PhD Admissions

Research Excellence. Learn about our Doctor of Philosophy and our Areas of Research.

The School of Communication has an international reputation for its critical scholarship on urgent social and political problems affecting contemporary societies, locally and globally. Our programs offer graduate students rigorous training in the critical foundation of communication theory, political economy, policy, the study of culture and media, and technology and data studies. Committed to social justice and innovative collaborations with NGOs, social movements, community groups, government, industry, cultural institutions, policy makers, artists and media producers, we offer graduate students the opportunity to work with faculty members who are leaders in the field. Our programs emphasize learning through direct engagement, whether through faculty-led projects, our media and soundscape laboratories, community collaborations, or participating in ongoing public seminars, public talks and annual conferences. Our graduates have gone on to successfully pursue careers in academia, government, NGOs, cultural institutions, communication industries, and the media.

Fall 2022 applications open October 2021. Deadline to apply: January 5, 2022.

Admission

Areas of Research

Data and Technology Studies

  • Big Data
  • Cyberwars
  • Genomics
  • Philosophy of technology
  • Algorithmic cultures
  • Software Studies
  • Science and Technology Studies

Media and culture

  • Documentary Media Studies and community-based media and art
  • Indigenous Media Studies
  • Intersectional Feminist & Queer Media Studies
  • Memory and Museum Studies
  • Asian and Middle Eastern Cultural Studies
  • Migration, diaspora, and critical race studies
  • Social Media, Gaming and Popular Culture
  • Sound Studies and Soundscape Research 
  • Visual Studies and Sensory media

Political Economy

  • Media campaigns 
  • Social Movements and Revolutions
  • Environmental Communication Studies
  • Emergency Communication
  • Critical Communication Theory
  • Political Communication, News Media and Journalism Studies
  • Labour in the Media and Communication Industries

Communication and Cultural Governance

  • International perspectives in Communication Governance 
  • Communication Policy, Law and Regulation
  • Communication Rights 
  • Platform Governance
  • Local to Global Cultural Policies

Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity in Graduate Admissions

The School of Communication’s Graduate Program Committee recognizes the academy’s historical entanglement with colonial power, including its contribution to hegemonic knowledge and cultural production, which has legitimized dominant forms of knowledge at the expense of others.

We acknowledge that these expressions of power often contribute to harm experienced by Indigenous communities and many other groups who have been immiserated, subjugated, and marginalized in order to uphold colonial power relations.

In consideration of this history, we are committed to addressing historical injustice by centering the lived experiences of difference of people who have been absented from or denied access to education and by respecting approaches to knowledge that have been unduly delegitimated within academic institutions.

We encourage applications from members of underrepresented or marginalized groups, from anyone experiencing barriers to education and from those who propose innovative or experimental approaches to knowledge production, dissemination, and engagement.

Prospective applicants who do not meet SFU’s standard graduate admission requirements, but who possess significant experience or expertise related to their proposed research area, should contact the School’s Graduate Program Coordinator or a faculty member working in their area to determine whether our graduate program may be a good fit for their proposed research.

Meet our Alumni

Courtney Szto, PhD

Assistant Professor, Queen's University

“I chose Simon Fraser University to pursue my PhD to work with the Communication faculty. My research explored South Asian experiences in ice hockey, which in a nutshell turned out to be an examination of racism in Canadian ice hockey culture. Communications helped form my project into a comprehensive look at participant experiences, the value of ethnic media, and the political workings of public memory.

"My first two degrees were in kinesiology. Communication was different for me; you learn about areas or research you never thought about. If you want a good balance of theoretical and applied learning, Communication is a great place to be."

Meet the Faculty

Work with research excellence

Expertise: Documentary and educational media, media institutions and infrastructures, feminist media studies, cultural theory

Expertise:  Blockchain, cryptocurrency, bitcoin, social media, big data, technology and communication, internet, health, genomics and health, bioethics, biotechnology and science, social networks, race/racism

Expertise: Globalization, transnational culture, Asian media and culture, online game and broadband, political economy of media, telecommunications

Jason Congdon

Graduate Program Coordinator 
(MA and PhD)

T: 778-782-3595
E: gradcmns@sfu.ca
Room: K9669