The PhD with a major in communication and information is intended to prepare scholars for teaching, research, administration, and service in the fields of communication and information. The goal of the PhD program is to prepare graduates for positions in research-intensive institutions. This preparation will also enable them to work at other types of educational institutions and industry positions. Doctoral students develop publishable research in their course work 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 good teachers and to participate in service and outreach activities.
The program is interdisciplinary, consisting of a required core curriculum and primary and cognate areas of study. Core courses begin in the fall semester. 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.
The master’s degree is required for entry into the doctoral program. Students lacking academic or professional experience in communication and information may be required to take prerequisite courses.
The following are normally minimal requirements for admission to full potential candidate status.
- A 3.0 (4.0 system) grade point average in undergraduate studies, and 3.5 for graduate work.
- At or above the fiftieth percentile in verbal, quantitative, and analytical aptitude on the Graduate Record Examination.
- Recommendation letters from at least three former teachers or professional colleagues.
- A statement of the applicant’s goals and reasons for pursuing the doctorate. Personal interviews with members of the PhD Admissions Committee are recommended and may be required. Professional experience in some field of communication and/or information is a highly desirable criterion for admission.
- For students whose native language is not English and who have not earned an earlier degree at an American college or university in the past two years, the Test of English as a Foreign Language is required. The test must have been taken within the past two years. Students should show mastery of the English language.
A minimum of 61 hours of approved graduate work is required for the PhD.
Core courses (16-18 hours)
CCI 610 and CCI 615 ; 3 hours of statistics; and 1 to 4 hours of CCI 620 .
Twelve hours in a primary concentration as defined by the student and his/her program committee.
Nine hours in a cognate area as defined by the student and his/her program committee.
Twenty-four hours of dissertation.
Students must successfully complete a statistics class before the beginning of the second year of study.
Within the primary concentration and cognate areas, a total of 6 credit hours must be from theory-intensive courses and 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 will be provided for students. Students may also submit courses to their program committee for consideration as theory- and/or method-intensive.
All courses require the approval of the student’s program committee. The program committee is assembled in the first semester of the student’s studies. A program plan must be submitted no later than the end of the second semester of study. The program plan may be subsequently revised as needed.
Admission to candidacy must be attained at least two semesters prior to graduation and requires successful completion of a written comprehensive examination.
Each doctoral student’s progress will be reviewed annually by the Graduate Committee of the College of Communication and Information in conjunction with the program committee chair. Results will be reported to the student by the Associate Dean for Academic Programs, who will convey the graduate committee’s recommendation concerning the student’s status in the program and suggestions for improvement in performance.
Planned course offerings in the College of Communication and Information for a full calendar year are available the preceding November. This information is available from the college’s Graduate Studies Office, 302 Communications Building, 865-974-6651. Also see courses listed under the following academic disciplines – advertising, communication studies, information sciences, journalism and electronic media, and public relations.