Communication Studies PhD

Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.


Total Units Required: Students entering with a BA typically take 27 courses. Students entering with an MA typically take 18 courses.

  1. Three Required Seminars
    • Proseminar
    • Modes of Cultural Analysis
    • Classical Rhetoric and its Afterlives
  2. Additional courses to comprise the student’s full course of study are selected with the assistance of the temporary advisor and then with the dissertation advisor. It is assumed that many of these courses will be taught by core RPC faculty, but others can be taught by faculty in Communication Studies more generally or by faculty from around the university. Students typically take three courses per quarter for a total of nine per academic year.

    NOTE: Students without an MA or equivalent degree must complete either a master’s thesis, master’s project, or written examination en route to the PhD.

Other PhD Degree Requirements

  • Three qualifying examinations
  • Dissertation prospectus
  • Oral defense of the dissertation prospectus
  • Dissertation
  • Oral defense of the dissertation