Graduate applicants may apply directly to SOC by mail or electronically.
Graduate Application Instructions
The School of Communication's application is "self-managed." This means that you must assemble all the components and submit them to the School of Communication Graduate Admissions office. If you are applying online, you may submit your application, personal statement, resume, and pay your application fee electronically. Your official transcript(s) and all letters of recommendation must be submitted through the mail. Letters of recommendation should be submitted in a sealed and signed envelope on official letterhead. If you are applying using a paper copy of the application, you should send all components in one envelope. All mail should be sent to:
School of Communication
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016-8017
A complete application consists of the following:
Completed Application Form
Self-Calculated Grade Point Average
Separate grade point averages for the following work must be calculated:
- The final cumulative credit hours of the baccalaureate degree.
- All credits taken at the graduate level (if applicable).
Grades must be converted to a four-point grading system as explained below. Pass/fail, satisfactory, completed credit, HP, and similar grades are not to be included in the calculations. Multiply quarter hours by 0.66 to get the equivalent semester hours.
Refer to the table below in order to find the grade point value of a grade; then, multiply that figure by the number of credits for the course to calculate the quality points (e.g., for a 3-credit B+: 3.3 grade points x 3 credits = 9.9 quality points). Do not average the separate semester (quarter) GPAs because that will not give an accurate GPA. If you repeat a course, count both grades and count the hours twice.
Total the number of quality points and total the number of hours. Divide the number of quality points by the number of hours to obtain your GPA. Please record your undergraduate GPA on your application.
Please compute the GPA for all graduate courses taken using the method noted above. Record your graduate GPA and the number of credits on your application.
The cost to apply is US$50 for the online application submitted electronically, or the paper-based application submitted by mail, including those that are downloaded. All applicants (except currently enrolled degree candidates, alumni, and McNair Scholars) must pay the application fee. Your application will not be reviewed if the required fee is not paid. You may pay by check or credit card. Please do not send cash.
Please submit one official* transcript from each college, university, professional school, or other postsecondary institution you have attended including an study abroad programs. All institutions must be reported. Transcripts must be in sealed envelopes from the school/college you attended. Students who have completed a master's degree will still need to submit official transcripts of their bachelor's degree.
Some institutions will not release official transcripts to students. In that case, the transcripts should be sent directly from the issuing institution to:
School of Communication
Mary Graydon 328
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016-8017.
* The term "official" means a copy of your original document certified by an officer of your school or by a notary public. Faxed copies and photocopies that are not certified will not be accepted. The university requires transcripts be written in the native language of the school. If this language is not English, the documents must be accompanied by a certified English translation.
GRE or Other Standardized Test Scores
Applicants to SOC's weekend graduate programs are exempt from the GRE test requirement; however all candidates must have at least three years of full-time post bachelors degree work experience to apply to SOC's weekend graduate programs.
Letters of Recommendation
Two letters of recommendation are required for all programs. They can be either academic or professional references. If you need more information regarding the content of the letters of recommendation, feel free to contact program division directors. Two recommendation forms are included in the paper application. The forms are also available online. Please be sure to complete the top part of the forms and have the recommender write and attach a letter to the forms. The recommendation form and letter must be in a signed and sealed envelope sent via the student or directly to SOC Graduate Admissions. Please note that letters of recommendation should be written on professional letterhead.
Your essay is a critical part of your application. It should be well written and carefully crafted, between 750 and 1,250 words. Describe your motivation for seeking graduate study at American University's School of Communication, focusing on the program to which you are seeking admission. Please be specific. Which of your experiences will contribute to your success? What do you hope to gain and what do you hope to bring to the program? How do you envision using your degree?
Please include a current resume. A professional resume format is recommended.
At the discretion of the Program Director, international students whose first language is not English may be requested to provide TOEFL examination scores which meet University minimums, to demonstrate proficiency in English. Please note that SOC is unable to sponsor students for an F-1 student visa for weekend programs.
Application Review Process
Once your application has been received and processed, you will receive an e-mail confirmation of receipt and a notice of any missing documents. After receiving all application materials, the faculty in your intended program will review the application and recommend to the Associate Dean that you be admitted or denied admission. Decisions are based on the quality of your academic record, as presented in the application and supporting documents, as well as preparation in the proposed field of study, work experience (if relevant), and the match between your goals and interests with those of the program.
Application Timeline for Fall Admission
Rolling Admissions for all weekend programs until start of fall semester
Mid/late August: Registration information sent to new students
For Additional Information:
Please contact the School of Communication Graduate Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (202)-885-2040 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Weekday Graduate Program Admissions:
Please click here.
Undergraduates interested in majoring in Communication at American University must meet all requirements for admission to the University and apply through the University Office of Admissions -- (202)-885-6000.