Our top rated Information and Media Ph.D. Program prepares students to become active scholars, teachers and leaders in the fields of media and information.  This program can be tailored to meet your research interests.

M.I.S. Ph.D. student June Sung at graduation ceremonyGraduating IM Ph.D. student June Sung receives her diploma

Many of our faculty and graduate students conduct research in the area of games and meaningful play. (See the GEL Lab link on this site.) Expertise and courses abound  in related domains, such as social media, health communication, information and communication technology for development, and new media uses and effects.

Doctoral students are welcome to enroll in the graduate certificate in serious games.  The certificate includes two required MA level courses – Foundations of Serious Games and Theories of Games and Interaction for Design – which are particularly useful for future game scholars.  These courses teach future researchers about the components and inner workings of games as well as a plethora of theories related to how and why games may impact players. Students can choose to take the third course in the sequence (Understanding Users) or substitute any other research methods course to earn the certificate.

The Information and Media PhD program at Michigan State University seeks outstanding students who wish to join an exciting interdisciplinary program of study at the intersection of the social sciences and socio technical systems. Our diverse faculty develops and applies transformative knowledge about media and society and evolving information and communication technologies.  The program engages students to become active scholars, teachers, and leaders in the media and information fields.

Offered jointly by the Department of Advertising+Public Relations, the School of Journalism, and the Department of Media and Information, the IM PhD program gives students access to fifty PhD faculty with research interests that span important current and emerging issues in media and information studies. Students get involved early on in projects, complementing theoretical coursework with hands-on research experiences.

Particularly strong research interests of our faculty include:

  • Games and meaningful play
  • Social media and social computing
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Management information systems
  • Health and ICT
  • ICT4D
  • Media effects
  • Media and information policy
  • Socio-technical systems

New this year is an option for undergraduates interested in pursuing advanced studies through an accelerated MA program leading to early admission to our PhD program.

Over 90 percent of our current students are supported by graduate teaching and research assistantships with generous stipends of $2000-2100 per month, tuition remission, and health benefits. University fellowships, dissertation completion fellowships, summer research fellowships, and stipends for travel to academic conferences round out the resources available for students.

Over three-fourths of our graduates are hired into faculty positions at four-year institutions at graduation. They are found in departments of mass media, journalism, advertising, public relations, and information studies across the United States and around the world. Others go on to careers in public service and business.

QS World University rankings place MSU 11th in the world and 7th in the U.S. in communication and media studies.  The National Communication Association (NCA), in their most recent doctoral program reputation study, ranked MSU’s Ph.D. programs as No. 1 in educating researchers in communication technology, and in the top four in mass communication.

East Lansing and the greater Lansing area offer a vibrant cultural environment with easy access to a variety of outdoor activities and the scenic beauty of our state year-round. Blending urban and sub-urban living, it is one of the nation’s most affordable places to complete a doctoral program in media and information studies.

To learn more, see our web page, contact one of our faculty members, or visit us on Facebook to see what is happening this week.

For more information and to apply visit the CAS IM in PhD page or email Dr. Manuel Chavez, Director, IM PhD Program at