Ph.D. in Communications Media and Instructional Technology

  • The Ph.D. in Communications Media and Instructional Technology is designed to develop scholars who are prepared to conduct advanced research and are experts in the following areas: communications theory; the impact of media on culture; and the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of training. Graduates will synthesize knowledge from domains within the communication field and related disciplines as they assume leadership roles in diverse professional, business, and military environments.

    The 60-credit program, designed for individuals interested in pursuing a career in academia, business, or the military with a research focus on Communications Media and Instructional Technology, provides students with the culture and theory courses, research courses, and production of media courses with an emphasis on current and emerging technologies. Upon completion of the Ph.D. in Communications Media and Instructional Technology program, the graduate is prepared to:

    • conduct research that enables organizations to effectively use communications and media in meeting goals
    • apply research, an understanding of culture, and production skills to the development of new media
    • interpret cultural forces upon communications and media
    • provide leadership to positively impact culture with communications and media
    • design, produce, and utilize media within a variety of cultural and professional contexts
    • synthesize existing media and emerging technologies
    • develop new media

    Admissions Criteria

    Students seeking admission to the Ph.D. in communications must satisfy the minimum School of Graduate Studies and Research requirements and have a master's degree in communications or related field. International students are required to comply with specified admission criteria.

    All applicants must also submit the following for review by the doctoral program committee:

    • Recent GRE Scores (including analytical writing)
    • Official higher education transcripts
    • Current Curriculum Vitae
    • Writing sample
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • Personal interview
    • Production portfolio (optional)

    Program Requirements

    The doctoral program requires a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond the master’s: 48 credits of classes and 12 credits of dissertation work.

    I. Research Courses (12 credits)

    COMM 800 Communication Research Statistics (or equivalent) 3 cr.
    COMM 825 Quantitative Methods in Communications Research 3 cr.
    COMM 828 Qualitative Methods in Communications Research 3 cr.
    COMM 910 Advanced Doctoral Research in Communications 3 cr.

    II. Theory and Culture Core Courses (12 credits)

    COMM 801 Ideas that Shape Media 3 cr.
    COMM 812 Media Ethics 3 cr.
    COMM 857 Doctoral Seminar in Communications Culture and Technology 3 cr.
    COMM 900 Culture of Cyberspace 3 cr.

    III. Theory and Culture Elective Courses (6 credits)

    Two courses from the following:

    COMM 814 Crisis Communication 3 cr.
    COMM 815 Teaching Communications Media 3 cr.
    COMM 818 Media Criticism 3 cr.
    COMM 822 Children and Media 3 cr.
    COMM 853 Corporate Communications 3 cr.
    COMM 881 Special Topics 3 cr.

    IV. Production Core Courses (7-12 cr.)

    COMM 832 Media Production Variable 1-6 cr.
    COMM 846 Instructional Media Solutions 3 cr.
    COMM 860 Media Preproduction 3 cr.

    V. Production Elective Courses (6 cr.)

    Two courses from the following:

    COMM 876 On-line Media 3 cr.
    COMM 881 Special Topics 3 cr.
    COMM 882 Simulations and Games 3 cr.

    VI. Elective Courses (0-9 cr.)

    Courses from the list below as needed to bring the total number of credits to 60:

    COMM 822 Children and Media 3 cr.
    COMM 853 Corporate Communications 3 cr.
    COMM 876 Online Media 3 cr.
    COMM 881 Special Topics 3 cr.
    COMM 882 Simulations and Games 3 cr.
    CURR 915 Writing for Professional Publication 3 cr.
    ECON 820 Managerial Economics for Decision Making and Leadership 3 cr.
    ENGL 808 Technology and Literacy 3 cr.
    ENGL 956 Literary Theory for the Teacher and Scholarly Writer 3 cr.
    SOC 803 Social and Organizational Theory 3 cr.
    SOC 862 Analysis of Social Data 3 cr.

    VII. Dissertation (12 cr.)

    COMM 995 Dissertation

    12 cr.

    A dissertation is required of all doctoral candidates and must demonstrate the candidate’s mastery of his/her research and produce results of an original investigation in the field of communications media and instructional technology. The goal should be to make an original scholarly contribution to the field.

    Total 60 Credits beyond a master’s or master’s equivalency

    Degree Candidacy 
    Each student admitted to the doctoral program is eligible for doctoral degree candidacy after successful completion of twelve graduate credits in the doctoral program with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher. To obtain candidacy, the student must successfully complete an oral and written candidacy examination.

    Comprehensive Examination
    The comprehensive examination will be used to determine the student’s progress in the field of Communications Media and Instructional Technology and the student’s likelihood of success in the research-dissertation phase.

    Scholarly Participation 
    The program recognizes the need to foster a doctoral culture that encourages and enables students to share and discuss ideas with each other and with experts in their chosen field of study. There are four options for meeting this requirement.

    1. Attend a minimum of 2 scholarly events per semester of enrollment, excluding semesters in which the student is enrolled in COMM 995, Dissertation or continuing dissertation credit.
    2. Complete of a minimum of nine graduate credits at IUP in each of two consecutive semesters.
    3. Present or co-present at a juried conference.
    4. Author or co-author an article in a juried professional journal.