Required Hours of Study
The doctoral degree program requires a minimum of 44 semester credit hours of coursework. This total is considered a minimum, not a norm. Additional hours are required during the qualifying examination and dissertation phase of the program. Applicants found deficient in preparatory background courses in their discipline or requisite breadth of knowledge in the area of study may be required to take prerequisite coursework such as COM 601 Evaluation Methods.
Full time is defined as 6 semester credit hours or two courses. The required maximum length of the program is seven full years from the summer semester of admission. Within that time period, students should carefully calculate their coursework per semester in order to successfully complete the program within the required timeframe, taking into consideration qualifying exams and dissertation work. Any leaves of absence (any semester in which the doctoral student does not register for coursework) are counted within the seven year limit for completion of the degree requirements.
The doctoral program requires all doctoral students in the program to complete eight core classes. Three research methods courses must be taken.
COM 700 Introduction to Doctoral Studies in Communication
Provides an overview of the historical roots, methodological grounding and present state of and trends in the communication field with particular attention to its specialized vocabulary, important writers and works, and significant scholarly journals.
COM 701 Communication Research: Historical and Critical Methodologies
The study and practical application of historical-critical research methodologies in the field of Communication. Topics include: research and writing in communication history, rhetorical history and rhetorical criticism. Consideration of the field of Communication from the perspective of humanities research.
COM 702 Communication Research: Quantitative Methodologies
Advanced studies of ethnography, focus group interview techniques, in-depth personal interview methods, participant observation and other qualitative research methodologies.
COM 703 Communication Research: Qualitative Methodologies
Advanced study of classic and contemporary social science research methodologies and techniques utilized in human communication fields. Students are required to have had a graduate level social science research methods research course at another institution, COM 601 (Evaluation Methods), or an equivalent experience.
COM 705 Advanced Communication Theory
An interdisciplinary examination of the most current theories, scholarship, published research, and trends and issues in all areas within the communication fields.
COM 707 Philosophy and Communication
Broad, yet intensive study of the philosophical underpinnings of the communication fields. The history of ideas, comparative worldviews, ethical issues, and other philosophical concerns will be addressed from a Judeo-Christian perspective.
COM 708 History of Communication
Historical and interdisciplinary analysis of the development of communication theories, concepts, and practices from the classical rhetorical tradition to the present.
COM 709 Theology and Communication
Biblical analysis and evaluation of the purposes and practices of human communication.
Doctoral Seminars (COM 785)
Doctoral students have the opportunity to take special topics courses either broad in nature and of interest to all students, or reflecting subject matter in a particular academic discipline within the School. Topics of doctoral seminars vary considerably depending on the interests and needs of students who enroll in the program and the special interests and expertise of the current faculty. Doctoral seminars have variable credit attached to them (1 – 3 credit hours each). At least two doctoral seminars are required toward a student’s program of study.
Doctoral Independent Study (COM 790)
Doctoral students have the opportunity for specialized research or project in an area of interest and to be advised by faculty on a one-to-one basis. The content of an independent study depends on the academic strengths of the faculty and the academic needs of the students. An independent study requires clearly defined interactions between the student and the faculty member. Doctoral independent studies have variable credit hours attached to them (1-3 credit hours each). A maximum of 6 hours of independent study may be applied to a student’s degree program.
Master’s Degree Program Courses
Doctoral students may choose from a select list of regularly offered master’s degree program courses. Normally, they must be in the student’s expressed major field of interest. Doctoral students must insure that the particular course relates to their individual academic programs and that specific additional course assignments and requirements beyond those required of master’s degree students in the course are clearly understood by both the doctoral student and the course faculty.
Dissertation Research Credit (COM 795)
The dissertation research credit is doctoral level credit assigned to independent academic work which the doctoral student undertakes directly related to his/her dissertation. Dissertation research credits is available for two purposes: to be used toward the candidate’s program of student for independent work on the dissertation, and to remain registered prior to ABD (All But Dissertation) status. Up to 4 semester dissertation research credit hours may be applied toward a student’s individual degree program. After successfully completing qualifying exams and being advanced to candidacy, doctoral students must register for 3 continuing dissertation credits (COM 799) per academic term until the dissertation is successfully defended and one continuing dissertation credit thereafter for every whole or partial semester (excluding summer sessions) until the final manuscript is approved by the dissertation committee and all University degree clearance procedures are successfully completed.