The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors approved IUP's proposed Ph.D. program in Communications Media and Instructional Technology at its April 9 meeting.

IUP will begin offering the degree in Fall 2008 or Fall 2009. It will be the tenth doctoral degree program IUP offers.

The communications media doctoral program will address topics related to new media and will generate research driven by existing theory and scholarship within the field of communications media and instructional technology. The Communications Media Department is part of the College of Education and Educational Technology and currently offers both bachelor's and master's degrees in the major.

“The program will stress rigorous academics so that graduates of this program are sought out by other universities looking for communications faculty and business and industry searching for leaders in the communications field,” explained Mary Ann Rafoth, dean of the College of Education and Educational Technology. “It will expand partnerships by adding a new level of professional to the department's successful relationships with media companies and outlets and enable the department to pursue institutional advancement opportunities through grants only available to programs with a doctoral mission and doctoral students. The development of the program followed a comprehensive marketing study in which both individuals and businesses indicated a significant need for doctoral programs in the communications media field. Our survey also found that there is a very strong interest from working professionals and current graduate students for this doctoral program, one that is locally available, high quality with excellent facilities and affordable.”

National studies indicate between 50,000 to 100,000 new jobs will be available for graduates with a doctorate in communications media within the next five years and projected that the demand for college professors will grow at about 30 percent.

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