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How to Apply


A bachelor's degree from an accredited college is required to apply to the doctoral program.  

Applying for Admission

Dear prospective graduate students:

As a response to Covid-19 driven budget cuts at the University of Minnesota, the Department of Communication Studies has decided to pause graduate admissions for the upcoming 2021-22 academic year. This was not an easy decision to make, as we enjoy welcoming a new group of graduate students each fall. We have decided to prioritize support for our current graduate students—many of whom have faced difficulties brought about by the pandemic. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, and hope that you’ll consider applying to our doctoral program in the future.

In order to apply, complete the online application. When using the application, be sure to choose "Communication Studies PhD" on the drop-down menu. Additional application instructions are provided by the Graduate School. 

International students are required to provide a TOEFL score and personal writing sample in English. More information for international students can be found through the Graduate School.

Application Requirements

  1. A strong statement of purpose telling us exactly why you want a graduate degree from our department
  2. A one-page statement on how you would contribute to the diversity of our student body
  3. Writing sample of academic nature
  4. Three letters of recommendation
  5. Resume/ CV
  6. Unofficial transcripts
  7. TOEFL exam scores, if applicable
  8. An application fee


As a general rule, an undergraduate average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) is considered necessary for applicants, though the actual average of those who are recommended for admission is much higher. Undergraduate grades are looked at carefully. The pattern of preparation and grades across time and fields are considered. Grades in the major field and in the junior/senior years are given special attention. An average of 3.5 in the master's is typically necessary for admission to the doctoral program.

TOEFL English Language Proficiency

All international applicants and domestic applicants whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or an equivalent exam. Those who have completed significant coursework at an English-speaking institution in the last 2 years may be exempt from the test requirement. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is at least 79 (internet version, with at least 21 on writing and 19 on reading). The academic writing sample that nonnative English-speaking applicants provide should be authored solely by themselves. Read more about University English language requirements


GRE scores are not taken into consideration for admission. There is no need to submit any scores. This is the most current and accurate requirement—any other sites indicating a need to submit a GRE score are inaccurate and should be disregarded.