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Ph.D. Core and Manual

For Students Who Matriculated Beginning Fall 2009

This Page Is For Students Who Matriculated Beginning Fall 2009.

See Doctoral Manual

The Doctor of Philosophy is a minimum 60-hour program. To earn the Ph.D. in Mass Communications, the student must successfully complete the following:

1. Qualifying Examination:

A qualifying examination, administered at the beginning of the student’s program, which determines master’s level understanding of mass media research methods, history, law, and communications theory; this examination, largely diagnostic in nature, will help the faculty in planning the student’s program of study; students showing deficiencies in ay of these areas may be required to enroll in appropriate 700-level courses to satisfy this requirement; doctoral students who have successfully completed the M.A. comprehensive examination and earned the M.A. degree from the school within the past five years will have satisfied this requirement;

2. Basic Doctoral Core (30 credit hours):

  • JOUR 801 -- Communications Research Design
  • JOUR 803 -- Seminar in Mass Communication Theory and Theory Construction
  • JOUR 804 -- Historical Research Methods
  • JOUR 805 -- Seminar in Teaching Media Studies
  • JOUR 806 -- Legal Research Methods
  • JOUR 807 – Advanced Communication Research
  • JOUR 808 – Communication Research: Critical, Cultural, and Naturalistic Approaches
  • JOUR 810 – Independent Research Project (6 hours)
  • An advanced Statistics course taken in a department outside of the School

3. Mass Communication Major Area (9 credit hours):

At least three courses of Mass Communications electives from JOUR courses at 700/800 level

4. Outside Area of Concentration (9 credit hours):

At least three courses in another field of study, such as economics, business, political science, history, education, library science, or English must be taken. Normally the three courses would be in the same academic discipline. However, a student interested, for example, in modern Africa might, with approval of the faculty, take one pertinent course in history, one in political science, and a third in sociology.

5. Research Methods:

At least six hours (two courses) of the total minimum 18 hours in #3 and #4 above must be courses in research methods.

6. Comprehensive Examination:

A comprehensive examination based on doctoral coursework. This examination is administered in two parts: A 12-hour written examination (four three-hour sets of questions, taken over five consecutive business days, and an oral defense before the student's Comprehensive Examination Committee. The comprehensive exam and oral defense will cover mass communication research, theory, a third area of emphasis in mass communication and an outside area.

7. The University's Residency Requirement:

The student must be enrolled for at least a total of 18 semester hours over three consecutive major semesters.

8. Foreign Language:

A reading knowledge of at least one foreign language. This requirement may be satisfied by successfully completing an examination administered by the various foreign language departments concerned.

9. Dissertation:

An acceptable doctoral dissertation that includes a minimum of 12 hours of dissertation credits (JOUR 899) and a successful oral dissertation defense before the student's Dissertation Committee.

It should be pointed out that these are minimum requirements. A doctoral student who aspires to write a dissertation in a given area might be directed by that student's faculty committee to enroll for an additional course in statistics, for example.