BATON ROUGE: Louisiana State University has launched a new Ph.D program in mass communications and public affairs.
The program, to be housed by LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication, was recently approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents and will begin accepting students in the fall semester of 2000. In the first year it will admit seven students, rising to 35 when the course is fully established.
This will be the first doctoral program of mass communication in Louisiana - there are 24 programs total in the US.
The program will have a definite political bent. It's designed to give students expertise in at least one public affairs field; proficiency in analytical and technical skills used in political communication; experience in real world strategic affairs; and an understanding of social science enquiry.
Manship School Dean John Maxwell Hamilton said: 'LSU will be the first school in the country to have a focused, full-service program that examines media and politics at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral level. These graduates will help businesses of all kinds deal with public opinion, public attitudes and government attitudes.'
A committee of consultants to the Board of Regents - made up of J-school and communication school deans from Colorado, Florida and Illinois - praised the program's interdisciplinary nature and contemporary focus. 'The program is ambitious and trend-setting,' said the committee's report.