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 for priority funding consideration is December 15.

1. Complete the Online MSU Graduate School Application and pay the application fee ($65 for domestic and $75 for international applicants)

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 - Financial proof must be provided. For further information please visit the Graduate School website for International Applicants, or contact the Office of Admissions at 517-355-8332.

3. Transcripts:

The applicant must request each college or university attended to date to submit one copy of the official transcript to the Department of Communication PhD Program. The transcripts should show the courses taken and the grades earned.

  • Domestic Transcripts
    Transcripts from domestic institutions can be sent electronically from the institution to the Academic Program Coordinator, Lisabeth Bylina, OR send directly to the Office of Admissions.

  • International Transcripts
    Official copies of ALL records from all postsecondary schooling attended/attending. Mark sheets, transcripts, certificates, and diplomas, must be submitted as official documents directly from each institution. In most cases, these documents will need to be sent in official, sealed, issuing institution envelopes. If you are not in your home country, you can arrange for a friend or family to pick up the documents, sealed in an envelope from the institution and mail them to the address listed below on your behalf. The documents need to be in a sealed envelope from the institution for it to be considered official.

    Records must show courses taken, grades earned, and must be translated into English if the original records are in another language. Translations must be done by the issuing institution, a certified translator in the country of study, or by an American Translator’s Association certified translator in the US. The original record should be also included.

    Note: MSU requires final, degree-granting academic records to be sent as proof of degree award. Many international transcripts do not indicate degree award information, and therefore MSU requests applicants send official copies of their final degree diplomas as proof of degree award.

    For applicants who have been awarded degrees - final, official records should be sent during the application process. For applicants completing degree programs during the application process, the latest, official, available academic records should be sent, with final records sent as soon as possible after admission.

    Review MSU's INTERNATIONAL TRANSCRIPT REQUIREMENTS for country-specific transcript information.

    Submit Through an Online Service

    Send Through Mail

    Office of Admissions
    Hannah Administration Building
    426 Auditorium Road, Room 250
    East Lansing, MI 48824-2604

4. Request Tester to send the following scores electronically directly to the Office of Admissions:

  • Graduate Record Examination Scores (GRE): When submitting scores please use the university code of 1465, no department code necessary.
  • English language tests for international students. Information regarding English proficiency requirements, waivers, and acceptable tests can be found on the Graduate School's English Language Competency page. Note: For TOEFL, your scores should be an average of 93 minimum with no sub-scores below 21. For IELTS, you should have an average score of 7 minimum. 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
Lisabeth Bylina
Department of Communication
472 College of Communication Arts and Sciences
404 Wilson Rd.
East Lansing, MI 48824