Enrollment and Advising

Initial Enrollment

At the time of their first enrollment, most students confer with the Director of Graduate Study. If, however, the student has already established contact with another member of the Graduate Faculty with whom the student would prefer to have as advisor, students are encouraged to seek advice from that person.

Enrollment in Graduate Courses

Graduate work is considerably more demanding and involves much more independent investigation than undergraduate study. The department regards nine credit hours as the normally desirable full-time load in a fall or spring semester; a comparable load in a summer session would be six hours. Graduate Teaching Assistants may reduce their graduate course load according to the amount of time they spend teaching; for half-time Graduate Teaching Assistants for example, nine hours is the expected course load. In order to facilitate satisfactory progress toward a degree, Graduate Teaching Assistants are expected to enroll in a minimum of six hours.

Continuous Enrollment

After passing the Ph.D. comprehensive examination, degree candidates must be continuously enrolled in Doctoral Dissertation hours they receive their Ph.D. See the KU policy on Post-Comprehensive Enrollment for full details. Enrollment in coursework should both move the student towards degree completion and reflects, as accurately as possible, the candidate’s demands on faculty time and university facilities.

During this time, until all requirements for the degree are completed (including the filing of the dissertation) OR until 18 post-comprehensive hours have been completed (whichever comes first), the candidate must enroll for a minimum of 6 hours a semester.

Post-comprehensive enrollment may include enrollment during the semester or summer session in which the comprehensive oral examination has been passed. If after 18 hours of post-comprehensive enrollment the degree is not completed, the candidate must continue to enroll each semester until all degree requirements have been met. The number of hours of each enrollment must be determined by the candidate’s advisor and must reflect as accurately as possible the candidate’s demands on faculty time and university facilities.


Students are encouraged and expected to select a member of the graduate faculty to serve as their academic advisor. Further, they are free to change advisors as their interests develop during the course of their graduate studies. The Director of Graduate Study is also available for academic advising.

Current and prospective graduate students can contact Communication Studies to set up an appointment with the Director of Graduate Studies. For advising questions regarding research progress, course credit towards degree, prospectus meetings, and dissertation progress, please contact: 

Dr. Yan Bing Zhang
Professor, Director of Graduate Studies
Phone: 785-864-9678
Email: ybzhang@ku.edu

For advising questions regarding university requirements, resources, petitions, program milestones, exam scheduling, graduation, and any other questions related to student success, please contact:

Alec Graham
Graduate Program Coordinator
Phone: 785-864-2318
Email: alec.graham@ku.edu
Office: 310 Bailey Hall