Communication and Media Studies Doctoral Program Courses

To obtain a PhD in communication and media studies from the SOJC, you’ll need to complete approximately 80 graduate course credits beyond the master’s level and at least 18 dissertation credits. This includes a core sequence you’ll complete in your first year as well as courses in research methods, a media studies specialty, and a field outside the SOJC. After passing comprehensive exams, you’ll apply what you’ve learned to original research and a dissertation that contributes to the field.

To see which order most students take these courses and complete other benchmarks, see our sample schedule. Consult the UO Class Schedule to find out when these courses are offered and register.


J601 Research: Topic (1 credit)
Repeatable for maximum of 16 credits.

J603 Dissertation (18+ credits)
After completing your coursework and passing a comprehensive exam, you’ll be ready to start contributing to the field. Your dissertation is a substantial document presenting your original research that adds to the scholarly body of knowledge about media studies. You’ll need to enroll in at least 18 credits of J603 and work on your research and dissertation for at least two terms. For more details about and guidelines for the dissertation, download the graduate handbook.

J610 History and Theory of New Media (4 credits)
This course will introduce students to the history of the new media as well as to the key theoretical issues that have emerged in their wake. During the term we will address some of the key categories that are specific to new media: computation, information and data, networks, machines & the artificial, digital capitalism as well examine how new media processes and practices have impinged upon and reconfigured crucial areas of social life.

J612 Media Theory I (5 credits)
In this first course of a three-part sequence introducing students to media theory, you will focus on the social scientific tradition. Sequence with J613.

J613 Media Theory II (5 credits)
This second course in a three-part sequence focuses on critical approaches. Sequence with J612.

J617 Media and Identity (4 credits)
Within critical/cultural-oriented media studies, the subject of identity and its relationship to media representation, production, and use, is enviably related to issues of power, agency, and resistance. This course uses a survey of research primarily focused on Black American media representation, production, and fandom to introduce students to various theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of media and identity. Through weekly discussions, students will engage in scholarly analysis and critique of the assigned readings and think through how specific theories and/or methods of research can be applied to their own research projects.

J619 Teaching and Professional Life (4 credits)
Explore teaching strategies, curriculum development, and other aspects of academic professional life in journalism and communication.

J641 Qualitative Research Methods (4 credits)
Get an introduction to qualitative research methods including traditional historical inquiry, oral history, ethnography, and participant observation.

J642 Quantitative Research Methods (4 credits)
Learn about and analyze quantitative research methods in terms of design, measurement, inference, and validity, with a focus on conceptualization in communication research.

J643 Advanced Doctoral Seminar (5 credits)
Demonstrate competence in broad families of social research by drawing on the skills and knowledge you obtained in J612, J613, J614, J641, and J642.

J649 International Communication (4 credits)
Examine global communication structures and processes and their consequences. Topics include new technologies, news and information organizations, cross-cultural uses of Western media, and information policies.

J660 Ethnography (4 credits)
Building on the idea that ethnography is both a theoretical and methodological approach, this seminar examines the complex interplay of meaning, method and ethics that arises while conducting and publishing about fieldwork. We will examine ethnography from its origins in traditional methods through 21st century critiques and innovative practices. Each student will produce a form of ethnography as a term project.


Need some guidance? Here are a few options:

  1. Download our graduate handbook for more details about program requirements and resources.
  2. Contact our Associate Director of Graduate Affairs with questions about the program, the application process, and admission.

Once you’re admitted, you’ll be matched with a faculty advisor who will be your first point of contact for academic and career guidance.