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PhD Program Requirements

The goal of the PhD program is to prepare graduates for positions in research-intensive institutions if they so choose. This preparation will also enable them to work at other types of educational institutions and industry positions. This is a residential program with students attending classes in person.

Program Curriculum and Concentrations

The program’s core curriculum helps students understand the common threads across College disciplines that span the communication and information fields. After completing the core, students choose a concentration area in advertising, communication studies, information sciences, journalism and electronic media, or public relations. Students also complete a cognate area that typically consists of a set of courses outside the College to further support the student’s focus area.

The content of the doctoral program consists of the following requirements

  • Core Courses (17 credit hours): CCI 605, CCI 631, CCI 635, CCI 620 (2 credit hours), CCI 611 or Advanced Statistics, Additional CCI Doctoral Level Course.
  • Primary Concentration (12 credit hours): 3 credit hours of ADVT 680, CMST 680, INSC 680, JREM 680, or PBRL 680. Other concentration courses are defined by the student and his/her program committee.
  • Cognate (9 credit hours): Defined by the student and their program committee.
  • Dissertation (24 credit hours minimum).

Total credit hours must be no less than 62 credit hours. A student should anticipate at least three years of full-time study, which includes time for dissertation research. A comprehensive examination is given when the student has completed all required and prescribed courses.

The comprehensive examination must be taken within five years and all requirements must be completed within eight years from the time of a student’s first enrollment in the doctoral program.

CCI Program forms, Graduate Scholarship forms, Student Travel Approval forms, and Research forms are available on the CCI Graduate Form Central page.

Program Outcomes

Student learning expectations for the doctoral program are to be able to explain and apply core theories within their area of concentration (i.e., advertising, communication studies, information sciences, journalism and electronic media, and/or public relations); explain and apply quantitative and/or qualitative research methods; and be productive in advancing knowledge in the communication and information fields and demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach to research.

Upon completion of the program, students should …

  • Be prepared to be successful in academic positions at local, regional and research-intensive institutions.
  • Have confidence in their research abilities.
  • Have had the opportunity to prepare, submit and present/publish research manuscripts before completion of their degree either alone or in conjunction with faculty.
  • Be well versed in philosophy of inquiry, be familiar with the theoretical and methodological traditions that constitute the body of knowledge in areas of communication and information studies, and steeped in the literature of at least one (preferably more) specific discipline(s) represented by the college.
  • Have a working knowledge of the fundamental principles and practices of at least one discipline represented by the larger university beyond their primary area within communication and information study.
  • Be prepared to teach in the classroom at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Have experience with the scholarly and professional associations relevant to their area of study/teaching.
  • Have an understanding of the types of service expectations they may encounter in their academic careers.