Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
School of Communication, Information and Library Studies
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Master of Communication and Media Program
Master of Health Communication and Information
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Ph.D. Program in Communication, Information, and Media
Advising and Annual Review
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Ph.D. in Communication, Information, and Media Courses
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Camden Newark New Brunswick/Piscataway
  School of Communication and Information 2023-2025 Ph.D. Program in Communication, Information, and Media Advising and Annual Review  

Advising and Annual Review


Ideally, initial or temporary faculty advisers may be assigned to students when they begin the program based on research interests; if not, one's adviser for the first year is the area coordinator in that student's primary area of study. The initial adviser, in consultation with area faculty and the program director if needed, works with students to develop a preliminary plan of study which includes schedules for completion of necessary prerequisite and required courses, and for transfer of master's degree credits.

In the second semester (ideally prior to course registration for the third semester), each student should select an adviser to guide her or him in their remaining coursework and through the qualifying exam process (this may in many cases be the initial adviser assigned, if both student and faculty member agree to that). The student and this program adviser develop a plan of study designed to prepare the student for qualifying exams and dissertation research in the student's chosen area of study.

Advisers must be full members of the Ph.D. program
in communication, information, and media (CIM) faculty. Advisers shall also keep track of their advisees and meet with them regularly, at least once prior to each course registration period, and more frequently as needed. It is, however, ultimately the student's responsibility to stay in close contact with his or her adviser. The advising relationship is one of the most important aspects of graduate education.

Annual Review of Student Progress

All students are encouraged to involve themselves with faculty research as early as possible with multiple and varied research experiences. Doctoral students are required to attend program-sponsored colloquia, regularly held on Wednesday afternoons throughout the academic year. Students are encouraged to also take advantage of the many additional colloquia, conferences, lectures, symposia, and workshops scheduled each year, not only at SC&I, but throughout the university, and at the many other fine research universities in the surrounding metropolitan area. As an additional part of one's doctoral preparation, students are expected to actively submit to and present at various regional, national, and/or international scholarly conferences relevant to their research and to publish their work in appropriate scholarly venues.

The faculty of the Ph.D. program meets each spring semester to review the progress of all students in the program. This review of student progress is conducted initially by members of the faculty within the student's area of study. The executive committee of the Ph.D. program (director and area coordinators) and other interested faculty will also meet to discuss any problematic situations at a program-wide review. Prior to the review, all students in the program must meet with their advisor and submit a copy of the annual review and individual development plan form (due usually on April 1st). This information is used not only to assess student progress, but also to identify future goals and develop plans and strategies for achieving stated professional pursuits. Doctoral Student Annual Review and Individual Development Plan Forms are submitted online (click on Annual Review and Individual Development Plan Form in bullet list).

One goal of the annual review is to assure that each student is making expected progress in fulfilling program requirements. Key measures of expected progress include:
  • Quality and focus of coursework, including grades
  • Minimal number of incompletes, which are taken care of quickly
  • Selection of and contact with a primary adviser
  • Formation of committees for qualifying examination and dissertation
  • Timeliness in completion of requirements (for coursework, qualifying examination, proposal, and dissertation research)
  • Involvement in scholarly activities (e.g., conference submissions/presentations)
  • Additional expectations for teaching assistants, graduate assistants, and fellows as set by funding departments
The program director and area coordinators are responsible for informing students of the results of the annual review, including faculty recommendations/requirements for resolving difficulties in making progress as expected. An annual letter is prepared and sent to each of the students.


Two markers of progress beyond coursework and program milestones are your participation at various international, national, and regional conferences and other accomplishments (grants, publications, guest lectures, etc.). The program would like to both support and recognize those.

Travel: Students may apply for travel funds from both the SGS and the CIM Ph.D. program, via the same form and submitted online. This happens three times per year, one week prior to Nov. 1, March 1, and June 1. The program office will announce deadlines for receipt of travel requests and forms must be submitted online (with complete information, including a statement about the importance of the conference to the student's professional development). Those decisions are made within two weeks and students notified of any amounts received soon afterwards. To apply one must be an author on a paper, panel, or poster accepted for a scholarly conference (applications may be submitted no more than six months before the conference and no more than two months after the conference).

Accomplishments: To better promote the activity that you as doctoral students are doing, all students are asked to list any scholarly activity (e.g., conference presentations and posters, invited talks, fellowships received, submitted grant proposals, publications, honors/awards, etc.) in their annual review form. We use these reports to feature you in various venues where the CIM Ph.D. program is being promoted. In addition, please send the note on your accomplishments for schoolwide distribution to this email address: It is important to submit information when you have activity to report. If you share an accomplishment with a faculty member or another student here in SC&I, only one of you needs to submit it. You will find the published annual lists of student research accomplishments on the CIM Ph.D. program website at:


The Inter-University Doctoral Consortium is open to doctoral students from participating schools who have completed at least one year of full-time study toward the Ph.D. The consortium accommodates students only in the arts and sciences and in the field of education. Students may, with the required permissions, attend courses at any other participating school as part of their home school registration. The program permits up to two courses that may count toward degree requirements at these other schools. For more information and relevant forms, contact the Rutgers SGS. Participating schools are:

Columbia University, GSAS

CUNY Graduate Center

Fordham University GSAS

Graduate Faculty, New School University

New Jersey Institute of Technology

New York University, GSAS

Princeton University - The Graduate School

Rutgers University, School of Graduate Studies

Stony Brook University

Teachers College, Columbia University

University of Pennsylvania

Additionally, we have a double-degree program available between students interested in organizational communication and organization management. Contact the program office for additional details.

For additional information, contact RU-info at 848-445-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: One Stop Student Services Center.

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