2018-2019 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 20, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mass Communications, PhD

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Dennis Kinsey, Director of Doctoral Studies
454 Newhouse 3, 315-443-3372, masscomm@syr.edu


See Faculty listing for the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications  

The Ph.D. in mass communications in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications is rooted in the social and behavioral sciences and is an interdisciplinary degree, with doctoral students taking classes outside the Newhouse School and developing at least one outside area of expertise. Students may draw on an extensive variety of faculty in other schools at Syracuse University.

Students can specialize in the functions and social effects of print and electronic media or focus on media-related institutions in society. Among the topics they might consider are: influences on media content, media influence on social behavior, new communications technologies, advertising influences on consumer behavior, public relations, media law and ethics, diversity and the media, science communication, and political communication.

Coursework includes four areas of study: mass communication theory, research methods and statistics, courses related to the dissertation, and a substantive area outside the Newhouse School (e.g., sociology, psychology, political science, information studies).

Doctoral students complete at least 90 semester credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. Of the 90 credits, 18 credits count toward the dissertation. Of the 90 credits, at least 36 classroom credits must be earned in residence at Syracuse University. Doctoral students entering the program with master’s degrees should be able to complete the program in three years.


Applicants with master’s degrees will be given preference for admission to the Ph.D. program.

Student Learning Outcomes

In addition to the comprehensive Newhouse School learning outcomes listed in the School’s Educational Mission  , students in the Mass Communications program are expected to achieve the following additional learning outcomes:

1. Identify and apply communication theories and concepts to the study of mass communications;

2. Conduct original research using methods appropriate to the field of mass communication;

3. Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the field of mass communication;

4. Apply basic numerical and statistical concepts;

5. Identify and apply tools and technologies appropriate for scholarly research in mass communication.

Required Areas of Study

Mass Communication Theory at least 15 credits, including:

Research Methods and Statistics at least 15 credits, including:

Two of the following courses:

Concentration #1

At least 15 credits of coursework in an academic area outside the Newhouse School.

Concentration #2

At least 15 credits of coursework in an area of interest to support the dissertation topic.

Dissertation (usually 18 credits).

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