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Department of Communication

Apply to the Communication Master of Arts program

The Communication M.A. program accepts applications once a year for students to begin enrollment in the following academic year. For example, we are now accepting applications for students to start in Fall 2021. We do not offer Spring admission, only Fall. You can begin application as early as October 1, 2020. The Communication M.A. program has set a priority deadline for admission as February 1, 2021. We have a final deadline for admission of April 1, 2021. We will begin reviewing and accepting applicants after February 1, so we encourage early submissions. Applicants must apply to both the university (through Admissions and Recruitment) and to the program (sending PDF documents to the Graduate Coordinator). Applicants must be accepted by both entitites. The Director of Admissions and Recruitment will contact you with offical communication regarding both the university and progam application decisions. 

Steps to Apply

Step #1: Learn about the Communication M.A. Program and the Communication Discipline

Familiarize yourself with the Communication M.A. program at California State University, Fresno. Read about the program and our faculty on the Communication department website. Look up and read through faculty publications. Also, learn more about the Communication discipline. Engage with information about our discipline as offered by the National Communication Association. Consider reaching out to the Graduate Coordinator and to other faculty to discuss your desire to apply to the program. Envision your own fit within our program's distinct offerings and specializations. Begin to plan your application.

Step #2: Get to Know the Graduate Coordinator

Once you have learned about the program and how to apply to the program, if you have any questions or would just like to dialogue about the program, contact the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Shane Moreman, He will be happy to talk over the phone, meet via teleconferencing, or to exchange information over email. His role is to help you navigate through the application process and eventually to navigate through the Communication M.A. program.  

Step #3: For University Admission, Go To Admission and Recruitment and possibly International Office

Apply for university admission by following the link to Admissions and Recruitment for current requirements and submission processes. The university requires a $70 application feel and official transcripts. If you are an international student, you will also need to submit a TOEFL score. International applicants should follow the link to the International Office for current requirements and submit your application via their site.

Step #4: For Program Admission, Send Materials to Graduate Coordinator

In addition to university admission, applicants must also simultaneously apply for program admission. Applicants are required to submit the following materials as PDFs: (1) writing sample, (2) 3 letters of recommendation, and (3) a statement of purpose. Applicants send PDF versions of these documents directly to the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Shane Moreman at See "Program Admission Requirements" below.

Step #5: Seek Financial Aid and Scholarships

Apply for financial aid and scholarships. Fill out a general scholarship application for California State University, Fresno, as will as a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).The deadline for these applications are earlier than the university and program application. The Division of Research and Graduate Studies also offers funding opportunities. This step is not a requirement but is highly encouraged. 

Step #6: Consider Becoming a Teaching Associate

Apply to be employed as a teaching associate. A separate application from the Communication M.A., these associateships are awarded competitively. The exact number of positions available varies each year. The deadline to apply for a Teaching Associateship is February 1, 2021. For more information, visit the Teaching Associates Program tab on this website. This step is not a requirement but is encouraged. 

Program Admission Requirements

The Communication M.A. program uses a holistic admission review process that considers standard academic metrics like transcripts, confidential outside assessment like recommendations, demonstrated abilities like the writing sample, and self-offered appraisement like the statement of purpose. We consider the applicant's fit with our program's offerings and specializations as well as with our Communication discipline's foundations and inquiries. 

For All Students: GRE Not Required

The program does not require a GRE score.

For All Students: 3.0 GPA or Higher Required

Applicants must have a cummulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. The program considers applicants with lower GPAs; however, we strongly urge students to have met the minimum GPA requirement.

For All Students: Emailing PDF Materials to the Graduate Coordinator Required
  1. Applicants must submit a writing sample. This writing sample should be an academic essay devoted to a sustained analysis of a text, phenomena, or theory. This academic essay should be a mimimum of 3,000 words in length. The essay should demonstrate a logically arranged and sound argument, have general ideas that are creative and innovative, follow a specific style guide (e.g. APA, MLA, Chicago), and be free of mechanical errors (e.g., grammar, spelling, punctuation). Most applicants use an essay they developed for a course. A PDF of this essay should be sent directly to the Graduate Coordinator via email.
  2. Applicants must have three letters of recommendation submitted on their behalf. These letters should be signed and sent in PDF format directly from the persons writing the recommendation, not from the applicant. Ideally, the recommendation should speak to the applicant's ability to do well in graduate school. While not strictly required, we strongly suggest recommenders use our template. Recommenders--not the applicant--should directly submit a PDF of the filled-out template or letter to the Graduate Coordinator via email.
  3. Applicants must submit a statement of purpose. Provide an articulation of why you want to join our Communication M.A. program at California State University, Fresno. The applicant's statement of purpose should have a minimum of 500 words and address the following: (a) What are the goals and objectives you hope to accomplish by completing a Communication M.A.? (b) How might our department's specific Communcation M.A. program support your goals and objectives? (c) What specific academic and/or professional experiences have prepared you for graduate study? and (d) If necessary, please explain any areas of your application that do not meet our minimum requirements. A PDF of this statement of purpose should be sent directly to the Graduate Coordinator via email.
For International Applicants: TOEFL Required 

For international students, the program requires a minimum TOEFL CB/PB/IB score of 250/600/100. The TOEFL score should be submitted to the International Office.

For Non-Communication Degree Applicants: Communication Theory and Rhetorical Theory Required

The Communication M.A. program generally requires applicants without a Communication B.A. to complete two undergraduate courses prior to admission: Communication Theory and Rhetorical Theory. Students may be enrolled in these courses at the time of application, but the courses must be completed before a final admission decision will be made. If the applicant has completed coursework similar to Communication Theory or Rhetorical Theory or has a post baccalaureate degree, the program may waive this requirement. Applicants may take Communication Theory (COMM 100) and Rhetorical Theory (COMM 140) as a currently enrolled student at California State University, Fresno, or as an open enrollment student through Open University. Also, applicants may take the courses at another university (e.g., their home university or through CSU Fully Online). To show evidence of completion of the courses, domestic students submit their transcript through Admissions and Recruitment and international students submit their transcripts through International Office.