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Multi-Sector Communication, Doctor of Philosophy

The Ph.D. in Multi-Sector Communication prepares you to explore new pathways to information sharing and communication, chart the agenda of this tech-driven evolution, and explore the new theoretical framework inherent in our digital native society.

The Ph.D. in Multi-Sector Communication prepares you to explore new pathways to information sharing and communication, chart the agenda of this tech-driven evolution, and explore the new theoretical framework inherent in our digital native society.

The ever-increasing globalization challenges of communication in private, public, and nonprofit sectors, and the emergence of new communication tools such as digital and social media technologies, disrupt traditional communication channels and sources, affecting news reliability and validity. There is an urgent need to understand how mass communication, both digital and traditional, evolve globally, and how this empowering “democratization” of information access and diffusion impacts policies; corporate strategies; and social, political, and academic interaction.

In the era of digital globalization, economic sustainability, security sophistication, and “virtual” communication, we need to develop a new way of thinking and sharing information. New strategic communication specialists and high-level decision-makers across sectors need to be able to embrace emerging technologies and combine the skills of anthropologists, data scientists, designers, economists, political scientists, social psychologists, strategic and persuasive communicators, and others.

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Degree Type
Area of Interest
Communications, Marketing & Media
Associated Colleges or Schools
Program Location
  • Queens Campus
Required Credit Hours

Admission Requirements

Please note: Doctoral students are expected to engage in ongoing research and present and/or publish scholarly studies, in addition to completing classroom assignments, while studying in the doctoral program. Upon completing the application process, prospective students are encouraged to contact the Program Coordinator for a personal interview.

To be admitted to the PhD program, you must have a master's degree from an accredited institution or the international equivalent before enrollment. You must also provide:

  • A completed [] application form and nonrefundable application fee.
  • A statement of professional goals and résumé (can be uploaded as a part of the application for admission).
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools attended.
  • A minimum of one recommendation obtained from professional or academic references.
  • Official TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test scores are required for applicants whose native language is not English.
  • Students with international credits must also submit a course-by-course foreign credit evaluation with a grade point average calculation from a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services member.


Degree Objectives

  1. To educate high-level experts in the field of communication by offering skills and competencies necessary to be able to conduct significant research in the field of International Multisector Communication.
  2. To identify the needs in all areas of communication, and develop research which responds to those needs, including interconnections between the various areas of communication to be thematic (multidisciplinary research).
  3. To make the outcomes of research available to the wider society by enabling you to communicate the results of research in accordance with academic requirements.
  4. To help improve the elements of the professional spheres of communication through innovation.
  5. To strengthen the links between the private, nongovernmental, and governmental sectors’ communication.

Core Competencies

  • Ability to conceive, design, create, implement, and undertake a substantial creation or research process and contribute to the broadening of the frontiers of knowledge, in the field of International Multisector Communication, through original research, especially focused on digital communication and mass communication.
  • Ability to use new knowledge, tools, and technology from other research branches and areas, and integrate knowledge from other professional areas.
  • Ability to communicate with the academic and scientific communities and with society in general about their research area in the ways and language typically used in the relevant international scientific community.
  • Ability to exchange knowledge, communicate, and collaborate in multisector, multistakeholder projects, teams, or networks, in order to broaden and deepen knowledge applicable to areas of communication, and to communicate research to wider audiences.
  • Ability to apply scientific knowledge in order to create and foster both scholarly, as well as applied, multisector innovations and problem-solving.

Program Requirements

Total = Post-master’s degree, 36 credits

 18 credits chosen from the following:

CourseCourse Title

ICM 800

Theories of Communication (required)

ICM 802

Research Methods

SOC 127

Statistics for Social Sciences (required)

SOC 300

Strategies for Social Research

SOC 301

Evaluation Research and Data Analysis


Critique of Power, Knowledge, and Communication (required)

MSC 501

Organizational Communication (required)

12 credits chosen in the areas listed below 

  • Strategic crisis communication for multisector contexts
  • Multisector governance and policy analysis
  • Social innovation and international communication
  • Communication and computation: advanced theories and methods of science and technology studies
  • Data analytics for multisector communication
  • Information and communication technologies and transformation
  • Information sharing, transfer, cross-cultural knowledge
  • Multisector private-public partnerships and communication
  • ICT for development
  • Multisector communication in emerging economies

You may enroll in existing graduate-level courses in any College or School in the University, with permission of the respective Program Directors or Department Chairs.

Dissertation (6 Credits)

  • Doctoral research colloquia (You must attend in-person or remotely every month.)
  • Comprehensive exam
  • Mentored research (leading to conference presentation and/or publication submission)
  • Proposal defense
  • Dissertation defense

Noncredit Option: Internship in an international/nonprofit/business organization

Career Outcomes

This Ph.D. program prepares you for upper-level, media management positions as it allows you to cultivate and maintain ongoing partnerships/relationships with international organizations, academia, and the government sector. Leaders from various fields will be involved in the degree program, possibly hosting within their organizations doctoral students who are interested in completing case studies, action research or ethnographic work, or data collection.

Graduates of this program may seek employment in academia in the areas of communication, public relations, corporate communication, strategic communication, industry, and information and communications technology for development and related fields.

In industry, the most common titles may include Change Management Communications Director, Communication Account Executive, Communication Manager, Communication Specialist Manager, Director of Executive Communications, Director of Global Planning, Executive Communication Manager, Internal Communication Executive, Manager/Chief Executive Officer/Executive of Employee Communication, Public Sector Director, and Senior Communication Strategist.

Why Should You Choose St. John’s?

Robust Structure

This degree is unique in its structure and modeled after similar programs at the London School of Economics and the University of Leicester. It offers a robust program designed not to be financially burdensome (in alignment with our Vincentian mission) or unduly time-consuming. It attracts both domestic and international students.

Like the European models, the program is designed to be completed within three to 3.5 years as a full-time student, or five to 5.5 years as a part-time student. After you earn your master’s degree, you are required to take an additional 36 credits and a comprehensive exam. You begin your work on a dissertation upon completion of 30 credits, of which 12 credits must be in research methods courses that build qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method study foundations.

You have the option to find dissertation mentors outside the division, College, or University as the topic may demand. At least three credits are designated as research mentorship with the goal of presenting research at reputable academic conferences and submitting a publishable paper to peer-reviewed journals.

Research focus 

Tentative focal points for research, among others, include interorganizational information technology networks; the relationship between communication, knowledge, and power; emerging technologies and new media in interorganizational communication, cultures, values, and digital identities; the disjuncture between global and local communication networks; and critical theories and methods of addressing interorganizational communication across institutions and countries.

Contact Program Coordinator

Basilio G. Monteiro

Associate Professor

St.Augustine Hall Queens 2nd Floor #12


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