Requirements for Completing the Doctoral Program
To complete the Doctoral degree, students are required to take 45 hours of course work (courses to fulfill this requirement are determined by the student and the advisor) plus one zero hour course, CMS 081M (in the first semester), comprehensive exam, and at least 6 hours of dissertation.
Within the 45 hours of course work students are required to take 6 hours in CMS, but outside of the major area of study. The topics of all 45 hours of course work is determined by the student and the advisor to allow the student to take courses that help the student write the dissertation s/he aspires to write. After completing these 45 hours of coursework, students progress to their comprehensive exams. Upon successful completion and defense of the comprehensive exams and with permission from students' advisors, students may file for candidacy and enroll in the first semester of doctoral dissertation reading hours (_99R). After completing the reading hours, they will enroll in the writing portion of dissertation hours (_99W) until successful defense of their dissertations. A dissertation proposal defense is also conducted usually before data is gathered.
Students must be registered in the final dissertation course (_99W) the semester they intend on graduating.
(the ideal is to finish the work by each of the semesters listed herein)
The student must take CMS 081M.
First Semester Mentor assigned by Graduate Coordinator on the basis of the student's area of study to assist in selecting courses for the first semester.
Conditions of admission, if any, are met.
CMS 398T completed (counts toward 9-hour minimum course load requirement and on work program as 3 hours of course work. Required for employment as a Teaching Assistnat or as an Assistant Instructor.
In February, Permanent Advisor, who will be the Supervisor of the Advisory Committee, is selected by the student. Student must get the consent of the individual prior to submitting name.
Advisory Committee, consisting of at least two members from the CMS department in addition to the Supervisor, are chosen by student. Student must have consent of those individuals whose names are proposed and presented on work program.
Student, with the help of the Advisory Committee, prepares a Work Program for all of her/his doctoral course work. The course work should be planned around the student's stated tentative dissertation topic, and submitted to the Advisory Committee for approval and signatures.
By April 1, student submits signed Work Program to the Graduate Coordinator. A meeting with the Graduate Coordinator will be held in March to discuss the preparation of this document.
Work Program reviewed by the Communication Studies Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) in mid-April.
Semesters Three, Four & Five:
All Ph.D. Communication Studies students are required to take 6 hours (2 classes) of course work in the department outside their primary area of study.
Students must take enough courses in a research methodology to be proficient enough to use that research tool for their dissertations.
Without special permission, a student may not take the Comprehensive Exam until all course work on the Ph.D. work program (including the 081M course) is completed. The Comprehensive Exam is prepared by the student's Permanent Advisor in consultation with members of the student's Advisory Committee. Click here for the Comprehensive Exam procedures. The Comprehensive Exam will have both written and oral components.
The purpose of the Comprehensive Exam is to:
- Determine whether the student has mastered the areas of research expertise (content and methodology) declared prior to exam.
- Ascertain whether or not the student is adequately prepared for, and capable of, completing a dissertation.
- Evaluate student's potential for making a scholarly contribution to her/his area of study.
A formal meeting (defense) of the student's Advisory Committee and the student is held to discuss her/his performance on the Comprehensive Exam. Outcome of the exam will be stated in the following terms: Pass, Fail, Reconsideration. Following the exam, the student's Permanent Advisor will notify the Departmental Graduate Office on a form from the Graduate Coordinator of the outcome of the exam.
The student selects a dissertation topic and the Chair of her/his Dissertation Committee. Student must get the consent of this faculty member to serve as Chair of the Dissertation Committee. The Chair of the Dissertation Committee may be the same faculty member as the student's Permanent Advisor.
In consultation with the Chair of the Dissertation Committee, the student selects four other members of the Committee (three members, including the Chair must be from within the department; one member must be from a supporting area outside the department). The Dissertation Committee consists of 5 to 6 members. The student must consult with these faculty members to ensure they can serve on the committee.
The student files an Application for Candidacy on-line with the Graduate School in time for it to be processed and admission to candidacy completed by the end of the first long semester following the written and oral portions of the exams. The Graduate School does not allow students to register for dissertation hours in subsequent semesters following the exams until they have been admitted to candidacy by the Graduate School.
- The student registers for CMS _99R (Dissertation reading) after being admitted to candidacy by the Dean of Graduate Studies.
- In consultation with the Dissertation Committee, the student prepares a written proposal for a dissertation. The Chair of the Dissertation Committee tentatively approves the proposal.
- The Student distributes copies of the proposal to the Dissertation Committee.
- A formal meeting of the Dissertation Committee is held to act on the proposal. This meeting must be held within one year after admission to candidacy.
- Approval Form for Dissertation Prospectus (departmental form) is completed and signed by the Chair of the Dissertation Committee, all members of the committee attending the meeting, and the Graduate Advisor. Student delivers signed form to the Graduate Coordinator.
WARNING: After taking 99 hours of course work, graduate students will be required to pay out-of-state tuition for all further work. There are no exceptions.
- The student registers for CMS _99W (Dissertation writing) for every long semester until the dissertation is completed, defended, and turned into the Graduate School.
- Student must submit an application for candidacy (apply to graduate). It is the student's responsibility to know the Graduate School's deadlines. Deadlines are listed in the University calendar. All forms and procedures required by the Graduate School to be completed are available on the Graduate School web site.
- Final defense of dissertation is held; CMS _99W is completed. Three years after admission to candidacy, you must have completed the final defense of your dissertation. If you have not completed the dissertation and final defense, you may be required to take a departmental recertification of candidacy exam on the state of the field.
- The Dissertation Committee expects that the final draft of the student's dissertation will be fully edited before being submitted to the Committee. Drafts that are characterized by inaccuracies, spelling, punctuation, grammatical and typographical errors will not be accepted.
- Student must submit the dissertation on-line and appropriate paper work to the Graduate School before the Graduate School deadline.
- Degree granted.