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How do I apply to the graduate program?

All applications to graduate programs at Penn State are submitted through Penn State’s Graduate School and admission decisions are made by faculty in the Department. The specific application deadline varies from year to year, and is typically late December or early January. For Fall 2018 enrollment, the application deadline is January 10, 2018.  There is not a separate application for funding.

What do I need to submit with my application?

Can I apply to your program if my undergraduate degree is not in a communication discipline?

Yes. Several applicants have degrees in disciplines other than communication studies. Related disciplines include Sociology, English, Family Studies, History, Philosophy, and Psychology, among others.


What is your GRE reporting code?

The school code for Penn State: 2660 
All scores are received electronically at the university level; therefore, no department code is necessary.


Are new GRE scores required if older than a certain number of years?  What are the minimum requirements for GRE scores?

If the GRE data are too old to include the new version of the analytical writing score, you should re-take the exam.  Also, if your combined Verbal and Quantitative score is under 310, you would be well advised to consider retaking it, especially if it is well below that figure.


Is there a form for the letters of recommendation?

There is no official recommendation form. We ask that recommendation letters be written by individuals familiar with your professional and educational qualifications, and who can assess your promise as a scholar. Individuals listed in your application as agreeing to submit a letter of recommendation will be instructed (via the e-mail address you provide in the electronic application) to upload their letter via the Graduate School's Reference Submission Portal. Three letters of recommendation are required; additional letters may be beneficial.


What are the guidelines for the Statement of Purpose?

In the statement of purpose, an applicant needs to make clear (a) why he or she is applying for admission to the Ph.D. program, (b) his or her career objectives, and (c) how he or she sees successful completion of the degree requirements as contributing to fulfillment of those objectives.   The statement should be approximately two double-spaced pages.


Are there any special requirements if I am an international applicant?

We do not make a distinction between domestic and international applicants.  In addition, we do not admit applicants to whom we cannot offer funding.

International students are required to present minimum TOEFL scores of 600 for the paper-based test, 250 for the computer-based test, or a total score of 100, with a 19 on the speaking section for the internet-based test (iBT).

International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL requirement if they have received a Baccalaureate or a Master’s degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following regions:  Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United States and Wales.

Once a student has accepted his/her offer of admission and the Penn State record has been updated to reflect this, the Directorate of International Student Advising (DISA) will send the student instructions and a link to enter immigration information and upload financial documentation directly into an electronic file within DISA’s database.