May 28, 2024  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2019-20 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2019-20 [Archived Catalog]

Mass Communication - PHD (Journalism)

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Degree Title and Name:  Doctor of Philosophy in Mass Communication

Program Name and Number:  Mass Communication – Journalism – PH5308

Department/Unit:  E.W. Scripps School of Journalism

Delivery Mode:  Athens Campus. Some elective classes may be offered online.

Term(s) of Entry:  Fall, Summer

Program Overview:  The PhD program in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism is designed to create successful academics in journalism/mass communication programs at colleges and universities.

We offer a doctoral degree in cooperation with the School of Media Arts & Studies. Students admitted to the program typically receive tuition waivers and funding for three years. Students take a core of classes in theory, research, law, and ethics, as well as a program of electives which they tailor toward their own research and teaching interests.

This is a full-time program. Students taking the normal load of 12 hours per semester are on schedule to complete the program in three years.

Program Learning Outcomes:  Ph.D. graduates must understand and apply theory, research methods and critical evaluation related to area/s of study and/or research. They must contribute to knowledge appropriate to the communications professions in which they work. All graduates should be able to comprehend and discuss appropriate areas below connected to their teaching, research and general fields of study:

  • understand and apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press for the country in which the institution that invites ACEJMC is located, as well as receive instruction in and understand the range of systems of freedom of expression around the world, including the right to dissent, to monitor and criticize power, and to assemble and petition for redress of grievances;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications;
  • demonstrate an understanding of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as appropriate, other forms of diversity in domestic society in relation to mass communications; 
  • demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and of the significance and impact of mass communications in a global society;
  • understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information;
  • demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity;
  • think critically, creatively and independently;
  • conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work;
  • write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve;
  • critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness;
  • apply basic numerical and statistical concepts;
  • apply current tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work, and to understand the digital world.

Link to Program:

Graduate Requirements:

  • Dissertation: Required
  • Comprehensive exams: Required
  • Expected time to completion of degree if studying full time: Three years.
  • Minimum number of semester credit hours: 90, including 10 dissertation hours.
    • Up to 33 credits may be transferred to the Ph.D. program from a master’s degree program, not counting thesis or internship hours.
    • A minimum of 37 credits must be earned in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and School of Media Arts and Studies.
    • Students must take a minimum of two courses at the 7000 or 8000 level in the School of Media Arts and Studies.
  • 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 JOUR 5100, and 7200 or 8130, 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 JOUR 6010.

For an example of a typical Ph.D. program, see the program website at

Culminating Experience:  All PhD students must complete the following to earn the doctoral degree:

  • Preparation and defense of a course of study.
  • Comprehensive written exams with an oral defense.
  • Defense of a dissertation proposal.
  • Research, composition, and defense of a dissertation—an in-depth, original work of scholarship related to the mass media. Approval of coursework, comprehensive exams, and dissertation is by a four-member faculty committee, headed by a faculty member in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism who holds the doctoral degree.

Admission Requirements:

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) - Official scores must be sent by the testing agency to the Graduate College for any required test. This is not waivable. International students must also provide TOEFL or IELTS scores to the Graduate College.
  • Official transcripts from all universities previously attended.
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Writing sample

International Students:  This program permits full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 may be issued based on admission to this program.

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