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Prospective Students FAQs

Question 1: What if I wish to transfer to a Grady graduate program from another institution?

We do not accept transfer students in our graduate programs, nor do we accept transfer credits from other institutions. If you wish to study at UGA, you must start at the beginning of your course work to complete your degree here.

Students admitted from another UGA graduate program may be allowed to use two courses to satisfy cognate requirements. The decision is up to your advisor and/or major professor.

Question 2: If accepted, can I defer my admission to the next year?

Our program does not defer applications to the next year; if you are accepted but unable to enroll the next fall, you'll need to reapply.

Question 3: If I applied for admission in the previous year, what must I do to reactivate my application?

You must reapply, following the same procedure and submitting the same admission materials.

Question 4: What is the length on the MA degree? The Ph.D. Program?

The length of the MA degree program will depend on your undergraduate degree and the courses taken to complete that degree.

It takes from 3 to 5 semesters to finish the MA program assuming registration for a full credit load fall, spring, and summer semesters. The typical MA student spends 3 to 5 semesters taking courses and writing a thesis; the typical MA non-thesis student spends 3 to 4 semesters taking courses.

An additional semester is normally required if prerequisites are required. MA students without courses in journalism and mass communication-related areas will most likely have to satisfy prerequisite courses, which will require additional time.

For planning purposes, it is best to think about the MA as two-year degree program.

Our Ph.D. degree takes a minimum of three years to complete. The first two years are spent taking courses. The third year of the program is spent doing dissertation work. Comprehensive exams and the dissertation proposal are completed during the student's second summer or third fall semester.

Question 5: Can I enter a Grady graduate program and start my course work in the spring semester?

We only admit graduate students for fall semester entry. An accepted student may begin his or her studies summer semester; however, a limited number of undergraduate and graduate courses are offered each summer. Most students begin classes in the fall.

Question 6: What is the difference between the MA thesis and MA non-thesis degree?

The simple answer -- a thesis versus more course work.

The MA requires the successful completion of 9 graduate courses (27 hours) and a thesis (3 hours). The MA is intended primarily for students interested in conducting original scholarship in a particular area of interest or for further graduate study. The MA non-thesis requires more course work the the MA thesis (11 courses or 33 hours), but has no thesis requirement. The MA non-thesis is intended for students interested in acquiring a more extensive foundation for work in communication fields or for further graduate study.

Both programs are research/scholarship-oriented, and are not designed to provide technical skills in any of the communication industries. The MA degree is designed to promote (1) individual intellectual growth, (2) critical understanding of the institutions, processes, and effects of mass communication, (3) and advanced preparation for managerial careers in communication industries or for further graduate study.

Question 7: Are there different field specialties offered in the MA program?

Grady offers these areas of concentration: advertising, journalism, health and medical journalism, mass media studies, public relations.

You should note that concentrations are not majors. If you enroll in the MA program, you will receive a MA with a major in journalism and mass communication.

Question 8: Where can I get more information about Grady graduate programs? About Graduate study at UGA?

All information about our graduate degree programs is posted online, with printer friendly version available as needed. (M.A. Degree Program) & (Ph.D. Degree Program)

You should also visit There you will find more information on UGA, degree programs, and graduate rules, policies, and regulations. Of special interest to you should be the admissions section, where you can begin the application process by completing and submitting an electronic application.

Question 9: Are there application deadlines? Are the deadlines important?

Application deadlines are crucial.

The application deadline for the Ph.D. program is January 1 of each year.

For admission to the MA program, it is recommended that your applications be completed by March 1.

Question 10: What do I need to submit to apply for a Grady master's degree? The Ph.D. degree?

As noted above, you should begin by visiting and completing and submitting an electronic application (the application fee is $50 and must be submitted with official application to the UGA Graduate School). Next, you should visit, print out a copy of the Grady Supplemental application and complete.

Both the UGA Graduate School and Graduate Studies Office of Grady require the submission of specific admissions documents. Be sure to send the right documents to the right office: the Admissions Office, UGA Graduate School and the Graduate Studies Office, Grady College.

Send the following items (in addition to your application) to the Graduate School : (1) official GRE scores and (2) all transcripts (from every institution of higher learning at which you were enrolled; for even one course). All non-native language applicants are also required to submit official TOEFL scores. Ph.D. applicants are required to submit official TSE scores as well as TOEFL scores.

Send three items to the Graduate Studies Office of the Grady College: (1) the Supplemental Application, (2) three letters of recommendation (Ph.D. applicants must submit letters from former professors), and (3) and a Statement of Purpose (SOP). The SOP should tell us who you are, why you want to enter one of our degree programs, and where you want to go in life with your Grady degree.

If you are a Ph.D. applicant, you are especially encouraged to submit additional evidence of scholarly potential or achievement -- thesis abstracts, conference papers, published articles.

Question 11: Why are the application deadlines so important?

January 1st is the date we start making admission decisions. If your file is incomplete (all admission materials) on January 1st, all program slots might be taken before your application is processed. We continue to admit MA students until all slots are filled; after that, even the most qualified applicants are denied admission due to "program capacity."

For Ph.D. applicants, the January 1st deadline is ABSOLUTE -- so to speak, a "drop dead" date. If a Ph.D. applicant?s file is not complete at the close of business on January 1st, that application is excluded from candidate pool; it is not considered by the admissions committee.

Question 12: How do I know when my application is complete? Is it my responsibility to check the progress of my application?

You are responsible for checking the progress of your application. UGA has established a tracking system that allows you to monitor the receipt and documentation of required admission materials. Information about the tracking system is sent to you by the Graduate School with notification the your application has been received and processed.

Recommendations, transcripts, and test scores seem to have a way of arriving weeks after you request that they be sent to us. A completed file by January 1st can only be assured in two ways:
(1) getting all admissions materials to us before January 1
(2) using the UGA Tracking System to monitor your application.

The Graduate School processes thousands of applications each year, and it's quite possible for transcripts and test scores to take a month or two to make their way across campus to Grady Graduate Studies.

The best way to avoid trouble is to apply early, and check your application status.

Question 13: What graduate degrees are offered by the Grady College?

The Grady College offers two degrees: the MA in journalism and mass communication, and the Ph.D. in mass communication.

Question 14: Must I have a master's degree to enter UGA's Ph.D. program in mass communication?

You must have a graduate degree from an accredited institution to enroll in our doctoral program.

Question 15: Must I have an undergraduate degree in journalism and mass communication to enter a master's program at UGA?

It is not necessary to have a JMC degree. Many of our students hold degrees in other areas -- from the humanities to the physical sciences -- but do quite well in our program. We look seriously at the Statement of Purpose for information about your experiences, motivations, and career goals.

Question 16: Does Grady provide financial support to accepted graduate students?

We offer a limited number of assistantships to admitted MA students from a College-funded money pool (only money controlled by Grady Graduate Studies). If you are admitted to our Ph.D. program, we provide three years of assistantship support.

Most assistantships provide a two-semester stipend and a waiver of out-of-state tuition.

Question 17: Must I take the TOEFL? The TSE?

If English is not your native language, you must submit an official TOEFL score. Applicants to our doctoral program must submit official TOEFL and TSE scores. If you have an undergraduate or graduate degree from a U.S. Institution, the UGA Graduate School may waive the TOEFL requirement. Contact the admissions office of the Graduate School.

Question 18: Do I have to take the GRE? Are GMAT scores acceptable?

We do not accept GMAT or LSAT scores for entrance to any of our programs. Only GRE scores are acceptable, and only the verbal and quantitative sections count.

Years of experience and enrollment in another graduate program are not acceptable substitutes for the GRE.

Question 19: How do I apply for a Grady College assistantship?

If you wish, you can apply for assistantship consideration when you complete the required Supplemental Application. Every doctoral applicant is automatically considered for assistantship support.

The Graduate School offers support in the form of University-wide assistantships, Regents' Opportunity Assistantship, Out-of-State Tuition Waivers and such; however, you cannot apply for these awards, either through the Graduate School or the Grady College. Admitted and enrolled students are nominated by the Graduate Studies Office for the awards, according to the criteria and deadlines established by the Graduate School.

Direct financial aid queries to the UGA's Financial Aid Office.