The Doctor of Philosophy program in mass communications requires 72 s.h. of graduate credit. The program provides training in research methods, communication theory, and teaching skills.

The program emphasizes interdisciplinary studies, with course work and research tailored to each student’s interests under the guidance of faculty members. The school offers several areas of strength to support graduate student research in both traditional and digital media:

  • critical and cultural studies,
  • sports and media,
  • international/development studies,
  • health and science communication,
  • journalism studies, and
  • history of media and media institutions.

Students in the Ph.D. program in mass communications must complete the following curriculum and are required to take at least two courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in addition to JMC:6700 Approaches to Media Communication. These courses can be from the methods, theory, or electives areas.

JMC:6700Approaches to Media Communication3
Methods Area Courses6
Theory Area Courses6
Outside Concentration Courses9
Relevant Electives 6
Ph.D. Seminar 8
Credit from master's degree and/or additional Ph.D. courses30
Total Hours72

For a more detailed description of the Ph.D. program, contact the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.


The School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the College of Law offer a combined Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy in mass communications. The combined degree program allows students to count a limited amount of credit toward both degrees. Separate application to each degree program is required. Applicants must be admitted to both programs before they may be admitted to the combined degree program. Admission for the Ph.D. program in mass communications is for fall entry.

For information about the J.D., see Juris Doctor (College of Law) in the Catalog.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College.

Admission to the program is for fall entry.

The school offers research and teaching assistantships for graduate students; preference is given to Ph.D. students. Journalism and mass communication students have been successful in winning competitive fellowships open to all graduate students; applicants must be nominated by the graduate committee.

Students in this program prepare for careers as teachers and industry researchers.