Graduation requirements and regulations for every academic program are provided in this catalog. Degree requirements and course descriptions are subject to change. In most cases, you will use the catalog of the year you entered KU (see your advisor for details). Other years’ catalogs»


KU Graduate Admission Standards. Regular admission requires a bachelor's degree and a grade-point average of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale), from KU or from another regionally accredited institution or foreign university with substantially equivalent bachelor's degree requirements. The bachelor's degree is not acceptable if it contains credit awarded for work experience that was not directly supervised by faculty members of an accredited university or not evaluated in units that identify the academic content.

Journalism School Requirements

  • Master’s degree or equivalent with at least a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
  • Graduate application: Apply online at
  • Application fee (nonrefundable).
  • Resume or CV.
  • An official transcript from the undergraduate degree-granting institution AND all previous graduate credit, including the master’s degree, sent electronically to the Graduate Application Processing Center. A hard copy is acceptable if the institution cannot send electronic transcripts.
  • Examples of research and scholarship. Links to online articles are acceptable.
  • Statement of research goals that coincide with the journalism school's faculty scholarship. No less than 500 words.
  • 3 references, including one from the master’s advisor.
  • Students whose native language is not English must follow the policy for English Proficiency Requirements for Admission to Graduate Study.
  • International students are required to submit evidence of financial support.

In exceptional cases, students with a bachelor’s degree may be admitted for the full 46-hour program.

Financial support
The School provides up to eight semesters of financial support for Ph.D. students. The generous support package includes:

  • 50 percent Graduate Teaching Assistantship, with an additional scholarship award.
  • A minimum salary of $17,000 paid bi-weekly over nine months, paid through normal University payroll with customary deductions.
  • $4,000 scholarship paid in two installments each year.
  • Assistance in paying for insurance. You will receive the University’s 75 percent contribution toward health insurance coverage, if you need it.
  • 100 percent tuition waiver for fall and spring semesters.

Contact Assoc. Dean Tien Lee ( and Graduate Advisor Jammie Johnson ( for more information or to express interest in the Ph.D. program.

Admission Deadline. For fall admission, the deadline for materials is December 15.

The William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications offers the Ph.D. degree, beginning fall 2012. The school has a solid reputation based in the profession and our faculty study issues and uses of real-world media communications. We seek junior colleagues who share those interests.

Our Ph.D. program is small and, therefore, selective. We admit 4 to 6 students per year to ensure close work with the faculty. We expect our students’ scholarly and research interests to intersect with those of our faculty.

The school’s Ph.D. is a rigorous scholarly research degree requiring mastery of theory and methodology. We expect our Ph.D. program graduates to possess advanced knowledge in the following areas necessary for all scholarship in the discipline:

  • Scholarly inquiry and methods of discovery;
  • Current theory and research methods of the discipline;
  • Statistics appropriate to the discipline;
  • Media use by society, historical and current;
  • Media roles in society, including issues of diversity;
  • The First Amendment, legal and ethical issues of the discipline.

Additionally, we expect our Ph.D. program graduates to possess advanced knowledge in one or more of the following areas as necessary for scholarship in their chosen area of expertise and with the advice and guidance of their respective faculty advisors:

  • Advanced practice of theory, methods and concepts in the student’s area of journalism expertise;
  • Advanced practice of theory, methods and concepts suitable to the student’s area of concentration;
  • Advanced statistics;
  • Specific uses and impacts of media, such as in healthcare delivery, in education, in politics, in the military, or in traditional mass media roles;
  • The business of the media, historical and current;
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Ph.D. program requires a total of 46 course credit hours (7 three-hour core journalism courses and a one four-hour statistics class with a lab), a one-hour pro-seminar (JOUR 901) each fall semester, a 12-hour concentration outside the journalism school plus dissertation hours, which are variable. 40 course hours are prescribed; the others (six credits) are journalism electives.

Students who hold a master’s in journalism may have this 46-hour requirement adjusted (a maximum of 6 credits) due to prior course work, leaving 40 hours for completion of the degree. The student completes study of appropriate research skills, designed in consultation with the faculty advisor. The student also must meet KU’s requirements for dissertation hours.