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Ph.D. Curriculum

The Cronkite School’s doctoral program is interdisciplinary. One of its hallmarks is the flexibility it gives students in choosing courses. Students entering the Ph.D. program with a master’s degree must complete 60 hours of graduate work. In addition to the required courses taken in the Cronkite School, students must take 18 credits of electives in ASU schools and departments other than journalism and mass communication. At least one of these electives must be a 3-credit hour quantitative or qualitative research methods course. In consultation with his or her faculty mentor and the director of the Ph.D. program and with the approval of the Cronkite School’s doctoral committee, the student will develop a list of appropriate courses that provide the student with the background and training to conduct scholarly research in his or her area of interest.

Required Core Courses: (18 credits)

MCO 710 Research Methodology in Mass Communication (3)
Identifies research problems in mass communication and provides an overview of questionnaire construction as well as attention to survey, historical, content analysis, experimental and legal research methods.

MCO 711 Critical, Historical, Legal Research Methods in Mass Communication (3)
Introduces critical, legal and historical methods necessary to conduct qualitative mass communication research.

MCO 712 Freedom of Expression Theory (3)
Examines philosophical and legal aspects of press freedom; emphasizes First Amendment theory evolution from 1791 to present.

MCO 720 Mass Communication Theory (3)
Analyzes various theoretic models of mass communication with emphasis on the applications of these theories to professional communication.

MCO 722 Philosophy of Mass Communication (3)
Mass media as social institutions, particularly interaction with government and public; emphasizes criticism and normative statements.

MCO 755 Research Apprenticeship (3)
In this course the student and a faculty member will work on a research project. The expected outcome of the course is a scholarly publication.

Elective Courses (18 credits)

At least one 3-credit elective course must be in quantitative or qualitative research methods.

Research (12 credits)

Dissertation (12 credits)

Exam Requirements: After a student has completed his or her coursework and before beginning a dissertation, the student must successfully complete written and oral comprehensive examinations on material drawn from his or her plan of study. An oral defense of the dissertation caps the degree.