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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. Guidelines for final submission of the e-Thesis to the University can be found at: https://www.mcgill.ca/gps/thesis/final-e-thesis. If you are using images in your thesis, keep in mind issues of copyright. Useful guidelines can be found here and here.
     

 

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

 

Work on thesis proposal and submit for defense in Spring or Summer.

Establish Supervisory Committee.

Summer

Begin thesis research and writing.

Year 3 (PhD4)

Ensure that language requirement has been fulfilled and continue progress on thesis.

Fall

Meet with supervisor and Supervisory Committee for progress tracking (forms due November 15).

Winter

Continue thesis research and writing.

Language requirement deadline.

Summer

Continue thesis research and writing.

Year 4 (PhD5)

Thesis research and writing continues.

Fall

Meet with Academic Supervisory Committee for progress tracking (forms due November 15).

Continue thesis research and writing.

Initial thesis submission before Dec 15 for June graduation.

Winter

Continue thesis research and writing.

Initial thesis submission before April 15 for October graduation.

Summer

Continue thesis research and writing.

Initial thesis submission before Aug 15 for February graduation.

Year 5 (PhD6)

Thesis successfully examined and oral defense passed.

Fall

 

Meet with Academic Supervisory Committee for progress tracking

Initial thesis submission before Dec 15 for June graduation.

Winter

Continue thesis research and writing.

Initial thesis submission before April 15 for October graduation.

Summer

 

Continue thesis research and writing.

Initial thesis submission before Aug 15 for February graduation.

Year 6 (PhD7)

Thesis successfully examined and oral defense passed.

Fall

Meet with Academic Supervisory Committee for progress tracking

Initial thesis submission before Dec 15 for June graduation.

Winter

 

Continue thesis research and writing.

Initial thesis submission before April 15 for October graduation.

Summer

 

Continue thesis research and writing.

Initial thesis submission before Aug 15 for February graduation.

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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