MS in Communication

How to Apply

How to Apply

To apply to the Communication Graduate Program, visit the Office of Graduate Studies Application Portal. You may apply for both admission to the program and for a paid position as a Graduate Teaching Assistantship at the same time. If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact the Graduate Program Director at

Application Deadlines

The Department of Communication has a rolling admissions process, which means we begin reviewing applications for graduate admissions on February 1st and continue to accept applications through May 31st.  Please keep in mind that applicants who turn in their materials early have a better chance of being selected for paid Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA); to be considered as a GTA, apply by March 31st. All new students begin classes the following Fall quarter.

Online Application System

Please prepare the following documents to submit:

  • Statement of purpose:  The faculty would like to know more about you. Tell us about your academic background and your short-term and long-term goals. Tell us how your interests align with our program: what can we offer you?  What can you offer us?  How will the master's degree fuel your needs? 
  • Writing sample:  Submit at least one writing sample that illustrates your craft. Choose something that illuminates your skills: a college paper, a blog or a recent document from your professional career.  You may submit more than one writing sample if you choose. 
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation:  The online application system will allow you to ask 3 individuals to send us letters on your behalf. We prefer hearing from professors and academics, and, if you have been away from the classroom, ask your supervisor or mentor.  Recommenders should not be family or friends.  We hope to hear from those who can speak to your ability to succeed in graduate studies. Recommenders will be asked to write a letter addressing the following qualities:
    • Initiative
    • Logical reasoning ability
    • Writing and speaking skills
    • Emotional maturity
    • Intellectual motivation
    • Ability to accept and give criticism 

If you are applying for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship, please be sure to let your recommenders know that you are applying and ask them to discuss in their recommendation your ability to work in a team and your willingness to help undergraduate students. 

  • Transcripts:  For the online graduate application, you will be required to upload scanned copies of your transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended, regardless of the number of credits earned. If admitted, you will then be required to submit true official transcripts from all colleges or universities as the last step. 

Additional materials vary with your background and goals.

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant Application: Apply for a position as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. This position entails working with faculty to teach undergraduate communication classes. The position is .30 FTE and comes with tuition remission and a stipend. To apply, write a statement on why you would be a good teacher and leader, and how you would work well with undergraduate students.
  • GRE scores:  Although we encourage all students to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), the exam is required only for students who select the Research Track and apply for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship.
    If you are submitting GRE scores, the application system will ask you to upload a copy of your scores. Although this is initially sufficient, official scores will still need to be sent (direct from the testing service) to Portland State University #4610. Please ensure that you have made arrangements for your scores to be sent to #4610, as the application system is not able to request this for you.  
  • TOEFL and IELTS Tests:  If English is your second language and you did not graduate from an undergraduate program in an English speaking country (like United States, England or Australia), then you will need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or complete the International English Language Testing System Exam (IELTS). Portland State University requires a minimum of 600 for the paper-based test (TOEFL); or 250 for the computer-based test; or 100 for the internet-based test with no sub-score below 22. Minimum IELTS-score requirements are individual scores of 7.0 or greater. 

There is a $65 application fee for all applications.

Admission Requirements

All students admitted to the PSU Communication Graduate Program must meet the PSU minimum admissions requirements. Applicants are not required to hold an undergraduate degree in Communication students with undergraduate degrees in related fields are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply