Graduate Programs

How to Apply

Applications for Admission for Fall 2023

Deadline: Ph.D. in Mass Communications, Dec. 19, 2022
Deadline: M.A. in Media Studies, Feb. 1, 2023

Please note: If you are applying to one of the degree programs in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, please enter MASSC (Ph.D. in Mass Communications) or MEDIA (M.A. in Media Studies) on your online application form.

Online Application Requirements

The Graduate School online application will ask you to upload the following additional program-specific material:

  • Statement of purpose (two to three pages explaining your academic interest and background in communications and how graduate study at Penn State fits into your career plans)
  • Writing sample (any academic or professional work that demonstrates your analytical and writing abilities)
  • Three (3) recommendations (preferably from those who can assess your past academic performance and potential for graduate studies).  The Graduate School will notify the recommenders by email to fill out the rating form and to add additional information on the applicant.  Please plan accordingly to give your recommenders plenty of time to submit their letters by the application's deadline.
  • Official GRE Scores (analytical writing, verbal general and quantitative general)
    • University code: 2660
    • Department code: 4508

      Applicants to the M.A. and Ph.D. programs should note that the submission of Official GRE Scores (analytical writing, verbal general and quantitative general) is OPTIONAL. If you've already taken and choose to submit GRE scores, we will accept them. If you opt to not submit GRE scores, please note that the Graduate Admissions Committee will consider GRE scores as ONE dimension of what will be a holistic review of applications.

      ALL applicants are encouraged to submit application materials that provide clear evidence of their aptitude for graduate study.

  • Official TOEFL Scores (for international students who have not received a degree from an English-language institution).  A combined score of at least 80 with at least a 24 on the speaking is required. If a degree is earned from an accredited English-speaking institution, the TOEFL score will be waived.
  • Official transcripts/records/degree certificates from all institutions attended that are listed on your application to the Graduate School.

Ph.D. Funding

The Bellisario College offers Graduate Assistantships or University Graduate Fellowships to all Ph.D. students

Apply Now


Dr. Anthony Olorunnisola
Professor, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research

Letitia Bullock
Coordinator of Graduate Programs