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The core courses for the Ph.D. in Technology and Humanities focus on the central concepts of the program. The core also provides coverage of academic, alt-academic, and private/government-sector career trajectories, emphasizing rigorous research methods and professional conduct throughout.

Core Courses (18 hours)

COM521: Key Concepts in Technology and Humanities
COM538: Entrepreneurship
COM545: Writing for Academic Publication
HUM610: Technology and Humanities Seminar
COM601: Research Methods and Resources

And one of either:

COM602: Qualitative Research Methods
COM603: Quantitative Research Methods

Breadth Requirement (12 hours)

The breadth requirement ensures that Ph.D. students take a range of Humanities courses, reflective of the diverse nature of humanities disciplines and departmental expertise. (Note that courses taken to satisfy the breadth requirement cannot be applied towards a specialization; additionally, Ph.D. students may take a maximum of nine hours of 400-level courses total.)

* Any course from the Linguistics specialization group (see below)
* Any course from the Communication & Media Studies specialization group (see below)
* Any 400- or 500-level course in History (HIST)
* Any 400- or 500-level course in Philosophy (PHIL)

Specializations (Minimum 15 hours)

Students may opt to specialize in any of the areas listed below, or build, with advisor approval, a custom specialization. (Note that courses taken to satisfy the breadth requirement cannot be applied towards a specialization; additionally, Ph.D. students may take a maximum of nine hours of 400-level courses total.)

Communication and Media Studies

COM528: Document Design
COM530: Standards-Based Web Design
COM531: Web Application Development
COM532: Rhetoric of Technology
COM541: Information Structure & Retrieval
COM552: Gender & Technologica Change
COM553: Globalization & Localization
COM554: Science & Technology Studies
COM571: Persuasion
COM574: Communications in Politics
COM577: Communication Law & Ethics
COM584: Humanizing Technology


COM501: Introduction to Linguistics
COM506: World Englishes
COM508: Structure of Modern English
COM509: History of the English Language
COM510: The Human Voice: Description, Analysis, & Application
COM515: Discourse Analysis

Technical Communication

COM503: Analyzing & Communicating Quantitative Data
COM511: Linguistics for Technical Communication
COM523: Communicating Science
COM525: User Experience Research & Evaluation
COM528: Document Design
COM529: Technical Editing
COM530: Standards-Based Web Design
COM531: Web Application Development
COM535: Instructional Design
COM541: Information Structure & Retrieval
COM542: Knowledge Management
COM543: Publication Management
COM561: Teaching Technical Communication
COM571: Persuasion
COM574: Communications in Politics
COM577: Communication Law & Ethics
COM585: Internship

Elective Courses (Maximum 15 hours)

Maximum 15 hours of coursework in any 400- or 500-level courses with advisor approval. Students may elect to take courses outside of the Department of Humanities, when appropriate.

Research Hours (Minimum 24/Maximum 36 hours)

COM691: Research & Thesis PhD


Qualifying Exam

The qualifying exam is meant to assess analytical ability, writing skills, and research potential. It must be taken by the end of the student’s third semester in the Ph.D. program. Each student prepares (1) a brief statement of research interests and (2) a Qualifying Paper — a sole-authored research paper of at least 5,000 words, demonstrating original analysis and familiarity with existing research.

Comprehensive Exam

The comprehensive exam assess a student’s expertise and ability to apply the literature in three research areas. The exam should be taken by the end of the student’s third year in the Ph.D. program. The student works with the examining committee to select research areas and develop a reading list for each one. Areas and reading lists must be approved by all committee members prior to the exam. A timed, written exam requires the student to respond to one or more questions in each area.

Dissertation Proposal

The dissertation proposal is a detailed written plan for original research that will culminate in the dissertation. The proposal is typically presented within one semester after the student has passed the comprehensive exam. The examining committee must formally approve the proposal before the student begins further work on the dissertation. As part of the review process, the committee may request one or more meetings with, or presentations by, the student.

Dissertation Defense

The dissertation defense is the oral defense of the dissertation, which should constitute an original contribution to scholarship in technology and humanities.

Admission Guidelines

Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a field that, in combination with the 30-credit-hour core and breadth requirements, would provide a solid basis for advanced academic work leading to original research in technology and humanities. The relevance of previous degrees to the doctoral program will be assessed by the department’s graduate admissions committee.

Applications to the Ph.D. program in technology and humanities are administered by Graduate Admission, which encourages an online application. Additional information is available at the admissions website, with application deadlines listed at prospective students’ deadlines.

In addition to the application form, you must submit the following:

* A research-oriented professional statement discussing the applicant’s professional and academic preparation, research interests, and goals

* Three letters of recommendation from faculty or supervisors who can evaluate your potential for advanced academic work (at least two must be from university faculty)

* Official transcripts, or certified copies thereof, of all academic work at the college level or above

* Required test scores

You are required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores with a minimum scores of 144 in quantitative reasoning and 153 in verbal reasoning, and an analytical writing score of at least 4.0

If you’re an international student you must submit TOEFL scores unless you are exempt as specified in the “International Applicant Requirements” of the Graduate Bulletin. The minimum TOEFL score is 95, with minimum section scores of 20 each in the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections. Students submitting IELTS scores must have a minimum score of 7.0

Note: Enrolling in courses as a non-degree student does not guarantee later acceptance into a degree program, nor does meeting the minimum admission requirements. If you enter as a non-degree or certificate student, you should first discuss your plans with the director of graduate studies.