COMM 400



COURSE DESCRIPTION: Comprehensive and exhaustive, directed independent study consisting of in-depth analysis of communication phenomena, synthesis of the scientific literature in communication, or in-depth analysis of best practices in the field of communication.


COURSE GOAL: The primary goal of the doctoral dissertation is for the student to demonstrate mastery of theory techniques in undertaking communication research, and to enable him/her to translate research findings into practical application in the field.

The student is expected to:

  • Conceptualize, design, and undertake an exhaustive study of an area of concern in the field of communication
  • Apply relevant analytical tools in the discovery, analysis, and understanding of new information and knowledge related to the field of communication
  • Analyze and interpret new information and knowledge with the end-in-view of utilizing the new information and knowledge to solve an existing problem in the field of communication.


  • Immediately upon enrolling in your COMM 400 (Doctoral Dissertation), you are encouraged to communicate with your graduate advisory committee to discuss your topic. You may first be required by your Adviser to prepare a Concept Note. Ordinarily, the Concept Note consists of the following: your proposed title; the rationale for the topic including research gaps or inconsistencies found in the literature; research questions; a theoretical framework or lens; and your proposed methodology. This implies that you have read the literature related to the topic that you can fully discuss the rationale, the research problem and the research objectives for your topic.
  • There will be two dissertation examinations both of which are done via Zoom: the proposal presentation; and the oral defense or final exam. The student and his/her advisory committee will determine the appropriate dates based on the progress of the dissertation. Individual members of the advisory committee may exercise his/her right to postpone the proposal presentation or oral defense if he/she has any doubts on the student’s readiness.