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Frequently Asked Questions

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How many students are admitted each year and how many are there in the program?

4-5 students are admitted per year. We have approximately 30 Ph.D. students.

How are PhD students in communication funded?

The Department of Communication offers full funding through a combination of fellowship stipends and teaching/research assistantship salary as well as tuition throughout the first 5 years of study. This funding is provided for all 12 months so that PhD students do not have to worry about summer support.

Is health insurance covered?

Starting September 1, 2022, Stanford will provide a 100% subsidy for Cardinal Care health insurance for graduate students who are supported on research and teaching assistantships (at 25% level or higher) or fellowships at a comparable level and who are in good academic standing. Funding to support other insurance plans is not provided by the university or our program.

How many units of courses can a student with a master’s degree transfer for credit toward Ph.D.?

After at least one quarter of enrollment, students pursuing a Ph.D. may apply for transfer credit for graduate work done at another institution. Ph.D. students may apply a total of 45 units of transfer credit and credit earned for a Stanford master’s degree toward the Ph.D. residency total.

In the application, I am asked to select three faculty members whose research interests align with my own (in order of preference). How do I choose, and what’s the significance?

Prospective applicants should carefully read the faculty pages on the department website and the personal or lab websites of the communication research faculty to determine who they would be interested in working with. The selected professors will be the ones taking a closer look at your application.

Where can I find more information about the faculty’s published works?

Most faculty list their published work on the faculty pages on the department web site or on their personal or lab web sites.

How many core courses does a Ph.D. student have to take?

There are 5 core courses that every first-year student has to take — 301, 311, 314, 317, and 318 — that are provided for them exclusively. In addition, the Ph.D. students need to take 206 and 208, courses that are also open to master’s students. Before the end of their third year, Ph.D. students must complete a course in statistics, an advanced methods course, and three series of lecture and seminar courses.

Can the program be done remotely or part-time?

The Ph.D. program in Communication is a full-time program. All graduate students are expected to be in-residence so that they can attend courses in-person and fully participate in the intellectual life of the program. The exception to this is approved time away from campus to conduct research or to participate in another intellectual activity.