Ph.D. in Mass Communication

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Program Information

Number of credit hours required for graduation: 90

The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism offers a doctoral degree in cooperation with the School of Media Arts & Studies (formerly Telecommunications). The application process begins with your completing and submitting an application form. You must submit, directly to the Graduate College, your GRE scores and official transcripts from all colleges attended. International students* from non-English speaking countries also must submit a TOEFL score directly to the Graduate College.

To assist the E.W. Scripps School in evaluating your qualifications, you must submit a resume, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of 500 words or less about why you want to attend graduate school, all of which you may send to Dr. Aimee Edmondson at the address below. Letters of recommendation should be printed on letterhead, signed in ink, and mailed with the recommender's signature across the sealed flap. If you have completed the online version of the application, you may choose to have recommendation letters sent electronically through the online portal (see link above). You also are welcome to submit samples of your professional work to Dr. Sweeney, but they are not required. You need not have an undergraduate major or master's degree in journalism to apply for a Ph.D. in mass communication.

A Ph.D. requires a minimum of 90 semester hours. A minimum of 37 must be in Journalism and Media Arts and Studies, with a minimum of two courses at the 7000 or 8000 level in the School of Media Arts and Studies. Students may transfer in up to 33 semester credit hours from a master's degree, not including thesis or internship hours.

Ph.D. students who have successfully completed a graduate-level law or ethics class in the five years prior to starting the Ph.D. program may waive the class. All others must take 5110 and 5120, with those credits counting toward the degree.

Ph.D. students typically come from professional backgrounds and MS programs, meaning they are likely to have the required background in graphics, newswriting, and news editing. If not, they must take 6010 A and B, with those classes not counting toward the degree.

Remaining hours are distributed among courses selected with the approval of a program committee that advises the doctoral candidate on the program of study that will best serve the student’s personal and career goals. Students must take four of the school’s tool skills courses that do not count for graduation. In this case a minimum of 12-15 credit hours of research tools courses are required. These hours also do not count toward the total hours needed for the degree.

Journalism doctoral students admitted for fall may start in summer.

Deadline for application:

The application deadline is February 1. International students are strongly encouraged to submit applications by Dec. 31 for fall admission. This earlier deadline for international applicants is to allow time for international transcripts to be received and evaluated. Even earlier submission of materials is strongly encouraged.

For more information contact:

Aimee Edmondson
Director of Graduate Studies
E.W. Scripps School of Journalism
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701-2979

Voice: 740/597-3336
Fax: 740/593-2592

*Read additional information for international applicants.

Typical PhD program

Philosophy and Foundations Core (14)

5110 (3)
5120 (3)
8030 (4)
Topics Seminar 7XXX or 8XXX (3 or 4)

Methodology (19)

8060 (4)
8160 (4)
6940 (3)
Advanced Research Techniques (8 of 8XXX)

Others (2 or 3)

5010 (1)
7950 (1 hour; 2 for Scripps Howard Teaching Fellows)

Dissertation (10)

Tool skills

Three classes that do not count toward the 90 total credits. They are intended to support the method of the dissertation. These may be three classes in one area, or two in one area and the third in another.

MDIA (6-8)

Two classes at the 7XXX or 8XXX level.

Outside area (12)

Twelve credits, outside Scripps College, all in one department or one subject approved by the Program Committee

Concentration areas

Two areas, four courses each.
Some or all of these may be from journalism.