Doctorate in Journalism (PhD)

Doctorate in Journalism (PhD)

School of Social and Human Studies

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Open Curriculum Design at Atlantic International University

AIU’s Doctor of Journalism (Ph.D.) goal is to provide students with a unique and unrepeatable foundation and professional skills necessary to conduct groundbreaking research. The program helps students initiate, contribute to, and pursue a research program in their chosen areas of inquiry. The Journalism program is designed to advance the professional development of experienced journalism graduates and professionals in the journalism arena by extending their knowledge and equipping them with broad research and process journalism skills, enabling them to make an essential leadership contribution to their chosen fields.

AIU’s PhD in Journalism goes one step further by allowing students to study and research multiple essential areas of computer science to develop a unique foundation of practical knowledge and computer science theory.

Your AIU Distance Learning Doctorate program in Journalism will be a custom-made program designed just for you by you and your advisor. This flexibility to meet your needs is rare in other distance learning programs. We offer one of the best doctoral programs in Journalism that only requires some students to study the same subjects and use the same books and other learning materials as every other student. Instead, our online Doctoral programs are designed just for you. AIU’s journalism research methods are individually designed to meet your needs and help you to reach your professional and personal goals. 

Core Courses & Topics in Journalism

As a doctoral candidate, you will engage in an andragogy-driven curriculum that combines theoretical frameworks with practical applications, preparing you to contribute significantly to the field. The following is a glimpse into the core courses and topics that will shape your intellectual exploration, ensuring a transformative experience as you become a thought leader in journalism and media studies.

  • Mass Media
  • Intellectual Property
  • Strategic Communication Planning
  • Media Ethics
  • Communication Research Methods
  • Literary Journalism
  • Telecommunication Policy
  • Press and the Constitution
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Advertising and Public Relations
  • International Mass Communication
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Orientation Courses

AIU’s Doctorate in Journalism program welcomes you with a comprehensive orientation curriculum to lay a solid foundation for your academic journey. These journalism dissertation topics and orientation courses are crafted to acquaint you with the unique features of our program, ensuring a seamless transition into the doctoral study environment. Our holistic orientation curriculum aims to foster a sense of community among fellow doctoral candidates and faculty, providing a collaborative space where you can begin to shape your academic identity and research interests. Embrace these foundational media and communication studies courses as the initial stepping stones on your path to excellence in journalism scholarship at AIU.

  • Communication & Investigation (Comprehensive Resume)
  • Organization Theory (Portfolio)
  • Experiential Learning (Autobiography)
  • Academic Evaluation (Questionnaire)
  • Fundament of Knowledge (Integration Chart)
  • Fundamental Principles I (Philosophy of Education)
  • Professional Evaluation (Self Evaluation Matrix)
  • Development of Graduate Study (Guarantee of an Academic Degree)

Research Projects in Journalism

The Doctorate in Journalism program at AIU offers a dynamic and intellectually stimulating environment for aspiring scholars seeking to contribute significantly to journalism. Our research projects are designed to push the boundaries of knowledge in journalism, media studies, and communication. Doctoral candidates engage in cutting-edge research that explores the evolving landscape of journalism in the context of rapidly advancing technologies, the digital revolution, and the changing nature of news consumption.

Whether investigating the impact of artificial intelligence on news production, analyzing the dynamics of misinformation in the digital age, or exploring human rights and the intersection of journalism and social justice, students are encouraged to pursue innovative and interdisciplinary approaches.

  • Doctoral Dissertation Project
  • MBM900 Doctoral Proposal
  • MBM902 Doctoral Dissertation (15,000 words)

Publication: AIU’s Journalism Doctorate urges grads to share their research through papers, on public platforms, or in esteemed global journals. Embrace advanced reporting, mastering innovative methods. Our ethos? Ethical journalism — integrity, accuracy, and fairness guide graduates toward impactful and principled practice.

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AIU Offers the Outstanding Student Experience

Enrolling in AIU’s Doctorate in Journalism offers a dynamic and personalized student experience. Our program stands out for its emphasis on tailored learning, allowing students to shape their academic journey in collaboration with dedicated advisors. With a focus on advanced reporting techniques and ethical journalism, students delve into cutting-edge methodologies and tools.

The interactive online format fosters a vibrant community, facilitating networking with fellow professionals globally. AIU’s commitment to individualized education ensures that each student receives the support needed to excel in research, publication, and leadership within the ever-evolving landscape of journalism. Joining our Doctorate in Journalism program at AIU promises an enriching support system and transformative educational journey tailored to your unique aspirations.

Community & Social

AIU’s Doctorate in Journalism cultivates a vibrant online community through its Virtual Campus, Mobile APP, and collaborative tools like MYAIU, AIUTV, and AIULINK. Despite its online nature, the program offers dynamic engagement through symposiums, conferences, webinars, and competitions. With a University of One philosophy, AIU provides a technologically advanced infrastructure, including AIULink for social connections, Merlin Media Center for academic content, and the AIU Campus APP for on-the-go access. This interconnected community, supported by comprehensive resources like the AIU Online Library, positions the program as a leader in distance learning, offering a holistic educational experience for professionals.

Within this innovative environment, students explore cutting-edge themes such as Digital Journalism Trends, engage in Investigative Journalism Research, and navigate the complexities of Media Policy and Regulation. The program’s commitment to technology, collaboration, and a wealth of resources makes it an exemplary choice for those seeking a forward-thinking and impactful education in journalism. Platforms like MYAIU grant access to academic materials and facilitate global dialogue, fostering a positive attitude and happiness within the AIU family.

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Academic Resources

AIU’s Doctorate in Journalism provides an enriched learning experience through the Virtual Campus, integrating over 25 unique community engagement, growth, and inspiration tools. Newly introduced is a Virtual Reality 3D immersive experience, enhancing the sense of community at Atlantic International University. Students benefit from many academic resources, with the AIU Online library offering access to 260,000 books and over 30 million peer-reviewed articles. The Merlin Media Center further complements learning with over 105,000 AIU-created academic resources.

Live Classes

In AIU’s Doctorate in Journalism program, students experience the unique advantage of participating in two live classes daily, fostering real-time engagement and interaction. These live sessions, facilitated by expert faculty, provide an immersive learning environment where students can actively discuss, debate, and delve into the latest trends and challenges in journalism. The dual live class format ensures a dynamic and responsive educational experience, allowing students to benefit from immediate feedback, collaborative discussions, and the opportunity to connect with both faculty and fellow students in a vibrant virtual setting. This innovative approach enhances the overall learning experience, enabling students to stay connected, informed, and actively involved in the evolving landscape of journalism.

Special Projects

The doctorate in Journalism program at Atlantic International University recognizes the importance of fostering innovation and specialization through special projects. These projects give students a unique opportunity to apply advanced journalistic skills to real-world scenarios, addressing contemporary challenges and contributing to the field’s evolution. Whether investigative reporting, multimedia storytelling, or exploring emerging trends, special projects allow students to deepen their expertise and make a tangible impact. The program encourages students to pursue projects aligned with their passions, ensuring a customized and meaningful academic journey that prepares them to lead in the dynamic landscape of journalism.

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Career Center

The Doctorate in Journalism program at AIU’s Career Center is designed to empower aspiring scholars and industry professionals to reach the pinnacle of their careers in the dynamic field of journalism. Our program is committed to fostering advanced research skills, critical thinking, and cutting-edge expertise in journalism.

With a focus on artificial intelligence and its impact on the media landscape, our doctoral candidates engage in interdisciplinary studies that bridge the realms of journalism and technology. The Career Center provides a supportive environment for students to explore diverse career paths, equipping them with the tools to excel in academia, media organizations, research institutions, and beyond. Through mentorship, networking opportunities, and collaboration with industry leaders, AIU’s Doctorate in Journalism program prepares graduates to lead and innovate in the rapidly evolving world of journalism, contributing to advancing knowledge and transforming media practices.

Job Opportunities

Embark on a transformative journey in academia with the opportunity to shape the future of journalism education at AIU. As a faculty member in the Doctorate in Journalism program, you will be pivotal in guiding aspiring scholars through advanced research, cutting-edge exploration of artificial intelligence in media, and preparation for impactful careers.

Join a dynamic team committed to excellence in teaching, research, and industry engagement, and contribute to the evolution of journalism education in the digital age. Suppose you are passionate about the intersection of journalism and technology and possess a Ph.D. in Journalism or a related field. In that case, we invite you to join our innovative and collaborative academic community.

Teaching and Mentoring

Deliver high-quality lectures, seminars, and workshops to doctoral students in journalism. Provide individualized mentorship to guide students through their research projects and dissertation development. Foster a collaborative, engaging learning environment that encourages critical thinking and academic excellence.

Research and Publication

  • Conduct original research in the field of journalism, with a focus on artificial intelligence and its impact on media.
  • Publish scholarly articles, research papers and contribute to academic journals to enhance the program’s reputation and visibility.
  • Stay abreast of emerging journalism, media, and technology trends to update and enhance the curriculum continually.

Curriculum Development

  • Contribute to the ongoing development and refinement of the Doctorate in Journalism curriculum.
  • Integrate innovative teaching methodologies, ensuring that the program remains at the forefront of advancements in journalism and technology.

Advisory Role

  • Serve as an academic advisor to doctoral candidates, assisting them in navigating program requirements and career development.
  • Participate in thesis and dissertation committees, providing constructive feedback and guidance.
  • Industry Engagement
  • Establish connections with industry professionals, media organizations, and research institutions.
  • Facilitate partnerships and collaborations that provide students with real-world exposure and opportunities.

Professional Development

  • Engage in continuous professional development to stay current with journalism, AI, and education developments.
  • Attend conferences, workshops, and seminars to enhance personal expertise and contribute to the academic community.
  • Committee Participation
  • Serve on departmental and university committees, contributing to decision-making processes and fostering community within the academic institution.

Community Outreach

  • Actively participate in outreach activities, promoting the Doctorate in Journalism program to potential students, industry partners, and the wider community.
  • Represent AIU at academic conferences and events.

Tools in Journalism Professionals

Journalists often rely on a variety of tools to enhance their research, reporting, and storytelling capabilities. Here is a list of some of the best tools for journalism:

Writing and Editing

  • Microsoft Word or Google Docs: Standard word processors for drafting and editing articles.
  • Grammarly: Helps in proofreading and grammar checking to ensure polished writing.

Research and Information Gathering

  • Google Search and Alerts: Essential for initial research and staying updated on news topics.
  • Evernote or OneNote: Note-taking tools to organize and keep track of research findings.
  • Pocket: Save articles, videos, and other content for later reference.

Interviews and Transcription

  • or Rev: Automated transcription services for converting audio interviews into text.
  • Zoom or Skype: Conduct remote interviews and virtual meetings.

Data Visualization

Social Media and Monitoring

  • Hootsuite or Buffer: Schedule and manage social media posts for story promotion.
  • TweetDeck: Monitor Twitter for breaking news and trends.

Collaboration and Communication

Digital Security

  • Signal or Telegram: Encrypted messaging apps for secure communication.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN): Protect online privacy and ensure secure internet connections, especially when working remotely.


File Storage and Sharing

  • Google Drive or Dropbox: Cloud storage for sharing and collaborating on documents.
  • WeTransfer: Transfer large files securely to editors or colleagues.

Photography and Design

  • Adobe Creative Cloud (including Photoshop and InDesign): Photo editing and layout design for multimedia storytelling.
  • Unsplash or Canva: Access high-quality images and design templates.

Associations for Journalism Professionals

In the dynamic and ever-evolving realm of journalism, professionals with a Doctorate in Journalism play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the field through rigorous research, critical analysis, and academic excellence. To foster collaboration, provide avenues for ongoing learning, and advocate for advancing journalism scholarship, several esteemed associations offer platforms for networking, research dissemination, and professional development. These associations serve as vibrant hubs where doctoral professionals can engage with peers, share insights, and contribute to the continued evolution of journalism education and practice. Here is a curated list of associations that hold particular significance for individuals holding a Doctorate in Journalism, offering unique opportunities to stay at the forefront of industry trends, connect with like-minded scholars, and actively contribute to the field.

  1. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)
  2. International Communication Association (ICA)
  3. Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)
  4. Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR)
  5. National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)
  6. Broadcast Education Association (BEA)
  7. Online News Association (ONA)
  8. Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE)
  9. Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
  10. The Society for News Design (SND)
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Doctorate in Journalism Requirements

To be eligible for the Doctorate in Journalism program, applicants must possess a master’s degree in journalism or a related field from an accredited institution. Additionally, candidates should have at least five years of professional experience in journalism, showcasing a deep and sustained commitment to the practice and study of the discipline. This program is designed for individuals who have demonstrated exceptional expertise in journalism through their academic and professional endeavors. 

The combination of a master’s degree and substantial practical experience ensures that candidates entering the Doctorate in Journalism program have a solid foundation upon which they can further develop advanced research skills, contribute to the scholarly discourse in journalism, and make significant contributions to the field. The program seeks to attract individuals with a passion for journalism and a proven track record of excellence, preparing them for leadership roles in academia, research, and professional practice.

How Can You Apply?

The Doctorate in Journalism program at Atlantic International University (AIU) offers a straightforward application process designed to facilitate your academic journey. Follow these streamlined steps to embark on your Doctorate in Journalism:

Initiate Your Journey
Visit the provided link to access the AIU Doctorate in Journalism application portal. This is the starting point for your academic pursuit.

Input Personal and Educational Data
Carefully fill out the required fields with accurate personal and educational information. This step ensures that your application is complete and reflects your academic background.

Attach Your Resume
Thoughtfully include your resume as part of the application. This document serves as a testament to your professional experience in journalism, highlighting your achievements and contributions in the field.

Review Your Application
Take the time to thoroughly review all the details you’ve entered and the attached documents. Accuracy and completeness are crucial; this information will be integral to assessing your candidacy.

Submit with Confidence
Once you’ve reviewed your application, submit it through the online portal. This step marks the beginning of your academic journey at AIU.

Financial Support & Scholarships

Embark on your academic journey toward a Doctorate in Journalism at Atlantic International University (AIU) with the exciting prospect of scholarships awaiting qualified applicants. Submit your inquiry today to mark the initiation of a personalized exploration, where we guide you through myriad possibilities for financial support. At AIU, we understand the significance of fostering talent and encouraging academic excellence. Our scholarship opportunities aim to recognize and support individuals with a passion for journalism, providing a pathway for them to contribute meaningfully to the field. Take the first step by expressing your interest, and let us navigate the potential avenues for scholarships that align with your academic goals. Your inquiry not only opens the door to advanced education but also positions you to benefit from the resources and opportunities AIU offers to empower your journey in journalism.

How Much Does a Doctorate in Journalism Cost Per Year?

Embark on your academic journey with the assurance of affordability at Atlantic International University (AIU). Our Doctorate in Journalism program is designed to be exceptionally accessible. Experience financial ease through a flexible monthly payment plan, prioritizing your convenience and minimizing financial stress. AIU is steadfast in its commitment to delivering outstanding education while ensuring that pursuing a doctoral degree remains achievable for aspiring journalists.


How long does it take to complete a Ph.D. in Journalism?

The duration to complete a Ph.D. program in Journalism typically ranges from 4 to 6 years, depending on program structure, research requirements, and individual progress.

How does a Doctorate in Journalism differ from a Master's degree in terms of content and approach?

A Doctorate in Journalism typically involves more advanced and specialized research, contributing new knowledge to the field. It emphasizes independent research, critical analysis, and the completion of a doctoral dissertation. In contrast, a Master’s degree focuses on foundational knowledge and practical skills. It may include a thesis or capstone project but generally requires a different level of original research than a PhD.

Are there any online Doctorate programs in Journalism, and how effective are they?

Yes, there are online Doctorate programs in Journalism offered by various institutions. The effectiveness of online programs depends on factors such as accreditation, faculty expertise, and the program’s structure. Accredited online Doctorate programs can be as effective as traditional ones, providing flexibility for working professionals and utilizing advanced technologies for distance learning.

What is the significance of the dissertation in a Journalism PhD, and what are some example topics?

The dissertation in a Journalism PhD holds significance as it represents original research contributing to the academic field. It demonstrates the candidate’s ability to conduct in-depth scholarly inquiry. Example topics may include “The Impact of Social Media on News Reporting,” “Media Framing in Political Campaigns,” or “Ethical Considerations in Investigative Journalism.”

What are the latest technological and digital trends in journalism research?

Some current technological and digital trends in journalism research include artificial intelligence for content creation and analysis, immersive storytelling through virtual and augmented reality, data journalism for in-depth analysis, and the exploration of blockchain for enhanced transparency in news distribution.

How does a doctoral program in journalism prepare students for ethical challenges in the media?

A doctoral program in journalism prepares students for ethical challenges in the media by providing a solid theoretical foundation in journalism ethics, fostering critical analysis of media practices, honing research skills to study ethical issues, teaching ethical decision-making, covering media law and policy, and often incorporating elements of professional development. Graduates are equipped to contribute to the academic understanding of media ethics and navigate complex ethical dilemmas in their future roles as scholars, educators, or industry professionals.

Can a Doctorate in Journalism include international journalism studies or correspondences?

Yes, a Doctorate in Journalism can focus on international journalism studies or correspondences. Many doctoral programs offer opportunities for students to specialize in global journalism, cross-cultural communication, or international media issues, allowing them to explore and research the complexities of journalism in an international context.