Prospective Graduate Student Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I apply? 
Apply HERE.

What concentrations in graduate study does your department offer?
COMMUNICATION STUDIES: MA and PhD students in Communication Studies work with faculty within and across two working groups: Rhetoric & Media Studies and Health & Relational Communication. Contact Dr. Craig Stewart for more information.

FILM & VIDEO PRODUCTION: MA students concentrating in Film and Video Production take courses with nationally recognized, award-winning filmmakers who specialize in narrative and documentary filmmaking. Contact Assistant Professor David Goodman for more information.

What is your admissions deadline?
Fall 2024 Admission Deadlines

January 15, 2024 – MA and PhD priority deadline for consideration for a graduate assistantship
May 15, 2024 – Final PhD application deadline
June 15, 2024 – Final MA application deadline

Do you offer graduate assistantships?
Yes, we give a limited number of PhD Graduate Assistantships, which include a tuition waiver and a stipend. You must apply early. To be guaranteed consideration for a graduate assistantship you must submit a completed application by priority deadline. 

For MA program, we offer a limited number of tuition scholarships, or a one-time financial assistance to offset the cost of tuition. For MA FVP program, we offer a limited number of student-worker positions, where a student is paid an hourly rate to perform duties related to Film and Video Production. We sometime offer full Graduate Assistantships to exceptional MA students.

For further details on our MA and PhD assistantships Graduate Assistantships

What do you look for in an applicant to your graduate program?
We look for students who demonstrate readiness for graduate study. To gauge a student's readiness, the Graduate Admissions Committee considers multiple items. These include the applicant's undergraduate and graduate grade point average, statement of purpose, writing samples, relevant employment history, and letters of recommendation. Admission is always contingent on the program's ability to provide faculty expertise appropriate to a student's specific research interests. We encourage all applicants to study our website closely, including faculty and student research profiles. We encourage communication with the graduate director prior to application.

Do you require applicants to take the GRE?
No we do not.

Do you accept applicants whose prior degree is not in communication?
It depends. If your prior degree is in a discipline related to communication, or your research directly applies to communication, we will consider you for admission. However, you will need to make a strong and explicit case for why you want to pursue graduate study in communication rather than your previous field.

When are your graduate courses typically offered?
Graduate courses are offered throughout the day, though all of our 7/8000-level courses are offered in the evening. communication courses to view our course offerings.

Do you offer online graduate programs?

How much is tuition?
For the most up to date tuition costs / fees.

Who can I contact if I have questions about a specific program?
Contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Craig Stewart.

What kind of writing sample do you require for admission?
Your writing sample should showcase your skills at academic argumentation and research. Acceptable submissions include research publications, chapters from a thesis, seminar papers, and the like.

Who should I ask to provide me a letter of recommendation?
You must get letters of recommendation from professors with whom you've done your coursework. Advisors who have directed your research are suitable referees, as are people who have supervised your teaching. 

Do MA and PhD students take courses outside of the department?
Yes, they do. All coursework, however, needs to be approved by the student's advisory committee if it is to be applied to the degree.

What are the core requirements for each degree?
Consult the Department of Communication graduate catalog entry. You can also consult the checklists on this Key Policies and Documents.

Where do your students typically find employment after graduation?
This varies, but we have placed students in an array of fields inside and outside of academia. For information on our alumni Communication & Film Alumni.

What is living in Memphis like?
Memphis is an eclectic, affordable and stimulating place to study. Living in Memphis for more information.

International Students

Do you admit many international students? What's the process?
Yes. In the last ten years, students from countries in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and South America have earned their MA or PhD in our programs. The process for prospective international students is the same as for domestic students, however, international students must provide additional information. For information about what documents you will need for your application, please Graduate Catalog International Admissions.

Are there any additional admissions requirements for international students?
Yes, additional requirements to view the additional requirements. For more information about applying as an international student, International Graduate Admissions.

If I am not a United States citizen, can I get an assistantship?
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 or a degree from the U.S. 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.

What are the English proficiency requirements?
International applicants are required to submit official English proficiency exam scores. We accept the TOEFL and IELTS. Additional requirements for more information.