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For Prospective PhD Students

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The mission of the Department of Communication at the University of Delaware is to empower students in their personal and professional lives, train them to be the academic scholars that they can be, and to provide an ethical compass for navigating the complexities of modern society.

I. Program Goals

Graduate work in the Department of Communication focuses on two goals:

  • Providing excellent advanced training in the social science tradition in the dynamic field of Communication
  • Preparing students for research-based careers

II. Academic Areas of Study

There are three potential areas of concentration for PhD study:

  1. Interpersonal Communication
  2. Media Communication
  3. Political Communication

III. Full-time Program Schedule and Structure:

The structure of our program necessitates that full time students begin their course of study in the fall semester.

Sixty credit hours are required to complete the PhD degree:

  • Fifteen credit hours come from required courses focusing on theory and methodology.
  • Nine credit hours come from research competency courses that increase a student's skill set with research and statistical methodologies.
  • Eighteen credit hours come from concentration courses. Twelve of these come from the student's chosen concentration. Students also must complete three credit hours in each of their non-chosen concentrations.
  • Nine credit hours of elective courses. No more than three of those credit hours may come from an Independent Study.
  • Students must enroll in the Communication Colloquium series every semester they are enrolled in coursework.
  • Nine credit hours of dissertation.

IV. Graduate Funding Policy:

The University of Delaware may provide tuition scholarships to full-time graduate students who are awarded stipends for an entire semester/academic year as a research, teaching, or graduate assistant or fellow.  These scholarships are generally available in graduate programs that admit students with funding, regardless of funding source; details of commitment and duration are provided in offer letters.  Graduate departments and programs select the recipients of these awards, where available, based on the students' qualifications.  The stipulations of the tuition scholarship policy are:

  • The stipend must be at least equivalent to the university minimum graduate stipend: $20,000 for Doctoral students during the 2018-2019 academic year. Stipends are paid over a nine month period (September 1st - May 31st) each year.
  • Should a student leave the University after the free drop/add period of the semester of an appointment, the stipend will be immediately terminated.  The tuition scholarship originally accompanying the stipend will become the responsibility of the student unless an appeal is presented in writing and approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Education.   If the appeal is approved, the tuition scholarship will continue to be applied to the student's account and will not be available to be awarded to another student in that semester.
  • Students who receive 100% of the minimum stipend and a 100% tuition scholarship are limited to an average of no more than 20 working hours per week within the University and may not hold additional employment on or off campus.  The Dean's permission is required for any exception to this policy.


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For Prospective PhD Students