• Home
  • Academics
  • Degrees
  • Communication Studies Graduate Program
  • PhD
  • Program Requirements

Communication Studies Graduate Program

Ph.D. Program Requirements

  1. 9 hours of core Communication Theory courses: COMS 859, 958 & 959 
  2. A minimum of 15 hours of Research Methodology
    1. Required courses:
      851   Communication Research: Historical and Descriptive (3) - OR- 
    2. 852   Communication Research: Experimentation and Quantitative Analysis (3)
    3. 12 additional hours from the following course appropriate to the student's research/dissertation interest:
      1. Experimental and Quantitative Empirical Methods
        856 Quantitative Analysis (3)
        956 Principles of Analysis of Variance (3)
        957 Principles of Correctional& Multivariate Analysis (3)
        Note: Courses similar to 956 and 957 may be offered in other Departments when not offered in COMS. Check with adviser or Director of Graduate Study for appropriate equivalents.
      2. Historical/Critical
        HIST 805   Nature of History (3)
        ENGL 908   Seminar in Literary Criticism (3)
        COMS 951   Seminar in Movement Theory & Genre Criticism (3)
        COMS 952   Seminar in Mythic and Narrative Approaches to Rhetorical Criticism (3)
        COMS 955   Seminar in Rhetorical Criticism (3)
        THDR 920   Practicum in Criticism (3)
      3. Qualitative-Empirical
        COMS 855   Qualitative Research Methods in Communication (3)
        ANTH 730   Linguistics in Anthropology (3)
        LING 728   Discourse Analysis (3)
        SOC 714   Field Methods & Participant Observation (3)
        COMS 848   Communication Audits in Organizations (3)
      4. Acceptable Research Methodology Substitutions
        1. In lieu of 3 hours of methodological course work, a student may elect to enroll in 3 hours of applied research in which the student produces original research using one of the above methods. The final paper must meet the approval of the student's advisor and must be submitted to a professional society for presentation on a convention program or to a professional journal for possible publication.
        2. In lieu of 3 hours of methodological course work, a student may elect to demonstrate a high level of writing competence in one foreign language if they can show that knowledge of this language directly relates to their research and academic interests. Competence levels will be determined through consultation with the appropriate language department or program.
  3. 18 hours of graduate electives, which may be chosen from COMS or other departments. Electives may be used to broaden or intensify the program as long as they constitute a meaningful course of study. Only 6 of these 18 hours may be in independent study. Students holding Master's degrees from other universities can satisfy this elective requirement with 18 hours from their Master's program.
  4.  A minimum of  27 hours of additional subject matter courses
    1. These courses must represent 2 areas of emphases, to be developed by the student in consultation with an advisor and the Director of Graduate Study.
    2. If a student holds a Master's degree in Communication Studies (or equivalent), up to 24 hours of appropriate coursework from this degree may be used as part of the 27 hours of subject matter course requirements. 
  5. Satisfactory completion of the written and oral comprehensive examination
  6. Doctoral dissertation
  7. Final oral examination (defense) of the dissertation

KU Today
Departmental Awards

Communication Studies Department Awarded Inaugural Chancellor's Doctoral Fellowship!
More Info

Scenes from the MLK Day March Across Campus and Musical Celebration that took place today. @KUprovost @KUCollegehttps://t.co/BjnVFgjqcs

Home to 50+ departments, centers, and programs, the School of the Arts, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration
KU offers courses in 40 languages
No. 1 ranking in city management and urban policy —U.S. News and World Report
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times