Communication
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD in Communication

The PhD in communication explores key issues in the discipline such as communicating complex information, influencing health behaviors, he digital divide, public advocacy, intercultural sensitivity, media literacy, and  national security. The PhD program offers two major areas of emphasis: health and strategic communication. Students may also emphasize science communication in conjunction with either of these. Faculty and students conduct research concerning consumer-provider relationships, risk communication, crisis management, organizational communication, media systems, health campaigns, new information technologies, communication policy, media advocacy, and health communication interventions. 
 

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 90

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Core Courses

Four Theory Courses

COMM 700 Building Social Science Theory 3
Select one additional theory course from the following: 3
Theories and Research of Mass Communication  
Intercultural Communication  
Persuasion Theory  
Theories of Interpersonal Communication  
Organizational Communication  
Select two additional theory courses from the following: 6
Theories and Research of Mass Communication  
Intercultural Communication  
Health Communication  
Theories of Public Relations  
Persuasion Theory  
Theories of Interpersonal Communication  
Organizational Communication  
Science Communication  
Science and the Public  
Strategic Communication  
Total Credits 12

Three Research Methods Courses

Methods Course  
COMM 650 Research Methodologies in Communication 3
Qualitative methods course  
COMM 725 Qualitative Methods 1 3
Additional Research Course  
Select one course at the 700-level or above. 2 3
Total Credits 9
1

Or another course at 700-level or above as approved by the graduate committee.

2

This course should be chosen to help prepare for the dissertation and must be approved by the graduate committee.

Substantive Field of Study

Students choose one of the following substantive fields of study. 

Health Communication
Select three courses from the following: 9
Health Communication  
Intercultural Health and Risk Communication  
Consumer-Provider Health Communication  
Health Communication Campaigns  
Select three elective courses chosen with approval of the advisor and director 9
Total Credits 18
Strategic Communication
Select three courses from the following: 9
Theories of Public Relations  
Intercultural Health and Risk Communication  
Strategic Communication  
Crisis Communication  
Select three elective courses chosen with approval of the advisor and director 9
Total Credits 18

One Research Practicum

Select 3 credits from the following: 3
Communication Research Practicum  
Special Topics in Communication  
Independent Study  
Total Credits 3

Elective Courses

Students complete the remaining credits through additional elective courses chosen in consultation with an advisor 0-30
Total Credits 0-30

Advancement to Candidacy

To advance to candidacy, students must complete all coursework required on their approved program of study. Students must also successfully pass a written qualifying exam and an oral qualifying exam. In addition, students must have a dissertation committee appointed by the Dean’s Office as well as an approved proposal. Evidence of the approved proposal must be on file in the Dean’s Office before a student can advance to candidacy.

Dissertation

Once enrolled in COMM 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal, students in this degree program must maintain continuous registration for at least 1 credit. Once enrolled in COMM 999 Dissertation Research, student must maintain continuous registration each semester (excluding summers) until the dissertation is submitted to and accepted by the University Libraries. Once enrolled in COMM 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research, students must follow the university's continuous registration policy as specified in AP.6.10.6 Dissertation Research. Students who defend in the summer must be registered for at least 1 credit of COMM 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research.

Students complete a minimum of 3 credits of COMM 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal and 3 credits of COMM 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research. They must apply a minimum of 18 dissertation credits (COMM 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal and COMM 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research combined) to the degree. Because of the continuous registration policy, students may be required to register for additional credits of these courses.

At least eighteen credits of the following: 18
Doctoral Dissertation Proposal  
Doctoral Dissertation Research  
Total Credits 18
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