The doctor of philosophy degree program is structured in consultation with each student’s doctoral committee. The program involves study of advanced theory and research in mass communication.
A four-course sequence in research design and methodology is required of all doctoral students. The four courses include: MC 607 - Mass Communication Theory and MC 608 - Critical & Cultural Theory of Mass Communication ; MC 720 - Introduction to Graduate Research in Communication ; MC 722 - Communication Research Methods . Equivalent courses taken at another institution will be accepted, pending approval of the director, the major professor, and the instructor of the course.
Students must select one of the following focus areas and have their plan of study meeting by their second semester. Students are also required to turn in a mini-proposal for dissertation at the time of plan of study meeting.
- Public Relations,
- Mass Communication History and Law,
- Media, Culture and Society, and
- International Communication.
The minimum credit requirement for the doctoral degree is fifty-four (54) hours beyond the master’s degree or eighty-four (84) hours beyond the baccalaureate degree. The student takes rigorous written and oral examinations and submits and defends a scholarly dissertation pertaining to the area he or she elects to emphasize (see section on General Requirements and Regulations). A 3.0 GPA is required for graduation.
Students in the doctor of philosophy degree program must satisfy research tool requirements by completing coursework in statistics and research approved by the student’s advisory committee.
Responsible Conduct of Research Training
All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status, must complete RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester there are enrolled in graduate school. The RCR policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page – www.usm.edu/graduateschool. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.
Students must meet the residency requirements specified in this Bulletin.
Doctoral students may elect an outside minor consisting of twelve (12) hours approved by the major professor and academic committee members. Doctoral students must demonstrate proficiency in basic communication research design and methodology, as well as competency in basic statistics.
Plan of Study. Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study Form to the Graduate School by the end of the second semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study Forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php - click on the "Plans of Study" link.
Continuous Enrollment Requirement. Students are expected to enroll continuously after they have taken required coursework until they complete their degree following guidelines published under the General Degree Requirements section of this Graduate Bulletin.