Ph.D. Degree Requirements | College of Communication & Information | Kent State University

The Ph.D. program in Communication and Information requires a minimum of 45 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the Master's degree and 30 semester hours of dissertation work for a total of 75 semester hours.

Potential changes are coming to the program requirements starting in Fall 2018.

The doctoral program has a flexible structure. It is designed to provide both a broad interdisciplinary core of knowledge about communication and information theory and research, and individualized programs of study developed by students in consultation with their Academic Advisors and Program Planning Committees.  Students should begin developing their programs of study during their first semester and have them approved by the time they have completed 15 semester hours. Students are expected to become engaged in a variety of research projects before they begin dissertation work.

Those students seeking a more traditional doctoral preparation may wish to adopt model programs of study in such areas as interpersonal communication, health communication, mass communication, mediated communication, library and information science, information architecture or knowledge management. See the Forms Library for Sample Programs of Study. Students also are given freedom to create unique programs of study combining various facets of the disciplines within the college. All proposed programs of study will be subject to stringent review by the Doctoral Studies Committee (DSC).

Elements of the Program of Study

Core Courses (21 hours):

  • CCI 80000 Foundations of Communication and Information Inquiry (3)
  • CCI 80001 Introduction to Research in Communication and Information (3)

Theory courses:

One communication theory course from COMM, JMC or VCD (3)
  • COMM 75652 Theories of Communication
  • JMC 80001 Theory of Mass Communication
  • Other as approved by committee
One information theory course from LIS or IAKM (3)
  • IAKM 80002 Knowledge Organization Structures, Systems and Services
  • IAKM 81095 Special Topics: Human Information Interaction
  • LIS 80613 Information Needs, Seeking and Use
  • LIS 80641 Information Storage and Retrieval Systems
  • LIS 80644 Information Science
  • Other as approved by committee

Methods courses:

(May be selected from the courses in the College of Communication and Information listed below or, with approval of the student's academic advisor, may be chosen from any appropriate Kent State University graduate offerings):

One quantitative research methods course (3)
  • COMM 75020 Quantitative Research Methods in Communication
One qualitative research methods course (3)
  • COMM 75040 Qualitative Research Methods in Communication
  • JMC 80010 Qualitative Research in JMC: Data Collection
One statistics course (3)

Electives (24 hours):

Electives are selected with the approval of the student's Academic Advisor and Program Planning Committee to support the student's research interests.

Students planning to enter the professoriate should include CCI 80094 College Teaching in Communication and Information (3) in their electives.

In special cases, and with the approval of the DSC, up to 12 credit hours of coursework taken at the 50000 or 60000 level (excluding workshops) may be counted toward completion of the Ph.D. degree. All coursework applied to Ph.D. degree requirements must be taken within the university's time limits for the completion of a degree.


  • CCI 80199 Dissertation I (30)