Ph.D. in Communication

Application Deadline

January 15


The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in communication is designed to establish and maintain high standards of scholarly activity while providing excellence in academic instruction at both the theoretical and applied levels. The doctoral program encompasses the full range of quantitative, qualitative, rhetorical and critical approaches to the study of communication in which each student is focused through a Plan of Work that fits the student's interests.

Alumni of the program are skilled researchers, practitioners, creative artists, critical consumers and thoughtful observers of communication processes. While many serve as recognized scholars and educators throughout the country and world, others occupy responsible positions as communication and creative professionals in business and industry, government and academia.

We also offer a dual-title Ph.D. in Communication and Urban Sustainability. Students admitted to the Ph.D. program in Communication can apply to earn a Ph.D. in Communication with a dual-title in Urban Sustainability. This dual-title degree is designed to prepare researchers and professionals to solve challenging urban problems that require working across disciplines. Students enrolled in this dual title program will take courses in topics and develop specific skills relating to urban sustainability across several departments. Students in the program will also undertake activities such as community service, participate in colloquiums, and prepare a funding proposal related to urban sustainability.

For more information about the program, please refer to the navigation above, see the information for admissions, read the Ph.D. Handbook, and go over the research areas of our doctoral advisors. The projected rotation of graduate courses is available here and on the Forms and Resources page.

Mission Statement & Learning Outcomes

The mission of the Ph.D. in Communication is to produce researchers in communication fields, which can be applied to academic or professional careers. The doctoral program provides study in qualitative, quantitative, and critical approaches through course work, review and analysis of primary literature, and creation and execution of studies using appropriate methodology to better understand human communication. Students will be able to communicate their scholarship in appropriate public and scholarly venues.

LO 1: Critically evaluate literature and theory in the communication field and related fields.

LO2: Identify new research questions about human communication.

LO3: Select and use appropriate methods to analysis and evaluate human communication.

LO4: Support a coherent argument with interpretative analysis of communication.

LO 5: Students will produce high quality writing able to meet the standards of writing appropriate in communication disciplines.

LO 6: Present high quality original research at international, national, regional, specialized scholarly conferences and research journals.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete 30 credits of Ph.D. coursework at Wayne State with at least 20 credits within the Department of Communication. In addition, the university requires graduate students to maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA in order to graduate.

All students are required to file a plan of work that includes the department Ph.D. Coursework Worksheet, the Graduate School plan of work form and if necessary, the Graduate School transfer of credit form, within the first 18 hours of coursework.