Dec 09, 2019  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog

Communication, Ph.D


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Doctor of Philosophy in Communication

The program is designed as a traditional academically focused Ph.D. in Communication. As such, the program will educate students using a course-based approach while training them to apply their research training in completing a unique Dissertation project. The program is designed to be completed by students in three academic years. Completing the program on the three-year timeline assumes the following:

A) students entering the program will already have completed a related M.S. or M.A. degree

B) students will enroll in classes on a full-time basis;

C) students will complete their coursework and requirements in the time allotted; and

D) students will continue in the program uninterrupted throughout the program.

If a student enters without an approved M.A./M.S. degree in Communication or related field, the expectation will be that it will add up to two years of coursework to the student's timeline to graduation as they will have to fulfill the requirements of the M.S. degree program. Each student will consult with the Director of Graduate Studies, who will determine the coursework needed for approval.

Admission Deadlines

Early decision application reviews will begin January 15 with a final application deadline of April 15. Applications will be reviewed until seats are filled. Late applications will be considered on a space available basis. Because the number of students admitted is limited, meeting the following minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

Program Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree and/or master's degree from accredited institutions. Official transcripts must be submitted from all degree-granting (bachelor's and master's degrees) colleges and universities attended.
  • 3.000 is the minimum recommended undergraduate and graduate cumulative grade point averages.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required, including one from an academic source (i.e., graduate-level professor) who can describe academic and professional abilities.
  • A 500-word personal statement addressing interest in the Ph.D. in Communication at Chapman University, research and career goals.
  • Writing sample generated from previous academic work.
  • Current curriculum vitae showing relevant education, research, publications, grants, coursework, teaching experience, work experience.
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required and must be current. The minimum suggested scores are Verbal: 153; Quantitative: 146; Analytical Writing: 4.0.
  • Interview with Graduate Director or Graduate Coordinator.

Program Information

Students admitted with an approved M.A./M.S. degree will need to complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework. Additionally, students will register for up to 18 hours of Research during their third year in the program. Thus, students entering with a M.A./M.S., or the equivalent, must complete a minimum of 54 total credit hours.  

Coursework requirements have been organized into five separate areas. The first is the Core Theory Courses, followed by Core Methods/Stats classes, Electives in Primary Area, Electives in Secondary Area, as well as Dissertation and Research. The core areas in the curriculum will provide students with solid grounding in a variety of new and established theoretical traditions, as well as in the major social scientific research methods most commonly employed in the field of communication. Fulfillment of these areas will ensure that students graduating from the Ph.D. program are proficient in both understanding existing empirical research, and in conducting rigorous and relevant research themselves.

With approval of the Ph.D. Director, up to 6 transfer credit hours can be applied toward fulfillment of the Ph.D. in Communication.

Upon discussion with the Director of the Ph.D. program, students will declare a primary area of emphasis no later than the beginning of the second semester of their program. Similarly, students will declare a secondary area of emphasis no later than the beginning of their third full semester in the program (summer and interterm semesters do not count as full semesters). Students may declare primary and secondary areas earlier than stated above and may change areas after discussion with the Ph.D. Director or their current advisor. Areas of emphasis are Health and Strategic Communication, Organizational Communication, and Interpersonal Communication.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy in Communication degree

Students pursing the Doctor of Philosophy in Communication degree are held to the University's Academic Policies and Procedures . In addition, these specific degree standards apply:

  • Completion of at least 54 total credit hours as listed below
  • Minimum grade "C+" or above required in all coursework
  • Maintain a minimum 3.000 GPA in the degree
  • Complete a culminating dissertation based on original research

The following courses make up the Doctor of Philosophy in Communication curriculum:

core theory courses (9 credits)


core theory course (3 credits)


core theory course in the primary area of emphasis (3 credits)


one of the following

core theory course in a secondary area of emphasis (3 credits)


one of the following

research methods and statistics (12 credits)


electives in primary area (12 credits)


Courses listed for core theory requirements can be double counted to fulfill electives in primary area requirements but can only be counted once toward the 54-credit hour requirement.

electives in secondary area (9 credits)


Courses listed for core theory requirements can be double counted to fulfill electives in secondary area requirements but can only be counted once toward the 54-credit requirement.

dissertation proposal and research (18 credits)


total credits 54-60


This total includes the potential to double count 6 credits to fulfill requirements in 2 different areas. If no credits/courses are double counted, the total increases to 60 credit hours.

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