School of Communication & Journalism

FAQs

For All Students

I don't have an undergraduate degree in Communication or Journalism. Can I still apply?
Yes. You can apply to our program.  However, if accepted, you will need to complete nine (9) additional hours at the graduate level.
I don’t have an undergraduate degree in Communication or Journalism. What will we study?

Our courses in Communication focus on the wide variety of ways in which human beings communicate with each other. Areas of study include interpersonal , small group (such as classrooms or families) and organizational communication as well as rhetorical and film criticism, popular culture, mass media, visual communication, and other mediated communication.

At the graduate level, Communication courses focus on theoretical perspectives and research applications. The vast majority of our graduate classes are theoretically oriented.

What is the difference between the Graduate Certificate and the Master's degree?
The Graduate Certificate in Communication allows students to gain 18 hours of concentrated study in Communication, while the Master’s Degree in Communication requires 30 to 39 hours depending on your undergraduate major.  Students in both programs take the three required graduate courses and must successfully complete Qualifying Exams. For additional information, check out our Graduate Student Policy Manual.
How long does it take to complete the degree?
Full-time students seeking a Graduate Certificate in Communication usually  finish the required 18 hours in two semesters, while students seeking a Master’s degree typically take four semesters (Fall & Spring), or two years. Students pursuing an M.A. who do not have an undergraduate degree in a Communication-related field generally take five semesters.
Does Auburn University offer a doctoral program in Communication and Journalism?
The School of Communication and Journalism does not currently have a doctoral program.
What should I know about GRE requirements?

Application to our program is competitive, so the stronger your scores (as judged by your percentile placement) the more competitive you will be.

All graduate applicants must take the GRE. No other test can replace it (e.g., GMAT, LSAT, etc.).

You can see the average GPA & GRE scores for students accepted into our program on our Graduate Program Statistics webpage. We preference students whose verbal and quantitative scores are at or above 150/450 and have a writing score of 4.0 or higher.

Who should I ask to write letters of recommendation for me?
For admission to the graduate program, you should ask anyone who can comment on your intellectual abilities, maturity, sense of responsibility, likelihood of completing a graduate degree, etc.  If you also want to be considered for a teaching assistantship, you should ask someone who can comment on the above qualities plus your potential as a teacher. Most applicants ask professors and/or employers. You should not ask family members to write letters for you. You should also check out the Tips on References.
What kind of writing sample should I include in my application packet?
Your writing sample should demonstrate that you have strong writing skills as well as strong analytical and critical thinking skills. Ideally, it should be an individually authored research-based paper. Most applicants choose to submit a paper they wrote for an undergraduate class. Length of the paper varies greatly, but please do not go over 25 double-spaced pages.
What should I include in my Statement of Purpose?
For tips on writing a Statement of Purpose, see our page, Tips on writing a statement of purpose.
If I'm considering continuing on for a Ph.D., should I pursue the M.A.-thesis or M.A.- nonthesis?
The course work students take for both degrees will prepare them well for a doctoral program. The M.A.-thesis offers a slight advantage because students write a master's thesis to complete this degree. The master's thesis requires a student to design a research project and carry it out to completion. Students who complete a thesis will know whether pursuing a doctoral degree is right for them.
Does the school offer a master's degree in print or broadcast journalism?
No. If you want to train to be a broadcast or print journalist, our graduate program will not meet your needs.
Does the school offer courses in advertising or marketing?
The School of Communication and Journalism does not currently offer classes in advertising or marketing.
Does the school offer courses in radio, TV, or film production at the graduate level?
The School of Communication and Journalism does not currently offer graduate classes in Radio, TV, or Film production.
Does the school offer graduate courses via distance education, distance learning, off-campus venues, computer based courses, or “video” course offerings?
No. The School of Communication and Journalism does not currently offer computer-based or distance education graduate classes.
May I begin my program of study in the summer?
We strongly discourage students from starting their graduate studies in the summer.  You should contact the graduate program director if you are interested in starting the program Summer semester. 
When are graduate classes usually scheduled?
Most graduate classes are usually scheduled in the evening during Fall & Spring semesters. However, some graduate classes are scheduled in the afternoon during these semesters. Summer graduate classes (when we offer them) are usually scheduled in the late afternoon or evening.
How much will it cost me for tuition and living expenses at Auburn?
Costs can vary with the number of hours you take and whether you live on or off campus. However, the university provides estimated budgets for prospective students at http://www.auburn.edu/admissions/tuition/costofattendance.html.
I've been accepted to the program, do you have advice on choosing housing?
Auburn's Housing and Residence Life has a unique program to help graduate students find local housing. You can learn more about the program at the Auburn Housing website. You may also wish to contact the GPO, who can put you in contact with current graduate students. They can give you advice on the ins and outs of living here in Auburn.

For Students Interested in Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Do I have to pay tuition if I receive a graduate teaching assistantship?
No. All graduate teaching assistants receive a tuition waiver, regardless of state of residency. However, GTAs are required to pay a per semester enrollment fee.  They also must pay for their own books and other related costs.
If I'm applying for both admission and a teaching assistantship, do I need two separate sets of recommendation letters?
No. Just make certain that your references comment on your potential as a teacher.

For International Students

As an international student, how do I apply for graduate study in the School of Communication and Journalism?

Like all students, International Students must start the application process by contacting The Graduate School:
The Graduate School
Hargis Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
(334) 844-4700
e-mail: The Graduate School
web page: The Graduate School

Are international students eligible to apply for a graduate teaching assistantship?

Yes.However, under most circumstances, the School of Communication and Journalism does not offer teaching assistantships to international students during their first semester of graduate study. Our school is committed to insuring the academic success of all of our graduate students. With international students, we use their first term in the program to evaluate their oral and written communication, and their ability to function in the classroom. International students who write and speak well in English may be offered an assistantship.

International students who want to apply for a teaching assistantship are welcome to do so during their first semester of course work. International students are also required by Auburn University to take the TSE (Test of Spoken English) and score a minimum of 50 on the exam.

For more information

Debra Worthington

Debra Worthington
Graduate Program Officer
219 Tichenor Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
(334) 844-2756
worthdl@auburn.edu

Last Updated: September 20, 2017