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Communication Studies Graduate Program

Admission Criteria and How to Apply

Applications should be submitted as early as possible. Application deadlines are as follows:

  • Fall semester admission: January 5 for funding consideration, May 5 for non-funding consideration
  • Spring semester admission: November 15 for the spring semester
  • Summer admission: April 15 for the summer session.

Application Materials

All application materials must be received prior to evaluation. A complete application consists of the following: 

  • Complete online application submitted to Graduate Studies along with KU's graduate application fee ($65 for domestic applicants and $85 for international applicants).
  • Official GRE or TOEFL scores (KU code 6871). All domestic applicants must submit GRE scores. International applicants must submit TOEFL scores unless they have earned a degree within the United States. In this case, GRE scores must be submitted instead of TOEFL
  • One copy of official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate institutions. Transcripts may be submitted online or mailed to the address below. If accepted, official transcripts must be sent to Graduate Admissions
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from individuals in a position to comment meaningfully on the applicant's potential for graduate work. Individuals writing letters will be sent an e-mail from College Net with instructions to fill out an evaluation form.
  • Statement of purpose (2-3 pages) indicating the importance of your goals and academic interests and how they relate to the sub-fields of Communication Studies upon which currently faculty focus. If there are faculty members whose research/teaching you find particularly interesting, please list them at the conclusion of your statement.
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Research writing sample (sample of your academic work, e.g., senior thesis, seminar paper, Master’s thesis)
  • English Proficiency: If an applicant is not a native speaker of English, they must verify their English proficiency. Please see Graduate Admissions' English Proficiency Requirements for Official TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • Optional: Applicants seeking a graduate teaching assistantship (GTA) should include an additional statement regarding interest in financial assistance, directed to the COMS Graduate Admissions Committee

Applicants may submit their application, application fee, statement of interest, and resume through the application link above. GRE scores and TOEFL scores should be sent directly to KU using institution code 6871. Digital copies of transcripts may be emailed directly from the degree-granting institution to graduateadm@ku.edu. Official transcripts can also be mailed to the address below:

University of Kansas, Graduate Admissions
1450 Jayhawk Boulevard
Strong Hall, 313
Lawrence, KS 66045

Applicants are evaluated on the overall strength of their materials based on a balance of the following criteria: academic record as reflected in overall GPA and GPA in Communication Studies or a related major; the GRE or other appropriate tests for international applicants; the degree to which the statement of purpose represents a sophisticated interest in studying a sub-field emphasized by faculty in the department; the strength of recommendation letters; and the strength of the research sample submitted by the student.  While specific criteria are listed for the GRE and student grades, the final judgment is based on the overall strength of the application as reflected in all of the criteria listed.

If you have questions about admissions or would like to learn more about the Communication Studies Graduate program, please contact our Graduate Academic Advisor, Clare Thoman, at clarethoman@ku.edu.


Prerequisites

Students are expected to begin their graduate program in Communication Studies with 12-15 hours of coursework dealing with human communication and social interaction. Each application will be reviewed individually to determine sufficiency. Under circumstances where an applicant's coursework background is deemed insufficient, additional hours may required for completion of the graduate degree.

Grade Requirements

To be considered for regular admission to any graduate program at KU, applicants must have a bachelor's degree or bachelor’s degree equivalent from an accredited institution with undergraduate degree requirements similar to those of the University of Kansas. In general, applicants must have at least a 3.0 grade-point average (on a scale in which A = 4.0) in their bachelor's degree. If the applicant has already completed a Master's degree, at least a 3.6 grade point average for previous graduate work is required. If other factors suggest the potential for successful graduate work, applicants with grade averages as low as C+ (2.7 on a 4.0 scale) may be admitted to the Master's program on probation or on a provisional basis.


Notification of Admission

After the due date for which application materials must be received, the graduate committee will review applications and make recommendations. When recommendations are made, applicants will be notified by e-mail regarding the department's final decision. Applicants who are approved for admission and indicate their intention attend KU will receive further information concerning procedures for acceptance and enrollment.

Frequently Asked Questions
Is the GRE or TOEFL required?
Yes. The GRE is required of all student who have a earned degree within the United States. If a student is an international applicant and has not earned a degree in the United States they would submit TOEFL scores instead of the GRE. If an international applicant has a degree from the United States they would submit GRE scores and not TOEFL scores.
What are the GRE expectations to apply?
The GRE expectations of applicants are a 4.5 minimum in the analytical exam. Of the three scores, two of the scores should be in the 60th percentile or higher. The committee will consider exceptional applications which may differ from these standards.
What are the GPA expectations to apply?

The committee would like applicants that are coming into the masters program to have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 from their Bachelor degree. When applying to the Ph.D. program the committee expectation is a 3.0 from a bachelor’s degree and a 3.6 minimum from the Master’s degree. The committee will consider exceptional applications which may differ from these standards.

What code do I use when submitting GRE and TOEFL scores to KU?
KU's code is 6871 Communication Studies department code is 4599
English Proficiency and TOEFL
Please see the University link below explaining the expectations of International students who are submitting TOEFL scores: https://documents.ku.edu/policies/Graduate_Studies/EnglishProficiencyInt...
Contact information:

Dr. Jay Childers
Associate Professor, Chairperson, and Interim Director of Graduate Studies
The University of Kansas Department of Communication Studies
Bailey Hall 1440 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 102
Lawrence, Kansas 66045
jaychilders@ku.edu (785) 864-1474

How do I apply for an assistantship?
Applicants should indicate in their statement of purpose letter to the committee that they are interested in an assistantship. Applicants are encouraged to include any experience that they have and support materials. Academic assistantships are typically awarded during the fall semester for the entire academic year. All applicants wishing to be considered for an assistantship should have complete files by the January 5th deadline for the following fall semester.
Other important links
Graduate Studies website: http://www.graduate.ku.edu

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