Admission for U.S. citizens and permanent residents/immigrants

The Department of Communication accepts applications to its PhD and MA/PhD graduate programs for Autumn quarter entry only, with an application deadline of November 16. If you are interested in applying, please note the following important deadline and application information. If you have any questions about this information, please e-mail the Graduate Program Advisor at

Application Deadline

THE DEADLINE IS November 16 for Autumn only admission.

A NOTE ON THIS DEADLINE: This application deadline is real and is a completion deadline. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Applications must be complete by the deadline to be considered. Careful applicants prepare their applications well in advance and they request test scores and letters of recommendation even months ahead of time. It is not uncommon for us to receive completed applications as much as a month before the deadline. All application materials should be uploaded to our online application system. We do not accept any mailed materials.

Graduate Applicant Eligibility

  • Minimum 3.0 or B grade point average over the two most recent years of study guarantees consideration. However, average GPAs for the students we have admitted have been higher. Click here to see recent applicant statistics.
  • Ph.D. applicants must show proof of completion of a master’s degree prior to starting the program, though it is common for those applying to the Ph.D. program to be working on their thesis in the year during which they apply.
  • M.A./Ph.D. applicants must show proof of completion of a bachelor’s degree prior to starting the program, though it is common for applicants to be in their senior year of college when they apply to the M.A./Ph.D. program.
  • Full-time status is required for all funded students, but domestic U.S. residents who do not receive assistantships can enroll half-time (please note this is exceedingly rare).

Note to applicants whose first language is not English:

Applicants who are not native speakers of English must meet language proficiency requirements set out in Graduate School Memorandum #8 and Graduate School Memorandum #15. Applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States meet both requirements (Note: A master’s or doctoral degree does not satisfy this requirement). Applicants who do not hold a bachelor’s degree from a US institution must have a minimum total score of 92 and speaking score of 26 if using the TOEFL. If proof is not provided that these minimums are met as of November 16, the applicant will not be considered.

Application Statistics

Each year, we keep statistics on the average GPAs and test scores for those students we accept for admission to our graduate program. See statistics for the applicants admitted in the last five years >>

  • Graduate Application Contents

    1. Upload one set of unofficial transcripts from each institution from which you received a degree of Bachelor or higher within the online application.

    Official transcripts are not required for the admissions application and should not be mailed.

    1. Submit the following materials online:
    • Graduate School online application. The Graduate School requires all applicants to use the web application (if you are truly unable to use the web application, e-mail
    • Application fee. The application fee must be received and recorded by Graduate Admissions prior to the application deadline. We strongly recommend paying this fee electronically using the web application. Note that in order to use the web application, you must pay the fee online using a MasterCard or Visa card (both credit and debit cards are accepted) or a TeleCheck (an online “check” taken from your existing checking account).
    • GRE (Graduate Record Examination)  GREs are strongly encouraged from all applicants this year. If you have taken the GREs within the last 5 years, you are required to submit your scores. General Test scores, taken within the past five years, as of the date your application is submitted. Applicants should report their scores in the online application, and also have an official score report sent directly to the Graduate School by the Educational Testing Service. GRE reporting code is 4854 (no department code). If reporting codes are not offered as a choice when taking your test, select University of Washington Graduate School (institution). Important: It can take up to two weeks after your testing date or report request for UW to receive your scores, so the GRE should be taken/scores requested no later than November 1 to ensure your scores arrive by the November 16 application completion deadline.
    • Three letters of recommendation Letters of recommendation from professors are strongly preferred, but if you have been out of school for many years or have another reason for using non-academic references, other professional recommendations are acceptable. These recommendations are completed online and should not be mailed. Please designate your recommenders within the online application early to allow enough time for them to submit their online recommendations no later than November 16.
    • Letter of intent (2-3 pages) detailing your educational and career goals. This letter should make it clear why you have chosen to enter graduate school to study communication, and why specifically in the University of Washington’s Department of Communication. You should indicate specific faculty here with whom you wish to study, and research interests you would like to pursue. You should not send a generic letter that does not pertain to the scholarly opportunities offered here in this program. State your academic goals so that the admissions committee may determine whether your goals could be met in our department. Write this letter to the best of your ability, as the admissions committee will also be reading it to discern your readiness for graduate education.
    • For Ph.D. applicants: Please provide a sole-authored academic writing sample, roughly 10-30 pages long, that demonstrates your research competence and your ability to produce original scholarship. This might be a thesis chapter, a journal publication, a seminar paper, or something similar. If necessary, edit your paper for length before submitting it with your application. The admissions committee will read your paper to evaluate your writing competence, the clarity of your argument, and the depth of your analysis and insight.
    • For M.A./Ph.D. applicants: Please provide a sole-authored academic writing sample, roughly 10-30 pages. This is typically a paper you wrote for a college or university class, but it can also be a thesis chapter, a journal publication, or a seminar paper. The admissions committee will read your paper to evaluate your writing competence, the clarity of your argument, and the depth of your analysis and insight.
    • Resume or curriculum vitae. If you don’t have a vitae, don’t worry. A resume will do. If you do have a vitae, use it instead.


    • Supplemental essay. This essay permits you to write a more personal narrative compared to the more formal letter of intent, which focuses on your educational and career goals. Supplemental essay guidelines >>