Skip Navigation
*To search for student contact information, login to FlashLine and choose the "Directory" icon in the FlashLine masthead (blue bar).

Communication and Information - Ph.D. PDFDownload to print

College of Communication and Information

College of Communication and Information

Tel: 330-672-2950 | Fax: 330-672-2952


This degree program is designed to prepare individuals for traditional and emerging careers in teaching, research, and administration in the converging fields of communication and information. The program consists of a prescribed core of interdisciplinary courses and varied selection of elective coursework within and across disciplines.

The doctoral program of study is flexibly structured. It is designed to provide both an integrative, meta-theoretical and historical overview and individually tailored and program-supported specialization. Students should begin developing their programs of study during their first semester and have them approved by the time they have completed 15 semester hours. Those students seeking a more traditional doctoral preparation may wish to adopt suggested templates for study in such areas as interpersonal communication, health communication, mass communication, media studies, library and information science, information architecture and knowledge management. Students also are given freedom to create unique programs of study combining various facets of the disciplines within the college. All proposed programs of study are subject to review by the Doctoral Studies Committee as well as by students' committees. Students are expected to become engaged in a variety of research projects before they begin dissertation work.

Admission Requirements

The doctoral program in communication and information is strongly research oriented. Applicants for the Ph.D. program normally are expected to have completed a thesis in their master's program. Admission will be restricted to the most promising applicants. Applications are viewed holistically to evaluate the student's likelihood of success in the CCI Ph.D. program. Applicants normally are accepted for admission only for the fall semester, and the deadline for all application materials is February 1.

In addition to regular application requirements of the university, admission to the CCI Doctor of Philosophy program normally requires the following:

  • Completion of the academic requirements of a master's degree in one of the disciplines represented in the College of Communication and Information or a discipline closely related to the applicant's proposed course of study. Applicants with academic preparation in other fields may be required to enroll in preparatory coursework at the master's level that will not count toward the Ph.D. degree.
  • A minimum 3.3 (where A=4.0) graduate GPA (GPA above 3.5 recommended).
  • A verbal score of 600 and quantitative score of 600 (or the equivalent in the new testing format) on the Graduate Record Examination.
  • Superior letters of recommendation from those in a position to evaluate graduate academic performance and potential.
  • A statement of purpose describing the applicant's academic goals and intended topics of study that are compatible with the focus of the college's doctoral program. It is expected that this statement will clearly indicate why the applicant wishes to pursue doctoral education. Included in the statement of purpose should be an indication of the theoretical area or areas the applicant wishes to study and the line of research the applicant wishes to pursue. Statements that make reference only to the applicant's teaching or administrative goals are strongly discouraged.
  • A sample of superior scholarly writing (published paper, major term paper, thesis chapter, etc.).

International applicants normally are expected to achieve a minimum score of 600 on the paper-based TOEFL examination or the equivalent in another testing format.

Applicants who do not meet all of the requirements listed above but who have otherwise exceptional credentials may apply and may be admitted conditionally. Please refer to the University policy for graduate admissions.


Graduation Requirements

The Ph.D. program in Communication and Information requires a minimum of  45 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the Master's degree and 30 semester hours of dissertation work for a total of 75 semester hours.


To achieve candidacy, doctoral students must pass the doctoral comprehensive examination.