Program of Study

Major Professor as Advisor

Initially, unless a student specifically requests a particular faculty member, all doctoral students are assigned an “interim” advisor. After the completion of 12 credits, a student is required to designate a faculty member with specialized interests compatible with those of the student to act as the major professor. The major professor is expected to assist the student in planning the remainder of the program of studies, chair the student’s preliminary examination committee, supervise the completion of the PhD dissertation, and conduct of the dissertation defense meeting. All students should consult the departmental handbook for additional details on departmental policies and procedures.

Course of Study

To fulfill the credit requirement for the PhD in Communication, a student must complete at least 48 credits beyond the master’s degree, of which 42 must be numbered 700 or above. Thirty-three (33)credits must be taken from the Communication Department. Students may complete 6 credit hours in courses below 700 offered outside the Department of Communication. Courses taken toward a master’s degree will not apply to the doctoral program of studies. The 48 credits must be distributed as follows:

  • A minimum of 6 credits of course work from communication research tools in courses numbered 900 or above, 3 credits of which must be Commun 900. (Students will determine additional research tool credits in consultation with their advisor, so as to demonstrate methodological competence in their chosen area of study.)
  • A minimum of 15 credits reflecting the student designing a thematic program of study combining theory and praxis in the study of communication processes.
  • A minimum of 21 additional elective credits.
  • A maximum of 12 credits for completion of the doctoral dissertation (Commun 990) may be applied toward the 48 credit requirement.

Doctoral Courses

Research Tools
Commun 700 – Quantitative Research in Communication (3 credits)
Commun 701 – Critical Analysis of Communication (3 credits)
Commun 702 – Qualitative Research in Communication (3 credits)
Commun 770 – Measurement and Evaluation in Speech Communication (3 credits)
Commun 900 – Philosophy and Practice of Communication (3 credits)
Commun 971 – Meta-Analysis: Practice and Application (3 credits)
Commun 972 – Methods in Communication Research: [subtitle] (3 credits; may be repeatable up to 9 credits with change of topic)
Commun 973 – Topics in Rhetorical Research: [subtitle] (3 credits; may be repeatable up to 9 credits with change of topic)
Focal Courses
Commun 710 – Managerial Communication (3 credits)
Commun 715 – Technology for Health Communication (3 credits)
Commun 727 – Seminar in Communication and E Learning (3 credits)
Commun 735 – Theories of Rhetorical Communication (3 credits)
Commun 750 – Theory and Research in Intercultural Communication (3 credits)
Commun 762 – Argumentation in Theory and Practice (3 credits)
Commun 768 – Seminar in Theories of Speech Communication (3 credits)
Commun 772 – Rhetorical Leadership and Ethics (3 credits)
Commun 801 – Seminar in Interpersonal Communication (3 credits)
Commun 802 – Marital and Family Communication (3 credits)
Commun 803 – Gender and Communication (3 credits)
Commun 804 – Seminar on Sexuality and Communication (3 credits)
Commun 806 – Understudied Close Relationships (3 credits)
Commun 807 – Dark Side of Close Relationships (3 credits)
Commun 810 – Studies of Communication in Organization (3 credits)
Commun 813 – Seminar in Mediated Communication (3 credits)
Commun 815 – Communication Technologies in Organizations (3 credits)
Commun 823 – Seminar in Small Group Communication (3 credits)
Commun 827 – Seminar in Instructional Communication (3 credits)
Commun 835 – Seminar in Contemporary Public Address (3 credits)
Commun 837 – Instructional Communication in the College Classroom (3 credits)
Commun 850 – Seminar in Intercultural Communication (3 credits)
Commun 857 – Application of Intercultural Communication (3 credits)
Commun 860 – Seminar: Issues in Communication (3 credits; repeatable up to 9 credits with change in topic)
Commun 862 – Public Deliberation (3 credits)
Commun 864 – Communication and Social Influence (3 credits)
Commun 865 – Theory and Practice of Mediation (3 credits)
Commun 872 – Rhetorics of Constituting Community and Social Controversy (3 credits)
Commun 873 – The Digital Mirror (3 credits)
Commun 874 – Rhetoric of Women’s Rights in the U.S. (3 credits)
Commun 881 – Interpersonal Health Communication (3 credits)
Commun 882 – Rhetoric of Kenneth Burke (3 credits)
Commun 893 – Rhetoric of/and the Internet (3 credits)
Commun 965 – The Discourse of Conflict (3 credits)
Commun 981 – Communication and HIV/AIDS (3 credits)
Commun 998 – Internship (1-3 credits; repeatable up to 3 credits)
Commun 999 – Independent Study (1-3 credits; repeatable up to 9 credits with change in topic)
English 855 – Seminar in Theories of Business and Technical Writing: [Subtitle] (3 credits; repeatable with change in topic up to 6 credits) crosslisted.

Thematic Course of Study in Communication

Once a student is admitted to this degree program, a faculty advisor will work with the student to identify areas of interest and develop a thematic course of study. One potential option is the 15-credit transcript-designated concentration in Rhetorical Leadership; for details on what that concentration involves, please check the Rhetorical Leadership website or contact the Rhetorical Leadership Concentration/Certificate director Kathryn Olson a A student need not choose a transcript-designated concentration to have an approved or appropriate thematic course of study in this degree; there are many options that can be formulated with one’s faculty advisor.

Graduate Grievance Procedures

Federal law and UWM policy require programs and departments to have procedures for graduate students to appeal academic decisions such as grades or scholastic standing. These procedures ensure the protection of students’ rights. These pages serve as a reference on procedures for graduate student academic appeals.