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Doctoral (Ph.D.) Program Overview

The Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication invites applicants for our Ph.D. program. We seek junior colleagues who wish to explore deeply the practices and values of journalism, mass communication and the media professions. Successful applicants will be admitted for the fall semester, with an application deadline of February 1. The program is highly competitive, admitting and funding up to five students per year. We welcome applicants from across Oklahoma, the United States and the world – particularly those with three or more years of professional experience in journalism and mass communication disciplines.

Overview of the program

Doctoral candidates will find a faculty with a wide range of interests encompassing a variety of approaches and perspectives related to the program’s three concentrations:  News and Information, Strategic Communication and Media Arts.  The program builds on a record of excellence in preparing master’s students for doctoral study, as evidenced by top-paper awards and paper presentations at national and international academic conferences in recent years.

Get information about the professors

The program is housed in Gaylord Hall, a state-of-the-art building with a journalism and mass communication library. An additional 44,000-square-foot wing with space devoted to graduate research and teaching support is under construction and due to open in early 2009. Graduates will be prepared to become both accomplished researchers and outstanding teachers in colleges and universities around the world.

Get information about our study facilities


Doctoral Funding

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Doctoral (Ph.D.) Program Features

  • Strong grounding in a range of research methods.  Students must complete three research methods courses, including both advanced quantitative and qualitative courses offered in the Gaylord College and a third research methodology course (or graduate-level statistics course) from elsewhere on the OU campus. (These three are in addition to a requirement of basic graduate-level research methods proficiency.)
  • An emphasis on regular interaction between students and faculty about research.  Students must take a weekly, one-credit Ph.D. Seminar course to feature discussions and presentations of research by faculty, students, and guests. This course will underline the faculty’s expectation of research productivity and quality among our doctoral students.
  • An expectation of student excellence in teaching. The program will require a course exploring pedagogical theory and practice. The course will be aimed at helping our doctoral students to become excellent teachers in addition to excellent researchers.  Most students will also have the opportunity to gain teaching experience as part of their work as graduate assistants. 
  • Opportunity for flexible, interdisciplinary study in an outside area of concentration.  The requirement of a concentration outside the college reflects the program’s commitment to drawing on the broad strengths of the university in social sciences and humanities.