The doctoral program is designed to provide students with the requisite foundation in theory as well as research skills for using communication to make positive change at the societal, community, and individual levels. The program allows learning across content and creative areas, methodological orientations, and platforms of expression for engaged scholarship and immersive experience, globally and locally. You will engage with communication theory, research, and practice using advocacy and storytelling, with particular attention to new and social media for social and behavioral change. This will be your niche: conducting research, engaging in immersive experience, and translating these into evaluation-based practice for the well being of community, society and the world.

The program includes field research experience and the teaching, writing, and media skills necessary for a career in higher education, research institutions, non-profits, government organizations, media, business, and industry. You may choose from health, environmental, international, intercultural and organizational communication as well as from journalism studies and media development to create an appropriate combination for your career goals.

Admission to Graduate Studies at the Doctoral Level

The following is a list of the required conditions as well as the required documents/fees for your application for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Communication program:

  • A master’s degree in communication or another appropriate field. The degree must be in addition to a bachelor’s degree. All degrees must be from accredited institutions.
  • The School’s official application
  • An $85.00 non-refundable application fee
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts of all college work, both undergraduate and graduate
    • Note: In addition, international applicants must send an official copy of their diploma for all degrees earned, and all documentation that confers their degree, with English translation for all degrees earned.
    • Note: All transcripts must be the original document, forwarded directly from the university; Xerox copies, true copies, notarized copies and other types of copies are not acceptable.
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores
    • Note: Only for international applicants.
  • Copy of current passport
    • Note: Only for international applicants. The name entered on the graduate application must exactly match your name as it appears on your passport.
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
  • Current Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • 500-word typed statement of your academic and professional goals, research area you want to pursue and why, and how your background has prepared you for this. A copy of the completed master’s thesis if it has been completed. If the master’s thesis is in progress, submit completed chapters. If a thesis is not required by your master’s program, submit comparable scholarly work.

Curriculum Requirements

For the doctoral program, students must complete 57 credit hours of course work beyond the master’s degree; 12 of the 57 credit hours must be dissertation credit hours. Doctoral students cannot take intersession courses. 

Required Core Courses
COM 601Theories of Communication3
COM 602Foundations of Quantitative Communication Research Methods3
COM 603Qualitative Research Methodologies3
COM 604Advanced Quantitative Communication Research Methods3
COM 609Special Topics in Communication 13
COM 695Directed Readings 13
COM 698Independent Research 13
School of Communication Electives9-12
Courses outside the School of Communication12-15
Dissertation 2
COM 830Doctoral Dissertation1-12
Oral Qualifying Examinations 3
Total Credit Hours57
1

Students must take a minimum of 9 credit hours in COM 609 and/or COM 695/COM 698 or any combination of the three. Students are allowed to take up to 6 credit hours of Directed Readings/Independent Research in total.

2

The dissertation committee may be the same as the student’s qualifying exams committee. The guidelines for the composition of the dissertation committee are the same as those for the qualifying exams committee. Students must complete 12 dissertation credit hours. These credit hours begin after students have successfully completed their qualifying exams. Students are required to defend a dissertation proposal to the dissertation committee. Students may proceed with the dissertation once the proposal has been approved by the committee and accepted by the director of graduate studies. The dissertation must be an investigation of a substantial scholarly topic and must be defended orally in the presence of the dissertation committee. Students should note that they cannot conduct human subjects research without approval from the University of Miami’s Institutional Review Board.

3

All School of Communication Ph.D. students will take written and oral qualifying examinations following the conclusion of all course work prior to being admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. A student who fails the exam is given one opportunity to retake it with the permission of the exam committee and must pass it within one calendar year of failing the first exam. Any student who fails to be admitted to candidacy for the degree within this one-year period will be dismissed from the program. To be admitted to candidacy, students must have successfully completed qualifying exams and received approval from the department chair, have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and have submitted all original transcripts and standardized test results. A qualifying exams committee consists of a minimum of four members including the chair. 

Suggested Plan of Study

Year One
Fall
Required Courses:
COM 601Theories of Communication3
COM 602Foundations of Quantitative Communication Research Methods3
Elective
COM 610Doctoral Colloquium3
Spring
Required Courses:
COM 603Qualitative Research Methodologies3
COM 604Advanced Quantitative Communication Research Methods3
COM 609Special Topics in Communication3
Year Two
Fall
SoC Elective3
Outside Elective3
COM 609Special Topics in Communication3
or
Directed Readings
or
Independent Research
Spring
SoC Elective3
Outside Elective3
COM 609Special Topics in Communication3
or
Directed Readings
or
Independent Research
Year Three
Fall
SoC Elective3
Outside Elective3
Outside Elective3
Spring
COM 850Research in Residence ((Qualifying Exams))1
Year Four
Fall
COM 830Doctoral Dissertation6
Spring
COM 830Doctoral Dissertation6
Total Credit Hours58

Mission

The mission of the Doctor of Philosophy program in Communication is to provide students with a rigorous advanced education and field experience in communication theory, concepts and practice as well as in qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Goals

The expected outcome from this education and experience is that students and graduates will be able to conduct original research, translate it into practice, and teach effectively.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of communication theory, research methods, and their areas of specialization.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to propose and implement original research and present and defend the research in academic and professional contexts. They will demonstrate effective written communication, oral communication, and critical thinking skills.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to teach undergraduate communication courses independently.