Ph.D. Curriculum & Core Courses

Curriculum Overview


The doctoral degree requires a minimum of 75 hours of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree or a minimum of 48 hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree. In addition, all students must complete at least 12 dissertation hours.

For students who begin their Ph.D. immediately after the bachelor’s degree, the program requires a minimum of 87 hours—75 hours of coursework and 12 hours of dissertation work.

The coursework must include a minimum of 6 to a maximum of 15 hours in a minor area outside of media and communication.

For those students who already have a master’s degree in media and communication (or graduate degree approved by the graduate dean), the program requires a minimum of 60 hours --- 48 hours of courses and 12 dissertation hours. The 48 hours of coursework must include 6 to 15 hours in a minor area outside of media and communication, 21 hours of core work, and 12 to 21 hours of media and communication electives.

Students are also expected to complete individual research projects with a member of the graduate faculty.

Students who enter the Ph.D. program from the College of Media & Communication M.A. program will not be required to retake courses that were passed previously with a grade of B or better.

Core Courses


The following courses are required for all Ph.D. students:
  • Media & Communication Required Courses
    • COMC 5364 - Research Methods
    • COMC 5366 - Media & Communication Theory
    • COMC 5374 - Data Analysis
    • COMC 6366 - Advanced Theory
    • COMC 6364 - Selected Research Methods (topics rotate)
  • Media & Communication Required Integration Course (must select one)
    • COMC 6315 - Integrated Communications Campaigns
    • COMC 6310 - Contemporary Issues in Communications Technology
  • Outside Statistics Requirement
    • A non-COMC Graduate Statistics Course is required for all Ph.D. students. (see university course catalog)

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Minor or Cognate Courses


All doctoral students are required to complete a minimum of 6 to a maximum of 15 hours of coursework in a minor or cognate area. These areas of study may include management, marketing, information systems, technical communication, or any other area of concentration designed in consultation with the student, the department involved and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. Students should get approval from the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies before selecting a cognate.

Independent Study Hours Limit


Ph.D. students are limited to a total of 15 hours of independent study credit.