Students are admitted to the PhD program after having completed an MA degree. Depending on the extent of students’ prior academic work in communication and their rate of progress, the degree can be achieved in three to four years.

According to Graduate School requirements, PhD students must enroll in residence (i.e., as a full-time student) for at least six semesters beyond the BA degree. Two semesters of residence credit may be allowed for an MA degree from another institution; however, at least four semesters of residence credit, two of which must be consecutive in one academic year, must be earned for work taken at CU-Boulder. One semester’s residency is earned by registering as a full-time student during the fall or spring semesters, or during two summer semesters.

Full-time PhD students must carry one of the following semester course loads: a minimum of 5 credit hours of graduate-level course work before passing the comprehensive examination, or a minimum of 5 dissertation hours after passing the comprehensive examination. PhD students are expected to complete all degree requirements within six years from the semester in which they are admitted and begin coursework in the doctoral program.

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Graduate classes begin at COMM 5000.