Ph.D. Program: Admissions

Admissions decisions are based on several criteria. One of the most important parts of the application is the statement of purpose and research interests. We encourage you to be as specific as possible in outlining your scholarly interests and career goals and their fit with our program and faculty. We also consider standard criteria like grade-point averages and letters of recommendation. GRE scores are not required for 2021 admission.

Minimum criteria for admission include:

  • A recognized undergraduate degree and a master’s degree or J.D. degree
  • Undergraduate and master's/J.D. grade-point averages 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)

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

Throughout the entire admissions process, we balance the need to admit promising individuals who are able to state their research interests, career goals and learning objectives with the goal of enrolling a diverse and multidisciplinary student cohort. To this end, 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 during mid-summer. At orientation, 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.

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  • Application opens

    🕐  Early August

  • Application deadline

    🕐  Dec. 15, 2020

  • Faculty review of applications

    🕐  December and January

  • Finalists selected and invited to interview on campus

    🕐  End of January

    International finalists interviewed via video conference
  • On-campus* interviews conducted (travel and accommodations subsidized)

    🕐  Mid-February

    Travel and accommodations subsidized for U.S. residents; international finalists interviewed via video conference
  • Admission and funding decisions made shortly after campus visits

    🕐  Mid-February

  • 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.