How to Apply to the Graduate Program in Communication
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the requirements outlined below that applicants for graduate study at SDSU submit scores for the GRE are suspended for the Fall 2023 admission cycle.
San Diego State University has been ranked as the #1 small research university in the country and previously ranked twice by peers as among the top five M.A. communication programs in the country. According to EdUniversal, this program is ranked #10 among all Communication M.A. programs in the U.S. When only considering masters-only programs in Communication Studies, this is the top-ranked program in the United States. We offer outstanding academic preparation, as well as individualized attention, and a culture of ‘working hard and playing hard.' If this sounds like a program you are interested in pursuing, the eight steps below will provide a complete explanation of the application process.
Select the below steps to expand a detailed description
Learn about the School of Communication MA Program
Our M.A. program provides students with the choice to prepare for a career in academe or for developing their research and analytic skills for careers in corporate, nonprofit, and governmental organizations. Instruction is designed to help students discover, analyze, and demonstrate how communication processes are centrally important in creating, shaping, and understanding communities. This program is driven by close mentorship relationships between faculty and graduate students. Priority is given to the development of students’ expertise and skills in each of the following areas:
- Mastery of knowledge and abilities in communication theory and practice.
- Completion of theses or comprehensive exams that prepare students to become scholars who are prepared for doctoral programs or who can be successful in their career paths.
- Collaboration in research and instructional teams.
- Participation in diverse research settings relevant to the social issues under investigation.
- Presentation of scholarly papers at professional conferences.
- Co-authorship of research articles with faculty and other graduate students..
The School of Communication offers new and continuing graduate students the opportunity to teach undergraduate classes, primarily Communication 103 – an introductory course in oral communication. Teaching Associates (TAs) receive an annual stipend. Some TA positions may include an out-of-state fee waiver. TA positions are competitive and admission to the graduate program does not ensure a TA assignment. If you would like to pursue being a TA, please indicate in your cover sheet to the School of Communication that you are applying for a TA position and address this interest in your personal statement. If you have specific questions about the TA position (requirements and benefits), please contact the Director of the Basic Course, Mr. Michael Rapp.
Create an Interfolio Account and Upload ALL Supplemental Documents to Interfolio
Application Support Materials:
- Statement of Purpose
- Resume or Vita
- Photocopy of Transcripts or Unofficial Transcripts (include ALL universities attended, feel free to redact any sensitive information, like your social security number)
- Photocopy of Scores (GRE if required, and for international students, TOEFL)
- Writing sample (a paper you have written that represents your best academic writing)
- Fill out the online forms and upload all documents to the appropriate link for the School of Communication Interfolio site here: http://apply.interfolio.com/110155
- Be sure your letter writers have submitted their letters by the appropriate due date.
More Information On Supporting Materials:
A statement of purpose is a 3-4 page, double-spaced document that describes: (a) your interest in communication, (b) your undergraduate and/or professional preparation for graduate studies in the communication program, (c) your personal and/or career objectives that graduate studies in communication will help you pursue, and (d) (optional) your interest in applying for a Teaching Associate (TA) position, addressing how the TA position fits with your interest in communication, your past academic and professional experience, and your career objectives. Describe any teaching-related experience you may have. If you did not earn your BA in communication, indicate if you have taken any communication courses, either as electives or as a minor.
Take time and care with your statement of purpose. It is very important. It is the first thing we read and the first indication we have of who you are and why you should be selected over other very well qualified candidates.
Request letters of recommendation. Letter writers will submit their letters of recommendation online (see the Interfolio link for more information). We require THREE letters of recommendation – at least TWO of the letters must be written by professors rather than employment supervisors. Your letter writers should speak to your ability to do well in graduate school and to your ability to teach if you are applying for a Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) position. Take the time to follow the guidelines below to help your letter writers write the best possible letter of recommendation.
Suggestions for Requesting Letters of Recommendation:
1. Contact your professors and ask if they would be willing to write you a letter of recommendation. If they say “yes” then indicate that:
- they will receive an e-mail from Interfolio with a link to upload their letter of recommendation
- they should double check their junk mail and spam folders if they do not receive the e-mail from Interfolio (after you have submitted their e-mail addresses in your application process).
- Double-check to make sure your letter writers have the correct link and have submitted the letters by the appropriate date.
2. Supply your letter writers with supplemental materials to assist them in writing. These materials can include:
- Resume or CV
- Personal Statement
- List of deadline dates
Apply to Cal State Apply
You are required to complete a CSU application and pay your fee online via CalState Apply. International students should visit the admissions page about International Student Application Procedures.
SDSU only permits admissions to graduate programs in the Fall Semester. Our official deadline for all materials is March 1, however the School of Communication admissions committee requests that applicants who would like to be considered for a GTA position submit all application materials by the priority deadline of February 1. These applications will be given priority in admissions, early notification, and priority for GTA appointments.
Applications should be complete with all supplementary materials including test scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation which are collected using Interfolio.
Submit Official Transcripts
Submit OFFICIAL Transcripts and TOEFL Test Scores to:
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-7416
- Transcripts: One set of official transcripts (in sealed envelopes) from all postsecondary institutions attended. (Students who attended SDSU need only submit transcripts for work done at outside institutions.) Students with international coursework must submit both the official transcript and proof of degree. If documents are in a language other than English, they must be accompanied by a certified English translation. Normally, we expect at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
- TOEFL Scores: If your medium of instruction was in a language other than English, then a TOEFL score is required (www.ets.org, SDSU Institution Code: 4682). A minimum score of 550 on the paper exam, 213 on the computer-based TOEFL, 79 on the internet exam, or 6.5 on the International Language Testing System (IELTS) is required.
Although you will submit official scores to the university, it is helpful to also submit photocopies of scores in the package of support materials that will be provided to the department via Interfolio.
Still Have Questions?
Please read all application instructions, and if you still have questions about our program, the steps for applying, or cannot meet a deadline feel free to contact the Director of Graduate Studies: Dr. Matthew Savage, Associate Professor of Communication: firstname.lastname@example.org