Speech Communication PhD Program Overviews

If you are interested in research and teaching in the field of speech communications, a doctoral program may be an appropriate educational option for you. Find out what to expect from these programs and what students do after graduation.

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Essential Information

Doctoral programs in speech communication involve advanced studies in the techniques and principles of communication. They go beyond the basics, emphasizing studies in linguistics, rhetoric, the evolution of communication, and real-world applications of communication principles, including how they can be used to foster success in business settings, personal relationships and society.

These programs include both theoretical coursework and independent research, and students are expected to maintain a certain GPA (usually 3.0). They typically take five to seven years to complete, with the last two years focusing on teaching, research and the student's dissertation. Prior to graduation, students must pass a comprehensive examination. In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's and master's degree in a related field.

Doctorate in Speech Communication

In these programs, students may be required to take some of the following courses:

  • Teaching public speaking
  • Political communication
  • Special problems
  • Message processes and effects
  • Negotiation
  • Rhetorical criticism

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

After earning a Ph.D. in speech communication, most students pursue careers in academia, either in a professorship or research capacity. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), opportunities for all professors are expected to increase by 13% between the years 2014 and 2024, which is faster than average, most likely due to increasing enrollment in postsecondary institutions. According to the BLS, median salary for communications professors was $63,410 in May 2015.

Overall, a Ph.D. in speech communication provides the advanced theoretical and research training that students need for successful research and teaching careers at the postsecondary level.

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