Ph.D. in Communication Studies

The PhD in Communication Studies is a 5-6 year program requiring successful completion of the following:

  1. One year of required coursework (18 credits) that includes the COMS 616 Professional Seminar (3 credits) + 5 complementary graduate-level courses (15 credits), one of which may be taken outside of the Art History and Communication Studies department at McGill or at another university in Montreal.

    Graduate course titles in the McGill calendar are rather general, as professors tend to explore different topics each year in keeping with recent research developments in their fields and in the discipline.

    All courses taken outside of the Art History and Communication Studies department require the approval of the Graduate Program Director, in consultation with the student’s academic supervisor and the professor teaching the seminar.

    PhD students who have selected the Graduate Option in Gender and Women's Studies are required to take 9 credits (as part of the 18 credits of required coursework): WMST 601 Feminist Theories and Methods (3 credits) and WMST 602 Feminist Research Symposium (3 credits) + one complementary 3-credit Communication Studies course related to gender and women's studies. All course selections must be approved by the academic supervisor and the graduate program director.
     
  2. Comprehensive exam (COMS 702).
     
  3. Language requirement.
     
  4. Dissertation Proposal (COMS 703).
     
  5. A thesis developed in consultation with the student's supervisor. The Communication Studies program recommends either the American Psychological Association (or APA) or the Chicago Manual of Style, but the student and supervisor can agree to an acceptable style. Students should consult a style guide before submitting course work, proposals, or theses. Learn more about the guidelines for the final submission of the e-Thesis to the University. If you are using images in your thesis, keep in mind issues of copyright and intellectual property rights.

Typical PhD Timeline

Year in Program Milestones Details

Year 1 (PhD2)

Entering program with an MA = PhD2; otherwise, PhD1

Complete required coursework.

Compile comprehensive examination bibliography.

Fall:

  • Meet with supervisor for annual progress tracking (forms due November 15)
  • Register for COMS 616 Pro-Seminar (unless you took it already as an MA student)
  • Register for 2 Complementary Seminars

Winter:

  • Register for 3 Complementary Seminars
  • Begin preparing bibliography and annotations for comprehensive examination in Year 2

Summer:

  • Complete bibliography for the comprehensive examination in 2nd year
Year 2 (PhD3)

Complete Comprehensive exam.

Develop your thesis proposal.

Expand your skillsets.

Fall:

  • Meet with supervisor for annual progress tracking (forms due November 15)
  • COMS 702 essay(s) and defense

Winter:

Summer:

  • Begin thesis research and writing
Year 3 (PhD4) Ensure that language requirement has been fulfilled and continue progress on thesis.

Fall:

Winter:

  • Continue thesis research and writing
  • Language requirement deadline

Summer:

  • Continue thesis research and writing
Year 4 (PhD5) Thesis research and writing continues.

Fall:

Winter:

Summer:

Year 5 (PhD6) Thesis successfully examined and oral defense passed.

Fall:

Winter:

Summer:

Year 6 (PhD7) Thesis successfully examined and oral defense passed.

Fall:

Winter:

Summer:

In the doctoral program, students must be registered on a full-time basis for one or more years after completion of the residency (i.e., Ph.D. 4) before continuing as Additional Session students. More information on residency requirements.

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