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Tuscarawas News Detail

CCI Launches Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program

Posted Sep. 16, 2010

The interdisciplinary doctoral program in the College of Communication and Information at Kent State University provides students with a broad scope of knowledge in communication and information science. The curriculum begins with core courses, then becomes more specialized to fit each student’s individual needs and interests. This Ph.D. program is a logical extension of the convergence taking place within the college and its application in the commercial and professional world.


The evolution of communication technologies and digital information systems has narrowed historic differences among the academic disciplines within the field of communication. The College of Communication and Information provides a unified structure that promotes research, teaching and application of the scientific, humanistic, psycho-social and visual communication principles of communication and information in the digital age.


The communication disciplines within the program include:


  • interpersonal communication
  • health communication
  • mass communication
  • mediated communication
  • library and information science
  • information architecture
  • knowledge management


The Doctor of Philosophy degree is research-oriented, even for those candidates who do not plan to enter traditional faculty careers. The goal of the Ph.D. program is to develop in each doctoral scholar the ability to generate knowledge by conducting, analyzing and presenting research in one or more areas.


To achieve these goals, each scholar will:


  • Develop a critical analysis and synthesis of existing research
  • Master techniques for data collection and analysis
  • Identify research questions that need to be answered
  • Design, implement and report independent research
  • Develop a personal research agenda


After the foundations of communication and information theory are in place, students have the freedom to create unique programs of study to fit their academic and professional goals. Coursework is then selected with the help and approval of the student’s advisor and a supervisory committee.


CCI faculty members foster interdisciplinary collaboration as a key to success. Research and creative projects include: media use and effects in changing media environments, patterns of digital media use, health information literacy, information usability, information architecture, wayfinding in physical and digital environments and visual communication. CCI’s convergent doctoral program is consistent with these innovations and represents one of only a handful of similarly organized colleges in the United States. As such, the program is established as an academic leader in research, teaching and applications related to the dynamic communication and information landscape. Students come out of the program prepared to face the challenges of the new and growing information economy.


Requirements for Admission:


·         Master’s degree in one of the disciplines represented by the College of Communication and Information or a discipline related to your proposed course of study

·         Official transcripts from Universities attended, not including Kent State University

·         Minimum 3.3 Grade Point Average. Recommended 3.5 Grade Point Average

·         Minimum verbal score of 600 and a quantitative score of 600 on the Graduate Record Examination

For more information about the GRE, visit

·         Superior letters of recommendation from those in a position to evaluate graduate academic performance and potential

·         A statement of academic goals and intended topics of study compatible with the program’s focus

·         A sample of scholarly writing such as a published paper, major term paper or thesis chapter

·         International applicants are expected to achieve a minimum score of 600 on the TOEFL exam


Applicants who do not meet all of the requirements listed above but who have otherwise exceptional credentials may apply and may be admitted conditionally.


To apply for admission in the program, visit


Requirements for Degree Completion:


·         A minimum of 45 semester hours of graduate coursework at the doctoral level

·         30 semester hours of dissertation work for a total of 75 semester hours

·         Successful defense of the 30-credit dissertation

·         Students must pass the doctoral comprehensive examination to achieve candidacy


For more information about graduate programs and requirements, visit:


Financial Aid:


Financial aid is available to a limited number of students in the form of graduate assistantships. Such appointments are made based on the opportunity for doctoral students to contribute to the college and to learn from their assistantship experiences. Appointees assist faculty members with research projects and attend a week-long training program before classes start. A doctoral student who receives an assistantship in his or her first year of attendance may usually expect support for three academic years, subject to availability of funding and successful completion of assigned duties. Summer appointments may also be awarded.