THE PHD IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES AT UNC
The doctoral program in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a question-driven program. The program at once ensures foundational study in subdisciplines in and interdisciplinary paradigms of Communication Studies and requires students to define a program of study organized by their respective research interests. Based on a primary, evolving research question, each student will define two, subordinate lines of inquiry. Each line of inquiry is the basis for selecting coursework and eventually for developing integrative reading lists for the doctoral qualifying exams. Each student’s program is thus relatively unique. Each builds from the outset towards completion of a major, original research project in the form of a doctoral dissertation.
Doctoral students complete a minimum of 46 hours of coursework subsequent to the M.A.: 4 core courses (12 hours), 6 research courses in the first line of inquiry (18 hours), 4 courses in the second line of inquiry (12 hours), 2 professional development courses (1 at 1 hour, 1 at 3 hours), including a maximum of 9 hours of independent study, excluding dissertation research hours. As the “plan of study” indicates, student may also wish to pursue formal or independent minors or certifications, language competence related to research, and additional courses as needed or desired. All students must demonstrate methodological competence through completion of a course relevant to the dissertation project.
Students may be admitted as M.A./Ph.D. or Ph.D. (with M.A. in hand). Students admitted M.A./Ph.D. must successfully complete a three-part M.A. exam in the third term of enrollment to proceed in doctoral studies.
THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION STUDIES AT UNC
Whether concerned with the everyday world of developing and maintaining interpersonal relationships, operating effectively in various organizations understanding and acting in relation to cultural practices and contexts of power, or fulfilling the responsibilities of public citizenship and service, knowledge of and skill in the practice of human communication is essential to broad-scale social effectiveness. At the same time, greater societal interest in mediated and nonmediated communicative phenomena also means greater need for individuals trained in advanced research skills and perspectives.
As the study of communication has grown in importance, so, too, has its programmatic study at UNC-CH. The study of classical rhetoric was considered a valuable component of the curriculum in 1795, and the appointment of the first Professor of Rhetoric and Logic in 1819 began a period of growth and commitment that has continued to this day. For more than forty years, for instance, graduates from the Department of Radio, Television and Motion Pictures have provided leadership and artistry for the broadcasting, media, and entertainment industries. For nearly fifty years, a Division of Speech in the English Department, and later a Department of Speech Communication, taught students about and conducted research in communication as it occurs in many aspects of our lives. On August 1, 1993, a still stronger commitment was made by the University to focus and expand its study of communication by combining the Department of Radio, Television and Motion Pictures and the Department of Speech Communication into a new Department of Communication Studies. Although the Department of Communication Studies is a new department on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus, its history may be traced to the roots of the University’s inception.
The Department of Communication Studies includes 31 faculty and over 700 undergraduate majors and over 40 graduate students in residence. The Department and personnel are recognized for significant contributions to the profession and to the University, state, and nation.
Through its teaching, research, and service, the Department of Communication Studies: addresses the many ways communication functions to create, sustain, and transform personal life, social relations, political institutions, economic organizations, and cultural and aesthetic conventions in society; promotes competencies required for various modes of mediated and nonmediated communication; and develops skills for analyzing, interpreting, and critiquing communication problems and questions.
The program of study offered by the Department thus provides a firm foundation for enriched personal living, for professional effectiveness regardless of the specific career you may pursue, and for informed participation in the human community.
If you are interested in public relations, advertising, journalism and related mass communication fields, please contact the graduate program in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM