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M.A. in Theory and Research – Application Process

To apply for admission and graduate assistantship, applicants must submit the following materials. Once the Department has received all materials, a decision for acceptance will be made. Upon acceptance into the program, applicants will receive written notification from the Department. 

Deadline to apply: March 28 for the following fall semester

WVU Graduate School Application

The application for admission to graduate school at West Virginia University can be accessed online. A nonrefundable fee of $60.00 must be received by Admissions and Records before the application will be processed. On Line 16 of the application, 1474 should be identified as the Major Code and Communication Studies should be identified as the Intended Major.

WVU Graduate School Application

GRE Scores

Applicants should have a minimum of 290-310 range for the verbal and Quantitative combined and with a minimum score of 4.0 on the analytical component of the GRE. GRE’s taken before August 2011 should have a combined score of 1000 on the verbal and quantitative components of the exam, with a minimum score of 4.0 on the analytical component. Scores should not be older than five years at the time of application..

TOEFL Scores

For international students whose native language is not English, we require scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language Examination (TOEFL). Scores will be accepted from any of the three test versions (i.e., Internet-based test, computer-based test, or paper-based test). The minimum scores needed to be considered for admission are 79 for the Internet-based test, 213 for the computer-based test, and 550 for the paper-based test.


Official transcripts from each of the applicant’s undergraduate institutions (if they have attended more than one school) must be delivered to WVU directly from the Registrar of the college/university attended. Applicants should have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75. The application form, the GRE scores, TOEFL scores (if applicable), and all transcripts should be submitted to Admissions and Records, PO Box 6009, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-6009.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic progress and potential. These letters of recommendation should address whether the applicant has the ability to succeed in the M.A. program in Communication Studies at West Virginia University as both a graduate student and as a potential graduate teaching assistant. No e-mailed or faxed letters of recommendation will be accepted. As noted above you may have these submitted online by submitting recommender’s contact information within the WVU graduate school application.

Curriculum Vitae

The applicant’s curriculum vitae should include all formal education, any teaching or professional work experience, and any research projects conducted to date. The three letters of recommendation, the vita, and any additional supporting material should be mailed directly to Dr. Christine Rittenour, M.A. Coordinator, Department of Communication Studies, PO Box 6293, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-6293.

Graduate Assistantships

Students also are encouraged to apply for a graduate teaching assistantship. The number of assistantships is available and is limited to one academic year. The assistantship provides a monthly stipend (approximately $12,000 for the 9 month academic year); a tuition waiver (approximately $19,854 for the 2014-2015 academic year), and health care coverage/insurance through the University for the academic year amounts change yearly. The total approximate value of a graduate tuition waiver is $31,854 plus basic health care coverage (it should be noted that while the assistantship covers the full $31,854 students are still responsible for paying university-wide fees which are approximately $700.00 a semester); Assistantship responsibilities typically include serving as a teaching assistant to a faculty member for 2-3 courses.

To qualify for an assistantship, applicants (1) should have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and (2) must have submitted the Application for M.A. Assistantship to the M.A. Coordinator. The assistantship application can be accessed online.

M.A. Theory and Research Assistantship Application