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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the University of Minnesota offer an MA in Communication Studies?

Fall 2017 was the last year that students could enroll in the MA program in Communication Studies as a standalone degree. For all students applying for admission into the program for Fall 2018 or after, the only program available is the five-year PhD program. 

Can I apply directly to the PhD program with a BA or a BS degree?

Yes. Like many other top programs, our five-year program integrates masters-level work into the model rather than as a standalone, terminal degree. 

Does the program still require five years if I enter with an MA?

That is up to you! Students entering with MA's in Communication Studies might be able to finish in a total of four years by completing their dissertations in their fourth year. However, given five years of funding, most students choose to take full advantage of their final two years to conduct rigorous research, write quality dissertations, and conduct job searches. Even with an MA, the fifth year is often a benefit in terms of providing research and writing time, and allows students to procure the best possible postgraduate position.

How many students are admitted every year?

Most years, we bring in 7 new students. Therefore, our graduate population includes 30 to 35 students in total each year.

How many credit hours are required to graduate in the 5 year PhD program?

The UMN Communication Studies Graduate Program requires 72 credit hours. This includes 42 credit hours of coursework, 26 hours of dissertation writing credit, and 4 credit hours of colloquium credit. To see how that workload is distributed over the 5 year program, visit the PhD in Communication Studies page.