The application process below details what to send, where to send completed materials, and when materials are due. Our department embraces innovative humanistic and social scientific approaches to inquiry and engagement in health, media, organizational and relational communication, with emphases on culture, performance, and social justice. We welcome application from individuals interested in these areas and approaches to communication.

Please upload all materials directly to your USF application. Given the nature of the review process, we cannot guarantee a full review of supplemental materials involving non-print media (videotapes or CDs). We cannot return any application materials, so please do not send originals of any materials.

International students can find extra information for International applicants, and may also be interested in USF's International Services. For more information on the Graduate Admission process, please visit the Graduate Admissions Site.

Any questions regarding application procedures or for materials that cannot be uploaded please contact or send to:

Danielle Secker
Academic Program Specialist

Department of Communication

University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave., CIS 1040
Tampa, FL 33620-7800
Phone: (813) 974-2145

Please note that incomplete applications will not be reviewed or processed.

When to Apply

Completed PhD applications are due January 15 (January 2 for international applicants).

This deadline holds for all Ph.D. applications, whether seeking funding or not. The Admissions Committee does not consider PhD applications in spring or summer semesters.

MA applications are considered twice during the year. Please submit completed applications by:

  • March 15 if you want to be considered for funding for Fall admission (January 2 for international applicants)
  • October 15 for Spring MA admission (June 1 for international applicants)
    Please note that funding requests are NOT considered with spring admissions.

What to Upload

  • USF Graduate School Applications must be submitted through the USF Tampa Graduate Application Site. Applicants have two options to pay their $30 application fee, either by Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover) or by E-Check (checking/savings account). You may be elligable for a fee waiver if you attended specific programs.

  • Official GRE scores: All applicants must arrange for a full set of GRE scores, including the Analytic or written portion of the test, to be sent to USF by Educational Testing Service (ETS). USF's institutional code is 5828. (You should list your scores on the departmental application form, but this self-report must be followed by an official ETS report). Applicants should have a score of at least 153 on the Verbal section of the GRE or other strong evidence of writing skills. GRE test scores must have been earned within five (5) years. View more information about the GRE.

  • TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE-A scores: Applicants for whom English is not their first language must submit official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE-A scores. View additional information on these test scores.

  • Note: If you completed a Master's degree at a US college or university, a TOEFL score is not required for applicants unless you are seeking a teaching assistantship. If you are applying for a teaching assistantship, you must have a SPEAK score of at least 50 or an IBT score of at least 26. If your scores do not meet requirements, please visit USF's INTO program.

  • Officially-sealed transcripts from all previous higher education institutions (undergraduate and graduate). Unofficial transcripts can be used until you are accepted, after acceptance official transcripts are required. Visit the Graduate Admissions Site for further information and requirements for domestic transcripts and foreign transcripts. Please send official transcripts to the Office of Admissions:

University of South Florida
Office of Admissions
4202 E Fowler Avenue, SVC 1036
Tampa, FL 33620

  • Letters of recommendation: MA applicants must submit two letters; PhD applicants must submit three letters. These letters should speak to your ability to succeed in graduate school. Character references and employment-focused letters are acceptable, but may not be as helpful as letters focused on your academic/scholarly talents. Please use My Recommendation Request(s) on the online application to submit letters of recommendation.

    Note to international applicants: You must also complete and submit the Financial Statement Form.

  • Curriculum vitae or an academic resume.

  • Statement of purpose: In 2-4, double-spaced pages, outline your goals for graduate school and your reasons for applying to our department.

  • Writing sample: This writing sample should demonstrate your potential to write critically and well. Academic writing from undergraduate or M.A. coursework is preferable to samples of professional journalism or fictional writing. Typical writing samples have included a communication course paper, a chapter from an Honors or M.A. thesis, a convention paper, or a journal article submitted or published. Please enclose only one writing sample.

Assistantships and Funding

The Department of Communication and University of South Florida is happy to provide students with opportunities for assistantships and fellowships

There is not a separate application for departmental graduate teaching or research assistantships. If you wish to be considered for this opportunity, please email the Academic Program Specialist to confirm your interest.

Please note: International students from countries where English is not the official language who want to be considered for a teaching assistantship must show proficiency in spoken English. They need a minimum score of 26 on the spoken portion of the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) or 160 on the spoken portion of the TOEIC test administered by ETS. We do not have special funding for international students. They are considered for funding in the same manner as US students.