Doctoral Degree in Communication Requirements

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.

Core 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. Computer literary sessions for distance learning, library resources for distance learning and graduate-level writing style form are included. Offered on campus only in the summer.

COM 701 Communication Research: Historical and Critical Methodologies
An in-depth survey, analysis and practice of current humanities and arts research approaches and methodologies used in the study of communication and the arts.

COM 702 Communication Research: Quantitative Methodologies
Advanced study of classic and contemporary social science research methodologies and statistics utilized in the study of communication. Students must have previously had a graduate-level social science methods course at another institution, COM 601 or another equivalent experience.

COM 703 Communication Research: Qualitative Methodologies
Advanced study of ethnography, focus group interview techniques, participant observation, in-depth personal interview and other methodologies currently employed in the communication field.

COM 704 Communication Research: Applied Methods
Advanced application of social science research methods and statistics, qualitative research methods, or historical-critical research methods to communication study. Focus on conducting original research using one of these three methodologies in preparation for dissertation work and producing scholarship. Prerequisites: COM 701, COM 702, and COM 703.

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 and arts fields.

COM 708 History of Communication
Interdisciplinary analysis of communication history, with special focus on the emergence and influence of communication systems and technologies on societies and cultures observed through a biblical lens.

COM 709 Theology and Communication
The ontological, epistemological and axiological dimensions of the process of communication are examined and critiqued from a theological perspective.

COM 792 Qualifying Examinations
Required of all doctoral students who are taking doctoral qualifying exams. Doctoral students will register for COM 797 in the semester in which they are actually taking both the written and oral portions of the qualifying examination. This one credit hour does not apply to the coursework (pre-qualifying examination) aspect of the individual degree program. The grading option for the course is pass/no pass. Students who do not initially pass all questions of the qualifying examination will be allowed with the recommendation of the qualifying exam committee and the approval of the chair of the doctoral program to retake those questions the following semester. Only one retake is permitted; an IP will be posted until the examination is completed.

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Recommended Courses

COM 707 Philosophy and Communication
A broad, yet intensive, study of the philosophical underpinnings of the communication and arts fields. The history of ideas, comparative worldviews, ethical issues and other philosophical concerns will be addressed from a biblical perspective.

COM 710 Communication in a Global Media Environment
Theories in international and intercultural communication with a special emphasis on transnational media, multinational organizations, and communication technologies and their influence on information and entertainment flow within and across cultures and worldviews. Prerequisite: COM 705

COM 730 Academic Writing and Publication
Academic writing and presentation of scholarship in the field of communication study, including preparation of conference papers, developing conference program proposals, writing for academic journals, writing book chapters, and writing academic books. Prerequisite: COM 701, COM 702, or COM 703. May be repeated for credit one time.

COM 791 Doctoral Mentoring: Pedagogy
Doctoral students work closely with one or more faculty members as part of a teaching team. Teaching assignments may include assisting faculty members with courses or overseeing undergraduate courses under the mentorship of a faculty member. Mentoring topics include teaching pedagogy, classroom dynamics, and online teaching skills. May be repeated for up to a maximum of 6 credit hours with approval from a doctoral advisor.

COM 792 Doctoral Mentoring: Research and Writing
Doctoral students work closely with one or more faculty members as part of a research and writing team. Course assignments may include conducting original research in collaboration with a faculty member or assisting faculty members with their research and writing projects. Mentoring topics include research planning, design and analysis from the historical-critical, qualitative or quantitative research traditions, and academic writing. May be repeated for up to a maximum of 6 credit hours with approval from a doctoral advisor.

Doctoral Seminars (COM 785)

COM 785
Seminars are special topics courses focusing on specific subdisciplines or involving broad interdisciplinary study. May be taken more than once under varying titles. May be taken by master's students with permission of instructor. Some seminars are taught on campus only.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.

COM 790 Doctoral Independent Study
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.

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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.

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