Degree 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.


    The curriculum consists of required and elective courses in the three core areas. Additional electives are being developed. Students will be required to develop a planned program of study in consultation with their advisor and the doctoral coordinator. Details can be found on the program’s Curriculum page. 

    Degree Candidacy

    Each student admitted to the doctoral program is eligible for doctoral degree candidacy after successful completion of 12 graduate credits in the doctoral program with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher. To obtain candidacy, the student must successfully complete a candidacy examination.

    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 two 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 coauthor an article in a refereed journal.

    Comprehensive Examination

    The comprehensive examination determines 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.


    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.