PhD in Communication

Catalog Year: 2020-2021

The PhD in Communication explores key issues in the discipline such as communicating complex information, social influence and behavior change, the digital divide, public advocacy, intercultural sensitivity, media literacy, and national security. The PhD program offers three major areas of emphasis: health communication, science communication, and strategic communication. Faculty and students conduct research concerning health communication, risk communication, climate change communication, science communication, crisis management, organizational communication, media systems, public communication campaigns, new information technologies, communication policy, and media advocacy.

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
Select 3 credits from the following: 3
Qualitative Methods
Research Methods II
Media Content Analysis
One additional course at the 700-level or above. 1 3
Total Credits 9

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
Science Communication
Select three courses from the following: 9
Persuasion Theory
Science Communication
Science and the Public
Climate Change and Sustainability Communication Campaigns
Select three 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

COMM 701 Communication Science Research Practicum 3
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 Doctoral 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