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Prospective Students

The Department of Communication’s nationally ranked graduate program is distinguished by its vibrant, prolific, nationally and internationally recognized faculty as well as a flexible but theoretically and methodologically grounded graduate curriculum that reflects our stengths within and across four of the Department’s five areas of emphasis: Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk (CommSHER); Critical/Cultural Studies; Digital Media; and Rhetoric. Please click the tabs below for more information on specific research areas represented in the Department and a list of associated faculty. Graduate students are encouraged to take full advantage of of the range of expertise and specialization that the Department offers by designing, in consultation with their committees, programs of study that draw upon any or all of these four areas, ensuring a tailored graduate training and education experience.

Degree Programs 

The Department of Communication at the University of Utah offers three graduate degrees in Communication: The master’s degree (as either master of arts or master of science); the Master of Philosophy degree; and the Doctor of Philosophy. Please see the Department of Communication Graduate Handbook for more detailed information about each degree program.

Master's Degree

The Master of Arts (MA) degree is distinguished from the Master of Science (MS) degree by virtue of language proficiency. Students who wish to earn an MA degree must be certified as possessing “standard proficiency” in a language other than English. The master’s degree is designed as a two-year program, during which time master’s students (MA or MS) must successfully complete coursework determined in consultation with and approved by their committees; master’s students may choose a thesis or nonthesis (exams or project) option to complete their degrees.

Master of Philosophy

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree features the same requirements for admission and achievement as the Doctor of Philosophy, as described below, with the exception of the dissertation; there is no separate program for this degree.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is designed as a four-year program during which doctoral students must successfully complete coursework as determined in consultation with and approved by their committees; qualifying exams; prospectus; and dissertation.

Graduate Assistantships

The Department strives to fully fund all admitted graduate students who request funding when they apply to the graduate program, which facilitates students’ success by immersing them in the Department culture and ensuring a commensurate cohort experience. Funding is offered in the form of teaching or research assistantships: full funding includes a full tuition waiver as well as an annual stipend (extra remuneration for summer teaching is not included in that base stipend), and is offered for two years for masters’ students and four years for PhD students—commensurate with the timeline design of respective programs.

How to Apply

1. Statement of your personal and professional goals  (approximately 800 words).

2. Academic writing sample no longer than 25 pages (i.e. term paper, thesis chapter, creative writing sample, published newspaper articles).  The sample can be composed of multiple pieces, but must still be under the 25 page limit.

3. A curriculum vita or short resume.

4. GRE Scores

  1. The GRE General Test is all that is required. NOTE: Due to uneven access to testing services this year, this requirement has been suspended for this application cycle. However, applicants continue to have the option of submitting GRE scores as part of their application. 
  2. Scores take 10-15 business days to process and must be sent to the University via the ETS.  Schedule your test with this in mind.  If the scores are not received and processed by the deadline, your application is considered incomplete.
  3. Use institution code 4853.

5. Unofficial transcripts of all previous college and university coursework.

  1. If accepted to the program, you will need to provide official transcripts to admissions.

6. The names and email addresses of three people who will write recommendations.

  1. They will receive and electronic prompt to go in and upload their letters of recommendation.


Applications will be under consideration for next year’s Fall Semester admission; there is no Spring or Summer admission.

1. Complete the online application here: Online Application

    1. GRE scores will be uploaded automatically when they are sent electronically by ETS.
    2. Letters of Recommendation will uploaded once your recommenders submit their letters.
    3. If you have official transcripts sent by the institution, they will be uploaded by the admissions department.

2. Submit payment for the application fee (fee is $55.00 for domestic students, $65.00 for international students). Applications will not be considered complete until the payment is processed.

In addition to the Application, materials and fee, International Students are also required to verify your English proficiency.

1. TOEFL or IELTS scores must be submitted to the Admissions Department by November 15th.
  1. TOEFL scores can be sent using institutional code: 4853
  2. IELTS scores can be sent by contacting your testing center directly and having them send your results directly to the University of Utah’s Office of Admission
  3. More information about the Graduate English Language Proficiency requirements through University of Utah can be found here

2. You can contact the international admissions department at  if you have further questions regarding submission of your scores.

1-20 Information

1. The University of Utah begins processing I-20 Certificates of Eligibility for students after they have been admitted. 

  1. Please refer to the admissions site located here for the I-20 requirements.

Here is a recommended timeline that can assist you in assembling and submitting materials by the specified deadlines.

Late August/ Early September

  • Start gathering your materials.
  • Speak to the people who are going to be writing your letters of recommendation.
    • Especially if they are professors, the end of the semester is a busy time and you want to make sure they are prepared.
  • Start preparing for your GRE.

November 15th

  • TOEFL or IELTS Scores are due to the Department of Admissions

November 24th

  • To ensure your GRE scores are received by the Admissions department, take the test by this date.

December 15th

  • Application and all materials due. Any application without all materials, recommendations, scores and fees completed will be considered incomplete.

The Graduate Committee generally convenes in late January to review applications and make admissions decisions. Applicants can expect to be notified of their status in early-mid February.

Last Updated: 3/25/21