Communication FAQ

How many students enter the Communication Master's program each year?
Over the last several years, the number of entering master's students has ranged from 8-13.

How many students apply for admission each year?
About 100 per year.

What is the ratio of international to domestic students?
Usually about 1/4 of our students are international.

What is the deadline for applications?
All materials for domestic and international students must be received by the department by April 1 for the fall semester.

Are Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores required?
The GRE is waived to 2023-24 review.

What is the minimum GRE score required for admission to the program?
We do not have a "minimum" requirement for GRE scores. Based on past reviews, if you were in the ranges of 150 or higher in Verbal, 150 or higher in Quantitative and a 4.0 or higher in Writing you would most likely be competitive. The GRE scores that are competitive depend on the applicant pool for a given year and thus vary from year to year. We use GRE scores as a complement to additional information in a student’s application.

Are Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores required for international students?
Yes. TOEFL (or TEFI) scores are required. Please note we can accept the IELTS but our committee prefers the TOEFL. If submitting IELTS scores must be 7 or higher. MSU is now not accepting Duolingo.

What are the minimum TOEFL scores required for students admitted to the program?
For the test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), we require a minimum average of 93 with no sub-scores below 21 and in written section no scores below 22 (internet-based test). When submitting please use only the university code of 1465 and the department code of 83.

What are other requirements for admission process for International applicants? International applicants are to submit such items as financial support and official international transcripts. The Affidavit of Support document as well as other information can be found at the Graduate School site.

What is the average grade point average (GPA) required for admission to the program?
Average cumulative undergraduate GPA scores range from 3.2 to 4.0. Students with cumulative GPAs lower than 3.2 are considered for admission if the record indicates strong GRE scores and other significant credentials. The Michigan State University Registrar's office webpage says this, "Admission to regular status in the Master of Arts program is contingent upon a bachelor's degree from an approved college or university, and academic grade-point average of 3.0 or better in the last two years of undergraduate study."

Are factors other than GRE scores and GPA important in admissions decisions?
Three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose (personal and academic statements) are required for admission. The statement of purpose is an important component of the application and communicates a student’s fit with our program. Letters of recommendation should be provided by individuals who can assess the applicant's ability to successfully engage in graduate studies. At least two of the three recommendation letters should be from academic instructors.

Is it possible to begin my graduate studies in a semester other than fall?
No. M.A. program courses are taught in sequence, so we begin fall semester.

Can a student be admitted to the program without an undergraduate degree in communication?
Yes! Most of our students come from a communication or social scientific background. However, we have admitted students from a variety of backgrounds (e.g., english, journalism, political science, public relations, sociology).

How long does it take to earn a degree through the MSU Communication Master's program?
Students most commonly complete the program when attending full time status in one and a half calendar years (4 semesters including summer) for the examination track (Plan B) or 2 years for the thesis track (Plan A). Students have a maximum of 5 calendar years to complete the degree.

How much is tuition?
In order to plan your budget and calculate tuition please use the links provided by the The Graduate School.

Is funding available?
Yes! Scholarships, graduate assistantships and paid employment are available on a competitive basis for M.A. students. Funding options are available through the Department, other units on campus and through the MSU Office of Financial Aid. A limited number of stipend awards are presented to students by the department. Some M.A. students work on grant-supported research projects with faculty. Some M.A. students volunteer on research teams as a means to transition to stipend support.

What is the completion rate of master's degree students?
The completion rate of master's degree students is about 95%.

What is the employment rate of master's degree students?
The employment rate of the program's graduates is routinely 95%-100%, with many applicants reporting a selection of opportunities.

What types of careers do the alumni have?
Recent alumni work in a variety of industries. Thesis-track students who continue with a Ph.D. usually become college or university faculty. Examination-track students also work in higher education (e.g., career services, adjunct faculty), nonprofit organizations (e.g., executive director, fundraising, communications), government (e.g., immunization coordinator) and for-profit organizations (e.g., human resources, change management, public relations, market research).