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Doctoral study in the Department of Communication and Journalism aims to prepare students to become scholars and professionals who are conversant with one or more areas in the field of communication. Because of the wide diversity of disciplinary approaches represented in the work of the department, the graduate program is open to students with undergraduate preparation in communication, journalism, the humanities, the social sciences and other fields related to the study of communication. For all candidates, admission must be approved by the departmental committee on graduate studies.


  • Health Communication;
  • Intercultural Communication;
  • Mass Communication.

Academic requirements for the Ph.D. in Communication consist of an intensive program of course work, research and professional development. The doctoral degree requires a minimum of 39 credit hours beyond the Master's degree, plus 18 credit hours for the dissertation.

  Required Core: 9
CJ 509 Ph.D. Professional Seminar  
CJ 600 History and Philosophy of Communication  
CJ 602 Theorizing Culture and Communication  
  Research Methods: 9
  See selection criteria below.  
CJ 507 Quantitative Data Analysis  
CJ 604 Qualitative Research Methods I  
CJ 605 Qualitative Research Methods II  
CJ 606 Qualitative Methods Practicum  
CJ 607 Communication Research Methods: Quantitative  
CJ 609  Mixed Methods Research Designs  
  Nine credit hours in one concentration: 9
  Health Communication  
CJ 550 Health Communication  
  Two additional classes from:  
CJ 552 Topics in Health Communication  
CJ 553 Health Communication Campaigns  
CJ 555 Culture, Disparities, and Health Communication  
  Intercultural Communication  
CJ 514 Seminar: Intercultural Communication  
  Two additional classes from:  
CJ 517 Culture, Identities and Subjectivities  
CJ 518 Culture, Places and Spaces  
CJ 519 Topics in Intercultural Communication  
  Mass Communication  
CJ 566 Mass Communication Theories  
  Two additional classes from:  
CJ 567 Digital Media  
CJ 568 Mass Media Structures and Institutions  
CJ 569 Critical and Cultural Approaches to Media  

Methods courses selection criteria: Students who have not completed a quantitative methods course at the M.A. level equivalent to CJ 507 are required to take CJ 507. For the two additional courses (intended to give exposure to both qualitative and quantitative methods), select at least one course from CJ 604 or CJ 605. Students who have completed a quantitative methods course at the M.A. level equivalent to CJ 501 are required to take CJ 607 and two other methods courses. (Students may not take CJ 507 if they have already had the equivalent in their M.A. program). For exposure to both qualitative and quantitative methods, at least one course should be from CJ 604 or CJ 605. 

Electives: The remaining 21 credit hours of course work are electives that can be taken in the Communication and Journalism department. Normally, students take 9-12 of these credit hours in their concentration. Students should secure approval from their Program of Studies Committee Chair for classes taken outside the department. For students who have an M.A. from another institution, of these 21 elective credit hours, no more than 6 credit hours may be from CJ 502 (or topics courses outside the department), and no more than 6 credit hours may be independent study (CJ 593). For students who have an M.A. from Communication and Journalism, and have already taken 6 credit hours of topics courses or 6 credit hours of independent study, take only 3 additional credit hours of topic courses or independent study.

Language/Tool Requirement: Students must demonstrate competency in either a language or research tool. There are two options to meet this requirement:

  1. Students may demonstrate competency in a language other than English. Competency is demonstrated by proof of fluency in the language (e.g., being a native speaker) or by passing the equivalent of a second year proficiency level course with a B or better.
  2. Competency may also be demonstrated by taking two foreign language courses or two courses in a research tool or methodology. A few examples include statistics, ethnography, visual communication, and women studies. Students must pass these courses with a B or better. Courses can be taken in other departments when approved by the students' Program of Studies Committee. Courses cannot be those from the M.A. program and may include methods that are applied in the dissertation. Credit for courses taken to meet the language/research tool requirement are taken in addition to the 39 credit hours required for the degree. The Program of Studies Committee makes the final determination as to credit hours that may be substituted or transferred.

Required Training for Teaching Assistants: All teaching assistants (including those pursuing an M.A. degree) must take CJ 583 (1 credit hour) during the student's first Fall semester.

Communication Background: Students entering the Communication and Journalism Ph.D. degree program and do not have an M.A. in communication may be required to take CJ 500 and CJ 501. The Ph.D. Program Director makes this determination after a review of the student's application materials and/or a meeting with the student. These courses do not fulfill any of the graduate course requirements but are taken in addition to required Ph.D. credit hours.

  • Completed international admissions application
  • Must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or its equivalent in another country.
  • Generally, applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (B) or its equivalent in their last two undergraduate years and in their major field.
  • $70.00 application fee
  • Official English language proficiency results from either the TOEFL, IELTS, PTE-Academic, or Cambridge CPE or CAE
  • Complete transcripts and degree certificates with official English translations, if necessary, from all post-secondary schools attended must be uploaded to the graduate application
  • Official academic transcripts and degree certificates and with official English translations, if necessary, from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • Financial Responsibility form and official bank statements


  • Assistantships
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