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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

We admit students only once per year for the fall semester of the following year. Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year will be due on December 1, 2019. 

In order to apply, you must 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. 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. GRE exam scores
  6. TOEFL exam scores, if applicable


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.


We require all applicants to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test before applying, which assesses verbal, quantitative, and analytical abilities. For all applicants, these scores are interpreted in light of all the information they furnish and especially in light of their past academic records, letters of recommendation, and short examples of academic writing authored solely by the applicant.

The official GRE score report should be sent to the Graduate School, but students may also send a copy of their score results to the department if expedition is needed.

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 institutiton 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 here