From left - CAGSA's Stewards Olivia Lason, Erin Benz, and Ashley Wilson discuss best practices for applying to graduate school.
The College of Communication and the Arts hosted a breakout session on best practices for applying to graduate school and tips for securing graduate assistantships during the University’s Graduate Open House on February 24.
Dr. Ryan Hudes, assistant dean of graduate studies, and several stewards from the Communication and the Arts Graduate Student Association (CAGSA), representative of each of the College’s degree programs, shared their thoughts and perspectives on admissions requirements, personal statements, letters of recommendation, submitting an application, and graduate assistantships.
Prospective students learned about the College’s graduate programs in Museum Professions, Public Relations, and Strategic Communication during the information fair portion of Graduate Open House, where they had the opportunity to interact with College administrators, faculty, and current students. Attendees also participated in a live poll about the topic they were most interested in learning about at the College’s breakout session.
Some of the best practices discussed at the breakout session, include:
- Students who submit their application to the College by the priority application deadline (May 1 for the Fall semester and November 1 for the Spring semester) are automatically considered for any available College-level scholarship funding, including Dean's Graduate Scholarships.
- The College requires either the GRE or Miller Analogies Test (MAT). The University’s Career Center offers the MAT on-campus throughout the academic year.
- When writing a personal statement, research the institution’s website, programs, and faculty profiles. Reference faculty whose research background aligns with your interests and goals.
- The personal statement is an opportunity to share your story with the admissions committee. Discuss your potential for success at the graduate level, why you want to pursue your discipline and program, and any accomplishments or areas for opportunity.
- Letters of recommendation should come from a mix of academic and professional sources. Select recommenders that can articulate your passions as it relates to the program you are applying for.
- Request letters of recommendation in advance of application deadlines and always provide a copy of your resume for context.
- Application items should be submitted as they are available. This helps the admissions committee know you are interested and results in improved communication.
- Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis with the College. The admissions committee typically reviews applications within two to three weeks of receiving all materials.
- Graduate assistantships are offered by various areas within the University and a student must be formally admitted to a graduate-level program to be considered.
- To locate available assistantships on-campus, visit the University's Graduate Assistantship Database. Interested students can use the system’s “Job Alert” function to be notified via email when a new assistantship opportunity is posted.
The College currently offers three Master's-level programs, including Museum Professions, Strategic Communication, and Public Relations. In addition, four dual-degree options, including three accelerated B.A./M.A. programs and a dual M.A. degree with the School of Diplomacy and International Relations are offered. A Ph.D. program is currently under development.