Ph.D. Admission | Kent State University

Application materials are due by Feb. 1.

CCI's Ph.D. program has a highly competitive admission process. We are looking for scholars with a desire to drive the development of our fields, whether through transdisciplinary innovation or progressive work within a traditional discipline. The Ph.D. program in CCI aims to place graduates in an array of academic appointments in universities and institutes, with a reasonable number of prestigious institutions being among them. Successful candidates will typically a have a strong background in one of the major areas of study under the umbrella of the college and its four schools: for example, communication theory, mass communication/media theory, information theory, user experience design theory, or other related specialties and combinations of areas. 

The doctoral program in communication and information has a distinct research and theory orientation. Applicants for the Ph.D. program in the College of Communication and Information normally are expected to have completed a thesis in their Master's program. Admissions will be restricted to the most promising applicants. Applications will be viewed holistically to evaluate the student's potential for success in the CCI Ph.D. program. Applicants normally are accepted for admission only for the fall semester, and the deadline for all application materials is Feb. 1. 

In addition to regular application requirements of the university, admission to the CCI Ph.D. program normally requires the following:

  1. Completion of the academic requirements of a master's degree in one of the disciplines represented in the College of Communication and Information or in a discipline related to the applicant's proposed course of study. Applicants with academic preparation in other fields may be required to enroll in preparatory course work at the master's level that will not count toward the Ph.D. degree.
  2. A minimum 3.3 (where A=4.0) graduate GPA (GPA above 3.5 strongly recommended).
  3. A Verbal score of 160 and a Quantitative score of 148 on the Graduate Record Examination.
  4. Superior letters of recommendation from those in a position to evaluate graduate academic performance and potential.
  5. A statement of purpose identifying the applicant’s primary area of specialization, academic goals and intended topics of study that are compatible with the focus of this doctoral program. It is expected that this statement will clearly indicate why the applicant wishes to pursue doctoral education. Included in the statement of purpose should be an indication of the theoretical area(s) the applicant wishes to study and the line of research the applicant wishes to pursue. Statements that make reference only to the applicant’s teaching or administrative goals are strongly discouraged.
  6. A sample of superior scholarly writing (published paper, major term paper, thesis chapter, etc.).

International applicants normally are expected to achieve a minimum score of 590 on the paper-based TOEFL examination or the equivalent in another testing format.

Applicants who do not meet all of the requirements listed above but who have otherwise exceptional credentials may apply and may be admitted conditionally.

Application Checklist

  • Master's degree in CCI discipline (minimum GPA 3.3)
  • GRE (Minimum verbal score of 160 and a quantitative score of 148)
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose (Make sure you clearly identify the specialization you intend to be your primary area.)
  • Scholarly writing sample
  • Complete KSU application (
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • For International Students: TOEFL (Minimum score of 590) or equivalent


You can review the entirety of the admissions process in the CCI Ph.D. Handbook, available here: 
2014-2015 CCI Ph.D. Handbook

For more information, please contact Danielle Sarver Coombs, Ph.D., Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research
Kent State University
314 Library, P.O. Box 5190, Kent, OH 44242-0001
P: 330-672-8876
F: 330-672-2952

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