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Degree Completion Requirements

Comprehensive Examinations

There are four areas of examination:

  • One area from the Core Curriculum
  • One area addressing the rhetorical and philosophical mission & praxis of the Ph.D. in Rhetoric
  • Two areas addressing the student's selected program emphases

The following elements describe the comprehensive examination process:

  • Students receive comprehensive exam questions at the beginning of the Spring semester
  • Students write exams over a two-day period
  • Faculty evaluate written examinations

Language Proficiency

In addition to satisfactory completion of all required coursework, you must demonstrate language proficiency by completing any of the following three options:

  • Reading knowledge of two languages
  • In-depth knowledge of one language
  • Reading knowledge of one language and Phenomenology study

Dissertation

Dissertation Director and committee are approved by the Director of the Ph.D. in Rhetoric Program and the Chair of the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies after successful completion of the comprehensive exams.

  • Dissertation Director assists with construction and approval of a prospectus. Final approval requires signature of the committee members, Chair of the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.
  • Committee ordinarily includes Director, two readers from graduate faculty, and one professional communication practitioner from the marketplace when appropriate. (The involvement of practitioners is distinctive and engaged when appropriate for the study and the candidate.)
  • Candidate defends dissertation in an open meeting, after approval from the Dissertation Director.
  • Final approval of the degree rests with the Chair of the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies and the Dean of the Graduate School of Liberal Arts at Duquesne University