Academic Programs Catalog

College of Communication Arts and Sciences

Graduate Study

Doctor of Philosophy

For students taking the Doctor of Philosophy program in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, there are three options—Communicative Sciences and Disorders, Communication, and Information and Media. The Information and Media Ph.D., is an interdisciplinary degree offered jointly by the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, the School of Journalism, and the Department of Media and Information. Further information regarding doctoral study in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences may be obtained from the College office or from the five academic unit offices.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university, students must meet the requirements specified below.


For admission to regular status, at least a 3.00 undergraduate and graduate grade–point average normally is required. The student's undergraduate and graduate records must have been established at institutions of high caliber. In some cases a student with an average less than 3.00, but not less than 2.50, may be admitted for one semester on provisional status.

Requirements for the Degree

The total number of course credits in the program and the areas to be covered in the comprehensive examination will be determined by each individual student's guidance committee.

Academic Standards

When a student receives a grade below 3.0 in more than two 400–level or higher courses taken for graduate credit at Michigan State University, or does not have a 3.00 average when 15 credits have been earned, the student is automatically withdrawn from the program. A graduate student who has been withdrawn under this regulation is required to wait a minimum of one calendar year from the date of the withdrawal before being eligible to apply for readmission to a graduate program in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. The student may be readmitted, contingent upon repeating one of the three courses in which a grade below 3.0 was earned, and earning a 3.0 or better grade in the course. The course to be repeated may be specified by the department. Following readmission, any additional grade below 3.0 in any course numbered 400 or higher will result in permanent dismissal. Courses below the 400 level may also be included under this regulation at the discretion of the individual academic unit. While permission may be granted by the student's academic unit chairperson and the assistant dean of the College to repeat a course in which a grade of less than 3.0 has been earned, subsequently earning a grade of 3.0 or higher does not eliminate the first earned grade in the course as one of the two allowed under this regulation.

The student must have at least a 3.00 average in all courses taken for graduate credit in order to qualify for comprehensive examinations and to undertake the dissertation.