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Course of Study

  1. Students must complete at least 12 courses (and a maximum of 18) in the first 2 years of study. These include 6 required courses: Rhetoric: History and Theory; The Practice of Public Scholarship; Making and Unmaking of Audiences and Publics; Media Theory; History of Media Technologies; and one of either Contemporary Rhetorical Analysis or Critical Media Practice. These also include a set of elective courses relevant to the student’s planned research and teaching expertise, which must be approved by the student’s adviser and the Director of Graduate Studies.
  2. The PhD Qualifying Exam should be taken at the end of Year 2. Reading lists will be written in consultation with a faculty adviser. The exam consists of 3 take-home written exams to be assessed by three faculty examiners who will constitute the qualifying exam committee.
  3. In the Fall quarter of Year 3 students will submit and defend a PhD Prospectus, a document outlining a planned dissertation project to be approved by a faculty examining committee.
  4. Years 3, 4, and 5 should be devoted substantially to the writing of the dissertation for defense by the end of Year 5. The completed dissertation must be approved by the faculty dissertation committee.
  5. Northwestern has many resources for research. It is expected that doctoral students will attend program and other university events as part of their studies. These include visiting lectures, workshops, symposia, conferences, reading groups, arts events, summer institutes, and more.