Graduate Admissions

Thank you for your interest in the UCSD Communication graduate program!

We offer an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in communication theory and research. We do not offer a Master's degree program. We also do not offer a specialization or programs in advertising, public relations, journalism, intercultural communication, speech communication or rhetoric.

Fall 2019* Application Schedule

Online application opens: Date TBD (early September 2018)
Submission deadline: Date TBD (likely mid-December 2018)

*The Communication Department only admits students once per year, for the fall quarter. The application deadline for Fall 2018 matriculation has already passed. We are not able to accept late applications.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (undergraduate major does not need to be in Communication)
  • Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent)
  • GRE General Test (no required minimum score); use institution code 4836 to report scores to UCSD
  • International applicants: Demonstrate English language proficiency via one of four options:
    • Option 1: TOEFL with a minimum score of 550 (paper based test-PBT) or 80 (internet based test-iBT). Use institution code 4836 to report scores to UCSD.
    • Option 2: IELTS with a minimum Band Score of 7
    • Option 3: Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic with a minimum overall score of 65
    • Option 4: Full-time enrollment for a minimum of 1 year in a university-level institution where English is the language of instruction and in a country in which English is a dominant language. (For example: U.S.A., England, Australia, Guam, Jamaica, Ireland, parts of Canada.)

Application Checklist

A completed admissions application includes the items below. All items must be received by the application deadline. Do not mail hard copy materials. All documents must be uploaded and submitted via the online application system.

  • UCSD Online Admissions Application
  • Non-refundable application fee
  • Statement of Purpose (pdf format no larger than 10 MB; uploaded to online application)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Academic writing samples: copies of term papers, journal articles, or other examples of intellectual work
  • Scanned unofficial copies of transcripts from all higher education institutions attended (uploaded to online application)
  • Official GRE General Test scores (submitted to UCSD via ETS; see "Admission Requirements" section above)
  • Demonstration of English proficiency (International applicants only; see "Admission Requirements" section above)

Admission Decision

All materials must be submitted by the deadline to be considered for admission.
We do not admit on a 'rolling' basis. The review of applications begins after the application deadline.
Applicants are notified of the admission decision via email, usually by the end of February.

Financial Assistance

The department attempts in every way possible to assist its graduate students with their financial needs. A combination of fellowship stipend, tuition and fee support, and teaching assistantships are the norm. Additional funding opportunities include:

  • Department conference travel awards
  • Department graduate research travel
  • Faculty research assistantships
  • Department and University dissertation awards
  • Editorial work on the department’s scholarly journal, The Communication Review

Funding for the above comes from a variety of sources including fellowship programs sponsored campus-wide, such as the San Diego and Cota Robles Fellowships and the University of California Pre-doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities. The Dean of Social Sciences provides several scholarship awards for the entering students; departmental support includes endowments from the Herbert I. Schiller Foundation, the Helene Keyssar Memorial Fund, and the Alan A. Mannason Scholarship Award.

All students are urged to apply for fellowship and grant opportunities as they arise. These include, but are not limited to: the Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies and UC-Mexus; the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation; the UC Humanities Research Institute; the Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition; the National Science Foundation; and the National Endowment for the Humanities. 


We encourage you to also review our Prospective Graduate Student FAQ page. 

We are happy to answer questions you may have about our graduate program or the admissions process.

Contact Us:

UCSD Department of Communication
Graduate Admissions
9500 Gilman Drive #0503
La Jolla, CA 92093-0503 

Phone: (858) 534-2379