Ph.D. Application &
Program Requirements


All students must be accepted for study by both the Graduate College at Texas Tech and the College of Media & Communication.
New students should submit the following to the Graduate College:

  • A Graduate Application
  • Official transcripts from all of the colleges and universities that you have attended sent to the Texas Tech University Graduate School.
  • Current scores for the Graduate Record Examination.

In addition, new students should submit the following to the College of Mass Communications:

  • Resume and cover letter
  • Your career goals
  • Written personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation from three professors attesting to your ability to succeed in doctoral level work.
  • Samples of academic and/or professional work in mass communications*

Students who are currently enrolled in the M.A. program in Mass Communications at Texas Tech must apply in order to transfer to the Ph.D. program.  The admission standards for the Ph.D. program are more stringent than for the M.A., and not all M.A. students will be admitted to the Ph.D. program.  All other students must apply for admission to the Ph.D. program as a new student.

Students who seek selection as a graduate instructor or who seek financial assistance must submit their applications at least three months prior to the date they plan to begin classes.

Applicants who have submitted all required material by March 15 will be notified of admission decisions by April first.

* Prefered, but not a requirement for complete application.


Admission to the doctoral program is based on a holistic assessment of the student’s promise for completing requirements for the doctorate and making a contribution to the field of Media & Communication.  Materials reviewed include your personal statement, letters of recommendation, GPA and GRE scores.  GRE scores neither insure admission nor automatically disqualify an applicant.

Students who are most likely to succeed in our program will submit GRE scores above the 70th percentile and GPAs of 3.4 or higher.

Also, students with professional experience or extensive internships in mass communications are most likely to succeed in our program.

International students must submit TOEFL scores of at least 550.


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 & Communication.

For those students who already have a master’s degree in Media & 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 & Communication, 21 hours of core work, and 12 to 21 hours of Media & 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.

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Required core courses (7 courses for 21 hours)
Research Methods
Data Analysis
Research Elective
Media & Communication Theory
Integrated Communication
Communications Technology
Minor or cognate courses (15 hours)
Dissertation (12 hours)


39 hours of Media & Communication electives beyond the bachelor’s degree


12 hours of Media & Communication electives beyond the master’s degree in Media & Communication.  Students with a master’s degree in Mass Communications may substitute some courses from their master’s for core courses. These substitutions may increase the number of electives required.

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Two examinations and a dissertation will mark your progress through the program.

The first of the examinations is a competency exam that covers mass communications theory and research methods.  This exam is used to counsel students and must be taken after completing 12 hours of course work. You may be required to complete additional work in theory or research methods following this examination.

The second examination is the qualifying examination, and it is taken at the end of all coursework but before beginning the dissertation.  The qualifying examination covers research, theory and your minor area of study.  Students who fail this examination are permitted to take it again after four months.  Students who fail a second time may be dismissed from the graduate program.

Qualifying Exam
Research Competency Exam
Ph.D. Exam Information


After completion of the qualifying examination, you will identify a dissertation committee consisting of four members of the graduate faculty.  Three members must be from The College of Media & Communication and one from the student’s minor or cognate area.  With the guidance of this committee you must present a dissertation proposal and, after completion of the research, defend the dissertation.

Ph.D. Dissertation Information