Research Methods Courses

Students in the PhD program are invited to take courses across any of our areas. A complete listing of courses in the PhD program can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

Regularly scheduled courses in research methods include:

COMS 5100 – Field Research Methods in Communication
Development of research methods such as content analysis, participant observation, Q-analysis, questionnaire design, sampling procedures, case studies, and unobtrusive measures.

COMS 6100 – Measurement Methodology in Communication
Measurement principles, instruments, and techniques in communication; problems and procedures in testing, measuring, and evaluating communicative attitudes and skills; development and availability of relevant standardized tests.

COMS 7010 – Research Designs in Communication
Nature and selection of communicative research problems; development of strategies, techniques, and appropriate designs, critical evaluation and development of experimental and descriptive procedures.

COMS 7110 – Communication Historiography
Bibliographic, analytical, and interpretive skills for dealing with published primary source materials, including letters, speech texts, and audiovisual recordings in their historical contexts. Designed to help students become skillful library users, situate a research problem in context, and analyze primary historical materials.

COMS 7130 – Qualitative Research: Ethnography of Communication and Conversational Analysis
Provides students with an understanding of how to conduct communication research projects using two qualitative research methodologies that stress the collection and analysis of naturalistic data–ethnography of communication and conversation

COMS 7310 – Rhetorical Criticism
Theories and methodologies of selected modern critics. Exploration of interdisciplinary dimensions in criticism of rhetorical interactions. Class and individual projects.

COMS 8900 – Special Topics in Communication Studies
Specific course content will vary with offering.

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Miller, J. L., Sandburg, S., & Kay, C. S. (Forthcoming). Diamonds in the rough: Claims, evidence, and reasoning in Facebook comments. 
American Behavioral Scientist.
Lippert, A., & Kay, C. S. (Forthcoming). Click for Dixie: Virtual plantation tours’ use of White nostalgia and directed narrative experience. Chapter proposal accepted for the edited collection, Subjectivities of Interactive Nostalgia

2017 Excellence in Service Award recipient, The National Society of Leadership and Success: Ohio University Chapter. Nominated by former students. Carson Kay was the only graduate student and the only humanities scholar awarded by the society.


Kay, C. S. (2018, January 29). Graduate school and you: Insight from a Viking alum. Invited Skype presenter to discuss the graduate school experience with Dr. Sam Nazione’s senior seminar communication course at Berry College.
Kay, C. S. (2017, November 16-19). The young judge’s dilemma: Examining the tension between established team friendship and objectivity in judging ‘cousin’ teams.” Paper presented at the 2017 National Communication Association Annual Convention, Austin, Texas.
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