College’s mass communication doctoral program named as one of UF’s top programs

Published: August 6th, 2012

Category: College News, Research News

The University of Florida Doctoral Education Improvement Plan Review Committee has rated the UF College of Journalism and Communications’ doctoral program in Mass Communication among the Top 10 doctoral programs at the University.

“This recognition of educational excellence is a well-deserved tribute to the leadership provided by Associate Dean of Graduate Studies Debbie Treise, the hard work and persistent excellence of our faculty and our determination to maintain doctoral education and research as among the very highest priorities of the College,” Dean John Wright said. “It’s also important to recognize the many wonderful doctoral students who through the years have helped establish our program as among the elite programs in the country.”

In the committee’s report to President Machen, it stated:

“The Ph.D. program in Mass Communications is successful and highly regarded nationally, placing it among the elite programs in the university and in the field. In external assessments, it is consistently ranked among the leaders in the discipline, and virtually every quantitative measure underscores its strength. One of the largest programs in the field, it is highly selective and efficient; nearly two-thirds of the students who entered between 2002 and 2005, for example, completed their Ph.D.s, and the mean time-to-degree is 3.7 years, which is faster than peers and among the fastest at UF. Students are well supported with travel funds for conference participation and receive careful mentoring, both from faculty advisors and from peers working through a student organization. These efforts produce sound outcomes, with almost two-thirds of its graduates securing faculty positions. In short, the Ph.D. program in Mass Communications recruits excellent students, trains them efficiently, places them effectively, and hence maintains its elite national ranking. Further investment in Ph.D. production in Mass Communications will strengthen a well-established, highly visible, and top-ranked program, bolstering UF’s overall reputation for graduate education.”

In addition to the mass communication program, the UF committee selected agricultural and biological engineering, biomedical sciences, chemical engineering, chemistry, clinical and health psychology, industrial and systems engineering, materials science and engineering, microbiology and cell science, and statistics to the top ten.

The committee recommended to President Machen that under healthier budgetary conditions these ten programs should receive increased funding, and should be used by the University as standards for graduate recruiting, training and mentoring at UF.

This honor adds to the recognition the College’s mass communication doctoral program has received. In 2010, the program was ranked sixth of 91 in the nation in an analysis of the quality of communication doctoral programs published in the Journal of Communication.

That study assessed program quality by using objective and quantifiable indicators rather than subjective rankings that are common in other rankings. The measures emphasized both the number and quality of programs that hired new Ph.D. graduates from each institution.