Application Process

When is the deadline to apply?

Fall semester enrollment: January 15

Spring semester enrollment: November 15

What do I need to apply?

Check out the application checklist  or visit the graduate applications and assistantships page.

Can I still apply after the deadline?

A committee will begin the review of applications directly following the deadline (January 15 for fall enrollment and November 15 for spring enrollment). Therefore, it is important for applicants seeking graduate assistantships to apply early. Applicants who are not seeking an assistantship may submit completed applications until May 31 for the fall semester enrollment.

Applications will not be accepted after Nov. 15 for spring semester enrollment.

How long do I have before my incomplete application expires?

Once an application is submitted on the online submission site, applicants have one year to complete the application. Applicants will need to re-apply after one year and must submit all new materials.

Do I have to take the GRE to apply?

GRE scores are recommended with all applications, but are not required..

What is the GRE code for the School of Communication Studies?

It is 4502.

What type of writing sample should I submit?

For students who are seeking a graduate assistantship, they should submit research-based papers such as literature review, research proposal, position paper or research study.

For students who are not seeking a graduate assistantship, they can submit the writing sample as stated above or writings generated from their work, such as newsletters, press releases, marketing proposals, training manuals, etc.

Do I send the recommendation letters to the School of Communication Studies directly?

No. Applicants must send the letters of recommendation to Division of Graduate Studies (for domestic applicants) or Office of Global Education (for international applicants).

I have been away from school for a while, and lost contact with most of the faculty from the last academic institution I was in. Therefore, I may not be able to get two letters of recommendation from faculty. Is that okay?

Unfortunately, if an applicant is seeking a graduate assistantship, the committee wants to see at least two recommendation letters from faculty from your current/previous academic institutions.

If an applicant is not seeking graduate assistantship, the committee only requires one letter from faculty and two letters can be from current/previous employers, colleagues or someone who is in the position to evaluate your work ethic, performance and potential for graduate school.

What information do I need to include in my purpose statement document?

Address the following four questions in the purpose statement.

  1. Why do you want to enter a master's program in communication?
  2. Why do you want to come to the School of Communication Studies at Kent State University?
  3. Which concentration(s) or types of research/phenomena are you interested in exploring?
  4. What are my professional goals and how the program will help me meet my career goals?
Can I be a part-time student in your program?

Yes. However, students must keep two things in mind. First, students need to complete their master's degree program within six years of their first enrollment. Secondly, not all classes are offered in the evenings; some courses may be offered in the afternoon due to scheduling issues. Therefore, students may need to ask their employer for flexibility during a particular semester.

Can I still apply if I do not know which concentration to choose?

A specific concentration does not have to be included in the purpose statement document. However, applicants should indicate a general interest of the types of communication topics/phenomena/research questions in the purpose statement document so the committee can decide if the student's goals align with this program.

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Graduate Assistantships

Are graduate assistantships available?

Yes. Graduate assistantships are awarded to highly qualified applicants. A graduate assistantship includes a nine-month stipend and waiver of resident and out-of-state tuition. Health insurance programs are available with assistantships. Find out more at the Graduate Forms page.

What will I do in a graduate assistantship position?

Graduate assistants teach two to three sessions of Introduction to Human Communication (COMM 150000) under the supervision of the Basic Course Director. The time commitment is expected to be 20 hours per week.

Research assistantships may be available depending on faculty-led grant activity.

Are graduate assistantships available during the summer?

Graduate assistants may be hired as part-time instructors during the summer sessions, and they will still receive a tuition waiver (up to four credit hours) and a salary.

Does your Graduate Assistantship include health insurance?

Yes. The university pays part of the cost for student health insurance. Detailed coverage and information is at Aetna Student Health and there is a link from Kent State's student health center site.

Part-time faculty members are not required to have insurance through Kent State, although they may purchase it through the HR benefits site.

Where can I find the form to apply for a graduate assistantship?

Forms and information about graduate assistantships can be found on the Graduate Forms page.

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Admission Process

When can I expect to hear from the School about the admission decision?

The decision timeline depends on when the application was completed and submitted. Applicants should expect a minimum of two to four weeks before receiving the school's decision.

When should I make a decision about coming to the program?

For applicants who are awarded with a graduate assistantship, responses are due no later than April 1. Once the offer letter is signed, the student is obligated to come to the program. If, for any reason, the student is unable to fulfill the contract, he or she must formally request to be released from the assistantship contract before accepting an offer from another institution.

For applicants who are not seeking assistantship, please respond to the admission letter within a month. If more time is needed, please contact the graduate coordinator.

If I am admitted into the program but unable to come, can I defer my enrollment?

Yes. Students can defer enrollment for one year. After that, students have to re-apply and must submit all new materials.

If you are awarded a graduate assistantship, students can hold the assistantship for one year for the deferred enrollment. Students, however, should check with the School of Communication Studies to ensure the position before deferring enrollment.

What is a conditional admission?

A conditional admission may be offered to applicants if a student has the potential to succeed but may need some preparatory courses to make up the deficiency in language, educational background or writing competence.

The admission letter will specify condition(s) and the student will be evaluated by the deadline as indicated in the letter. Once the student meets the condition(s), his or her conditional status will be removed. If he or she does not meet the condition(s), the faculty will recommended dismissal from the program.

Conditionally admitted students will be treated the same way as other regular admitted students with full access to university resources.

An international student who is offered a conditional admission should not have any problem obtaining the U.S. visa.

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Program and Graduation Options

Is there a graduate orientation available?

Kent State University's Graduate Studies offers a graduate student orientation.

The School of Communication Studies requires an in-house orientation for new students before the fall semester. Students will be contacted by the graduate coordinator about the in-house orientation.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The graduate curriculum is designed to allow the student to graduate in two years as long as he or she registers continuously and makes satisfactory progress with his or her program of study.

How do I know which classes to take in my first semester?

Each student is assigned a temporary advisor in his/her first semester to assist with scheduling classes. Students have required courses to take in their first and second semesters.

What kinds of classes will I be taking?

Courses focus on theory and research in areas of communication studies such as health, global, interpersonal, mediated and mass communication. View current course offerings and descriptions here, by selecting the term, graduate and subject (communication studies).

How many classes students usually take each semester?

Full-time, including international students, take three classes each semester. Part-time students enroll as it meets their schedule.

Do I have to write a thesis?

No. Students have the option to write a thesis, complete coursework only, complete a project or intern as their capstone experience.

What is a thesis option? Who is this for?

A thesis option is one of the four graduation capstone experiences. It is intended for students who are interested in conducting research pertaining to communication issues, are planning to pursue a doctoral degree in the future or work in a research capacity.

What is an internship option? Who is this for?

The internship is one of the four graduation capstone experiences. It is intended for students who are interested in applying what they have learned to a workplace. Students are required to intern in an organization for a communication-related position for a minimum of 135 hours over the semester. For example, students can intern in the marketing department in a radio station or in the communication department in a hospital.

What is a coursework only option? Who is this for?

A coursework-only option is one of the four graduation capstone experiences. It is intended for students who are interested in a wide array of communication topics (e.g., health, global and media) and are not planning to pursue a doctoral degree in the future.

What is a project option? Who is this for?

A project option is one of the four graduation capstone experiences. It is intended for students who are interested in applying communication theories or knowledge to a specific type of issue. For example, students can create a workshop on cancer patients and family support for a targeted audience. The workshop can include a presentation, printed materials and an evaluation of its effectiveness.

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International Applicants

Do I need the TOEFL if I've studied in the United States?

If the applicant holds a bachelor's degree from a U.S. institution and/or has studied in an accredited U.S. academic institution for two years, then TOEFL is not required.

I am an International student. Can you tell me about the living expenses?

Please view the tuition and fees information provided by the One Stop. An international student is required to maintain full-time status during the fall and spring semesters (a minimum of eight credit hours).

We encourage you to check out the International Student and Scholar Services for questions related to your stay at Kent State University.

I am an International student, and I want to know if you have all of my application materials.

International students should first check with the Office of Global Education (OGE). Once OGE completes all the verification process, they will move their application to the Division of Graduate Studies and then to the School of Communication Studies.

Is there any support for international students?

Yes. The Office of Global Education has wonderful staff and advisors to help you get accustomed to Kent State, many activities on or around campus and a host family program for you to adjust to American culture.

The College of Communication and Information (CCI) has two international advisors who are here to help you with academic issues and acculturation. CCI offers an orientation class for incoming graduate students and a writing class for those who need to improve their English writing skills.

Faculty and staff are very supportive of international students and will find ways to help whenever they can.

I am an international student and I have received the admission letter from Kent State University. I am still waiting to hear from other universities. Can I apply for the U.S. visa using the I-20 issued by Kent State University?

If a student uses the Kent State I-20 to apply for the U.S. visa, then he or she will need to come to Kent State University, not other universities.

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General Questions

Who should I contact with questions?

Contact the School of Communication Studies

E-mail: comm@kent.edu
Phone: 330-672-2659
Fax: 330-672-3510
International Phone: 00 1-330-672-2659


Teddy W. Workneh, Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee, with questions.

E-mail: tworkneh@kent.edu
Phone: 330-672-2659
Fax: 330-672-3510
International Phone: 00 1-330-672-2659

How do I know which faculty members specialize in the area of communication I'm interested?

You can learn more about our faculty by visiting their profiles.

Where can I find the Graduate Student Handbook?

Download the handbook in PDF format.

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