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Graduate Program Frequently Asked Questions

What are the basic credentials I need to apply to the M.A. program?
You need an undergraduate degree in Communication or a related discipline, a 3.0 GPA on a four point scale, and a 900 on the GRE. Provisional admission may be possible for students with lower scores. Other materials you need to send us to apply include a copy of your transcripts, a writing sample, a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, an application, and the application fee.

Do I send my materials to the Department of Communication or to the Graduate School?
You send all application materials to the Graduate School. If you have any questions you can call the Department of Communication (502-852-6976).

How do I apply to the Master of Arts in Communication program?
General information about taking graduate courses at the University of Louisville can be found on the Graduate School web site ( To apply to graduate school you must fill out the online admissions form at

Do I need to take the GRE to be admitted to the program?
Yes and you need to score at least 900 on it.

I know you need me to provide a writing sample. What type of sample do you want?
For your writing sample, provide any writing that showcases your ability to write clearly and concisely for diverse audiences. You might consider sending a newspaper or magazine article, an essay written for an employee magazine or other organizational publication, a news release, brochure or pamphlet, a speech or any other sample that accurately reflects your writing ability. Although you can also provide academic writing, such as a term paper completed for an undergraduate course, please make sure you submit a relatively brief sample (ten pages or fewer).

Who should I get to write letters of recommendation and what should the letters include?
The graduate school uses a standard form (recommendation form) and all letters of recommendation must use this form. Note that although the graduate school requires two letters of recommendation, the Department of Communication requires three. The letters usually should be written by professors familiar with your abilities and potential for success in graduate school. Letters from employers are acceptable when substantial time has elapsed since enrollment in an academic institution.

Who teaches graduate courses?
All graduate courses are taught by faculty members holding a Ph.D. in communication or a related discipline. Several of our faculty members have won teaching awards, both locally and nationally. The faculty hold advanced degrees from such universities as Michigan State University, the University of Illinois, the University of Minnesota, Bowling Green State University, Purdue University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Kansas, and the University of Denver. The faculty have published their scholarship in research journals, book chapters, books, monographs, and other venues. Several faculty members also have consulting experience.

When are the graduate courses offered?
Graduate courses are offered in the late afternoon or evening. We offer graduate courses in all terms (Fall, Spring, and Summer). The program is designed so that a full-time student will finish it in two years.

Do I have to start the M.A. program in the fall?
Typically, students start their programs in the Fall semester, but it is possible to start in any term.

How many hours do I have to take to be considered full-time?
Nine hours is considered full-time. Twelve hours is the most any student is allowed to take in one term. Part-time students are expected to take at least six hours. The program is designed for full-time students to complete it in two years. Part-time students should complete it in three years.

Are any graduate courses taught online?
Yes. The Department of Communication has an extensive online program for both undergraduate and graduate students. Not all graduate courses are taught online so students will have to complete some in residence courses to earn the M.A. degree.

How much math will I need for the M.A. program?
Students entering the program are expected to have completed undergraduate courses in research methods and statistics. Students who have not done so may be required to complete those courses prior to being accepted into the program.

Can I get into the M.A. program even though I don't have an undergraduate degree in Communication?
Yes. The transcripts of students with degrees in areas besides Communication will be evaluated on an individual basis. Generally, students are expected to have at least fifteen undergraduate hours in Communication or related disciplines. If you do not meet the undergraduate hours requirement, you may be required to take some preparatory courses.

Will I have to write a master's thesis?
No. The M.A degree offers a non-thesis option. Students who choose this option will be required to take a comprehensive exam at the end of the program.

How much is the tuition? Is financial aid available?
Information about tuition can be found that the Bursar's web page. Financial aid information is located at

Is it possible for me to count any of my undergraduate work toward the requirements for the M.A.?
Undergraduate students at the University of Louisville who are within six semester hours of completing the baccalaureate requirements may register in graduate courses, including those at the 600 level, with the permission of the undergraduate dean, the Dean of the Graduate School, and the instructors involved. Subsequent graduate credit can be obtained only if these courses have not been used to satisfy part of the baccalaureate requirements, and if the recommendation of the chair of the department and the approval of the graduate dean are obtained.

Can I take a course or two before I apply?
Yes. The university has a "provisional status" category for admission that may be appropriate in exceptional circumstances (such as someone who has been out of school for several years and needs to take a course or two before applying). The Department of Communication also will accept students in "Non-Degree" status in rare circumstances.

Do I have to take courses every semester once I am accepted into the M.A. program?
All graduate students are expected to make steady and satisfactory progress toward the completion of their degrees. Students who fail to enroll for a period of more than 12 months will be considered to have withdrawn from the program.

You're asking for a personal statement. What should it include?
Please submit a personal statement of 1-2 pages discussing how the M.A. in Communication relates to your professional and personal goals. It may also include information on extracurricular activities, community service, awards and honors, employment, leadership positions and any other experiences or qualifications that might distinguish you from other applicants.

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