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Ph.D. Core and Manual

For Students Who Matriculated Beginning Fall 2020

The Doctor of Philosophy is a minimum 57-hour program. To earn the Ph.D. in Mass Communications, the student must successfully complete the following:

1. Course Requirements (57 Post Master’s Degree Hours)

Basic Doctoral Core (15 credit hours)

  • JOUR 801 -- Communications Research Design
  • JOUR 803 -- Seminar in Mass Communication Theory and Theory Construction
  • JOUR 805 -- Seminar in Teaching Media Studies
  • JOUR 807 – Advanced Communication Research (quantitative)
  • JOUR 808 – Communication Research: Critical, Cultural, and Naturalistic Approaches

Mass Communication Major Area (21 credit hours)*

  • At least 21 hours of Mass Communications electives from JOUR courses at 700/800 level

Courses in Another Field of Study (9 credit hours)*

  • At least 9 hours in another field of study, such as economics, business, political science, history, education, library science, or English. Normally the three courses would be in the same academic discipline. However, for example, a student interested in modern Africa might take one course in history, one in political science, and a third in sociology with approval from the faculty.

Dissertation Preparation (12 Hours)

JOUR 899 – Dissertation Preparation

A minimum of 12 hours of dissertation preparation course work is required.

*NOTE: At least 6 hours from Mass Communications Electives and Courses in Another Field of Study must be in research methods or statistics.

2. Qualifying Examination

In the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the qualifying examination is satisfied by evidence that a doctoral student has submitted a paper to a major research conference or for publication, and this submission is endorsed by a faculty member. This requirement normally can be satisfied by the end of the third semester of doctoral studies.

3. 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 research, theory, a third area of emphasis in mass communication and an outside area.

4. Residency Requirement

The University's residency requirements apply. The student must be enrolled for at least 18 hours of course work taken in 3 consecutive major semesters. Enrollment in a summer term is not required, but credits earned during summer terms (including May Session) will count toward the 18 hours required for residency.

5. Dissertation Defense

The doctoral dissertation must be successfully defended 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.

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