Jul 15, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Communication, Ph.D.

College of Arts and Sciences  
Department: Communication 


Graduate study at the University of South Florida Department of Communication emphasizes critical, qualitative, and quantitative research, a comprehensive focus that is unusual among graduate programs in the field of Communication.  The department embraces innovative humanistic and social scientific approaches to inquiry and engagement in health, media, organizational and relational communication, with emphases on culture, performance, and social justice.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • Three letters of recommendation;
  • Writing sample,
  • Statement of purpose
  • GRE with preferred scores of at least 153V (61st precentile)
  • Transcripts
  • CV or resume

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum hours: 51 credit hours post-masters

  • Core - 6 credit hours
  • Course Requirements - 33 credit hours
  • Research Tool Requirement - 6 credit hours minimum
  • Dissertation - 6 credit hours minimum

Core Requirements (6 Credit Hours)

Course Requirements (33 Credit Hours)

In addition to the six (6) hours of core requirements, students are required to take a minimum of 33 hours of coursework beyond the M.A. degree (not counting credits for dissertation research). Six (6) hours of graduate coursework must be in an area of study outside the Department. 

Research Tool Requirement (6 Credit Hours)

In addition to COM 7325 Seminar in Communication Research Methods  , complete an additional six (6) hours of coursework to fulfill the research tool requirement. If students elect to take both Qualitative and Critical Methods, they must take an additional methods course (3 hours) subject to the approval of their major professor.

Qualifying Exam Requirement

All students must pass a written and oral qualifying examination covering the student’s area of specialization and methodological competence. This examination will be prepared and evaluated by the student’s supervisory committee

Dissertation (6 Credit Hours Minimum)

In consultation with the major professor and supervisory committee, students will select a dissertation topic and write and orally defend a dissertation proposal. Upon completion of the dissertation, the student must pass an oral defense.

Other Requirements

  1. Establish a supervisory faculty committee consisting of a major professor and at least two additional members from the Department of Communication and at least one member outside the Department of Communication. The supervisory committee must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.
  2. Prepare a Plan of Study approved by the student’s supervisory committee. The Plan of Study expresses the ways in which the student will show evidence of the following:
    • expertise in one of the central domains of communication study;
    • expertise in the research methodologies needed to carry out original research in the specialized area of concentration