2024-25 Catalogs

125 Jesse Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
Map and directions »
Phone numbers and e-mail »

PhD in Communication

Degree Requirements

Before registering for courses, the student must confer with their temporary advisor until a permanent advisor is assigned.

The PhD candidate must take at least 48 hours of course work beyond the MA. Students with an MA degree in another discipline may be required by their doctoral program committee to complete additional course work. Course work will include 36 hours within the department. The following courses are required:

COMMUN 8110Introduction to Graduate Study in Communication3
COMMUN 8120Introduction to Communication Research Methods3
COMMUN 9170Research Practicum3
COMMUN 9050Comprehensive Examination in Communication3
One of the following:3
Topics in Qualitative Research Methods
Rhetorical Criticism
Content Analysis
Including the courses listed above, students must complete a total of 15 hours of research methods classes. Nine of these hours may be taken outside the department.15
Students must also complete a 6-hour collateral field block outside the department representing a coherent unit of study and relates to an area of major research interest.6
Total Credits36

Back to Top

Committee and Qualifying Requirements

A doctoral program committee approves the student’s course of study and determines if the student has passed the qualifying requirements during the spring semester of the first year. Only after passing the qualifying requirements will the student be admitted to candidacy for the PhD degree in communication.

For a student whose MA program was done at MU, the six-hour comprehensive examination or the MA thesis defense constitutes the qualifying process. The student may proceed beyond the MA degree only upon the recommendation of the MA examining committee.

Comprehensive Examination and Dissertation

Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination, including a 30-page literature review, a 15-hour written exam and an oral defense, will cover all areas of studies in the field. During the semester students take comprehensive exams they enroll in.


The doctoral dissertation is written under the direction of the candidate’s advisor. The dissertation and the final oral examination on the dissertation complete the requirements for the PhD in communication. Students take a minimum of six hours of.

Length of Study

Course work and comprehensive exams for the PhD must be completed in five years. The dissertation must be completed within five years of completing comprehensive examinations. Satisfactory rate of progress means making adequate progress to meet these time requirements. Students working at a typical pace should be able to complete the doctorate in 4 years beyond their master’s.

Back to Top

Admission Criteria

Fall deadline: January 15
Minimum GPA: 3.0 preferred

International applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements set by the University of Missouri Graduate School. 

Admission procedures for students who have completed the MA degree elsewhere and wish to become PhD candidates are identical to the departmental requirements outlined for MA candidates. Only those applicants who show evidence of a clear likelihood of successful doctoral work are admitted.

Required Application Materials

To the Graduate School
All required Graduate School documents

To the Communication Program

  • Departmental Application
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Example of scholarly writing (no more than 25 pages)
  • Transcripts
  • Statement of Interest
  • Résumé

Financial Aid from the Program

Some programs require an extra form or statement from those who wish to be considered for internal assistantships, fellowships or other funding packages. Check the program website or ask the program contact for details.

Admission Contact Information

Martha Crump (crumpm@missouri.edu)
108 Switzler Hall; Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-4432

Back to Top