Communication and Media Studies Doctoral Program Sample Schedules

This advanced degree program is designed to be completed in four years, although every student’s path is different. Most students take the core sequence in the first year and complete the remainder of the coursework by the end of the second year. After completing comprehensive exams, you should expect to spend approximately two years researching and writing your dissertation.

You can find an example schedule below, but keep in mind that your program will vary because it will be tailored to your research program and areas of interest.

First Year - Fall Term

J612 Media Theory I5
J619 Teaching and Professional Life4
Serve as teaching or research assistant for 16 hours/weekN/A

First Year - Winter Term

J613 Media Theory II5
J642 Quantitative Research Methods4
Serve as teaching or research assistant for 16 hours/weekN/A

First Year - Spring Term

J641 Qualitative Research Methods4
J617 Media and Identity (600-level media studies specialty course)4
J601 Research (600-level media studies specialty course)1
Serve as teaching or research assistant for 16 hours/weekN/A

Second Year - Fall Term

J649 International Communication (600-level media studies specialty course)4
SOC615 Racism and Sociology (600-level field course outside SOJC)4
J660 Ethnography (600-level media studies specialty course)4
Serve as teaching or research assistant for 16 hours/weekN/A

Second Year - Winter Term

J610 History and Theory of New Media (600-level media studies specialty course)4
SOC557 Sex and Society (600-level field course outside SOJC)4
SOC618 Sociological Theory (600-level field course outside SOJC)4
Serve as teaching or research assistant for 16 hours/weekN/A

Second Year - Spring Term

J643 Advanced Doctoral Seminar5
ANTH610 Qualitative Data Analysis (additional methodology course)4
Serve as teaching or research assistant for 16 hours/weekN/A

Program Checklist

 In addition to your required courses, you’ll need to complete the following tasks between enrollment and graduation, with guidance from your faculty advisor.

  1. Select your faculty advisor. During orientation, the program director will assign you a preliminary faculty advisor, but you will have the opportunity to select a permanent advisor whose research interests align with your own.  This person will be your first point of contact for academic, dissertation, and career advice.
  2. Complete your core coursework. Most students complete their core sequence in the first year and the rest of their coursework by the end of the second year. These courses will give you an understanding of the key theories and methods that define media studies and serve as a starting framework to develop your dissertation project.
  3. Select your committee. Before taking your comprehensive exams, you will select an exam committee consisting of your advisor, three SOJC faculty members, and one tenure-track faculty member from outside the SOJC. You can choose a different committee for your dissertation at least six months before your defense. 
  4. Take your comprehensive exams. This typically happens by the end of your second year or fall term of your third year. Enroll for at least 9 credits (usually J601 Research and J605 Reading) during the term you take exams to maintain eligibility for graduate employment.
  5. Submit your dissertation proposal. Prepare this proposal in consultation with your advisor and submit it in writing to your committee, ideally by the end of fall or winter term of your third year.
  6. Advance to candidacy. Once you have passed your comprehensive exams and your committee has approved your dissertation proposal, you must file the “Report on Examinations for Advancement to Candidacy for the Doctoral Degree” to the UO Graduate School via GradWeb.
  7. Conduct research and write dissertation. Each student’s dissertation experience is different, depending on such factors as the nature of the research, their relationship with their advisor and committee, and individual styles and preferences. Follow the style guidelines outlined in the UO Thesis and Dissertation Style and Policy Manual.
  8. Apply for graduation. In the second week of the term in which you plan to graduate, fill out the graduation form on GradWeb.
  9. Complete your oral defense of dissertation. You must apply for your oral defense in GradWeb at least three weeks prior to your defense date and complete the defense at least one week before the end of your final term. This is intended to be a public discourse, so the date will be announced to the school community.
  10. Submit your approved dissertation to the Grad School. Upload a PDF of your dissertation and all final approval forms to the UO Graduate School no later than Monday of Week 10 of the term you plan to graduate.


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.