Your application demonstrates your dedication toward a career in your chosen field. All of its component parts should reflect your serious commitment to graduate study.
Once you upload ALL required documents, your application will be complete and sent to the faculty for review. Do not upload a document that is not your final version. Once the file is complete and sent to faculty for review, we cannot replace any updated materials.
There is a separate application for the MA in Strategic Communication online program.
- Application and $55.00 application fee
- Official transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions are required. You must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university prior to the start of your graduate study.
- Admissions essay. In about 1,000 words, we ask that you describe your motivation for seeking graduate study in your chosen program at the School of Communication. Please address the following questions:
What specific personal, academic and/or professional experiences will contribute to your success in the program?
How do you envision your degree will further enhance your academic and/or professional goals?
- Two letters of recommendation. Letters should be from academic or professional persons who can attest to your ability to successfully perform in a graduate program or qualify for the work you have performed. Instructions on how to request letters of recommendation will appear in the online application after you submit your application online.
- The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is optional, not required, except for applicants to the MA in Global Media and the PhD in Communication.
- Portfolio ( optional). If you do have previous academic or professional experience in a communication or media field, submitting samples of your work will make your application stronger. The best way to submit your portfolio will be to provide a link to an external website or to create a document with links to your work online and upload it as a supplemental item in the online application system. Make sure to submit your portfolio BEFORE the application is complete and all other supporting documents have been received by the Admissions office. The Admissions Committee is unable to review portfolios after the application is complete.
- Interview. An interview is not required, but may be may be requested by the Admissions Committee.
In addition to the admissions requirements, the following additional documents/tests are required:
MA in Global Media program:
- Applicants who earned their bachelor's degree from a University from the following countries are required to submit GRE scores:
- United States,
- United Kingdom,
- Canada (except Quebec),
- New Zealand,
- or Ireland.
- Exempt are American University bachelor's students who are applying to the Bachelor's/Master's in Global Media and have a 3.5 GPA.
- Scores should be sent to our CEEB code number: 5007. Test scores may not be more than five years old. For further information on the GRE or to request a registration form, please contact the Educational Testing Service.
- The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for PhD in Communication. Scores should be sent to our CEEB code number: 5007. Test scores may not be more than five years old. For further information on the GRE or to request a registration form, please contact the Educational Testing Service.
- Copy of your master's thesis (or another example of substantial research).
American University Undergraduate Students
Students in any undergraduate major at AU are eligible for consideration; an undergraduate degree in communication is not required.
Current American University undergraduate students are eligible to apply for admission to a combined Bachelor's/Master's program in SOC during the second semester of their junior year (after completing 75 credits, but before they have completed 90 credits),
Students are admitted formally to the Master's program only after all undergraduate requirements have been met. If admitted, candidates may use up to (6) six approved credit hours at the 500 level or above to satisfy both undergraduate and graduate degree program requirements. The Bachelor's/Master's program requires continuous enrollment. Students admitted to the program may not defer enrollment.
1. Decide which master's program you are interested in pursuing. Ask your faculty member(s) for recommendations and suggestions. Meet with an SOC graduate admissions advisor to learn about the graduate programs at SOC and find out which faculty member you should meet. Then make an appointment with your SOC undergraduate academic advisor to learn about the courses appropriate for the Bachelor's/Master's program.
2. Apply to your chosen master's program.
- When selecting your Academic Program of Interest, select the "Bachelor's/Master's" program option. For example, if applying to the MA in Global Media, select "Bachelor's/Master's in Global Media" program.
- For "Anticipated Entry Term," select the semester immediately after you complete your bachelor's degree. For instance, if you are graduating in May 2020, select the next available term. Some programs start in Summer, others in Fall.
3. Submit all of the required supplemental items listed above, in addition to the Bachelor's/Master's Course Planning Sheet.
If you are admitted into the Bachelor's/Master's program, you will work with your SOC undergraduate academic advisor and the Graduate Program Director to determine which two classes will count toward both your bachelor's degree and master's degree.
NOTE: Applicants wishing to apply for the Bachelor's/Master's in Global Media who have a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA) are not required to submit a Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score.
For more information on approved graduate coursework and pre-admissions advising, please contact the SOC Graduate Office at 202-885-2040.
Requirements for international applicants
- F1 or J1 Visa Status. When you are completing your application form, you will be asked if you wish to apply for a F1 or J1 visa. More information is on the ISSS website.
- Official Transcripts. If you attended a college or university outside the U.S., you will need to submit a course-by-course evaluation of transcripts by World Education Services or Educational Credential Evaluators. You do not need to compute your GPA on your application.
- English Language Requirement. Proof of English Proficiency is required from international applicants whose native language is not English and who do not hold a bachelor's or master's degree from a U.S. accredited college/institution.
Waiver of the English Language Requirement:
An applicant has earned a bachelor's degree or a graduate degree in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada (except Quebec), Australia, New Zealand, or Ireland.
If you do not meet these conditions, you must submit scores from one of the following two tests:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)/ You must achieve a required combined score of at least 100 on the Internet-based test (IBT). The TOEFL is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), and the ETS code for the School of Communication is 5007.
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS). You must achieve a minimum score of a 7.0 or higher.
For more information, visit the International Student and Scholar Services website.
Applicants who are not able to meet the English language proficiency are encouraged to consider the Master's Accelerator Program (MAP) at American University. Currently, the MA in Game Design is the only program that transitions from the MAP program. While in MAP, students may earn up to 9 credits towards their graduate degree.
- Interview via Skype. After your file is complete (application form has been submitted along with all supporting documents and the $55 application fee paid), you will be invited to complete an interview with the School of Communication Graduate Admissions office via Skype.
What to Expect after you are Admitted:
- Immigration Process: Once the applicant is admitted and paid the $250 enrollment deposit, individuals seeking a student visa (F-1 or J-1) are required to submit specific documents to receive your I-20 form. Enrollment deposits must be submitted by November 15 for Spring semester and June 1 for Summer/Fall. Detailed instructions are available on the ISSS website.
- International Graduate Student Orientation: Orientation covers important immigration, employment, and cross-cultural topics, as well as providing academic information targeted to all international students entering American University.
The School of Communication offers application fee waivers for the following groups through the application system: American University students, alumni, or staff; AmeriCorps participants, City Year participants; Teach for America participants; McNair Scholars; Peace Corps participants; and first-generation college students. Other applicants who wish to request an application fee waiver are encouraged to send a request to the School of Communication Graduate Admissions office at email@example.com with relevant information and reasons for your request.
The preferred method to submit your supplemental items is online through the application system. All documents must be in PDF format. If you are not able to upload supplemental items through the application system, you may submit items using the following methods:
US Postal Mail:
School of Communication Graduate Admissions
Office of Enrollment
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016-8001
SOC Graduate Admissions
Office of Enrollment
4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016-8001
No—all admissions decisions are final.
You may defer your admission for up to one year for all programs except the PhD in Communication. To defer your application, you are required to pay the $250 seat deposit. After you have paid your deposit, contact SOC’s Graduate Academic Services Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to request your deferment. Please note that merit awards will not be deferred. You will be reviewed again for the new year/term but we can not guarantee that you will receive the same amount of funding.
Students are required to pay a $250 seat deposit to secure their seat in the program. The seat deposit is a non-refundable payment that is credited towards your tuition.