Beginning in the second year, doctoral candidates are assigned research assistantship and/or teaching assignments, based on their interests and the needs of the program. Research assistantships provide the opportunity to work directly on studies or projects led by USC Annenberg faculty.
These studies or projects produce ground-breaking research for consumption by other academics and the general public; as a result, research assistantships are sought-after positions. Students are expected to acquire and demonstrate humanistic and behavioral knowledge of communication while acquiring skills requisite to scholarly research in the discipline.
Teaching assignments may include leading undergraduate discussion sections and grading papers. After passing qualifying examinations, the program provides the opportunity to teach undergraduate courses as the sole classroom instructor.