Juris Doctor/Ph.D Journalism
Dual Degree Program

The University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism and School of Law offer an integrated program for students seeking both a Ph.D. degree in journalism and a J.D. degree in law. Students should consider this program if they are interested in teaching or in senior-level practice or policy work in either of these fields, nationally or internationally. Although a Ph.D. degree in journalism normally requires three years of study, and a J.D. requires three, students may be able to complete the full program in as few as five years.

School of Law Required Courses

(89 hours required for graduation)

First Year

Second Year Second or Third Year

Requirements consist of both required and elective courses

School of Journalism Required Courses

  • J415 Doctoral Proseminar I (3)
  • J416 Doctoral Proseminar II (3)
  • J421 Doctoral Seminar (3)
  • J451 Doctoral Research Seminar
    (1 credit/semester until student passes comprehensive examination)

Note: Additional graduate course work must total at least 72 hours (masters and doctoral combined)

Note: 1Any student who does not achieve a 77.50 GPA in the fall semester will be required to take 512L, Legal Reasoning. Those students in Legal Reasoning will not take Advocacy & Research until their second year. This course is designed to assist students in meeting the graduation requirements.

Law School Electives

Students at the law school are required to take 89 credit hours to receive the J.D. degree: 45 hours of required courses and 44 hours of elective credits. Students in the dual degree program may count up to six credit hours of course work taken under course names and numbers assigned by the School of Journalism toward the 44 hours of elective credit required for the J.D. degree. As explained below, students in the dual degree program also may undertake a joint research project and receive elective credit at both the law school and the School of Journalism.

Journalism Electives

Courses in the doctoral program are categorized into whatever number of subfields is dictated by the specialization of the student. Evaluation of the course selections and their categorization is based on the intellectual requirements of the dissertation and the teaching areas the student wishes to pursue. No courses that focus primarily on professional skills may be counted toward the doctoral program, whether taken at the master's or the doctoral level. Generally, courses from journalism would compose no more than 2/3 of the total credits earned in the dual degree program.

The program must include language and research tools including quantitative research or qualitative research based on the type of dissertation research planned. See The Doctoral Program Handbook for specific regulations regarding the language and tools requirements, qualifying process, and comprehensive examination.

Doctoral Dissertation

Doctoral students are required to write and defend a dissertation in journalism. Students in the dual degree program may choose to undertake the dissertation in conjunction with the J.D. independent study course, 644L Research. The faculty member overseeing 644L Research shall be responsible for determining whether the dissertation satisfies the requirements of 644L Research, considering those requirements as they apply to all other law students. Generally, credit under 644L Research is appropriate only for a paper of substantial length on a topic related to law.

If a student chooses to undertake the doctoral dissertation in conjunction with 644L Research, the dissertation committee must include at least the law faculty member overseeing 644L Research. The committee may include other members of the law faculty. Students should consult The Doctoral Program Handbook of the School of Journalism for further explanation and rules about the doctoral dissertation.

At the discretion of the law faculty member overseeing 644L Research, the upper-level writing section at the School of Law may be waived for students who use this course to successfully complete a joint journalism thesis or project. In exercising his or her discretion, the law faculty member should determine whether the joint 644L Research/thesis or project satisfies the regular requirements for an upper-level writing section at the School of Law.

Degree Requirement Summary

Requirements for the J.D. degree are met with 89 credit hours: 45 hours of required courses and 44 hours of elective courses. Students in the J.D.-Ph.D. program satisfy those 89 hours with 83 hours of credit in courses taken at the School of Law and 6 hours of credit in courses taken at the School of Journalism.

Requirements for the Ph.D. degree in journalism are met with 72 credit hours of courses in the School of Journalism and 9 credit hours of specialized courses within the School of Law. The detailed program of study in journalism is subject to approval by the student's advisor and committee in the School of Journalism and by the Director of Graduate Studies. In general, a maximum of 21 credits of the doctoral plan may be counted toward both degrees (see example).

The Law School's independent study course, 644L Research, may be taken in partial satisfaction of both the law school's elective requirement and the School of Journalism's dissertation research requirement. Interested students should register for 644L Research, and the credits earned for that course will also be counted toward the journalism research requirement.

General Course of Study

Year 1:
First year required law courses (31 hours)

Year 2:
Second year required law courses (8)
520L Constitutional Law (4)
522L Evidence (4)
Two elective law courses (6)
Required journalism courses (11)
J415 Doctoral Pro Sem I (3)
J416 Doctoral Pro Sem II (3)
J421 Doctoral Seminar (3)
J451 Doctoral Research Seminar (1 hr. each semester; assume 2 hours)
Journalism/collateral field work (9)

Year 3:
Second/third year required law courses (6)
Law electives (18)
J451 Doctoral Research Seminar (1 hr. each semester; assume 2 hours)
Journalism/collateral field course work (6)

Year 4:
Law electives (14) [incl. 644L Research]
Journalism electives (also law credit) (6)
Journalism/collateral field course work (17)

Year 5:
Journalism/collateral field course work (17)
Doctoral comprehensive examination
Dissertation

Sample Ph.D. Program

Application Procedure

Applicants to the dual degree program must submit formal applications for admission to the School of Law and to the School of Journalism, accompanied by a statement requesting permission to pursue the dual degree program. Students must meet the requirements for admission to both programs. Contact the School of Journalism and the School of Law for further information on admissions requirements.

Students normally should declare an intent to enter both programs before entering the University. This request should be submitted before a student has substantially completed the requirements of either program. However, petitions requesting admission to the program from students at more advanced stages in either program may be considered.

Required Journalism Courses (13 credits):
J415 Doctoral Proseminar I
J416 Doctoral Proseminar II
J421 Doctoral Seminar
J451 Doctoral Research Seminar
(1 credit/semester until Jrlsm. comps are passed; assume 4 credits total)

Research Methods (12 credits):
Psy 486 Field Research
Ed Counseling Psy A454 Quantitative
Methods in Educational Research I
Ed Counseling Psy A455 Quantitative
Methods in Educational Research II
EdA 488 App. of Multivariate Analysis

Law/Dispute Resolution (24 credits for Ph.D., 19 for J.D. ):
J304 Communications Law
538L Conflict Theory
J456 Cyberspace Policy and Regulation
J406 Seminar in Communications Law
J438 Controls of Information
Further law specialization courses L631 Public Policy Dispute Resolution (3)
L568 E-Commerce Law (3)
L520 Constitutional Law (4)

Management/Persuasion (9 credits):
J403 Strategic Communication Principles
J448 Readings in Adv. & Pub. Rel. Research
Psy 405 Survey of Social Psychology

Ethics and History (6 credits):
J446 Media Ethics
J404 History of Mass Media

Dissertation (9 credits) (incl. 644L Research)
Total: 73 credits

Regulations

  1. Law students who receive credit under the dual degree program for taking journalism courses may not receive credit for taking other classes outside the School of Law.
  2. Occasionally, students entering the Ph.D. program in journalism are required to strengthen their undergraduate experience by taking extra course work to round out their graduate programs. The most commonly required additional courses are American government, American history, and economics. These courses do not count as part of the Ph.D. program.
  3. A dual degree candidate who subsequently decides to pursue only one of these degrees must complete degree requirements subject to the same rules as a student not pursuing a dual degree.
  4. Student honors and class ranks at the School of Law will be computed on classes enrolled in as law courses.
  5. The School of Law cannot award credit for any class taken before matriculation at the School of Law. Dual degree candidates must therefore enroll at the School of Law before taking any journalism courses to be counted toward the J.D. degree.
  6. The School of Journalism and the School of Law reserve the right to limit participation in the program, including dismissal. Those interested are encouraged to submit a request for permission to participate in the program, along with applications for admission, at the earliest possible time.
  7. The listing of courses does not constitute a binding commitment that the courses will be offered during the student's course of study.
  8. Students in the dual degree program are subject to the same rules and regulations that apply to all students at the School of Law and the School of Journalism.

More Information

Earl English Graduate Studies Center
Missouri School of Journalism
116 Walter Williams Hall Hall
Columbia, MO 65211-1200
School of Law Office of Admissions,
103 Hulston Hall
Columbia, MO 65211