How to Apply to the Communication Graduate Program
Application Deadline: February 1
Applicants must submit TWO different sets of application materials, one to Portland State University’s Admission Office, and one mailed directly to the Department of Communication. Both sets of application materials are due February 1 (late applications are considered, but not guaranteed).
The application materials required by Portland State University’s Admission Office can be submitted online.
The application materials required by the Department of Communication must be mailed, in hard-copy form, to:
Graduate Director; Attn. Program Application
Portland State University
Department of Communication
PO Box 751
440 University Center Building
Portland, OR 97201-0751
In order to guarantee that your application to the graduate program is considered, your entire/completed application package must be delivered, in hard-copy form, to our department by February 1. Acceptance decisions are typically made by April 1. Students who are accepted begin the program in the first term (i.e., Fall Quarter) of that same academic year, which typically begins in late September. Our department conducts only one application cycle per year. Late application packages (i.e., ones that arrive after February 1) are accepted, but there is no guarantee they will be considered.
A complete graduate-application package for the Department of Communication must include:
(1) PSU Communications application
(2) A statement of purpose
(3) At least one writing sample
(4) Three letters of recommendation
(5) Official transcripts
(6) Official GRE score
(7) Official TOEFL/IELTS score (where applicable: see below)
1. PSU Communications Application
Application forms can be found here.
2. Statement of Purpose
In a maximum of 2-3 single-spaced pages, do two things. First, introduce yourself, including your name and academic background (e.g., where you completed your undergraduate studies, major, etc.). Feel free to include any other personal and/or academic background you feel is relevant. Second, state your reasons for applying for a Master’s Degree in communication, including the content areas you are interested in studying and the graduate faculty whose research interests you (Applicants are encouraged to email and/or call graduate faculty to discuss their interests). Additionally, state what you plan on doing after you receive the Master’s degree (e.g., pursuing a Ph.D., returning to or entering the corporate world, etc.).
3. Writing Sample
The Department of Communication at Portland State University requires that applicants to the graduate program submit at least one writing sample for which they are the sole author. Preferably, writing samples display the applicant’s writing skills in addition to their academic competencies, such as ability to review, synthesize and critique literature, and to analyze data, and appropriately cite literature, etc. Additional writing samples may be submitted, but are not required.
4. Three Letters of Recommendation
The Department of Communication at Portland State University requires applicants to the graduate program have 3 recommendation packages submitted. Each recommendation package must include letters of recommendation with completed recommendation forms (available on this website). Recommendation packages should be mailed directly to our department by recommenders themselves. Recommenders should have familiarity with your academic (vs. corporate) competencies. (For example, recommendations from former university professors are typically better than those of current corporate employers). If you have been out of school for several years, do not be shy about asking former professors to write references for you. Recommenders should not be family or friends.
5. Official Transcripts
The Department of Communication requires graduate applicants have completed a Bachelor’s degree with an overall undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or greater. Note that this requirement involves your overall GPA (i.e., your average GPA for all undergraduate courses), not simply the GPA in your major. Official copies of undergraduate transcripts must be sent directly to our department by all undergraduate institutions attended by the applicant. If you also have a post-graduate degree (e.g., Master’s Degree or Ph.D.) or have taken post-baccalaureate courses, have the official transcripts sent to our department.
6. GRE Score
The Department of Communication requires that applicants to the graduate program have taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Although the department does not have a minimum GRE-score requirement, the department attends to averages reported by the nonprofit Educational Testing Service for those majoring in Social Sciences. GRE-scores must be documented by an official report from ETS and must be sent directly to our department by ETS. For information about the GRE, see the ETS website. There is a variety of professional companies that, for a fee, provide extremely helpful GRE-preparation courses, such as Kaplan and The Princeton Review.
THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATIONS GRE CODE IS: 4506
7. TOEFL/IELTS Score
If you are an applicant for whom English is a second language, the Department of Communication requires that you have either taken the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or completed the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum TOEFL-scores requirements are: (1) 600 for the paper-based test; or (2) 250 for the computer-based test; or (3) 100 for the internet-based test with no sub-score below 22. For TOEFL information, see the website. Minimum IELTS-score requirements are individual scores of 7.0 or greater. For IELTS information, see the website. TOEFL and IELTS scores must be documented by an official report, must be sent directly to our department by the appropriate organization, and must be no more than two years old at the time of application. In general, the only applicants who are exempt from the department’s TOEFL/IELTS requirement are citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia or Canada. (However, there can be exceptions, including many citizens of New Zealand, Ireland, India, etc. If you have questions, you are encouraged to contact the Department of Communication’s Director of Graduate Studies).