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Ph.D. in Communication Studies – Application Process

Applications for admission for the 2017-2018 academic year are no longer being accepted.

The deadline to apply for admission for the 2018-2019 academic year is January 15th, 2019. 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 and the University.

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 the Office of Admissions before the application will be processed. On Line 16 of the application, 1473 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 combined score of 300 and minimum score of 4.0 on the analytical component of the GRE. GREs taken before August 2011 should have a minimum 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

The Department of Communication Studies is required to certify English proficiency of their graduate teaching assistants. 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.

The TOEFL test must be taken before applying for admission to the Ph.D. programs. International applicants who have received either a B.A. or a B.A. from a college or university in the United States may be exempt from taking the TOEFL.


All official undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Transcripts must be mailed directly from the Registrar of the college and/or university attended. Applicants should have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 and a minimum graduate GPA of 3.30.

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 Ph.D. 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.

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.

Personal Statement

The personal statement is a three-to-four page, typed document in which applicants identify (1) their reasons for pursuing a Ph.D. in Communication Studies, (2) their reasons for wanting to attain their Ph.D. degree in Communication Studies at West Virginia University, (3) their research interests and how these interests correspond with the research conducted by the Department faculty, (4) the faculty members whose research interests are most closely aligned with their own educational and career goals, and (5) why obtaining the Ph.D. degree in Communication Studies specifically from West Virginia University is vital to the achievement of their career goals.

Sample of Scholarly Work

A sole-authored sample of scholarly writing completed in the applicant’s M.A. program. This sample can be a course paper, a conference paper, a thesis or major project, or a journal article.

Supporting Materials

Any additional supporting material. This material can include, but is not limited to, awards received for outstanding research, teaching, or academic endeavors; a conference paper or journal article of which the applicant is a co-author; a newspaper or magazine article; or teaching evaluations.

Graduate Assistantships

There is no separate application for assistantships to the Ph.D. program; all students who are accepted into the program are provided with a guaranteed assistantship for the first year of study and the potential for two additional years of assistantship based on performance.