Graduate Research

Since its inception more than a century ago, the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Texas has become a premier professional and research outlet for aspiring journalists.

About Our Research

Our faculty represent a broad array of backgrounds and interests, all of which combine for one of the most distinguished academic foundations in the country. From tenured professors to adjunct faculty, the School of Journalism and Media continually seeks to raise the bar in Journalism education. Our faculty, which includes internationally renowned scholars, comes from diverse backgrounds and carries extensive experience in the fields of print, broadcast, photojournalism and multimedia journalism.

Together, faculty hold leadership positions in national and international organizations and serve as editors, editorial board members and contributors to top journals across a broad spectrum of Journalism interests.

The Accrediting Council of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication praised the school for the faculty's level of scholarly productivity, visibility in both academic and professional circles and exceptional student-faculty relations.

The School of Journalism and Media prides itself on a vast set of specializations, including international reporting, innovative newsrooms, education reporting, multimedia journalism, business reporting, sports journalism, social and political commentary, documentary photography, alternative media forms, social media and media and press criticism.

Research Produced by Graduate Students 

When students enroll in the Journalism and Media Ph.D. and MA Research and Theory programs at The University of Texas at Austin, they join a community of scholars committed to conducting, presenting and publishing ethical research. 

While the research may begin as a classroom assignment or collaboration with faculty or fellow graduate students, the end product is usually a convention paper, journal article, book chapter or book.

Our students have many opportunities to engage with research early and start publishing their work. Beginning the first year, Ph.D. and M.A. Research & Theory students produce their first conference paper and by the end of their graduate education, students have presented papers at national and international conferences and published journal articles, book chapters, and in some cases co-edited books. One of the many reasons for the productivity of graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin is the dedication of journalism faculty inside and outside the classroom. Many Journalism and Media faculty also work with different Research Centers or Institutes where additional projects, many of them funded, are sponsored.

Research Groups

In addition to making graduate seminar projects synergistic with producing research papers, faculty members collaborate with students on research projects. In our research groups, students collaborate with faculty and each other in informal groups on collaborative projects or on solo-authored papers with support from colleagues.

The news as culture research groups offers support for students interested in qualitative, ethnographic, content analysis or textual analysis. It's possible to contribute to ongoing projects already underway on photographic practice and visual culture. Students can also come for advice and assistance with their own individual projects. Because this group will emphasize qualitative research, there will be a heavy emphasis on writing, peer review and (occasionally) sustained, focused writing time. 

Faculty lead: Mary Bock


We do all the above, plus some health communication research. Students can propose their own ideas, or work on something that's already going. My primary research method is the experiment, but we also do content analyses and surveys. Typically, we have several projects going on with two to three people working on each one.

Faculty Lead: Renita Coleman


The core mission of the Digital Media Research Program (DMRP) is to advance understanding among scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and the general public about today’s complex information communication technologies and media effects.  

The DMRP aims to shed light on how new communication technologies and innovative outreach can be used to increase political understanding and participation in democratic societies. 

The DMRP serves as a unique and collaborative environment that strives to train and help develop research ideas from a diverse body of faculty and graduate students within the Moody College of Communication. 

Given the increasing influence today’s digital media landscape exerts over citizens’ civic life, DMRP will shed light on the impact of new communication technologies use (i.e., social media) and user-generated content with respect to several benchmarks of a healthy democracy: citizens’ political knowledge, political discussion and civic and political engagement. 

A particular focus of the DMRP is to compare digital media use of Latin American, Iberian and American citizens and how it influences civic and political engagement as well as protest behavior. If you are interested in participating in any of the projects or want to provide some feedback and comments, please contact Professor Tom Johnson

The Data & Democracy group is a subset of the Center for Media Engagement's Propaganda Vertical. The focus of our group is to study political communication using meso- or macro-level theoretical approaches, with a focus on news and social media content. Relevant research topics include (but are not limited to) disinformation, global media flows, political campaigns, and cross-platform communication. This is a highly collaborative team using multiple qualitative, traditional quantitative, and computational approaches.

Faculty lead: Jo Lukito


The Technology & Information Policy Institute serves to research imbalances and provide insights that inform public policies and programs focused on digital inclusion for everyone. The institute also investigates the social impacts of digital media, growing concerns around disasters and risk, and artificial-intelligence in the future of work. In addition to sponsoring educational programs and conferences, the institute shares its world-class expertise in hopes of increasing access to communication technologies, and thus vastly improve technology literacy, standards of living, and innovation.

Faculty lead: Sharon Strover


Big data and computational methods help us to answer big social questions. At the Computational Media Lab (CML), we’re dedicated to tapping the powerful potential of diverse digital data to understand the current implications and future impact of media messages. The Computational Media Lab is a collaborative incubator for cutting-edge research on social media through the use of big data, machine learning and other emergent computational methods. Current lab projects usually involve a group of students, but I have worked with individual students on projects as well. Publications from our group include conference proceedings and journal articles. 

Faculty lead: Dhiraj Murthy