M.A. Program: Admissions

Admissions decisions are based on several criteria. One of the most important parts of the application is the statement of purpose. We encourage you to be as specific as possible in outlining your scholarly interests or career goals and how our program can help. Students interested in the Theory and Research program of study should indicate their areas of research interest. We also consider standard criteria such as GRE scores, grade-point averages and letters of recommendation.

Minimum criteria for admission include:

  • A recognized undergraduate degree
  • An undergraduate grade-point average of “B” or better (3.0 GPA on 4.0 scale)
  • For international applicants, a minimum score of 105 on the internet-based TOEFL exam or 7.5 on the IELTS exam (exceptions apply)
  • Minimum GRE scores in the 55th percentile on the verbal portion, in the 50th percentile on the quantitative portion and 4.5 on the analytical writing portion (Applicants to the J.D./M.A. dual-degree program in media and communication law may submit LSAT scores instead of GRE scores.)
Graduate School standard MJ-school standard Admitted-student average, 2019
# % # % # %
Verbal reasoning 151 50 152 55 160 86
Quantitative reasoning 153 50 153 50 155 58
Analytical writing 3.5 - 4.5 - 4.5 82

The following materials are required with your online application:

  • Unofficial undergraduate transcript(s)
  • Statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation, submitted by recommenders
  • Resume/CV
  • Writing sample(s)
  • For U.S. citizens seeking fellowship funding, the Park Fellowship essay
  • For Visual Communication applicants, work portfolio
  • Standardized-test scores, self-reported in application and sent by testing organization

    ETS institution code: 5816

Throughout the entire admissions process, we balance the need to admit promising individuals who are clear about their research interests, career goals and learning objectives with the goal of enrolling a diverse and multidisciplinary group of students. To this end, GRE and GPA minimums are treated solely as guides, and meeting these criteria is not a guarantee of admission.

After Admission

Incoming graduate students attend orientation one week before classes begin. We’ll provide information about orientation and other onboarding the summer before the program begins. Students are assigned a temporary faculty adviser, who helps with course selection and registration, among other tasks.

The Application Process

The school admits students once annually, to begin the program in the fall semester. Visit the UNC Graduate School website to apply online, selecting "Graduate" as your application type and "Media and Communication" as your major.

Apply Now

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    Application opens

    🕐  Early August

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    Application deadline

    🕐  Dec. 10, 2019

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    Faculty review of applications

    🕐  December-January

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    Video-conferencing interviews with finalists

    🕐  Late January

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    Admission and funding decisions made

    🕐  Mid-February

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    Campus visit for applicants offered admission

    🕐  Late February

    Applicants receiving funded offers receive travel support.
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    Deadline to accept offer of admission and submit $250 enrollment deposit

    🕐  Mid-April (or at least three weeks after the offer of admission)

    Failure to respond within stated timeframe may result in the withdrawal of the offer of admission. The non-refundable $250 enrollment deposit will be credited toward your first-semester tuition and fees.