M.A. Online: Admissions

We admit a cohort of up to 20 communications professionals once a year, to begin study in the fall semester. Admission is based on an analysis of each applicant’s academic record, GRE scores, relevant professional experience, reasons for pursuing the degree and references.


Criteria for admission include:

  • Minimum three years of professional communications experience
  • 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)
  • For applicants not granted a GRE waiver, minimum GRE scores in the 55th percentile on the verbal portion and 50th percentile on the quantitative portion

The following materials are required with your online application (due at the application deadline unless otherwise noted):

We balance the need to admit promising individuals who are clear about their 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. The professional experience requirement of three years cannot be mitigated by any other factors and stands as a non-negotiable requirement.


To request a GRE waiver:

Applicants to the MADC program may request a waiver of the GRE requirement if they meet the other admission criteria above and ANY one of the following four criteria:

  • Successful completion of another master’s program or terminal graduate degree program (includes M.A., M.S., M.B.A., M.F.A., M.L.S., J.D., M.D., Ed.D. and Ph.D.)
  • 6+ years of full-time professional communications experience AND a 3.0 undergraduate grade-point average
  • 3-5 years of full-time professional communications experience AND a 3.3 undergraduate grade-point average
  • Grades of H or P in two courses in our Certificate in Digital Communication program prior to applying for the master’s program

The waiver is not automatic; applicants who qualify must request a waiver for the requirement to be waived. At least 10 days before the application deadline, applicants seeking a waiver should complete the Waiver Request Form and upload the required academic transcripts and updated resume. Students will be notified within 10 business days whether their GRE waiver has been granted. Students who wish to submit GRE scores to enhance their application may do so, even if they qualify for a waiver. If you wish to have your GRE scores considered, do not complete the Waiver Request Form.

The Application Process

Visit the UNC Graduate School website to apply online, selecting "Graduate" as your application type and "Digital Communication" as your major.

Apply now

  • Application opens

    🕐  Early December

  • Priority application deadline

    🕐  March 8, 2022

  • Interviews with finalists

    🕐  Late March/early April

  • Priority admission decisions made

    🕐  Early April

  • Deadline to accept offer of admission and submit $250 enrollment deposit*

    🕐  Early May

  • Final application deadline

    🕐  May 10, 2022

  • Interviews with finalists

    🕐  Mid-May

  • Final admission decisions made

    🕐  Mid-to-late May

  • Deadline to accept offer of admission and submit $250 enrollment deposit*

    🕐  Mid-June

*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.