Nov 30, 2021  
Rensselaer Catalog 2021-2022 
    
Rensselaer Catalog 2021-2022

Communication and Rhetoric Ph.D.


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The Ph.D. in Communication and Rhetoric (CMRT) is distinguished by its commitment to the integrated, interdisciplinary study of media, communication, and society. Situated within the country’s oldest technological university, the CMRT Ph.D. is a unique and flexible program that draws from numerous disciplines across the humanities, arts, and social sciences. 

The CMRT Ph.D. consists of an interdisciplinary core with flexible tracks that students can tailor to their research interests under the direction of their advisor. 

More information about this program can be found at  https://hass.rpi.edu/communication-and-media/communication-and-rhetoric.

Outcomes of the Graduate Curriculum

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • Integrate varied theoretical perspectives and methodologies.
  • Learn to integrate varied theoretical perspectives and methodologies of an interdisciplinary degree program in Communication and Rhetoric.
  • Gain critical and reflective knowledge of concepts in a discipline or set of disciplines.
  • Master critical, interpretive analysis and application of written, visual and multi-media texts.
  • Learn qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate, interpret, and analyze empirical data and evidence.
  • Gain the ability to design and articulate research problems, and conduct independent, original and significant research.
  • Learn how to apply theory and research to media design and practice.
  • Gain an understanding of the historical, social, cultural, and rhetorical contexts that shape, and are shaped by diverse communication practices and media environments.
  • Communicate effectively to specialized and general audiences.

Overview of Graduation Requirements

  • Seventy-two (72) credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, which includes an appropriate master’s degree.
  • Individual course requirements can be waived or substituted - in exceptional circumstances - by the advisor and graduate program director without decreasing the total number of credits required for the degree.
  • Successful completion of the Comprehensive Exam, Candidacy Exam, and Dissertation Defense.

For students entering without a master’s degree in a relevant field


Required Coursework


  • Successful completion of the M.S. in Communication and Rhetoric degree at Rensselaer, of which 27 credits of coursework will be applied to the Ph.D. in Communication and Rhetoric degree; credit from Capstone/Thesis Requirement (COMM 6940 or COMM 6990) is required to complete the MS but is not applied to the Ph.D. Please see Communication and Rhetoric M.S. template in the Catalog for details on M.S. in Communication and Rhetoric degree requirements.
  • The three (3) course required core draws upon 6000-level IHSS graduate seminars, often taught by C&M faculty but with a broad foundational approach that will prepare students for a variety of dissertation topics:

Electives


Students are required to complete a minimum of 18 credits in elective coursework (including independent studies and directed research).

[see footnotes 2, 3, and 4 below]

Directed Research


Students are required to complete 3-6 credits of COMM 6940 - Directed Research. Direct Research is an independent study undertaken with the Ph.D. committee chair before the Candidacy Exam.

Dissertation


For students entering with a master’s degree in a relevant field


Up to 24 credits from a prior master’s degree will be applied toward the Communication and Rhetoric Ph.D.

Required Core


The three (3) course required core draws upon 6000-level IHSS graduate seminars, often taught by C&M faculty but with a broad foundational approach that will prepare students for a variety of dissertation topics. 

Electives


Students are required to complete a minimum of 18 credits of electives (independent studies and directed research). 

[see footnotes 2, 3, and 4 below]

Directed Research


Students are required to complete 3-6 credits of COMM 6940 - Directed Research. Direct Research is an independent study undertaken with the Ph.D. committee chair before the Candidacy Exam.

Dissertation


  • Credit Hours: Variable
  • Students are required to complete a minimum of 21 credits in COMM 9990 - Dissertation. 

    [see footnote 1 below]

Footnotes


  1. Students may register for Dissertation credits during the semester of their Comprehensive Exam and in subsequent semesters until graduation.
  2. No more than 15 credits at the 4000-level are to be allowed. Additionally, credit(s) from 1000- and 2000-level coursework cannot be applied to the Plan of Study.
  3. At least one course with COMM and WRIT subject code must be completed.
  4. A maximum of 12 credits of Independent Study, including both Directed Research and other independent studies.  Exceptions if approved by Graduate Program Director.

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