Ph.D. Program Requirements

The Journalism Ph.D. program has three phases: 

  • Coursework
  • Comprehensive Examinations
  • Dissertation

Requirements for these phases are summarized below:

Coursework Phase 

At a minimum, you must successfully complete the following 40 credits known as your “Course of Study”: (An outline of course requirements is available in Appendix D.)

  • A minimum of nine hours of research design and methods courses, including the following: JOUR 775--Quantitative Methods and JOUR 776--Qualitative Methods. [Equivalents to these courses taken through other departments are also acceptable. Check first with the Ph.D. program director. You can take the third course, and additional courses if you wish, in various methodologies, in or outside the College. 
  • A minimum of 18 course hours in journalism including: JOUR 601--Theories of Journalism (or elective, if equivalent taken for master’s or other program), JOUR 610--Seminar in Mass Media History, JOUR 800--Introduction to Doctoral Study, JOUR 801--Advanced Public Communication Theory. 
  • Journalism electives
  • A one-hour colloquia (JOUR 808): Teaching as a Transformative Enterprise.
  • A minimum of nine credit hours in your cognate.
  • A capstone Doctoral Colloquium

These are minimum guidelines. Your specific program will be determined as you work with your C&E Advisory Committee. The university allows no more than five years to complete this phase of your program. 

Research Methods and Design Courses

All students must complete the required methods courses. To be a knowledgeable consumer of research, doctoral candidates should have a solid foundation in a variety of research methodologies, but you also want to have studied in depth the research method(s) you plan to use in the dissertation and in subsequent work.

Journalism Studies Courses

A minimum of 18 credit hours of advanced coursework (numbered 600 or above) is required in journalism studies.

The Teaching Colloquium 

This course helps you with teaching, including teaching you may be doing at Maryland as an assistant or as a teacher of record; it covers pedagogy, constructing a syllabus, classroom management, and use of new technologies.

Cognate Courses

A minimum of nine credit hours is required from courses other than journalism studies. Technically, they may be numbered 400 and above, but generally they are 600 and above. These may be from one department; this makes selecting “the” cognate person for the exam a little easier. But they may be from multiple areas, provided they relate to your interest(s) and are approved by your C&E advisory committee. If you take courses from different areas, you must submit a separate sheet with your program of studies form that justifies the relationship of the courses to your area of interest.

This Doctoral Colloquium

prepares you for completing the doctoral program and going on to scholarly careers—especially in academia but also in government and elsewhere in the non-profit sector, as well as in private industry. In general it is taken in your last year, or concurrent with studying/taking the comprehensive exams.

The Schedule of Classes can be accessed on the Web: