Journalism PhD Program Information

In a doctoral journalism program, students learn various aspects of the field, including application, research methodology and theory, teaching and legal issues, through coursework and internships.

Essential Information

Ph.D. programs in journalism are geared towards individuals with experience in news and broadcasting who want to further their expertise. Curriculum is research methods and theory based, with a flexible design. Students can develop their own plans of study around their career goals and can choose from a variety of concentrations, such as First Amendment law and gender issues in journalism. Required courses and elements include media communications teaching, mass media research, freedom of expression theory and a dissertation. In some cases, participants have to take a second-language proficiency class. There are opportunities to interact with professionals through cooperative education experiences. These programs take 5 years to finish and necessitate a bachelor's and master's degree, acceptable Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, writing samples and a statement of purpose for admission. The master's requisite may be waived with demonstration of significant professional journalism and/or media experience.

  • Prerequisites: A bachelor's and master's, appropriate standardized test scores, writing samples and intent statement. With relevant work and/or educational experience, the master's condition may be waived.
  • Program Specializations: Options include First Amendment Law and gender issues in journalism
  • Program Length: Usually 5 years
  • Other Requirements: Completion of a dissertation and internship for graduation

Ph.D. in Journalism

Journalism doctoral programs primarily consist of theory classes and offer a more in-depth look at topics introduced in undergraduate programs. Common courses include:

  • Mass communication history
  • Media and culture theory
  • Ethical issues in journalism
  • Telecommunication law
  • Advertising theory
  • Contemporary issues in journalism

Popular Career Options

Graduates typically pursue careers in education, research and consulting. Other popular roles are:

  • University journalism professors
  • Media analysts
  • Research consultants
  • Advertising specialists
  • Journalism education program administrators

Employment Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for journalists and post-secondary professors was predicted to decline/grow at a rate of 13% and 19% with mean annual wages of $45,800 and $74,040, as of May 2014 (, respectively. The decline in journalistic positions is reported to be the result of decreasing advertising revenue from a surge in online media.

Continuing Education Information

A Ph.D. in Journalism is considered to be the terminal degree in the field. Some graduates may pursue degrees in other areas to complement their interests. For example, a degree in law would benefit an individual involved in political reporting. Some schools offer joint programs in journalism and related disciplines .

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