• Home
  • Academics
  • Degrees
  • Communication Studies Graduate Program
  • PhD
  • Financial Assistance

Communication Studies Graduate Program

Tabbed content

Types of Support

Graduate Teaching Assistantship

Because proficiency in oral communication is required for a number of undergraduate programs, the department is able to offer graduate teaching assistantships. The chance of being awarded one of these positions in any given year depends upon the number of positions to be filled, along with the qualifications of the applicant.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships are ordinarily assigned on a one-half time basis (a teaching load of six class hours per week). Within the limits of departmental policy, assistant instructors shall have full responsibility for teaching their own classes.

Research Assistantships

Research Assistantships are usually related to the projects of faculty members who have obtained research grants. Their availability, therefore, varies, as does the stipend and work load.

University Fellowships and Scholarships

Awarded by the Graduate School to candidates with superior academic records. An especially attractive grant is the Self Graduate School Fellowship, which is awarded especially to outstanding graduate students for four years of study leading to the Ph.D. Good students are also eligible to apply for dissertation and for summer fellowships, which are quite limited in number.

How to Apply

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Application for a graduate teaching assistantship requires only that the applicant indicate interest in financial assistance in a letter to the Director of Graduate Study. Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of information gained from their transcripts, graduate record examination scores, letters of recommendation, and application form. The Graduate Academic Affairs Committee of the Department will normally rank all candidates interested in teaching assistantships on the criteria recorded above.

Research Assistantships

Research Assistants are usually recruited from among currently enrolled graduate students by faculty members holding research grants.

Fellowships and Scholarships

Students with outstanding grade records and high GRE scores wishing to be considered for fellowships and scholarships should indicate this in a letter to the Director of Graduate Study.

*All applicants for such awards should forward their credentials as early as possible and not later than January 15 preceding the academic year for which the appointment is to be made.

Duration of Assistance

  1. M.A. Candidates - Graduate Teaching Assistantships for those who view themselves, or are viewed by the faculty, as terminal M.A. candidates will ordinarily not be renewed.
  2. Ph.D. Candidates - Graduate Teaching Assistantships for Ph.D. candidates are renewable on an annual basis up to a total of ten (10) semesters, if they come to the University of Kansas with a B.A. or B.S. degree. They are renewable for a total of three years if the student holds an M.A. degree when he/she comes to Kansas. In certain cases, the student may petition for an extra year.
Criteria for Renewal of Assistance

Renewal of graduate teaching assistantships is dependent upon satisfactory performance of all responsibilities associated with both the teaching and the student functions. This includes grades of at least a B average, satisfactory progress toward the degree, meeting all administrative responsibilities, and conducting classes in conformance with departmental policies.

Three degrees from the University of Kansas

It is the policy of the Communication Studies Department to discourage students from receiving three academic degrees from the University of Kansas. Accordingly, if a student received a B.A. from the University of Kansas he/she will generally not be eligible for financial assistance consideration during his/her pursuit of more than one graduate degree (M.A. or Ph.D.).

*For more financial Aid information, visit KU's Office of Student Financial Aid Web site.

Awards and Scholarships

The following Awards and Scholarships are available from the Department of Communication Studies each Spring:

E. C. Buehler Outstanding First-Year Teaching Fellowship
The E. C. Buehler Outstanding First-Year Teaching Fellowship is given in recognition of outstanding instruction by a first-year graduate teaching assistant (GTA). Any graduate student in good standing in the Communication Studies Department who is finishing his or her first year as a GTA.

E. C. Buehler Teaching Fellowship
The purpose of the E. C. Buehler Teaching Fellowship is to recognize and reward excellence in teaching among graduate teaching assistants (GTA) at the University of Kansas. All GTAs in the Communication Studies Department who have satisfactory graduate standing and have been instructor of record for COMS courses in at least three of the previous four semesters are eligible for this award.

Kim Giffin Research Award
The purpose of the Kim Giffin Award is to recognize the excellence of graduate students conducting independent research while in residence at the University of Kansas in the Communication Studies Department. Any graduate student who has satisfactory graduate standing within the Communication Studies Department is eligible.

Sene and Louella Carlile Scholarship
The purpose of the Sene and Louella Carlile Scholarship is to recognize and reward graduate students doing outstanding work in all areas of academic life (i.e., research, service, and teaching). To be eligible, students must also demonstrate financial need. This award is for a returning graduate student. The student shall be one whose work is outstanding and concentrated in the field of speech or allied areas, with preference being given to those doing graduate work. Consideration may be given to applicants with majors in other departments but in areas that lead to the improvement in the use of the English language.

William A. Conboy Outstanding Graduate Student Award
The purpose of the William A. Conboy Outstanding Graduate Student Award is to recognize those students deemed most outstanding by their peers in the Department of Communication Studies. Any graduate student who has satisfactory graduate standing within the Communication Studies Department is eligible.

Hob Crockett Departmental Research Award
The purpose of the Hob Crocket Award is to recognize the excellence of a research paper written by a graduate student in the Communication Studies Department that focuses on some aspect of the social scientific study of communication. The paper may address any aspect of communication practice, theory, or methodology, but it must employ a social scientific approach.

Wil Linkugel Departmental Research Award
The purpose of the Wil Linkugel Award is to recognize the excellence of a research paper written by a graduate student in the Communication Studies Department that focuses on some aspect of rhetorical studies. The paper may be critical, theoretical or practical, it may address any aspect of the communication discipline, and it may be interdisciplinary in scope, but it must employ rhetorical methodology .


Advising Information

Faculty Advising times for Summer and Fall 2017
More info (doc)

Colloquium Series
Departmental Awards

Communication Studies Department Awarded Inaugural Chancellor's Doctoral Fellowship!
More Info

Chancellor Gray-Little congratulates Dr. Girod on being named the next #KUchancellor . Learn more about Dr. Girod:… https://t.co/TRpI5sYBTz


Home to 50+ departments, centers, and programs, the School of the Arts, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration
KU offers courses in 40 languages
No. 1 ranking in city management and urban policy —U.S. News and World Report
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
KU Today