Apply for a Ph.D. in Communication

Applicants to the Ph.D. in Communication are expected to have a Masters in Communication or a comparable field. Applications are reviewed by the Doctoral Affairs committee. This is a competitive review with applicants ranked among all that apply for a given year. Admission is for fall semester only.

The review of applications begins Dec. 1 with later applications considered until at least Feb. 1. Application Deadline is Feb. 1.

Step 1: Complete the Online MSU Graduate School Application

The fee is $50 and can be paid with credit card, check (US funds), or money order (see application for details). Please remember to write down the application ID number for you will need this for the next step.

Step 2: When you receive your email confirmation of receipt of the MSU Graduate Application you will also receive a link to the MSU Graduate Application Portal. Please link to this portal and create your MSU Graduate Application account.

The MSU Graduate Application system will require online submission of the following (no hardcopies of the following will be accepted):

  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic or professional work and are willing to assess your aptitude for graduate work. Once you have listed your recommenders and their email addresses the system will generate an email to your recommenders explaining the process to submit their letters electronically (NO HARDCOPIES accepted).
  • An Academic Statement: A concise academic statement of your plans for graduate study, your career goals, and how MSUs COMM Ph.D program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.
  • A Personal Statement: A concise personal statement about how your background and life experiences, including social, economic, cultural, familial, education, or other opportunities or challenges motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree.
  • A Resume: Include all activities that account for your time since earning a bachelors degree (e.g. employment, military serve, travel). Be sure to include the type of activity, name of employer, city/state, and dates. List the most recent activity first. Also include all relevant professional experiences, locations, dates.
Step 3: Send the Documents Listed Below Directly to the COMM Academic Programs Office:
  • One official transcript in an envelope sealed from each university or college attended. Mailed directly from the university/college to the Communication Ph.D. Program, 404 Wilson Road, 466 Communication Arts & Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1212.
  • Applicants from China:  During the application process, applicants submit certified copies (sealed and stamped by institutions) of all post-secondary transcripts, graduation certificates and degrees directly to the AD+PR department within the College of Communication Arts & Science. MSU requires these documents in the original language (Chinese) as well as an official English translation. 

    Effective Spring 2015, Michigan State University will require all incoming ADMITTED students pursuing degrees or who have earned degrees from universities in China to submit a verification report (English version) through the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) for their final bachelor degree transcripts (大学成绩单) and bachelor degree (本科学位证书). All verification reports need to be sent to the MSU Office of Admissions directly by CDGDC. For those Master degree granted student, we only need the undergraduate level verification report from CDGDC.Please refer to the CDGDC website for more information:
    http://www.chinadegrees.cn/en/"

  • For International Applicants only: Statement of Financial Proof: For International graduate students who bring no dependents, financial proof is required for U.S. $37, 572. If you plan to attend summer school, proof is required for an additional U.S. $14,680 for tuition and fees, books, and miscellaneous expenses. Please submit the financial statement with your application materials. For further information please visit the website Statement of Financial Proof or contact the Office of Admissions at 517-355-8332.
Step 4: Request that ETS Send the Documents Listed Below to the University in an Electronic Format:
  • Graduate Record Examination Scores (GRE) when submitting scores please use the university code of 1465, not department code necessary.
  • In addition for International Applicants ONLY: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): Computer version a minimum average of 237 with no subscores below 21 required. Internet based test an average of 93 minimum with no subscores below 21. When submitting scores please use the university code of 1465 and department code of 83 and submit directly to the Office of Admissions, 250 Administration Bldg. Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.
Step 5: Track the Status of your Application Online Using the University link provided. This includes tracking of all submitted documents. We strive to update the system regularly but during high volume times we ask your patience. Questions should be directed to:
The PhD in Communication Program

Michigan State University
Attention: Marge Barkman
466 Communication Arts & Sciences Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1212
Ph: 517 355-3471
Fax: 517 432-1192
barkman@msu.edu

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