Communication and Media Studies (PhD)

Julianne Newton
Professor, Director, Communication and Media Studies Master's and Ph.D. Program
Phone: 541-346-2167
Office: 206 Allen Hall

The doctoral program in Communication and Media Studies provides a foundation in theory and methods for research in the field of communication and media studies. Students acquire an overview of theoretical and methodological approaches to studying the gathering, expression and dissemination of ideas, images and information in society. Each student also develops both an inside and outside area of specialization. Each student’s program is monitored to facilitate preparation for comprehensive exams and dissertation research, and students work closely with advisors and other faculty in small seminar settings and via independent study.  

Our internationally recognized faculty offer students the opportunity to study with leading experts in a range of overlapping specialties, including: media institutions; science, health, and environmental communication; technology and society; game studies; global media; critical/cultural approaches to communication; persuasion and media psychology; media and public life; media ethics and law; journalism studies; and visual communication. 

Admission Process

Please visit the program's website.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Acquire an understanding of key theories that define the field of media studies.
  • Gain a working understanding of empirical methods.
  • Demonstrate a proficiency in one outside area and one outside.
  • Develop and present an empirical research project.
  • Communicate their findings in the form of a dissertation.

Communication and Media Studies Major Requirements

Candidates for the PhD degree in communication and media studies take a minimum of 81 graduate-level credits of course work beyond the master’s degree. The program concludes with a dissertation. 

Note: Please review the SOJC graduate student handbook for updated program requirements, which do not yet appear in the catalog:

J 612Media Theory I5
J 613Media Theory II5
J 619Teaching and the Professional Life 54
J 641Qualitative Research Methods 14
J 642Quantitative Research Methods 14
J 643Advanced Doctoral Seminar 15
Courses in outside field 218
Two additional methods courses 38
At least three 600-level courses (611 and above) within the School of Journalism and Communication 412
J 603Dissertation 618
Total Credits83

Additional Requirements

  • After coursework is complete, the student, the graduate studies director, and the student’s comprehensive examination committee schedule an examination that requires a synthesis of what the student has learned.
  • After passing the comprehensive examination, the student writes a dissertation proposal. The proposal must be approved in writing at a meeting of the dissertation committee, usually within one term of the comprehensive exam. The committee must approve the proposal before the student may advance to candidacy and enroll in dissertation credits.