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An alumna: Regent University offers a PhD in Communications online.

Ph.D. in Communication

Advance Your Communications Career with a Ph.D.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Communication is offered online with a one-week summer residency in Virginia Beach. You’ll receive broad interdisciplinary training in your teachings, scholarly writing, and research as you explore communication studies through a Christian worldview. You can become a better communicator and scholar while making a lasting impact whether as a writer, teacher, speaker, or thought leader.

Online w/ Residency
January 10, 2022
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Increase Your Earning Potential

Advance in leadership roles with higher salary opportunities.

Strengthen Your Academic Career

Practice academic writing and presentation of scholarship in conference papers, journals, and books.

Enhance Your Skills Through the Ph.D. in Communication

Gain a comprehensive knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Deepen Your Understanding

Study how people process and understand mediated global, interpersonal, and organizational communication.

To learn more about this program, please complete the Request Information form on this page.

On completing the online Ph.D. in Communication degree, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in quantitative and qualitative methods of communication research.
  • Apply your knowledge of the history of communication and various theories.
  • Apply your academic writing skills for publication, including conference papers, academic journals, book chapters, and academic books.

Career Opportunities

  • Professorship
  • Executive leadership
  • Media relations
  • Media/market analysis
  • Research
  • Writing
Estimated mean annual wage for communications teachers, postsecondary U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Directed study, research and discussion in a given area. Topics are offered on demand and/or depending on faculty availability. Available for both master’s and doctoral students. All seminars have the 85 designation.

Provides 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.

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.

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.

Advanced study of ethnography, focus group interview techniques, participant observation, in-depth personal interview and other methodologies currently employed in the communication field.

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. May be repeated for credit one time. Prerequisites: Two of the following courses: COM 701, COM 702, COM 703.

An interdisciplinary examination of the most current theories, scholarship, published research and trends and issues in all areas within the communication and arts fields.

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.

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

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. Prerequisites: COM 701, COM 702, or COM 703. May be repeated for credit one time.

Doctoral students will register for three credit hours in the semester in which they first take both the written and oral portions of the qualifying examination. This course does not apply to the coursework (pre-qualifying examination) aspect of the individual degree program. Pass/No Pass.

Supervised research for the doctoral dissertation. After passing qualifying examination, the doctoral candidate must remain registered with three (3) continuing dissertation credits every academic semester until the dissertation manuscript is successfully defended. All students must complete a minimum of nine credits over three semesters (not including summer terms).

2021-22 Semester Check-In Deadlines

All new students are expected to check-in for the semester two weeks before the session start date. Students should apply, be accepted, enroll in their first courses, and confirm a plan to pay for their courses prior to this date.

SessionSemester Check-InSession Start Date
Session AFriday, August 13Monday, August 23
Session CTuesday, December 21Monday, January 10
Session EFriday, April 29Monday, May 9

Admissions Process:

Step 1: Application

Submit your application using our Regent University Online Application.

Note: If you are unable to complete our application due to a disability, please contact our Admissions Office and an admissions representative will provide reasonable accommodations to assist you in completing the application.

Step 2: Graduate Program Academic Paper

Please submit a five-page minimum scholarly or published writing sample that demonstrates your research, writing, analytical and problem-solving skills. This writing sample may include either a copy of your master’s thesis (or a portion of it, plus bibliography) or a formal paper or report. Research skills mean both the skill to utilize a writing style manual (e.g., APA) and the skill of integrating published research into an academic paper or report. Email to using the subject line: SCA Doctoral Application Pieces or fax to 757.352.4725.

Step 3: Submit your Unofficial College Transcripts

We are able to examine and view your unofficial transcripts from U.S.-based schools, which indicate successful completion of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, in order to review you for an admissions decision. Please submit your unofficial transcript to our Admissions Office by email to using the subject line: SCA Doctoral Application Pieces.

Non-U.S. transcripts must be evaluated by an NACES-approved company. For further details, please review the International Admissions Checklist on the International Students Admissions page.

International Applicants: Please visit the International Students Admissions page for a more detailed explanation of the Regent University application information and to determine whether or not you qualify as an international student.

*Upon conditional acceptance to the program by review of unofficial transcripts, Regent University’s Admissions Office will attempt to obtain your official transcripts from your U.S. degree-granting institutions, which indicate successful completion of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. We will notify you if your previous institutions will not release transcripts directly to us.

Step 4: Complete Your Academic Background Questionnaire

In lieu of the previously required personal goal statement, please complete a brief admissions questionnaire based on your professional goals and interests. This should only take a few minutes to complete but please answer the questions completely and thoughtfully. This gives us a better opportunity to get to know you and align your objective with our programs. The admissions questionnaire can be found here. Once completed, it will be sent directly to an admissions counselor who will be in touch with you right away to help complete the rest of your application.

Step 5: Government-Issued ID

To ensure academic integrity, Regent University requires a copy of a government-issued ID. Please email a scanned copy or photograph of it to with the subject line: Government ID.

Note: All items submitted as part of the application process become the property of Regent University and cannot be returned.


DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts (MA)$6506$3,900
Master of Fine Arts in Film-Television (MFA)$6506$3,900
Master of Fine Arts in Acting (MFA)$8956$5,370
Doctor of Philosophy in Communication (PhD)$9253$2,775
Doctor of Strategic Communication (DSC)$9253$2,775

Full-Time Students

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts (MA)$6509$5,850
Master of Fine Arts in Film-Television (MFA)$6509$5,850
Master of Fine Arts in Acting (MFA)$8959$8,055
Doctor of Philosophy in Communication (PhD)$9256$5,550
Doctor of Strategic Communication (DSC)$9256$5,550

Student Fees Per Semester

University Services Fee (On-Campus Students)$800
University Services Fee (Online Students)$650

Part-Time Students

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts (MA)$6506$3,900
Master of Fine Arts in Film-Television (MFA)$6506$3,900
Master of Fine Arts in Acting (MFA)$8956$5,370
Doctor of Philosophy in Communication (PhD)$9253$2,775
Doctor of Strategic Communication (DSC)$9253$2,775

Full-Time Students

DegreeTuition Cost Per Credit HourAverage Credit Hours Per SemesterAverage Tuition Per Semester
Master of Arts (MA)$6509$5,850
Master of Fine Arts in Film-Television (MFA)$6509$5,850
Master of Fine Arts in Acting (MFA)$8959$8,055
Doctor of Philosophy in Communication (PhD)$9256$5,550
Doctor of Strategic Communication (DSC)$9256$5,550

Student Fees Per Semester

University Services Fee (On-Campus Students)$750
University Services Fee (Online Students)$600

*Rates are subject to change at any time.

Estimated Cost of Attendance: View the estimated cost of attendance to see an example of the total cost of tuition and fees.

Residency is a necessary component to building academic fellowship and camaraderie among a community of scholars. Each academic year prior to admission to candidacy, doctoral students are required to take at least one class that is offered for residency. Residencies are typically offered during fall and/or spring break weeks and in the first two weeks of June on the Virginia Beach campus. All doctoral students must attend a 3-credit hour on-campus course, COM 700 Introduction to Doctoral Studies in Communication, scheduled for one week in the student’s first semester of study. This week is a daily, intensive reading/lecture/writing course in the field of communication studies. The course is also designed to orient students to the doctoral program, the School’s faculty, and doctoral-level study in the communication field.

Doctoral students have a seven-year limit within which they are expected to complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree. Doctoral course offerings are normally on a 12-month rotation so that full-time students can complete their required coursework in a 24 to 36 month time period.

Whether you are a prospective student or a current student, your questions matter. Please take a few moments to skim our Frequently Asked Questions. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please contact us.

“I came to Regent after the Navy to prepare for a role in public service. I had some innovative ideas in me, and Regent helped me tap into them more. I know I want to help and influence others for Christ, perhaps as a diplomat working for the U.S. State Department.”

Chad McQueen, MBA, 2015

“With core classes like American Political Thought in RSG, you realize these issues will come up again in your career. You gain a stance you can defend and confidence that you know what you’re talking about.”

Clarin Gniffke, M.A. Government, 2014 Owner, Alexandra Consulting, LLC

“From the professors to advisors to support staff, my experience at Regent has been extremely satisfying, and I highly recommend the program to others.”

Lorri Wilke, M.Ed., 2012 NILD Educational Therapy

“God is setting up students with an incredible program at Regent, under the guidance of outstanding professors. I was confident that I would be able to do great things with my degree, but now as I begin to read the qualifications of jobs in my field, they match what I’ve learned perfectly. I believe I can do just about anything with my Regent degree.”

Terri Hannibal, DSL '22

“I was incredibly blessed to learn from committed men and women who were so knowledgeable about their field. They were also just as passionate and committed to their faith and investing in their students.”

Rebekah Woods, Doctor of Organizational Leadership, J.D., 2004, 1994