University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
Skip to Content

PhD Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. degree involves the successful completion of at least 36 credit hours of course work beyond the Master’s degree (a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the Bachelor's degree, of which a minimum of 50 credit hours are in Communication), with a Quality Point Average of 3.0/4.0 or higher; two qualifying papers with an oral defense; and, a dissertation with an oral defense.  

A. Required Courses

B. Candidates must also complete

  • Successful completion of the Research Electives requirement (9 credit hours).
  • Successful completion of the Department Electives requirement (12 credit hours).
  • Successful completion of the Free Electives requirement (6-12 credit hours).
  • Successful completion of the Department Instructional requirement (3 credit hours) which may be satisfied by assumption of primary teaching responsibility for an undergraduate class or by assisting a professor teaching a course (see below).
  • Successful completion of two publication-quality papers which serve as your preliminary examinations and the oral defense of those papers.
  • Successful completion of a Dissertation Proposal Hearing.
  • Successful completion of a dissertation. 

Courses are determined in consultation with your advisor.