Skip to main content

Ph.D. in Communication Studies

The Ph.D. program in Communication Studies is intended to qualify the student to teach and conduct research in instructional communication, interpersonal communication, health communication, and mediated communication, among many others, at the university level. Students who are accepted into the Ph.D. program in Communication Studies are awarded an assistantship for the first year that is renewable for the second and third years of the program upon faculty consent. Click and/or read below to read more about our top-rated Ph.D. program in Communication Studies.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Ph.D. degree program in Communication Studies, it is expected that students will be able to:

Program Timeline

The Ph.D. degree program in Communication Studies is designed to take three years of study, including summer terms. Students will tend to complete 36 hours of coursework during the first two years of the program (i.e., Year 1 Fall semester, Year 1 Spring semester, Year 1 Summer term, Year 2 Fall semester, Year 2 Spring semester, Year 2 Summer term). Upon completion of coursework, students will take and defend comprehensive examinations (i.e., Year 2 Summer term) before writing and defending a dissertation prospectus (Year 3 Fall semester) and writing and defending a dissertation (no later than Year 3 Summer term).

Ph.D. Courses

At the Doctoral level, students will be engaged in both the mastery of Communication Studies as well as the development of a line of scholarly inquiry. Our Ph.D. students are expected to become broadly versed in the field while specializing in two areas of research. Students in the program complete 54 total course credits at the 600-level or above, including a mix of theory, methodology, philosophy and seminar courses.

Learn more about Ph.D. courses

Ph.D. Dissertations

For scholars, the dissertation represents one’s first independent research as part of their career-long line of research inquiry. It is during the dissertation process that the Doctoral candidate makes a substantial contribution to his or her field through a rigorous analysis of a novel research concept. While not a requirement, many dissertations eventually find their way into scientific journals and other publications. The dissertation is a long and arduous process comprising of both a written document and an oral defense.

Read more about past Ph.D. dissertations