Communication, PhD


You could be conducting innovative and socially embedded research on local, national and global issues that contributes to a more peaceful, prosperous and equitable future. Enjoy the supportive and dynamic environment of interdisciplinary training, research and teaching opportunities available to you in this program, all guided by award-winning faculty.


Program Description

Degree Awarded: PHD Communication

The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication offers a transdisciplinary graduate program leading to the PhD in communication.

This program provides coursework and resources in interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, organizational communication, health communication, rhetoric and performance studies. Students receive training in communication theory, research methodology and multiple areas of emphasis, and they actively participate in one or more of the School's collaborative research initiatives.

The program is designed to meet the needs of students whose interests transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries and to prepare scholars for research-oriented careers in universities and in the public or private sectors.




At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Additional Program Fee: No
  • Second Language Requirement: No




Degree Requirements

Required Core (9 credit hours)
COM 604 Theory Construction in Communication (3)
Choose two:
COM 607 Contemporary Rhetorical Methods (3)
COM 608 Multivariate Statistical Analysis of Data in Communication (3)
COM 609 Advanced Qualitative Research Methods in Communication (3)

Electives (45 credit hours*)

Other Requirements (24 credit hours)
COM 691 Seminar (24)

Research (6 credit hours)
COM 792 Research (6)

Culminating Experience (12 credit hours)
COM 799 Dissertation (12)

Additional Curriculum Information

At least six elective credit hours must be coursework outside of the communication field.

*When approved by the student's supervisory committee and the Graduate College, this program allows 30 credit hours from a previously awarded master's degree to be used for the electives; 66 credit hours are required beyond an appropriate master's degree.

Doctoral Program Course Descriptions and Sample Syllabi




Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

Applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. resume or curriculum vitae
  4. statement of goals
  5. three letters of recommendation
  6. writing sample
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.



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Program Contact Information

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