Ph.D. Program of Study

The general aim of the Ph.D. program in Communication is to provide students with a rigorous course of study that will prepare them for careers in either the academic or commercial spheres. The curriculum is not directed toward either of these domains, but rather attempts to give students a breadth of scholarly training that will allow them to pursue either of these career paths.

Academic Sphere.  There is a very strong academic research component to communication. Persons with interests in communication are currently found on Communication faculties and in schools of Journalism and Mass Communication. Communication is an established academic area, as reflected in published research by faculty members in departments of Communication.

Commercial Sphere.  Many organizations realize the value of research in mass communication effects, advertising, audience analysis, and other areas of communication. They have created a significant number of positions in communication. At the middle and upper management level, these are often filled by people with Ph.D. degrees. Training for persons filling these positions is often obtained in programs which do not equally emphasize communication theory and methods. The Ph.D. program in Communication is designed to provide the student with strong knowledge of communication theory, coupled with very strong research skills. A graduate of this program can step into a commercial research position without facing a period of hit-or-miss “on-the-job” training.

Ph.D. Program Elements

Length of Program

The time required for completion for the Ph.D. program will differ, depending on the degree status of entering students, and the courses already completed by the student at the graduate or undergraduate level. It is expected that students entering with a master’s degree will require approximately four years to complete the requisite course work, pass qualifying exams, and then write and defend the dissertation. (Note that students who earn an M.A. degree from our own program will require approximately three years, having already taken some of the required coursework.) The final program of course work and research for a student is created in consultation with his/her academic advisory committee. This program takes into account the student’s prior coursework and career objectives.

Research Requirement

Students participate in at least two research projects mentored by faculty before beginning their dissertation. These projects provide students with the necessary research experience before beginning the independent research required by the dissertation. They also put students in a better position to enter the Ph.D. job market.

Elective Courses (9 credits)

The student, in consultation with the academic advisory committee, will take an additional 9 credits in an area chosen to provide breadth or specialized skills. Typical areas might be social/behavioral research, computer science, or specialized business or communication areas.

Qualifying Exams

After coursework is completed, students take a general exam. When they pass, they are considered “Ph.D. Candidates” or “A.B.D.” (all but dissertation).

Dissertation

An original research project designed by the student, approved by the advising committee.

Ph.D. Program Tracks

Required Methodology Courses:
COMM 5001 Introduction to Graduate Communication Research
COMM 5002 Communication Research Methods
COMM 5003 Advanced Communication Research Methods
COMM 5010 Theory Construction and Research Design
COMM 6001 Proseminar in Communication Research
Elective Methodology Course (one of the following):
PSYC 5702 Field Research Methods
PSYC 5130 Causal Modeling in Social Psychology
PSYC 6130 Measurement and Scaling
SOCI 5231 Qualitative Methodology
STAT 5515 Design of Experiments
Directed Research Requirement:
COMM 6800 Seminar and Directed Research in Communication
Required Common Theory Courses:
COMM 5200 Interpersonal Communication
At least one of the following:
COMM 5300 Mass Communication Theory
COMM 5100 Persuasion Theory and Research
Required Core Theory Courses:
COMM 5500 Nonverbal Communication
COMM 5220 Group Communication Research
At least one of the following:
PSYC 6752 Interpersonal Relations
HDFS 5310 Patterns and Dynamics of Family Interaction
HDFS 5250 Close Relationships
At least one of the following:
COMM 5230 Organizational Communication: Theory and Research
COMM 5501 Seminar in Nonverbal Communication and Persuasion
PSYC 5703 Advanced Social Psychology
PSYC 5101 Motivation
HDFS 5240 Aging: Personality and Social Interaction
Emphasis Area Courses (at least 5 of the following):
Note: Common or Core Theory Courses not used to fulfill requirements above may be used to fulfill this requirement.
Communication in Interpersonal Relationships:
HDFS 5311 Theories of Family Development
PSYC 6752 Interpersonal Relations
SOCI 5651 Seminar in the Family
Interaction Processes:
PSYC 5460 Social and Personality Development
PSYC 5770 Current Topics in Social Psychology
PSYC 5612 Leadership in the Workplace
PSYC 6731 Person Perception
PSYC 5500 Research Seminar in Language and Psychology
PSYC 5568 Psychology of Language
Required Methodology Courses:
COMM 5001 Introduction to Graduate Communication Research
COMM 5002 Communication Research Methods
COMM 5003 Advanced Communication Research Methods
COMM 5010 Theory Construction and Research Design
COMM 6001 Proseminar in Communication Research
MKTG 6203 Quantitative Models in Marketing
Directed Research Requirement:
COMM 6800 Seminar and Directed Research in Communication
Required Common Theory Courses (at least 2 of the 3):
COMM 5300 Mass Communication Theory
COMM 5100 Persuasion Theory and Research
COMM 5200 Interpersonal Communication
Required Core Theory Courses (4 courses):
MKTG 5115 Market-Driven Management
COMM 5310 Seminar in Mass Communication Research
MKTG 6202 Advanced Seminar in Buyer Behavior
COMM 6850 Seminar in Marketing Communication
Emphasis Area Courses (at least 5 of the following):
Note: Common or Core Theory Courses not used to fulfill requirements above may be used to fulfill this requirement.
COMM 5120 Communication Campaigns
COMM 5501 Seminar in Nonverbal Communication and Persuasion
COMM 6895 Topics in Applied Communication Research
MKTG 6210 Seminar in Theory and Practice in Marketing
MKTG 5250 Marketing Research and Information Systems
MKTG 5640 Integrated Marketing Communications
MKTG 5625 Marketing for Global Competitiveness
Students without an MBA must take at least one of the following two courses:
ACCT 5121 Financial Accounting and Reporting
FNCE 5101 Financial Management
Required Methodology Courses:
COMM 5001 Investigation of Special Topics: Introduction to Research Methods (may be waived with methods background)
COMM 5002 Research Methods
COMM 5003 Advanced Communication Research Methods
COMM 5010 Theory Construction and Research Design
COMM 6001 Proseminar in Communication Research
Elective Methodology Course (one of the following):
PSYC 5702 Field Research Methods
PSYC 5130 Causal Modeling in Social Psychology
PSYC 6130 Measurement and Scaling
SOCI 5231 Qualitative Methodology
STAT 5515 Design of Experiments
Directed Research Requirement:
COMM 6800 Seminar and Directed Research in Communication
Required Common Theory Courses:
COMM 5300 Mass Communication Theory
COMM 5100 Persuasion Theory and Research
Required Core Theory Courses:
COMM 5120 Communication Campaigns
COMM 5310 Seminar in Mass Communication Research
COMM 6895 Topics in Applied Communication Research
Emphasis Area Courses (at least 5 courses, with at least 3 from a single group):
Note: Common or Core Theory Courses not used to fulfill requirements above may be used to fulfill this requirement.
Political Communication:
COMM 5200 Interpersonal Communication
POLS 5341 Public Opinion and American Democracy
POLS 5342 American Political Parties
POLS 5386 Public Opinion and Public Policy
POLS 5336 Comparative Political Communication
SOCI 5801 Political Sociology
SOCI 5821 Social Movements
SOCI 5829 Social Change
Health Communication:
ANTH 5352 Medical Anthropology
COMM 5200 Interpersonal Communication
COMM 5230 Organizational Communication: Theory and Research
GPAH 5319 Allied Health Education
PSYC 5120 Health Psychology
PSYC 6733 Social Cognition
PSYC 5616 Human Judgment and Decision Process
PUBH 5400 Intro to Public Health
PUBH 5401 Principles of Epidemiology
PUBH 5404 Environmental Health
PUBH 5405 Social Foundations of Public Health
PUBH 5419 Public Health Agencies
PUBH 5430 Public Health Informatics
PUBH 5451 Maternal and Child Health Services
PUBH 5452 Injury and Violence Prevention
PUBH 5453 Chronic Disease Control
PUBH 5455 Health Education
PUBH 5462 International Health
PUBH 5473 Women, Public Health and Reproduction
PUBH 5474 Minority Health
PUBH 5475 Gerontological Health
SOCI 5453 Medical Sociology
Required Methodology Courses:
COMM 5001 Introduction to Graduate Communication Research
COMM 5002 Communication Research Methods
COMM 5003 Advanced Communication Research Methods
COMM 5010 Theory Construction and Research Design
COMM 6001 Proseminar in Communication Research
Elective Methodology Course (one of the following):
PSYC 5702 Field Research Methods
PSYC 5130 Causal Modeling in Social Psychology
PSYC 6130 Measurement and Scaling
SOCI 5231 Qualitative Methodology
STAT 5515 Design of Experiments
Other courses by committee consent only.
Directed Research Requirement:
COMM 6800 Seminar and Directed Research in Communication
Theory Courses:
Students must take four Communication Theory courses, including both of the New Technology Theory courses.
New Technology Theory Courses:
COMM 5660 Computer-Mediated Communication
COMM 5650 Communication Technology and Society: Theory and Research
Other Communication Theory Courses:
COMM 5300 Mass Communication Theory
COMM 5200 Interpersonal Communication
COMM 5230 Organizational Communication: Theory and Research
COMM 5500 Nonverbal Communication
Emphasis Area Courses:
At least six other courses are required. These courses MUST be approved by your committee. Common or Core Theory Courses not used to fulfill requirements above may be used to fulfill this requirement for some students. Students with no computer or technical background are encouraged to take at least one intro course about technology. Students may also take independent study by arrangement with faculty instructor and with approval from committee.
COMM 5670 Computer Modeling n Communication Research
COMM 5220 Group Communication Research
COMM 5310 Seminar in Mass Communication Research
COMM 5100 Persuasion Theory and Research
COMM 5501 Seminar in Nonverbal Communication and Persuasion
Courses outside of Communication may be used as Emphasis area courses. Some courses that have met this requirement in the past are listed below:
OPIM 5165 Management Information Systems
OPIM 5620 Managing and Controlling Information Systems
OPIM 5270 Systems Development
PSYC 5615 Human Factors
PSYC 5620 Design and Analysis of Human-Machine Systems
PSYC 5703 Advanced Social Psychology
PSYC 5101 Motivation
PSYC 6731 Person Perception
PSYC 6752 Interpersonal Relations
EPSY 5530 Learning Theory
EPSY 5520 Instructional Design
EPSY 5220 Introduction to Educational Technology
MKTG 5640 Integrated Marketing Communication
MGMT5260 Management of Technology and Innovation
MKTG 5665 Digital Marketing
MKTG 5250 Marketing Research & Information System
Required Methodology Courses:
COMM 5001 Introduction to Graduate Communication Research
COMM 5002 Communication Research Methods
COMM 5003 Advanced Communication Research Methods
COMM 5010 Theory Construction and Research Design
COMM 6001 Proseminar in Communication Research
Elective Methodology Course (one of the following):
PSYC 5702 Field Research Methods
PSYC 5130 Causal Modeling in Social Psychology
PSYC 6130 Measurement and Scaling
SOCI 5231 Qualitative Methodology
STAT 5515 Design of Experiments
Directed Research Requirement:
COMM 6800 Seminar and Directed Research in Communication
Required Common Theory Courses (at least 2 of the 3):
COMM 5300 Mass Communication Theory
COMM 5100 Persuasion Theory and Research
COMM 5200 Interpersonal Communication
Required Core Theory Courses (4 courses):
COMM 5500 Nonverbal Communication
COMM 5501 Seminar in Nonverbal Communication and Persuasion
PSYC 5101 Motivation
One of the following:
COMM 5220 Group Communication Research
COMM 5310 Seminar in Mass Communication
Emphasis Area Courses (at least 5 of the following courses from a single group):
Note: Common or Core Theory Courses not used to fulfill requirements above may be used to fulfill this requirement.
Interpersonal Communication Emphasis:
COMM 5230 Organizational Communication: Theory and Research
PSYC 5703 Advanced Social Psychology
PSYC 5770 Current Topics in Social Psychology
PSYC 6752 Interpersonal Relations
PSYC 5701 Experimental Social Psychology
Mass Communication Emphasis:
COMM 6850 Seminar in Marketing Communication Research
MKTG 410 Seminar in Theory and Practice in Marketing
MKTG 402 Advanced Seminar in Buyer Behavior
PSYC 5770 Current Topics in Social Psychology
PSYC 6732 Attitude Organization and Change
PSYC 5701 Experimental Social Psychology
Required Methodology Courses:
COMM 5001 Introduction to Graduate Communication Research
COMM 5002 Communication Research Methods
COMM 5003 Advanced Communication Research Methods
COMM 5010 Theory Construction and Research Design
COMM 6001 Proseminar in Communication Research
Elective Methodology Course (0ne of the following):
PSYC 5702 Field Research Methods
PSYC 5130 Causal Modeling in Social Psychology
PSYC 6130 Measurement and Scaling
SOCI 5231 Qualitative Methodology
STAT 5515 Design of Experiments
Directed Research Requirement:
COMM 6800 Seminar and Directed Research in Communication
Required Common Theory Courses (At least 2 of the 3):
COMM 5100 Persuasion Theory and Research
One of the following:
COMM 5200 Interpersonal Communication
COMM 5300 Mass Communication Theory
Required Core Theory Courses (4 courses):
COMM 5120 Communication Campaigns
COMM 5310 Seminar in Mass Communication Research
COMM 5501 Seminar in Nonverbal Communication and Persuasion
Emphasis Area Courses (At least 5 of the following courses):
Note: Common or Core Theory Courses not used to fulfill requirements above may be used to fulfill this requirement.
PHIL 5312 Seminar in the Philosophy of Science
PHIL 5316 Seminar in the Philosophy of Social Science
PHIL 5317 Seminar in the Philosophy of Psychology
COMM 5230 Organizational Communication: Theory and Research
PSYC 5703 Advanced Social Psychology
COMM 5500 Nonverbal Communication
PSYC 5613 Organizational Psychology
PSYC 6732 Attitude Organization and Change
PSYC 5567 Memory and Cognition