Coursework and Credits

The Program of Study encompasses approved master’s courses (32 credit hours), Ph.D. coursework (at least 40 credit hours, 32 at 500 level), and the dissertation (at least 20 but usually more, with up to 24 credit hours applying to the degree), for a total of 96 approved credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree.

PhD Coursework in Detail and PhD Hours

Requirements Hours
Master's Base <= 32
PhD Core: 500, 501, 502, or 503, 504, 508, 580 <= 24
Specialization. Courses in an identified speciality >= 12
Methods. Courses in the methods germane to the specialty** >= 8
Dissertation. Minimum, maximum of 24 apply >= 20
Total. Minimum >= 64
*Completed as part of the master's degree, **An 8-credit norm, but more for some types of research

Because most master’s degree programs in communication have an emphasis either on media studies or on the speech, rhetoric, and culture side of communication, the UIC doctorate incorporates the Comm 502 and Comm 503 seminars into the degree. The expectation is that you will take one with the Master’s base and the other with the Ph.D. core.

During the last year of coursework, students submit a final Program Proposal for approval, incorporating any changes necessary since the approved preliminary submission. The terms of the original (if unchanged) or revised (if changed) program must be complete before a student can take the preliminary examination.