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Graduate Catalog 2016/2017

Communication (SPE)

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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CIP Code: 09.0101
College of Arts and Sciences (AS)
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Bachelor's Degree): 87
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Masters Degree): 51

Contact Information:
College of Arts and Sciences
Communication Department (SPE)
4202 E. Fowler Avenue CIS1040
Tampa FL  33620

Program Director or Coordinator:
Ambar Basu
Phone: 813-974-2145


Faculty Search: Arts and Sciences Faculty List

Program Information

The Department of Communication offers a broad and integrated approach to communication studies that embraces the traditions of the humanities, the convergence of rhetorical and communication theory, and the relations among aesthetic, humanistic, and scientific approaches to inquiry. Students are encouraged to examine the pragmatics of rhetorical and communication theory in such settings as business and industry, government, education, medicine and health care, media, the arts, and the family. The department offers course work leading to the Master of Arts degree and the Doctor of Philosophy.


Accreditation Information:

Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools.


Admissions Information

Admission Deadlines

There is an established University deadline for the submission of admission application materials. Programs may have earlier deadlines than the University deadline. The deadlines reflected below are the earliest of the two deadlines. Graduate Programs may continue to accept and process applications after the published deadline if space exists within the program. Check with the Program for availability.

Application Deadline (domestic application)

Fall: January 15
Spring: ---
Summer: ---

International Students

Foreign applicants who are outside the U.S. are required to apply for a visa. Depending on the country of origin, this may take a few months. So the deadlines for these international applicants may be earlier than the Program deadline and these applicants must apply prior to both deadlines. They are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Foreign applicants who are in the U.S. and are currently on a visa may use the domestic application deadline dates. In addition to meeting the published application deadline for the Program of interest, all immigration documents should be submitted as soon as possible, but must be on file at USF no later than the following processing deadlines:

Fall: January 15
Spring: ---
Summer: ---

Admission Requirements

You must comply with general University policies and meet general University Admission requirements in addition to those listed below.

Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements listed below.

Program Admission Requirements

  • three letters of recommendation
  • a writing sample
  • a statement of purpose
  • GRE with preferred scores of at least 153V (550V prior to August 1, 2011)V
  • TOEFL Scores
  • transcripts
  • CV or resume

Admissions Status: Apply


Program Degree Requirements

  • Establish a supervisory faculty committee consisting of a major professor and at least two additional members from the Department of Communication and at least one member outside the Department of Communication. The supervisory committee must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • Prepare a Plan of Study approved by the student's supervisory committee. The Plan of Study expresses the ways in which the student will show evidence of the following:
    • expertise in one of the central domains of communication study
    • expertise in the research methodologies needed to carry out original research in the specialized area of concentration.







Theories and Histories of Communication
Qualitative Methods OR Critical Methods


In addition to the six (6) hours of core requirements, students are required to take a minimum of 39 hours of coursework beyond the M.A. degree (not counting credits for dissertation research).

Research Tools
In addition to COM 7325, complete an additional six (6) hours of coursework to fulfill the research toolrequirement. If students elect to take both Qualitative and Critical Methods, they must take an additionalmethods course (3 hours) subject to the approval of their major professor.

Seminar Requirement
Complete a minimum of four (4) sections (12 credits) of the following course:



Seminar in Communication Studies


Qualifying Exam Requirement
All students must pass a written and oral qualifying examination covering the student's area of specialization and methodological competence. This examination will be prepared and evaluated by the student's supervisory committee.





Dissertation: Doctoral


In consultation with the major professor and supervisory committee, students will select a dissertation topic and write and orally defend a dissertation proposal. Upon completion of the dissertation, the student must pass an oral defense.



51 (post-masters)



College Degree Requirements

Refer to the College Section of theGraduate Catalog for College requirements and information.


USF Degree Requirements

See USF Degree Requirements —


Financial Assistance

Financial Aid

Fellowships & Scholarships

Graduate Assistantships


Registration Process

First, contact your graduate program advisor for guidance courses to register for. Obtain any electronic course permit if necessary. Register for the new student orientation online at Then go to the link to OASIS, USF's on-line registration system to register for your classes. Follow the directions given on-line.

To access online course materials, students must have a USF NetID (e-mail account). Please visit: to obtain your NetID.

New students, including those studying online, may obtain a USFCard. Please visit: to obtain your USFCard.

Tuition and fees: Fees are determined by the level of the course. Please visit Cash Accounting, Controller's Office, for information on tuition and fees.


Graduate Course Information

Use the list below to lookup graduate courses related to this program in the USF Course Inventory:

COM6001, COM7325, COM7933, SPC7980,