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Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Studies

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Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Concentration in Communication Studies

Requirements include:

1. COMS 859, COMS 958, and COMS 959 under Basic Communication Theory (9 hours)

  • COMS 859 is waived for students with the M.A. in communication.

2. A minimum of 27 hours of additional subject matter courses:

  • (a) These courses must represent 2 emphases.
  • (b) These areas are developed by the student in consultation with the adviser and the director of graduate study.
  • (c) If a student holds a master’s degree in communication studies (or equivalent), appropriate course work from this degree may be used to fulfill the subject matter course requirements. However, the total number of hours from the M.A. program used to satisfy items 2c, 3, and 4 must not exceed 24 hours.

3. 18 hours of electives

  • Electives may be chosen from another department or any phase of the program. The 18 hours need not be all in the same department. They may be used to broaden or intensify the program, as long as they constitute a meaningful course of study. Only 6 hours may be in independent study. Students with master’s degrees from other universities satisfy this requirement with 18 hours from their master’s programs.

4. A minimum of 15 hours of research methodology:

  • (a) Courses required of all students:
    COMS 850 Introduction to Research Methods (3)
    COMS 851 Communication Research: Historical and Descriptive (3) or
       COMS 852 Communication Research: Experimentation and Quantitative Analysis (3)
  • (b) 9 additional hours appropriate to the student’s research/dissertation interest, chosen from the courses in the lists below:

Experimental and Quantitative Empirical Methods

  • COMS 856 Communication Research: Quantitative Analysis (3)
  • COMS 956 Principles of Analysis of Variance (3)
  • COMS 957 Principles of Correlational and Multivariate Analysis (3)
  • PRE 905 Multivariate Analysis (3)
  • PRE 906 Structural Equation Modeling I (3)


  • HIST 805 The Nature of History (3)
  • ENGL 908 Seminar in Literary Criticism: _____ (3)
  • COMS 955 Seminar in Rhetorical Criticism (3)
  • THR 920 Practicum in Criticism (3)
  • COMS 930 Seminar in Speech: Textual Criticism (3)
  • COMS 951 Seminar in Movement Theory and Genre Criticism (3)
  • COMS 952 Seminar in Mythic and Narrative Approaches to Rhetorical Criticism (3)


  • ANTH 730 Linguistics in Anthropology (3)
  • SOC 813 Field Methods and Participant Observation (3)
  • COMS 848 Communication Audits in Organizations (3)
  • COMS 855 Qualitative Research Methods in Communication Studies (3)

In lieu of 3 hours of methodological course work, a student may elect to enroll in 3 hours of applied research in which he or she produces original research using one of the above methods. The final paper must meet the approval of the student’s adviser and must be submitted to a professional society for presentation on a convention program or to a professional journal for possible publication.

In lieu of 3 hours of methodological course work, a student may elect to demonstrate a high level of writing competence in one foreign language if she or he can show that knowledge of this language directly relates to his or her research and academic interests. Competence levels are determined through consultation with the appropriate language department or program.

5. Ph.D. dissertation (18 or more hours).

6. Satisfactory completion of the oral and written comprehensive examination.

7. Final oral examination.

Note: Responsible scholarship requirements were approved after this catalog was finalized. Contact your department or program for more information about this requirement for doctoral students.

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