PhD Coursework

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.

Ph.D. Coursework in Detail and PhD. Hours
Master's Base <=  32
Ph.D. Core: 500, 501, 502 or 503, 504, 508, 580   <=  24
Specialization. Courses in an identified specialty >=  12
Methods. Courses in methods germane to the specialty** >=  8
Dissertation. Minimum, maximum of 24 can 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. 

Interdepartmental Concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in a concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies after consulting with their graduate advisor. See Gender and Women’s Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section for more information.

Interdepartmental Concentration in Latin American and Latino Studies

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in a concentration in Latin American and Latino Studies. See Latin American and Latino Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section for more information.

Interdepartmental Graduate Concentration in Survey Research Methodology

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in a concentration in Survey Research Methodology. See Interdepartmental Graduate Concentration in Survey Research Methodology in the Graduate College section for more information.