Division of Emerging Media Studies

The College of Communication’s Division of Emerging Media Studies (EMS) is the nation’s first graduate program in emerging media and the critical role it plays in daily modern life. Students use the latest research and ideas on emerging technologies and services, analytic techniques for social media, and the role of public policy for new communication technology. EMS students also take advantage of research opportunities at COM’s Communication Research Center, COM’s primary research hub, and the state-of-the-art technology offered at the Zimmerman Family Social Activation Center.


The Division of Emerging Media Studies offers an MA and PhD in Emerging Media Studies.

MA in Emerging Media Studies

The MA offers 10 months of practical and theoretical instruction covering human behavior, social media analysis, organizational communication, and Big Data. The master’s integrates coursework with research experience, culminating in a conference where students present their research and exchange views with peers and leaders in the field. Students also help real-world clients solve business and societal challenges through a semester-long research project that blends practical skills with social science insights. Under faculty guidance, students learn how to conduct and analyze social science research concerning all types of emerging media and how to apply these skills to the pressing problems faced by industry, government and other fields.

PhD in Emerging Media Studies

The PhD creates sophisticated researchers and critical thinkers who are ready to pave the way in roles of communication, sociological, and media leadership. Designed for students with a master’s degree, this program helps candidates gain a comprehensive understanding of the role of emerging media in society and organizations and hone their research skills through independent, innovative, and mentored research. PhD students in emerging media studies are funded for the duration of their study, up to a maximum of five years. Funding includes a full tuition scholarship, health insurance credit, and stipend in return for teaching and research obligations. Doctoral students serve as teaching fellows while enrolled in the program, typically for a minimum of two semesters.