Prospective Graduate Students


If you are interested in applying to the Graduate Program, you may do so on-line.The deadline to apply for Fall admission is January 13. All applications materials must be received by the deadline. UCSD does not have a paper copy application process. Due to high volume near the deadline date, it is recomended that you submit the online portion of your application two weeks in advance of the deadline. If you have any questions about our program, please refer to the FAQ page.

After doing so, if you have any additional questions regarding admissions please contact the department:

Communication Graduate Admissions
Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Communication
9500 Gilman Drive, #0503
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0503
(858) 534-2379 
FAX (858) 534-7315


New graduate students are admitted for the Fall quarter of each academic year.

Applicants should submit the following materials to the Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Communication, in order to be considered for admission:

  • Application for Graduate Admission
  • Transcripts from each institution attended
  • Official scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • Non-refundable application fee
  • At least three letters of recommendation
  • Applicants are required to send copies of term papers, journal articles, or other examples of their intellectual work.

In addition, foreign applicants must demonstrate their command of the English language by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL Test of Written English must also be taken.

The admissions committee considers grade-point averages, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, personal statements, writing samples and where applicable TOEFL Test of Written English scores in making decisions for admittance.

Financial assistance

The University of California, San Diego attempts in every way possible to assist its graduate students with their financial needs. All entering students are urged to seek financial assistance within the university and through appropriate granting agencies such as the National Science Foundation or National Endowment for the Humanities. Applications for financial assistance should be submitted as early as possible; competition is keen and the deadlines are set early in the year. The department attempts to fund entering students in their first year of graduate study, but funds are limited by complex university formulas.

A combination of tuition and fee waivers, stipends, and teaching assistantships are the norm. Funding policies beyond the first year are as follows:

  • Students are essentially promised full-year support in the form of teaching assistantships (TA) during their second year.
  • The department has been able to award full and partial-year TA positions to third - and even fourth-year students, but this depends on availability.
  • Students beyond the second year are strongly encouraged to apply to the various college writing programs for TA positions.
  • Students who have advanced to Ph.D. candidacy are eligible to apply for dissertation awards. These generally range from $4,000 to $5,000. They are given out on a competitive basis, but the department tries to accommodate all legitimate requests.
  • The department allocates funds every year to help pay travel expenses for graduate students who deliver a paper at a scholarly conference.
  • The department sets aside some money to fund graduate research trips.
  • Research assistantships (RA) are often available from faculty members who have received research funds.
  • A full-year RA is given to one student to work with the editors of the department’s scholarly journal, The Communication Review.
  • Other opportunities for funding include the Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies and UC-Mexus; the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation; the UC Humanities Research Institute; and the Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition.
Funding for the above comes from a variety of sources including fellowship programs sponsored campuswide, 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, and departmental support includes endowments from the Herbert I. Schiller Foundation, the Helene Keyssar Memorial Fund and the Alan A. Mannason Scholarship Award. Application for all of the above may be made through the Application for Graduate Admission. In addition, need-based financial aid made be applied for through the Office of Student Financial Services.