Recommended Deadlines to Submit Completed Applications for Admission

15 February, for students applying for UA Graduate Fellowships or Communication Studies GAs
1 May, for students seeking August admission
1 November, for students seeking January admission


*The online program admission decisions are made on a rolling basis.  However, late admission into the program needs to be confirmed by these dates:  for summer classes, by 1 May; for fall classes, by 1 August; and for spring classes, by 1 December.

Application Process

All those interested in being admitted into the program must apply for admission to the Graduate School of the University of Alabama the semester prior to their anticipated start date.  Be sure to consult the Graduate School’s standards of eligibility for admission.

  1. Complete the Graduate School’s application form. If interested in the fully online master’s program, you must select the distance learning option on the application.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Provide the names of three academic references.  Furnish an official email address for each person you name as a reference.  Actual letters of recommendation are not required.  Please note that if you put names in the “Letters of Recommendation” section, those references will receive an automatic request to provide a letter in your behalf.
  4. Provide transcripts for each institution of higher education at which you have completed 15 or more credits
  5. Provide English Language Proficiency Test Scores (for non-native speakers of English)
  6. Provide a Statement of Purpose. Please refer to the guidelines below.

If you are applying to the main campus and are interested in a communication studies Graduate Teaching Assistantship, you will also need to send a letter of application and a 10-minute video-recording of yourself delivering a speech or otherwise demonstrating speaking ability.  Refer to directions here.

Guidelines for Statement of Purpose

The Graduate School provides general recommendations for statements of purpose concerning length (1-2 pages) and substance (treatment of your background, reasons for pursuing the graduate degree program, and goals after graduation.  In reviewing applications for the M.A. degree in Communication Studies, graduate faculty members prioritize the statement of purpose essay as the key component for making review decisions.

Statements of purpose are evaluated for writing proficiency as well as content.  The following are recommended guidelines for the content.

  1. In discussing your background, you should describe how your experiences, interests, activities, and/or achievements have helped shape your interest in Communication Studies.
  2. The department supports four areas of study: communication and culture, interpersonal communication, organizational leadership, and rhetoric and political discourse.  Describe how your interests align with these areas.  If there are specific faculty members in the Department of Communication Studies with whom you would like to work during your graduate education, this should be mentioned as well.
  3. Describe what you will bring to our program and your classes that demonstrates your ability to be a successful graduate student and contribute to our learning environment.
  4. Describe how the completion of an MA in Communication Studies will help you achieve your goals.

Departmental Assistantships