Communication Studies Department {College of Liberal & Creative Arts}

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Apply to our program

Program deadlines, application forms and instructions, and related information are available from SF State’s Graduate Studies Division at www.sfsu.edu/~gradstdy.

In addition to filing the online application for admission to SF State and sending official transcripts and GRE scores to the Graduate Studies Division, applicants must send the following items to the Graduate Coordinator in the Communication Studies Department:

  • A statement of purpose that identifies the applicant’s undergraduate major and the applicant’s objectives for pursuing a master’s degree in Communication Studies;
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended (Note: You must send transcripts to both the department AND the SF State Graduate Studies Division);
  • Two letters of recommendation from former professors who can evaluate the applicant’s potential to complete successfully a master’s degree program. Most helpful is an assessment of the applicant’s capacity for conducting independent research as well as oral and written communication skills, and percentile ranking among others recommended for graduate study. The letters should be on letterhead, and must be signed, sealed, and mailed to us at the address below.
  • Scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. Send GRE Scores to The Division of Graduate Studies using the code 4684. Scores are then electronically available to the department.
  • We recommend that the applicant send a sample of academic writing, such as a significant research paper written for an upper division undergraduate course.

These items should be mailed to:


Graduate Program Coordinator

c/o Communication Studies Department

San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA, 94132

Admission Criteria

The minimum requirements for admission with classified standing include an undergraduate major in Communication Studies, an upper-division grade-point average of 3.0 or higher and scores on the General Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Applicants must receive at least a 4.0 on the Analytical Writing section of the GRE; those who receive a score lower than 4.0 are required to either re-take the GRE and earn at least 4.0, or to take and pass a department approved writing skills course (CEL courses CA 514 or CHS 514). Applicants who do not meet these minimum criteria may be considered for conditional admission.

Conditional admission means that various conditions will have to be met before an individual could achieve “classified standing.” For example, applicants who did not major in Communication Studies as undergraduates usually are required to complete eight to sixteen specified units of upper-division courses in Communication Studies as prerequisites and earn “B” or better grades in these courses.
Units completed as prerequisites for advancement to classified standing are not applicable to an individual’s Graduate Approved Program (GAP).

Admission Deadlines

Applicants for the fall semester must have all application material submitted to the Graduate Division of the University and the Department by March 1st of the preceding spring semester.
Late applications cannot be processed online without a waiver signed by the Graduate Coordinator. Completed applications from international students received before may be reviewed for early admission.

All applicants will be competitively selected on the basis of the admission criteria. We are currently not accepting any Spring admissions.

Applicants will be notified about their status following the Graduate Studies Committee evaluation of their applications, usually six weeks to eight weeks after the deadline.

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