The way we communicate with each other is changing. We text, we stream, we swipe. We are anonymous, we worry about trolls, we wonder whether someone else is watching what we do online. We know they are.

Our Program will help you make sense of the role of communication and media in everyday life.

The program examines communication through the perspectives of culture and political economy. Faculty and students’ work addresses the historical development of media and of contemporary technologies such as the Internet and mobile wireless. We grapple with the big questions in our field including those relating to communications policy, the economics of media, and constructions of social identity. Theses have explored topics ranging from American Sign Language, microblogging in China, radio use by Toronto Tamils, to film in Zimbabwe. One of our graduate students wondered about how ideas of “revolution” are depicted on t-shirts. Another successfully fought a big telecommunications company to make its latest license application available publicly.

You can help break new ground by joining our academic community

  • We ask how the media affect our behaviour
  • We want to know what people do with media as much as with what media technologies “do” to us
  • We want to understand how digital technologies are used to exercise control over others and to speak back to power
  • We wonder how both ‘new’ and ‘old’ media re-animate old questions about the boundaries between public and private, between national and international, between state and society
  • We examine how the ownership and structure of cultural and communications institutions shape what they do and how citizens respond to them
  • We scrutinize the formulation of data infrastructure policy and the politics that shape telecommunications and ICTs
  • We look at the consumption of sound, image and text
  • We seek insights into cultural values and anxieties in movies, television shows, YouTube videos, and games
  • We are interested in audiences, discourse, persuasion, alternative media, networks, and regulation
  • We deal with communication in relation to the built environment and the natural environment

To our graduate students we offer tools for thinking about how to live in a complex world characterized by connections and misconnections, by institutions, laws and practices that determine how we use and interface with media, and by technologies that act as platforms for expressions of identities and as objects for policy. Working with other graduate students in a collegial environment, you will work closely with faculty on a range of research projects.

CGC Conference

Each year our graduate students stage a flagship annual conference that attracts participants from across Canada and abroad to serve as an excellent opportunity to present their research and get feedback from faculty.

Grad students standing around the schedule for the 9th annual CGC Conference

Our MA program in Communication welcomes students from different academic backgrounds

Students take a range of courses organized around broad themes and theoretical traditions as well as subject-specific topics of contemporary interest. Students completing their graduate studies with us are ready to pursue a number of possible career paths. Our graduates work in a variety of different fields, from non-profit organizations, to government, to the media and cultural industries.

Flexible Options

Our program is designed with flexibility in mind. Students can take a course-only MA degree or they can complement their courses with a Master’s Research Essay or Master’s Thesis. We are also proud of our MA graduates who have pursued their PhD studies at universities around the world.

Learn More About Our MA Program in Communication →

Our PhD program offers advanced study in communication

We will help you prepare for future employment in academics as well as in specific professional fields, such as policymaking and in the creative industries.

Mentoring for Success

We deliver a high-quality educational experience through a range of courses which emphasize small class-sizes and close interfaces with faculty. We emphasize professional mentoring to assist students for future employment and we are pleased that a number of our doctoral students have secured faculty positions in universities in Canada and the United States.

Learn More About Our PhD Program in Communication →

Getting Help

Graduate Supervisor

Rena Bivens
(613) 520-2600 x 2041

Graduate Advisor

Laura Gareau
(613) 520-2600 x 7405

Studying in Ottawa

Ottawa is a city that sits at the crossroads. It bridges two provinces, it works in two languages, it is a place where different cultures intermingle, and it is home to internationally recognized artistic and cultural institutions. As the seat of power and a centre for public life, Ottawa is also a place where ideas circulate, get taken up in debate, and are turned into law.

Window on the World

As a capital city what goes on in Ottawa is part of conversations taking place nationally and internationally. Through their teaching, research, and community engagement our faculty are important players in the marketplace of ideas.

Whatever your chosen direction we provide a rich intellectual experience. We are proud to prepare our students for a world in which communication is central to so many fields of knowledge. Join us!