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Frequently Asked Questions — Admissions

Communication, Culture & Media


What test scores and GPA are preferred?

GRE scores and GPAs are important. Generally speaking, those with a GPA below 3.2 are not considered for admission (3.5 GPA or higher is preferred); we principally look at writing and verbal scores for the GRE. The general minimum for TOEFL scores is 600 (paper score)/100 (internet score).

What if my undergraduate or master’s degree is not in communication?

If your previous degree is not in communication studies, it is important to explain in your statement of purpose what influenced your choices to go into communication and media studies.

What should go into my statement of purpose?

In your 1500 word statement, include a description of your research interests and major theoretical influences, including information on your previous research experience, if any. Try to also explain why the Communication, Culture and Media program foci and faculty expertise match your specific interests.

Will my master’s degree courses transfer in, if I am accepted?

Transfers are generally not necessary because over the three to four years of work in the program, students tend to accrue enough credits to graduate. Concerns about redundant coursework can be discussed after admittance or in consultation with the Graduate Director at the time of application.

Does the PhD program offer rolling admissions?

No. The deadline for application in December 15 each year, for admittance the following fall. The master’s program does have rolling admissions, with students starting in fall, winter, spring or summer terms.

How many people are admitted to start each fall?

Generally speaking, we admit three applicants on average, and there is about a 10% acceptance rate.

Do you offer tuition remission and stipends?

At the time of application review, all students are considered for tuition remission and stipends. Incoming students often receive some kind of tuition remission and/or stipend. Students generally receive teaching, research or general assistantships, which are assigned on a rolling basis, concurrent with program needs and opportunities. Assistantships are generally renewed for up to four years.

What is your placement rate/what do people do after the PhD?

Recent graduates have taken tenure-track positions at St. John’s University (NYC), Rowan University, Stockton College and Chestnut Hill College. Several other recent graduates have taken post-docs, and other kinds of work in industry or research in higher education (University of Athens).

What is the average time to complete the program?

Average time to completion ranges between from three-and-a-half to five years. Students are strongly encouraged to finish within four years.

What sorts of dissertation topics do students pursue?

Here is a list of recent topics:

  • Media Framing of Punk Rock
  • Mass Media Representation of South Asian Muslim Women
  • Death as Portrayed in Social Media
  • Money & Value as Public Visual Image
  • Fitness Culture, Consumerism & Marketing Wellness
  • Video Games & Moral Choices/Mood Management
  • Biking Culture
  • Marketing Apparel Stores Internationally
  • Bisexual Identity Online
  • Graffiti & Democratizing Public Space
  • Neighborhoods, Ethnic Perceptions & Public Policy
  • Marketing & the Coherence of Organizing Independent Film Organizations
  • Couch-surfing & Convergence Media
  • Upskirting & the Surveillance of Women on the Internet
  • Refugee Discourses & Themes of Resilience among Rwandans
  • Tropes of Energy Independence 1971-2010
  • Culture of Poverty in Multimodal News Platforms