2021-2022 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 24, 2024  
2021-2022 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. Students may draw on an extensive variety of faculty in the Newhouse School and 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 three areas of study: mass communication theory, research methods and statistics, core specialization elective courses inside and/or outside the Newhouse School (e.g., sociology, psychology, political science, information studies, health, sports).

Doctoral students complete at least 42 semester credits beyond the master’s degree. In addition to the 42 credits, 18 credits count toward the dissertation. Doctoral students should be able to complete the program in three years.


Applicants must have a Master’s degree for admission to the Ph.D. program.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students in the Mass Communications program are expected to achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Identify and apply communication theories and concepts to the study of mass communications;
  • Conduct original research using methods appropriate to the field of mass communication;
  • Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the field of mass communication;
  • Apply basic numerical and statistical concepts;
  • Identify and apply tools and technologies appropriate for scholarly research in mass communication;
  • Contribute knowledge appropriate to the field of mass communication.

Required Areas of Study

Proseminar (0 Credits)

Theory (9 Credits)

Advanced Methods Course (3 Credits)

Students choose a Newhouse Advanced Methods course.

Statistics Courses (6 Credits)

Students choose two statistics courses.

Core Specialization Electives (15 Credits)

Students choose five additional Newhouse and/or outside Newhouse courses. Courses are chosen with the guidance of their advisor.

Dissertation (18 credits)

Students choose a dissertation topic with the guidance of their faculty advisor.

Total for Program: 60 Credits

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