How to Apply

1. Complete and submit your application online

Apply online here: https://www.gradsch.wisc.edu/eapp/eapp.pl. After submitting your application, you will receive an email with information about your personalized Online Admission Status Information System (OASIS) account. Please save this email, as you should continue to monitor your application status. Be sure you are applying for the correct program (item #18 on application):

M.A. applicants should use major code 590: Journalism and Mass Communication; Ph.D. applicants should use major code 630L: Mass Communication

2. Pay the $75.00 non-refundable application fee


The School of Journalism and Mass Communication cannot access your application or test scores until you pay the $75 fee. (International applicants are charged an additional $6 processing fee.)The UW–Madison Graduate School offers a limited number of fee grants to minority and economically disadvantaged students. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply. For more information visit: http://www.gradsch.wisc.edu/eapp/. Select “Instructions” under page header; select “Application Fee Grants” under General Instructions.

3. Write a Statement of Purpose outlining your goals for graduate education

The graduate committee pays careful attention to an applicant’s ability to outline clear and appropriate goals for graduate study. Provide a brief, focused statement of your educational and career goals and your reasons for selecting this graduate program. Discuss those factors—personal, professional, academic—that have prepared you to pursue a graduate degree. All Professional M.A. applicants should indicate in some detail what kind of specialty they will seek and why. The statement should be about 750 words in length. Your statement may be submitted electronically as part your application or mailed separately to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

4. Include a résumé or curriculum vitae

Be certain to include information about awards, honors, and publications. If you cannot find a place to upload or attach your résumé or CV in the online application, then send it by postal mail to: School of Journalism and Mass Communication, 5115 Vilas Hall, 821 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706.

5. Provide your Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores

Applicants should take the General GRE exam, which tests verbal, quantitative and analytical writing skills. No subject exam is required. GMAT, LSAT, and MAT scores may not be substituted for the GRE. Your GRE scores are reported electronically by the Educational Testing Service. To have your scores reported to UW–Madison, use institution code 1846. Since GRE scores are downloaded directly into The Graduate School’s central database, you do not need to list a department code. For information on the GRE, visit http://www.gre.org.

6. Provide a copy of your transcripts

You may now upload a copy of your transcripts to the online application. If you are admitted to the program and decide to attend, then you will need to provide the official transcript. If you choose to submit an official transcript at this time, please send them to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, 5115 Vilas Hall, 821 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706.

7. Writing Samples

Applicants to the MA professional degree should submit a writing sample in a .doc, .docx, or pdf format not to exceed 10 printed pages. No CDs, DVDs or other material will be accepted or considered. Writing samples could include news articles, blog posts, white papers, reports, or portions of an academic paper. Professionally published samples are preferred but not required.

Applicants to the Research MA and PhD programs may submit supplementary application materials. Please limit any supplementary materials to 10 printed pages. Please do not submit CDs, DVDs, etc.

8. Arrange for three letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation are completed online. An email with a link to an online evaluation form will be sent to your recommenders when you submit your application. When you list your three recommenders, please be sure the email address is accurate and valid.

Letters of recommendation for recent graduates should come primarily from faculty members who can evaluate your previous academic performance and provide an assessment of your likelihood of success in graduate school. One of the letters may come from an employer or internship supervisor.

Applicants who have been out of school for a number of years may submit letters from people who know them in a professional capacity, such as a current supervisor or employer. Letters should come from individuals who have worked directly with you and who are in a position to objectively evaluate your abilities and work product.

We are interested in an assessment of those attributes that predict success in rigorous graduate education (for example, analytical abilities, ability to synthesize complex bodies of information and ability to formulate original research questions), rather than a general impression of your personality or character.

9. Provide TOEFL scores (international applicants only)

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication will accept the following English proficiency tests:

  • TOEFL (paper-based test)
  • TOEFL (internet-based test)
  • IELTS
  • MELAB

All scores must be from tests taken after September 1, 2009. We no longer accept computer-based TOEFL scores.

TOEFL scores are reported electronically by the Educational Testing Service. To have your scores reported to UW–Madison, use institution code 1846. Since the scores are downloaded directly into The Graduate School’s central database, you do not need to list a department code.

IELTS and MELAB scores are reported by mail. Please arrange to have a score report sent to the following address:

Graduate Program
School of Journalism & Mass Communication
University of Wisconsin–Madison
5115 Vilas Hall
821 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53706

International students should also see the Graduate School’s admissions requirements page.