The University of Washington offers a unique opportunity for current and prospective Ph.D. students who wish to study political communication. Faculty in the Department of Communication and Political Science have integrated their teaching and research to provide an opportunity to offer students an additional interdisciplinary award in political communication. This is not a formal certificate or degree program. But students who complete a set of courses with faculty working in the area of political communication will be given an additional interdisciplinary award upon graduation in recognition of their expertise in this domain of research.

Prospective students must apply to the graduate program of one of the participating departments. Those accepted for graduate study in one of the departments will then complete this program within the degree requirements of that home department. Financial support is also tied to the student’s home department, although some research and teaching assistant positions may become available in other departments. Faculty supervisory committees may include members from different departments, and students are required to do coursework that crosses departmental boundaries.

Students working for the interdisciplinary award in the political communication concentration will interact with multiple faculty across departments. Our ability to collaborate across traditional departmental boundaries with a rich offering of courses from prominent faculty mentors will enhance the intellectual program and career opportunities of our graduate students.

Recent awardees include:

Luis Enrique Santana Padilla (2015) PhD dissertation title: From the Village to the Global Village: An Alternative Model of Collective Action in Digital Media Networks. Current position: Programs Director at Fundación Democracia y Desarrollo (Chile).

Muzammil Hussain (2014) PhD Dissertation title: Securing Technologies of Freedom after the Arab Spring: Policy Entrepreneurship and Norms Consolidation Practices in Internet Freedom Promotion. Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies, University of Michigan.

Jason Gilmore (2013) PhD Dissertation title: The world’s “exceptional” neighbor: Comparative perspectives on American exceptionalism in presidential discourse and the effects at home and abroad. Current Position: Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Utah State University.

Deen Freelon (2012) PhD Dissertation title: Democracies of design: How discourse architecture shapes online political talk. Current position: Assistant Professor, School of Communication, American University.

Penny Sheets (2011) PhD dissertation title: Multicultural patriotism and minority candidates: Campaign messaging, news coverage, and persuasion in American politics. Current position: Program of Political Communication, University of Amsterdam.

Christopher Wells (2010) PhD Dissertation title: Engagement in the networked society: How civic and political organizations communicate with young citizens online. Current Position: Assistant Professor, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Michael Xenos (2005) PhD Dissertation title: Democracy’s guardians: Political moderates, communication environments, and voter deliberation. Current position: Associate Professor, Department Chair, Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Ph.D committee chairs will screen students who petition for this and then recommend approval from the community of political communication faculty on campus. The award is conferred upon completion of the Ph.D. The award does not appear on the transcript but is awarded by the home department, and can be acknowledged on the student’s resume and in job reference letters written by faculty mentors on a student’s behalf.