M.A./Ph.D. Frequently Asked Questions

Visit the M.A./Ph.D. Admissions page for more information about applying to the program.

Prospective students must meet the minimum requirements of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. (or its equivalent from a foreign institution), having earned at least a 3.0 or B grade-point-average in the most recent 2 years of study (90 quarter or 60 semester credits). Applicants who are not native speakers of English must also demonstrate English proficiency. There are a number of ways this may be established. (See Graduate School Memorandum #8 and Graduate School Memorandum #15.)

See the Applicant Statistics section on the M.A./Ph.D. Admissions page.

It varies from year to year, but in a typical year we receive 120-160 applications, and we end up with an entering class of 5-10 people. All admitted students are offered full funding packages.

Yes, you may. We do require, however, that your prior degree offer a relevant foundation to graduate study in communication. Please note if the committee decides to admit you but does not feel you have a strong enough background in the field, a Ph.D. applicant may be offered admission to the M.A./Ph.D. instead.

We look carefully at everything you send us. Beyond meeting the minimum requirements, we review your letter of intent and recommendations for evidence that you have the capability and desire to research questions relevant to the field of communication. We look at your transcripts for a solid undergraduate and/or master’s level background, with evidence of courses taken in the humanities and social sciences. We also look closely at your letter of intent to make sure that we can satisfy your needs by offering faculty who align with your research interests. If you provide it, we also read your supplemental essay, which often gives us a better sense of how you could add to the intellectual and cultural diversity of the department. We want you to attend a graduate program that is a good fit for you, so we also evaluate applicants’ educational and professional goals in relation to what our faculty have to offer.

Yes, all students offered admission to the M.A./Ph.D. and Ph.D. programs are offered a funding package based on a graduate assistantship. Most students find that the funding supplied in this package is sufficient to live a graduate student lifestyle. However, if your financial need is severe, students should see if they qualify for need-based financial aid from the UW Office of Student Financial Aid.

International applicants are offered graduate assistantships on the same basis as U.S. applicants. If you are not a native speaker of English, the University requires evidence of spoken English proficiency to receive departmental assistantships involving classroom duties. Permanent residency/immigrant status does not exempt one from this requirement. If you are submitting official English proficiency exam scores with your application, they should be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions from ETS.

Because the Department receives such a large volume of applications, we follow very strict deadlines. For U.S. applicants and international applicants, all application materials (this includes official test scores and recommendations) must be received by November 15. The Graduate Admissions Committee will only review applications that are complete, so many applicants submit their applications early and make certain that those materials provided by other people or institutions, such as official test scores and recommendations, are sent well before the deadline.

Very early submission of applications will not make a difference in your eligibility. All reviews of application materials take place after the deadline date. Applications are reviewed by a committee of five graduate faculty in the department.

At present, we do not offer graduate level courses in the evenings. Our graduate courses are all daytime courses. International students and students with assistantship funding must attend full-time (10 credit minimum per quarter). Other self-funded U.S. students may attend on a part-time basis, though, for obvious reasons, these students will take longer to complete their studies.

We only accept applications for autumn quarter admission. Starting mid-year is not allowed because of the core series of courses that all new students take in succession during autumn and winter quarters.

This web site is designed to answer most of your questions, and you may find answers to your questions by browsing through this site. If you have general questions about graduate study costs and policies, financial aid or other academic departments, visit the University of Washington or the UW Graduate School websites. If you have questions that cannot be answered by reading this site, contact the Graduate Program Advisor, Heather Werckle, at cmuadv@uw.edu.