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We welcome applications from individuals interested in our critical, interpretive, and qualitative approaches to communication. The application process below details what to send, where to send completed materials, and when materials are due. Please note that incomplete applications will not be reviewed or processed.

Please upload all materials directly to your USF application. Click here for more information on uploading materials.

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.

For more information on the Graduate Admission process, please visit the Graduate Admissions Site.

International students can find extra information for International applicants, and may also be interested in USF's International Services.

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).

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 (500 on the older version of the test) of the GRE or other strong evidence of writing skills. GRE test scores must have been earned within five (5) years. Please visit if you would like 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. For additional information on these test scores, please check
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 your previous undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate institutions. Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded to your USF application and 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.

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. Please visit for more details.

The department application form: Please upload under “Other Documents” on your USF application.

Click “My Workspace” at the top of the screen
Click “My Documents”
Click “Upload Document”
Then Choose the document type to be uploaded. In this case it would be “Other Documents”

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.

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

Ms. Danielle Secker
Graduate Program Assistant
Department of Communication
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave., CIS 1040
Tampa, FL 33620-7800

Phone: (813) 974-6819
Fax: (813) 974-6817

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

  • January 15 if you want to be considered for funding for Fall admission (January 2 for international applicants)
  • October 15 for Spring admission (June 1 for international applicants)

Please note that funding requests are NOT considered with spring admissions.


The Department of Communication strives to provide funding for qualified graduate students. We believe this support is integral to the research, teaching, and activism in our scholarly community. Funding can take several forms.

Funded Assistantships

The Department of Communication offers a limited number of funded assistantships to newly accepted graduate applicants each year. In general, offers of graduate assistantships are accompanied with a full tuition waiver (excluding student fees).
Funded assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis to students who begin their studies in the Fall semester. Completed applications to the program must be received by January 15 for consideration for assistantships.
M.A. assistantships are offered for 2 years, or four consecutive regular semesters (Fall, Spring). Ph.D. assistantships are offered for a period of 4 years, or eight consecutive regular semesters (Fall, Spring). Summer teaching is typically available but is not guaranteed in the offer of assistance.
Students who accept and hold funded assistantships must:

  • be enrolled full-time in 9 hours of coursework a semester
  • make adequate progress toward the degree
  • complete course work with a 3.0 grade average or better
  • participate in teacher training provided by the department
  • be observed in the classroom by a faculty supervisor responsible for a yearly written evaluation

In addition to these funded assistantships, the department also frequently employs students for funded research in the university and community. These funds, however, are difficult to anticipate in advance and cannot be guaranteed for the full tenure of a student's studies.

Fellowship and Scholarship Opportunities

Information about fellowship and scholarship programs managed by the USF Graduate School can be found here.