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Communication PhD

Admission Requirements

  • MA in Communication or its equivalent.
  • A thoroughly articulated research project outline.
  • Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the English language proficiency page for further information on requirements and exemptions.
  • Language Requirements. Applicants should have a level of competence that would allow them to read technical material and follow lectures and discussions in English. Students may participate in discussions, write reports, examinations and theses in English or French, as they choose.

Additional Admission Requirements

Admission criteria:

  • Excellent past academic records.
  • Excellence and pertinence of academic background.
  • Promise as a scholar.
  • Relevance of proposed research to the program.
  • Feasibility of proposed research in terms of material and faculty resources.
  • Ability to understand English and French.
  • Availability of a faculty member to direct the applicant.

Degree Requirements

Fully-qualified candidates are required to complete a minimum of 90 credits.

Please see the Communication Studies Courses page for course descriptions.

Communication PhD (90 credits)


credits of Required Courses:

COMS 800 Integrative Seminar (3.00)
COMS 835 Doctoral Pro-Seminar (3.00)

12credits chosen from Communication PhD Electives


COMS 815 Doctoral Examination (3.00)



COMS 890 Doctoral Thesis Proposal (6.00)



COMS 896 Doctoral Thesis Research (63.00)

Communication PhD Electives (12 credits)

COMS 805 Research Workshop (3.00)
COMS 822 Advanced Seminar in Research Methods I (3.00)
COMS 823 Advanced Seminar in Research Methods II (3.00)
COMS 841 Cultural Industries (3.00)
COMS 842 Media Reception (3.00)
COMS 843 Communication Policy (3.00)
COMS 844 Uses of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) (3.00)
COMS 851 Speech Communication (3.00)
COMS 853 Discourse and Representation (3.00)
COMS 854 Discourse within Social Formations (3.00)
COMS 861 Organizational Culture (3.00)
COMS 864 Communication and Change in Organizations (3.00)
COMS 873 Identities and Cultural Exchange (3.00)
COMS 874 Globalization of Communication (3.00)
COMS 875 Technology and Organization (3.00)
COMS 876 Media Technology as Practice (3.00)
COMS 877 International Communication and Development (3.00)
COMS 878 Communication, Conflict and Peace (3.00)
COMS 879 Human-Computer Interactions (3.00)
COMS 880 Communication Networks and Organization (3.00)
COMS 882 Communication, Democracy and Power (3.00)
COMS 883 History and Historiography of Media and Culture (3.00)
COMS 884 Cultural Theory in Communication Studies (3.00)
COMS 885 Popular Culture (3.00)
COMS 886 Alternative Media (3.00)
COMS 887 Strategies and Styles in Communication (3.00)
COMS 888 Discourses of the Body (3.00)
COMS 889 Theories of Organizational Communication (3.00)
COMS 891 Communication Technologies and Society (3.00)
COMS 892 Epistemology and Methodology of Media Creation (3.00)
COMS 893 Advanced Seminar in Special Topics in the PhD in Communication (3.00)

Additional Degree Requirements

All students must enrol in COMS 800 in the first term of Year 1; COMS 815, COMS 835 and one additional elective course from among the program's offerings in Year 2; and COMS 890 and COMS 896 in Year 3.

Under normal circumstances, students enrol in the Doctoral Examination (COMS 815) in Year 2 of the program. Normally, the written portion of the examination is defended orally by no later than the end of the Fall Term in Year 2. It is compulsory to finish the examination before registering in COMS 835 .

In the term following the completion of course work (usually the sixth term) students should submit a thesis proposal (COMS 890) to their thesis director. Students must have completed the doctoral examination (COMS 815) before registering for the thesis proposal. The thesis proposal should be completed within three years of the student's first enrolment.

All degree requirements, including the thesis, must be completed within six years of the student's first enrolment for full-time studies and eight years for part-time studies.

Supervision. Students are assigned an academic advisor when they first register. Students are required to choose a thesis director before the end of their third term in the program.

Academic Regulations

  1. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.
  2. Residence. The minimum period of residence is six terms including two summer terms of full-time study, or its equivalent in part-time study. Of this, three terms must be taken consecutively.
  3. Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulations page for further details regarding the Time Limits.
  4. Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.

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