Communication and Media Studies Doctoral Program Degree Requirements

To obtain a PhD in 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, see our sample schedule. Consult the UO Class Schedule to find out when these courses are offered and register.

J612Media Theory I5
J613Media Theory II5
J619Teaching and Professional Life4
J641Qualitative Research Methods4
J642Quantitative Research Methods4
J643Advanced Doctoral Seminar5

Additional Methodology Courses—At Least One Course

To bolster your research skills, you’ll need to take at least one research methods course, inside or outside the SOJC, in addition to the two research methods courses listed above.

Media Studies Specialty—Take 12+ Credits

This is where you’ll establish your specific area of media studies expertise. Choose an area that SOJC faculty already have expertise in, or blaze your own path with a different area of study within the communication/media studies field. Then register for at least 12 credits (typically 3–4 courses) to start building a core of knowledge in your specialty area.

Courses Outside the Field—Take 12+ Credits

Our PhD program stresses the interconnections between media and other disciplines. That’s why we’ll ask you to design an integrated outside field component consisting of three to four courses in UO schools and colleges beyond the SOJC.

Dissertation—At Least 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.


Need some guidance? Here are a few options:

  1. Download our graduate handbook for more details about program requirements and resources.
  2. Contact our graduate student services manager 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. You’ll also choose a capstone advisor to assist with your terminal project.