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.
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 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 email@example.com.
Application for Admission to the Doctoral Program
Each graduate student who completes a COMS M.A. at the University of Kansas and wishes to continue in the doctoral program must re-apply for admission to the doctoral program during the semester in which they have has accumulated 30 graduate hours of enrollment. Students who have failed to complete their M.A. after two full academic years will normally not be allowed to enroll in further course work until the M.A. has been finished. Formal admission to doctoral study will occur only after the M.A. has been awarded. Admission to the doctoral program is not automatic, for significantly higher academic standards are expected of doctoral students. Applicants will be asked to fill out a new application, submit new letters of recommendation and an updated transcript.
Transfer and Waiver of Credits
Up to nine hours of transferred credit may apply toward the Master's or Doctoral degree. Students planning to transfer graduate credit from other institutions are urged to secure advance approval from the Department and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Students who enter the Ph.D. program with a completed Master's degree from another program may have 24 graduate credit hours waived, within the following restrictions:
- Up to 15 hours of graduate credit may be utilized toward the satisfaction of the research methodology requirement
- Up to 18 hours of graduate credit may be utilized toward the satisfaction of the elective hours requirement
- Up to 6 hours of graduate credit may be utilized as independent study hours
In each case, it is the responsibility of the student to demonstrate how the courses relate to KU's PhD requirements.
Students holding a Master's degree with a professional rather than scholarly orientation (i.e., a degree program not requiring the production of a thesis or other major scholarly research) will normally be required to demonstrate early in their doctoral program a research aptitude. This may be accomplished through enrollment in Investigation and Conference (Courses 898 and 998) or some equivalent procedure. Details should be worked out during consultation with the student's academic advisor.
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.
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.
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's' 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.
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
firstname.lastname@example.org (785) 864-1474