Principles and Procedures

We encourage our doctoral students to think about their dissertation research before they arrive and we ask that applicants to the PhD program submit essays that state a clear and concise research agenda that matches with those supported and initiated by our faculty members.

Upon entry into the doctoral program, we urge students to begin exploring literature and methodologies pertinent to their particular research interests and to begin identifying specific faculty members, both in and out of the department, who can serve as their dissertation committee members. We recognize that advanced coursework contributes to students’ intellectual development. Our faculty have determined that two years of full-time coursework, beyond a master’s degree or the equivalent, is sufficient, so that students move quickly toward pursuing their dissertation work more exclusively in the third year of study, accompanied by teaching and research opportunities.

Students admitted to the PhD program in Media, Culture, and Communication without an MA degree may be asked to complete up to six additional credits of coursework toward degree fulfillment.

See our PhD Handbook for a checklist to track completion of specific requirements.

The Office of Graduate Studies in NYU Steinhardt provides a list of policies and procedures governing doctoral study. In some instances, the Steinhardt Bulletin should be consulted for more detailed information.

Coursework Requirements

Total Credits: 48  (54 for students without a master's degree) Click here for full descriptions of all doctoral course work requirements.

Doctoral Seminars (12 credits)

  • MCC-GE 3100 Doctoral Core Seminar I, 4 credits
  • MCC-GE 3200 Doctoral Core Seminar II, 4 credits
  • MCC-GE 3101 Intro to Communication Research, 4 credits

Theoretical or Disciplinary Foundational Study (outside Department)

  • 12 credits by advisement

Research and Method Electives (inside or outside Department)

  • 10-12 credits by advisement*

Specialized Elective Courses (inside Department)

  • 12-14 credits by advisement*

* Note: 2 credits may vary between Research/Method and Specialized Electives

Advancing Toward the Degree: Suggested Guidelines

1st year

  • MCC-GE 3100 Doctoral Core Seminar I, 4 credits (fall semester)
  • MCC-GE 3101 Intro to Communication Research, 4 credits (fall or spring semester)
  • MCC-GE 3200 Doctoral Core Seminar II, 4 credits (spring semester)
  • Additional 12 credits by advisement (12 credits total per semester)
  • First-year General Theories Exam: (May or June)

2nd year

  • 24 credits by advisement (12 credits per semester)

3rd year

  • MCC-GE 3201 Dissertation Proposal Seminar, 1 credit (fall semester)
  • Dissertation Specialization Exam (in student’s research specialization areas) is taken in the beginning of the third year and is a prerequisite to dissertation proposal review
  • Completion of remaining credits (if any) by advisement
  • Completion of dissertation proposal and advancing to candidacy

4th and 5th years

  • Completion of dissertation
  • Final Oral Examination