Communication Ph.D. Application

Applicants to the Ph.D. in Communication program are expected to have a Masters in Communication or a comparable field. Applications are reviewed by the Doctoral Affairs committee. Admission is for fall semester only. The review of Doctorate in Communication applications begins November 1 with later applications considered until at least February 1. Application deadline is February 1.

1. Complete the Online MSU Graduate School Application and pay the application fee.

2. Upload the following through the application portal:

  • List three (3) recommenders and their email addresses. List persons familiar with your academic or professional work and are willing to assess your aptitude for graduate studies. Once listed the system will generate an email to your recommenders explaining the process to submit their letters online (NO HARDCOPIES accepted).
  • An Academic Statement: A concise statement of your plans for graduate study, your career goals and how MSU's COM Ph.D. program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.
  • A Personal Statement: A concise 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 or Vita
  • For International Applicants only - Statement of Financial Proof and Bank Statement: For further information please visit the website Statement of Financial Proof, or contact the Office of Admissions at 517-355-8332.

3. Send the following materials to the Communication Academic Programs, 404 Wilson Road, 472 Communication Arts & Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1212.

  • One official and original transcript and degree certification documents for all university course work.
  • Applicants from China: Submit certified copies (sealed and stamped by institutions) of all post-secondary transcripts, graduation certificates and degrees directly to the Communication department. MSU requires these documents in the original language (Chinese) as well as an official English translation. Michigan State University requires 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.

4. Request ETS to send the following documents electronically directly to the Office of Admissions:

  • Graduate Record Examination Scores (GRE): When submitting scores please use the university code of 1465, not department code necessary.
  • Official TOEFL scores “International Applicants ONLY”. Note: Your scores should be an average of 93 minimum with no sub-scores below 21. When submitting scores please use the university code of 1465 and department code of 83.
5. Track the Status of your Application Online Using the University Application Portal.


Questions about the Doctorate in Communication program should be directed to:

The Ph.D. in Communication Program
Marge Barkman
Department of Communication
472 College of Communication Arts and Sciences
404 Wilson Rd.
East Lansing, MI 48824