The Ph.D. program requires the completion of a minimum of 81 credits of course work, including 57 credits of graduate course work and 24 credits of dissertation research. Course work credits are as follows:
- 15 credits of program core requirements
- 18 credits within the student’s selected area of study within the program
- 24 additional credits of graduate course work (including, but not limited to, master’s degree transfer of credits).
Upon completion of at least 57 total course credits, including the fifteen credits of core requirements, at least eighteen credits of course work as approved by the program area, and the 24 additional credits (including the transfer of no more than 24 credits from a master’s program as approved by the program area and program director), the candidate is eligible to take the qualifying examination (see later section).
1. Core Requirements (15 credits)
The core requirements include 15 credits of course work, including four three-credit core courses (12 credits), the successful completion of one research practicum (3 credits), and attendance at the Ph.D. Colloquia. With the exception of the zero credit colloquium, and dissertation research credits, all courses are three credits.
Core Courses (12 credits)
REQUIRED: 16:194:600: Colloquium (0 cr.) – Taken during each semester of course work
REQUIRED: 16:194:601: Communication, Information and Media Theory (3 cr.)
REQUIRED: 16:194:602: Research Foundations (3 cr.)
2 OF 3 REQUIRED*:
16:194:603: Qualitative Research Methods (3 cr.)
16:194:604: Quantitative Research Methods (3 cr.)
16:194:605: Interpretive Research Methods (3 cr.)**
Research Practicum (3 credits)***
16:194:608: Research Practicum (3 cr.) -- This requirement is met by a student registering for Practicum with a member of the program faculty who has agreed in advance to supervise the student’s participation in a research project of interest. Some semesters, prior to registration for the next semester, faculty who would like to supervise one or more Research Practica will publicly announce the topics and/or projects in which they are interested; in many cases, students are expected to contact faculty directly with practicum projects/ideas. The expected outcome of the Research Practicum is a paper (single or co-authored) submitted to a recognized conference or refereed journal. The results of the Research Practicum will be presented by the student at a Ph.D. Poster Session Colloquium held at the end of each semester.
2. Program Area Course Requirements (at least 18 credits)
Each program area sets its own curriculum and course requirements.
Communication. Ph.D. students in the Communication Area select a major and minor focus of study. 12 credit hours are required for the major area and 6 for the minor. With the assistance of their advisors, students may designate major and minor areas that fit their interests. These may include foci within the Communication Area (e.g., organizational communication, social interaction, mediated communication, or health communication), but are not limited to these areas of communication study. Students may choose as a minor area one of the other areas of the Ph.D. program. Alternatively, students may choose a minor area elsewhere in the University. A qualifying exam in each area will be taken once the student has completed all course work.
Core Methods Restriction:
Must take 604
Must take at least one of either 603 or 605
Required Courses (any 2 of the following 3):
16:194:620 Interpersonal Communication (3 cr.)
16:194:621 Organizational Communication Research (3 cr.)
16:194:633 Mediated Communication (3 cr.)
Elective Courses (several courses under the following general headings):
- Topics in Social Interaction (e.g., Basic Structures of Social Interaction, Persuasion and Social Influence, Communication & Gender)
- Topics in Organizational Communication (e.g., Conflict & Collaboration, Dynamics of Global Organizations, Leadership, Organizational Change, Communication Networks)
- Topics in Mediated Communication (e.g., Mobile Communications, Communication Design, Work and Technology)
- Topics in Health Communication (e.g., Health Campaigns, Interpersonal Health Communication, Professional Practices and Issues of Health)
- Topics in Communication Theory
Library and Information Science. Ph.D. students in the LIS Area must have two areas of study. Study in LIS must consist of at least twelve credits, and study in the second area must consist of at least six credits. With the assistance of their advisors, students select a relevant second area from one of the other areas of the Ph.D. program or from elsewhere in the University. The LIS PhD Area curriculum is structured around five “themes”: Human Information Behavior; Information Retrieval, Language and Communication; Information Agencies and Artifacts; Learning, Youth, Information and Technology; Social and Community Informatics. Ph.D. students in the LIS area may choose to specialize in any of these themes. Courses within these themes will be offered on a regular basis, and students will select courses in consultation with their advisor.
Core Methods Restriction: Two of three core methods courses required, combining 604, and either 603 or 605, one of which may count toward LIS or secondary area credits.
Courses Required For All Students in the LIS Area
16:194:610 Seminar in Information Studies (3 cr.)
16:194:612 Human Information Behavior (3 cr.)
Courses Recommended for All Students in the LIS Area: Students should take at least two other courses in the LIS area (six credits) in addition to the required LIS area courses from among the five themes. Some examples of courses include:
16:194:614 Information Retrieval Theory (3 cr.)
16:194:619 Experiment and Evaluation in Information Systems (3 cr.)
16:194:656 Theories and Issues in Library Studies (3 cr.)
Media Studies. Students in the Media Studies Area must take 18 credits approved for the area, including one three-credit required course, three of six additional three-credit area courses, and two 3-credit elective courses approved by the area. With the assistance of their advisors and the area coordinator, students may designate major and minor areas that fit their interests. Students may choose as a minor area one of the other areas of the Ph.D. program. Alternatively, students may choose a minor area elsewhere in the University. A qualifying exam in each area will be taken once the student has completed all course work. Core Methods Restriction: None beyond program requirements.All Students in the Area must take the following Required Three-Credit Course:
16:194:631 Media Theory (3 cr.)
Three Courses from among the Six Three-Credit Courses Listed Below:
16:194:660 Audience Studies (3 cr.)
16:194:662 Media Criticism (3 cr.)
16:194:663 Media History (3 cr.)
16:194:664 Media and Culture (3 cr.)
16:194:665 Media and Politics(3 cr.)
16:194:666 Social Construction of News (3 cr.)
Two 3-Credit Elective Courses: The remaining two courses (six credits) may be taken from the Media Studies Area, from other areas within the Ph.D. program, or from other courses at the University, as approved by the student’s advisor
3. Transfer of Approved Master’s Degree Course Credits (24 credits maximum)
Up to 24 credits may be transferred from master’s level courses taken elsewhere or at SC&I. Students should consult their advisor before applying for transfer of credits. The program director will then recommend to the graduate school which and how many courses are approved for transfer. It is not uncommon to limit transfer credits to 18-21 hours (depending on the program area and individual student circumstances). These courses must be theoretical or research-based courses in Communication, Information Science, Library Studies, Media, or closely related fields. Students must have received a B or better on any course work to be transferred, and courses should have been taken within the previous six years. Applied or professional courses (such as internships, video production or news writing) are not acceptable. For further information, request a copy of the transfer credit policy from the Graduate School.The Application for Transfer of Credit (see appendix) should be completed as soon as the student has finished 12 hours of doctoral studies in the program. Failing to do so in a timely manner could result in addition coursework requirements and/or delays in taking qualifying exams.
4. Dissertation Research Credits (24 credits)
Students must complete a minimum of 24 credits of dissertation research under the supervision of their dissertation advisor. Credits are variable; the number taken during a particular semester should reflect the degree of involvement of the student and faculty during that semester.
*Program areas may specify which combination of core methods courses is required for their students (see Program Area Course Requirements).
**605 is the new number for the course on Interpretive Research Methods. It replaces the previous 605 course (Current Research Issues), which is no longer offered in the program.
***608 is the new number for Practicum (formerly registered as an Independent Study).