Graduate Admissions and Degree Requirements

Admission to the Program

Admission to the M.A. and PhD programs is highly competitive. Applicants are considered once a year for Fall admission, with a January 15 application deadline. All applicants must fulfill requirements of the Graduate School and show likelihood of successfully completing the departmental program.

The following materials are required for admission consideration:

  • Unofficial undergraduate/graduate transcripts
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation from qualified people (e.g., former or present instructors) who can attest to your ability to complete graduate study
  • A sample of scholarly writing (e.g., course paper, writing sample)
  • A statement of  purpose no more than 500 words clearly explaining your interest in pursuing a graduate degree, your intended area of study, your professional goals, and your background

Submitting GRE scores is optional. The Department of Communication does not require the GRE as part of the admission materials. Applicants may submit GRE scores for consideration if they feel that their scores are an accurate representation of their potential to succeed in graduate school. However, applicants will be given full consideration without submitting their standardized test scores and will not be penalized for not submitting scores.

Application Instructions

You will apply directly using the MU online application system.

  • Application materials will be completed and/or uploaded through the application system.
  • Official transcripts are not required until you are accepted to the program
  • International applicants must submit either TOEFL or IETS scores. The required TOEFL scores are 550 paper-based, 80 internet-based. The IELTS must be 5.5 or higher.
  • If you choose to submit your GRE scores, please use the following codes: MU Univ. - 6875, Comm Dept. - 4599

The Graduate School requires that International applicants submit proof of financial support. This information should be sent directly to the graduate school at 210 Jesse Hall. Please follow the following link for more information:

Degree Requirements

Master’s Degree

A minimum of 30 hours of coursework beyond the B.A./B.S. is required. Typical full time student enrollment is 9 hours in the fall and spring semesters with the possibility of additional coursework in the summer. Coursework is typically completed in 1.5 years. Following completion of coursework, students will complete a Master’s thesis or complete a substantial independent project, including an oral defense of that thesis/project. Anticipated completion of the doctoral program under normal conditions is 24 months. For additional information consult the MA Program Handbook.

Doctoral Degree

A minimum of 48 hours of coursework beyond the M.A. degree is required. Typical full time student enrollment is 9 hours in the fall and spring semesters and 3-6 hours in the summer, with coursework typically completed in 2 years.  Doctoral candidates then complete the comprehensive exam process (written and oral defense) before defending an original dissertation. Anticipated completion of the doctoral program under normal conditions is 48 months. For additional information consult the PhD Program Handbook.


Department of Communication
University of Missouri
108 Switzler Hall
Columbia, MO 65211

Dr. Ben Warner
Director of Graduate Studies