Graduate FAQs

When should I apply to be admitted to the MA program?
What are the requirements for an application to be considered?
Is the GRE required for admission to the Graduate Program in Communication?
I’m interested in a teaching assistantship or other sources of funding. How does that work?
Are there special requirements for international students?
Do I need to include an official transcript when I apply?
To get admitted to the PhD program, do I need to have an MA in Communication?
To be admitted to the MA program, do I need to have an undergraduate degree in Communication?


Q: When should I apply to be admitted to the MA program?

Admissions to the MA program are done on a rolling basis. In general, it is best to have all application materials complete and submitted by June 1st to begin at the start of the Fall semester. All materials should generally be submitted by December 1st to be admitted and enroll in classes for the spring semester.

Admissions to the PhD program are done once annually and all PhD students start during the fall semester. To be considered for admission to the PhD program, all materials must be submitted by January 1st.

Q: What are the requirements for an application to be considered?

A: To be considered for admission, applicants must complete the UWM Graduate School’s Graduate application system, found here: https://graduateschool-apply.uwm.edu
When selecting a department, be sure to choose the Department of Communication.

For both the MA and PhD program, admission decisions are made on a holistic basis that considers the entirety of the application file. Materials to be submitted include the application form, application fees, transcripts, writing sample, resume and/or curriculum vitae, letters of reference, GRE scores, and other materials as specified in the graduate application system.

Q: Is the GRE required for admission to the Graduate Program in Communication?

A: Completion of the GRE is required for admission. GRE results are treated as one source of information in a holistic review process. Of course we always recommend trying to get the best score on the exam, but we do not set an arbitrary cutoff to make decisions about admission. Instead, we examine the complete application, which includes transcripts, statement of purpose, letters of reference, writing sample, and the GRE to evaluate preparation for graduate study and degree of fit with the program’s resources (faculty, staff, courses, etc.).

Q: I’m interested in a teaching assistantship or other sources of funding. How does that work?

A: There are assistantships available to some qualified graduate applicants. The selection process is competitive and uses the same criteria we evaluate for admission, although decisions and notifications about admission and assistantships are made separately. The courses usually taught by new TAs would be either COMMUN 101,103, or 105, which are our introductory classes focused upon interpersonal communication, public speaking, and business and professional communication. Individuals who are employed as teaching assistants receive tuition remission, a stipend, and a benefits package. Pending budgetary approvals, MA students who are awarded an assistantship will receive 2 years of funding and PhD students receive 4 years of funding. More information about assistantships and other forms of funding are also available on the graduate school website: http://uwm.edu/graduateschool/types-of-funding/

To apply for a teaching assistantship, you can complete an item on the admission application that will ask you about your interest in an assistantship.

Q: Are there special requirements for international students?

A: Beyond the requirements set forth by the university and graduate school, we do not have any special requirements for international students. We would want to be sure to mention that UWM has excellent support for students from around the globe. Our Center for International Education provides information about admissions for international students who are planning to study at UWM. Please contact them for additional information ( isss@uwm.edu). The application portion of the website is here: http://uwm.edu/cie/international-admissions/

Q: Do I need to include an official transcript when I apply?

A: During the application process, you can include a copy of your unofficial transcript. You will need to provide authorization indicating that the information is accurate. After recommendations for admission are submitted by the department to the Graduate School, the Graduate School staff will follow up with you to request an official transcript. The official transcript is needed in order to be officially admitted and enrolled. But, for the application process, an unofficial transcript will suffice.

Q: To get admitted to the PhD program, do I need to have an MA in Communication?

A: The BA or BS (for MA admission) and MA or MS (for PhD admission) should typically be from Communication or a related discipline, but a lack of a Communication degree does not preclude one from being admitted. In cases where the degree is not from Communication, but is from a related area, it will be necessary to articulate (in the reasons statement provided during application) how the non communication degree(s) prepared the student for advanced study in Communication. In general, students with degrees in other social sciences (e.g., Psychology, Sociology) and humanities areas (e.g., English, History) would require additional coursework to qualify for admission. Ultimately, admission decisions are at the discretion of the faculty, so it may be beneficial to speak with specific faculty members to learn more about their research and teaching interests to make sure that a non-Communication degree would allow sufficient preparation to succeed in the program.

Q: To be admitted to the MA program, do I need to have an undergraduate degree in Communication?

A: For admission to the MA program, students must have an undergraduate degree with a major in communication, speech communication, or related areas. In general, students with degrees in other social science (e.g., Psychology, Sociology) and humanities areas (e.g., English, History) would require additional coursework to qualify for admission.