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Degree Requirements - PhD

The Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Communication and Information is intended to prepare students for research, teaching, administration, and service in the fields of communication and information. The goal of the Ph.D. program is to prepare graduates for positions in research-intensive institutions. This preparation also enables them to work at other types of educational institutions and industry positions. Doctoral students develop publishable research in their coursework, and provide evidence of publishable research prior to taking comprehensive exams. Graduates are expected to be competent in using at least one research method and should be literate in statistics. The program includes training in the foundational origins and contemporary literature of communication and information theories and professions. The program offers the opportunity for students to learn to be effective teachers and to participate in service and outreach activities.

The program is interdisciplinary, consisting of a core curriculum, primary concentration, and cognate area of study. Core courses begin in the fall semester. CCI 605, CCI 620, CCI 631, CCI 635, and a concentration specific doctoral theory course (ADVT 680, CMST 680, INSC 680, JREM 680, or PRBL 680) must be taken during the first year of the program. CCI 611 or an advanced statistics course must be taken either in the first semester or in the third semester of doctoral studies. The first fall and spring semesters must be spent in residence (i.e., enrolled as a full-time student). Attendance at a fall orientation session is required. Appendix C provides an overview of the steps in the process of earning the Ph.D. degree. 

Required Hours

A minimum of 62 hours of approved graduate work is required for the Ph.D. Students are typically able to complete coursework in about two full years of study and should expect to spend about a year writing the dissertation. No transfer credits are accepted for the doctoral program. See Appendix D for Program Planning Guides for the Doctor of Philosophy in Communication and Information.

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

Other Requirements

Two concurrent semesters are required to meet the university’s residency requirement.  Except in rare cases, students will meet this requirement in the first year of graduate study. Within the combined primary and cognate areas, a total of 6 credit hours must be from theory-intensive courses and a total of 6 hours must be from methods-intensive classes. Courses both inside and outside the college (including graduate-level courses in the schools) may be identified as theory- and/or method-intensive. A list of eligible courses housed within the college appears in Appendix E. Students may also submit courses to their program committee for consideration as theory- and/or method-intensive.

Students develop the first draft of their program plan with the assistance of their first-year adviser. This preliminary program plan must be submitted by April 1 in the first year of study. The full program committee is assembled in the second year of a student’s studies. The full program committee must approve the final program plan before a student may take comprehensive exams. The associate dean also reviews the program plan to assure that all degree requirements have been met.

Admission to candidacy must be attained at least one full semester prior to the date the degree is to be conferred and requires successful completion of a written comprehensive examination. At the time the Admission to Candidacy form is filed with the Graduate School, the Doctoral Committee Appointment Form should also be filed. In addition, copies of these forms should be filed in the associate dean’s office. Following a successful dissertation defense, the Dissertation Defense pass/fail form should be filed with the Graduate School and a copy should also be provided to the Associate Dean’s office.

Candidates for the Ph.D. degree must take comprehensive examinations within five years of enrollment, and all requirements must be completed within eight years from the time of the student’s first enrollment in a doctoral degree program.