Journalism and Mass Communications, Ph.D.
The Ph.D. in journalism and mass communications prepares students for teaching and research careers in higher education and for research and management positions with mass communications organizations.
The doctoral program in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications is small and selective, permitting students a considerable degree of flexibility in tailoring courses and areas of study to fit their special needs and career goals.
The doctoral core requirements, listed below, are designed to equip the student with a strong background in quantitative and qualitative social science research methods and design, communications theory, ethical perspectives, historical and legal research methods, and teaching methods. Required courses include the basic doctoral core, a minimum of 30 graduate hours of directed electives, and a minimum of 12 hours of dissertation credit.
- Learning Outcome 1 (Theories): Students will demonstrate understanding of communication theories necessary to teach college-level courses and to carry out formal research.
- Learning Outcome 2 (Subject Areas): Students will demonstrate overall understanding of specialized topics of the student s interest necessary to teach college-level courses and to carry out scholarly research.
- Learning Outcome 1 (Teaching Knowledge and Skills): Students will demonstrate thorough knowledge of theories and practices of university-level instruction.
- Learning Outcome 2 (Teaching Applications and Experiences): Students will be able to apply their knowledge and skills to teaching journalism and mass communications.
- Learning Outcome 1 (Research Methods): Students will demonstrate a thorough knowledge of advanced statistics, quantitative research methodology, and qualitative research methodology appropriate for journalism and mass communications scholarship, including the application of such knowledge in their own research and the ability to correctly evaluate peer-reviewed research.
- Learning Outcome 2 (Writing and Presenting Research): Students will demonstrate effective writing and presentation skills and the application of those skills in journalism and mass communications scholarship suitable for high-level peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations.
An applicant for admission to the doctoral program will be evaluated on a combination of factors: applicant’s academic record (especially work done at the master’s level), performance on the GRE, English proficiency scores (TOEFL or IELTS if international applicant), resume showing professional experience, recommendations, writing sample(s), and the applicant’s personal statement outlining reasons for applying for doctoral study and career hopes and expectations.
Preference is given to applicants with at least 3.0 GPA for undergraduate and graduate work, at least one year of experience as journalism and mass communications professionals. A GRE combined score of 300 (153 Verbal and 147 Quantitative) and a 4.0 or higher on the Analytical Writing is expected, though exceptions are occasionally made for applicants with unusually strong professional backgrounds or other evidence of outstanding professional and intellectual promise. International applicants, in addition to the above, must present a score of at least 100 on the TOEFL exam or 7.0 on IELTS. Those with a degree from an English-speaking institution are eligible for an exemption from this requirement. More information is available in the Academic Programs section of the College of Information and Communications Website.
Doctoral students normally must have completed, or be in the final stages of, a master’s degree. In exceptional circumstances, a student with a baccalaureate degree may be admitted directly into the doctoral program, with the understanding that the student will first complete the usual requirements for the master’s degree while studying for the doctorate. In such cases, the usual doctoral requirements of 45 hours of course work beyond the master’s plus a dissertation will apply. A prior master’s degree needs not be in journalism/mass communications, although a student whose master’s degree is in another field may need additional course work.
Degree Requirements (57 Post-Master’s Degree Hours)
To earn the Ph.D. in mass communications, the student must successfully complete the following:
A qualifying examination, administered at the beginning of the student’s program. This examination, largely diagnostic in nature, will help the faculty in planning the student’s program of study.
Course Requirements (57 Hours)
Basic Doctoral Core (15 Hours)
|JOUR 801||Communication Research Design||3|
|JOUR 803||Seminar in Mass Communication Theory and Theory Construction||3|
|JOUR 805||Seminar in Teaching Mass Communication||3|
|JOUR 807||Advanced Communication Research||3|
|JOUR 808||Communication Research: Critical, Cultural, and Naturalistic Approaches||3|
|Total Credit Hours||15|
Mass Communication Electives (21Hours)1
At least 21 hours in approved mass communication electives from JOUR courses at 700/800 levels.
Courses in Another Field of Study (9 Hours)1
At least 9 hours in another field of study, such as economics, business, political science, history, education, library science, or English; normally the three courses would be in the same academic discipline. However, for example, a student interested in modern Africa might take one course in history, one in political science, and a third in sociology with approval from the faculty.
At least 6 hours from Mass Communications Electives and Courses in Another Field of Study must be in research methods beyond core course requirements of the Ph.D. and Master’s degree programs (may include JOUR courses).
Dissertation Preparation (12 Hours minimum)
|JOUR 899||Dissertation Preparation||12|
|Total Credit Hours||12|
A comprehensive examination is based on doctoral coursework; this examination is administered in 2 parts: a 12-hour written examination (4 three-hour sets of questions taken over 5 consecutive business days) and an oral defense before the student’s comprehensive examination committee. The comprehensive exam and oral defense will cover theory, research, a third area of emphasis in mass communication and an outside area.
The University’s residency requirements apply, which means the student must be enrolled for at least 6 semester hours during 3 consecutive semesters.
The doctoral dissertation must be successfully defended before the student’s dissertation committee.