, such as public relations, integrated communication, and organizational communication, and helps students develop communication leadership skills necessary for professional success. Students in this program get education in strategic communication planning, crisis communication, global communication, social media, communication research methods, and related areas. The program is entirely asynchronous, and students typically take courses one at a time in 8-week blocks. This online program is not designed for students desiring to prepare for full-time research/teaching positions or Ph.D. programs.

Combined Degree Programs: (Undergraduate Degree / Master’s Degree)

Not applicable

Graduate Certificates (Degree or Non-Degree Students):

Strategic Communication Management: The certificate program is a fast-paced way for you to broaden your skillset with greater understanding of impactful communication. The courses within the certificate program quickly instill within you the skills and confidence to meet your organization’s communication needs across a variety of platforms.

Regular Graduate Faculty by Rank:


Robert X. Browning, Robin Clair, Bart Collins, John O. Greene, Sorin Matei, Marifran Mattson, Felicia Roberts, Glenn Sparks, Krishnamurthy Sriramesh, Howard Sypher, Ralph Webb 

Associate Professor

Josh Boyd, Stacey Connaughton, Seungyoon Lee, Melanie Morgan, Jane Natt, Doug Osman, Torsten Reimer, Stephen Robb,  Brian Smith, Maria Venetis

Assistant Professor

Jennifer Hoewe, Natalie Lambert, Evan Perrault, Josh Scacco, Brett Sherrick, Hwanseok Song, Diana Zulli


    DoctoralMaster’sGraduate Certificate



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