What are the minimum GPA and GRE scores required for admission?
Admission to our program is highly competitive. The required minimum academic grade point average (for the final 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of undergraduate work) is 3.0 on a four-point scale; normally, those admitted have a grade point average well above this minimum. The average GPA of those admitted will vary slightly from year to year. GRE scores are not required.
Are all international student applicants required to submit TOEFL scores?
Generally, yes. The Graduate College requires all students for whom English is not their native language to provide the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). For more information about this requirement, and potential exemptions, see the Graduate College English Proficiency page. Even if you qualify for a TOEFL exemption for admission, the department still requires a TOEFL score for those who seek financial aid in the form of teaching or research assistantships.
Should I apply to the M.A. program or the Ph.D.?
Students without an M.A. degree should apply to the M.A. program. Those with an interest in a Ph.D. may apply at the end of their M.A. program to enter the Ph.D. program. Students who have a M.A. in Communication or a related field may apply for the Ph.D. program. Students with a master's degree designed for specific professional objectives (e.g., journalism, education) should contact the Director of Graduate Studies for guidance about whether to apply for the M.A. or Ph.D. For more information, see our degree information page.
How do M.A. students move into the Ph.D. program?
Students in our M.A. program who wish to continue for a Ph.D. must apply to be considered for the program. These students will submit their applications by December 1st of the academic year they anticipate completing the M.A. For more information, see our degree information page.
How many of the graduate students in the department receive funding?
Virtually every qualified graduate student in Communication receives financial aid. Most graduate students in the department hold teaching assistantships that require teaching two or more sections of a basic speech course each semester. These assistantships come with a stipend and a waiver that covers tuition and some of the student fees. Some students receive research assistantships that that also come with a stipend and a waiver. A few students in the department receive fellowships. International applicants are considered for the same funding opportunities as domestic applicants, and international students regularly receive funding. For more information, see our funding and financial aid page and the Graduate College Financial Assistance page.
Do I submit a paper application or do I apply online?
The university uses an online application system. Access the application system through the Graduate College Web page. In that system you will supply your personal information and academic history, upload your statement of purpose, report the names and electronic mail addresses of those writing letters of reference, and pay the application fee. You will also upload copies of academic transcripts, a writing sample, and any other supporting documents. For more information, see our application information page.
Must recommendation writers submit their recommendations online?
Yes. Recommendation writers should submit their recommendations online. When you supply their contact information (name and e-mail address) in the online application, they are alerted with instructions on how to upload their recommendation.
How many students do you admit per year?
We get a large number of domestic and international applicants each year. We do not have a set number of spots for admission, nor do we set aside a specific number of spots for international students. The number of offers that we make depends upon a number of factors, most especially the size and quality of the applicant pool in a given year.
Are there international students currently in your program?
Yes. Currently our graduate program includes students from China, Nigeria, and Yemen. The University of Illinois boasts a large international student population; for information about international student life see the International Student and Scholar Services page.
How long does it take to complete an M.A. degree?
Students in the M.A. program must complete 32 hours of graduate credit. For a full-time student without an assistantship or outside employment, thirty-two hours could be completed in two semesters; for a student holding a half-time assistantship, thirty-two hours can be completed in two semesters plus a summer session (though most students take more time than this, typically two academic years).
How long does it take to complete a Ph.D. degree?
A minimum of three years of graduate study beyond the M.A. is usually the minimum amount of time needed to complete all the requirements for the doctoral degree. However, because our students typically hold half-time teaching or research assistantships, most complete a degree in 4-5 years.
What do Communication graduate students do with their degrees?
Our students who finish their education with the M.A. typically enter employment in the private sector. Some of our recent graduates have begun work in the fields of human resources, public relations, government, and event management. Most of our Ph.D. graduates teach at colleges and universities. Recent graduates have accepted positions at institutions such as Northwestern University, Indiana University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Oklahoma, Texas A & M University, DePaul University, and Arizona State University. Other Ph.D. graduates enter the private sector in consulting or training and development. For more information on careers, see our graduate program alumni page.
I am currently in another graduate program; can I transfer into yours?
We do not accept transfer students per se; we never do so at the M.A. level and only very rarely at the Ph.D. level. If you are currently in another graduate program at the University of Illinois or at another institution, and are interested in the program at Illinois, your best choice is to apply fresh to the graduate program by the December 1st deadline and contact the Director of Graduate Studies for more information.
May I schedule a campus visit?
All admitted students are invited to a Welcome Weekend in early March of each year; this Friday-Saturday event introduces admitted students to faculty and graduate students and offers useful information about research, teaching, and life on campus and in Champaign-Urbana. Attending Welcome Weekend is the best way for admitted students to get a full sense of the department, campus, and community. You will receive more information about Welcome Weekend activities when we notify you of your admission. If you wish to visit before you apply, it is best to schedule your visit between early September and early November. During November and December we are busy with the National Communication Association annual convention and final exams. Beginning in January, we are busy evaluating applications, so it is best at that point to wait until Welcome Weekend. Please contact the Director of Graduate Studies to arrange a visit; two weeks' notice allows us to arrange the most useful experiences for you.
Whom should I contact with questions about the graduate program in Communication?
You can direct all questions about the graduate program to the Communication Department office or the department's Director of Graduate Studies: phone 217-333-2683; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.