Normal Progress in the Ph.D. Program

The first three semesters of the program are foundational, particularly for those who have no prior graduate work in communication. Those semesters should ordinarily be spent gaining basic theoretical and methodological training across the areas of the curriculum, with somewhat greater focus in the student’s primary area. Courses taken will be typically at the 500 or 600 level with an emphasis on those that survey a particular field, and whose requirements permit students to establish mastery of the foundational literature.

Students who enter with no prior graduate work will typically complete all of their substantive courses by the end of their seventh semester of residence (but no later than the eighth semester). Students entering with up to five transferable courses will typically complete the remainder of their coursework by the end of the fifth semester of residence (but no later than the sixth semester). In order to meet these goals efficiently, some students may choose to take four courses in some semesters, typically during their first three semesters of residence. They may do so only with the permission of their advisor and the Committee on Graduate Studies.

Sample Plan of Study for a Student Entering with a Bachelors Degree or 0-2 Credits

SEMESTER 1 – Fall

SEMESTER 2 - Spring

TF /RF funding

3 classes

TF /RF funding

3 classes

SEMESTER 3 – Fall

SEMESTER 4 - Spring

TF /RF funding

3 classes

TF /RF funding

3 classes

QUALIFICATIONS EVALUATION

SEMESTER 5 – Fall

SEMESTER 6 - Spring

TF /RF funding

3 classes

TF /RF funding

3 classes

SEMESTER 7 – Fall

SEMESTER 8 - Spring

TF /RF funding

2 classes

COMPREHENSIVE EXAM

TF/RF funding

Dissertation Status

PROPOSAL DEFENSE if not defended by 10th semester student will be charged tuition

SEMESTER 9 – Fall

SEMESTER 10 - Spring

Either DRF or

BRIDGE SEMESTER

full tuition and health insurance paid, but no stipend
Dissertation Status

Either DRF or

full tuition and health insurance to be paid by student if proposal is not defended

Dissertation Status

 

SEMESTER 11 – Fall

SEMESTER 12 - Spring

Either Dissertation Research Funding OR

reduced tuition and health insurance

Dissertation Status

Possible Dissertation Research Funding

reduced tuition and health insurance

Dissertation Status until defense of dissertation

Sample Plan of Study for a Student Entering with 3-5 Transfer Credits

SEMESTER 1 - Fall

SEMESTER 2 - Spring

TF /RF funding

3 classes

TF /RF funding

3 classes

SEMESTER 3 – Fall

SEMESTER 4 - Spring

TF /RF funding

3 classes

QUALIFICATIONS EVALUATION

TF /RF funding

3 classes

 

SEMESTER 5 - Fall

SEMESTER 6 - Spring

TF /RF funding

3 classes

TF /RF funding

Dissertation Status OR 1 – 2 classes (20 total)

COMPREHENSIVE EXAM

SEMESTER 7 - Fall

SEMESTER 8 - Spring

TF/RF funding

Dissertation Status

PROPOSAL DEFENSE (if not defended, student could be charged tuition by 9th semester)

Either DRF or

BRIDGE SEMESTER

full tuition and health insurance paid, but no stipend
Dissertation Status

SEMESTER 9 - Fall

SEMESTER 10 - Spring

Either DRF or

full tuition and health insurance to be paid by student if proposal is not defended

Dissertation Status

Either Dissertation Research Funding or

reduced tuition and health insurance

Dissertation Status

SEMESTER 11 - Fall

SEMESTER 12 - Spring

Either Dissertation Research Funding OR

reduced tuition and health insurance

Dissertation Status

reduced tuition and health insurance

Dissertation Status until defense of dissertation

Good Standing/Satisfactory Academic Progress

In order to continue in Good Standing in the Ph.D. program and to be eligible for funding, all the following requirements must be completed successfully and on time:

  1. Advisor selection
  2. 3.5 GPA across all course work
  3. Research project
  4. Favorable evaluations by faculty in the RA and TA fellowship activities
  5. Pass Qualifying Evaluation
  6. Pass Area Comprehensive Examination
  7. Coursework (20 course units minimum) completed
  8. Defense of the dissertation proposal (the first semester after the end of coursework)
  9. Defense and the public presentation of dissertation research within the time limit

The records of all Annenberg School students are reviewed at the end of each semester to determine whether their performance meets standards for satisfactory progress. Students whose performance falls below the expectations of the School may be advised to withdraw or may be dropped from the program.