Q: How many applicants do you accept each year into your graduate program?

A: We typically accept 3-6 PhD and MA students each year.

Q: How long does the program take to complete?

A: Most of our MA students complete their degree in 2 years. Most of our PhD students complete their degree in 4 years.

Q: What funding opportunities exist for PhD students?

A: Most PhD students receive teaching assistantships within the School. Funded PhD students are given four years of funding. In addition, the Graduate College offers several fellowship opportunities that can be found on their website.

Q: What funding opportunities exist for MA students?

A: Admitted MA students are eligible for up to two years of funding. Most funded MA students receive teaching assistantships within the School. In addition, the Graduate College offers several fellowship opportunities that can be found on their website.

Q: Am I able to transfer credits or grades from other institutions into the program?

A: Students entering the PhD program who have completed a relevant master’s degree may transfer up to 30 hours of graduate credit from academic courses, including up to 3 credit hours for their thesis. Transfer courses must be relevant to the student’s PhD plan of study and may not include professional skills courses. All transfer work submitted to the University of Iowa is subject to approval by the Graduate College.

Q: What are the program's areas of strength? 

A: The School offers several areas of strength to support graduate student research in both traditional and digital media:

  • Critical and cultural studies
  • Sports media
  • International/development studies
  • Health communication
  • Journalism studies
  • Digital media

Q: In addition to coursework, what mentorship opportunities are available to graduate students? 

A: Our program size allows for dedicated mentorship with the School’s internationally recognized faculty. Our graduate students frequently collaborate on research projects with faculty and each other.

Q: Does the University of Iowa offer graduate certificates

A: The University offers more than 20 graduate certificates. Below are a few certificates of particular interest to our students, but the full list can be found here.

  • African American Studies
  • College Teaching
  • Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies
  • Online Teaching
  • Public Digital Humanities
  • Public Health

Q: Where do you place your doctoral students after graduation

A: Alumni of our doctoral program can be found at a number of institutions of higher education as well as in industry-leading positions outside of academia. An abbreviated list includes:

American University of Cairo Augustana College (IL) Bangkok University Drake University Fitchburg State University
Grinnell College Hamline College Hope College IE University (Spain) Indiana University
Kansas State University Louisiana State University Luther College Marquette University New York University
South Dakota State Temple University Trinity University (TX) University of Minnesota-Duluth University of Missouri
University of Nebraska-Omaha University of Oklahoma University of Puerto Rico University of Southern California University of St. Thomas (MN)
Virginia Tech West Texas A&M University Western Carolina University Wichita State University

Questions about Iowa City

Q: What is Iowa City like?

A: Iowa City consistently ranks near the top of lists about best college towns and most liveable cities. It has been designated a “City of Literature” by UNESCO – one of only 20 in the world.

Q: What is there to do in Iowa City?

A: There are lots of options for dining, entertainment, and nightlife in Iowa City. You can read more about graduate student life here.

Q: Where do graduate students live while they are in your program?
A: Depending on their preferences and budgets, our students live all over the Iowa City/Coralville/North Liberty area. The university’s Off-Campus Housing page is a great resource to learn about housing options in the area and even find a roommate.

Questions about applying

Q: When is the application deadline?

A: The application deadline is January 1st for the following academic year.

Q: How do I apply?

A: You must apply using the Office of Admissions application portal. Once inside the portal, you will apply to the program through the Graduate College.

Q: What is the name of the program in the Graduate College admissions site?

A: The MA and PhD programs are listed under “Mass Communication.”

Q: What materials are required with the application?

A: In addition to personal and educational information, you must submit the following:

  • A statement of purpose
  • A sample of your academic writing
  • An up-to-date CV or résumé
  • Names of three individuals who will provide letters of recommendation
  • An unofficial transcript from previous institution(s) (if admitted, official transcripts will be required before enrollment)

Q: What is the application fee?

A: The application fee is $60 for U.S. residents and $100 for international applicants.

Q: Is the GRE exam required?

A: We do not require applicants to complete the GRE exam. We recognize the limitations and biases of standardized testing. Applicants can submit GRE scores if they so desire, but applicants who have not taken the exam or do not wish to submit their scores will not be penalized.

Q: Are international students required to take an English proficiency exam?

A: International applicants that do not meet the requirements for a waiver are required to submit English proficiency scores. Applicants will be given a waiver if they are a citizen, or have earned the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree, Master's degree or Ph.D in the United States, or any of the countries listed on the Graduate College website.

Q: Do I need a master's degree to apply to the PhD program?

A: Most applicants without a master’s degree will be considered for admission into our MA program. However, in special cases where an applicant has a particularly strong academic record or exceptionally strong professional experience in the field, a student without a master’s degree may be admitted directly to the PhD program.

Q: How are applications evaluated?

A: Candidates are evaluated on the following criteria: statement of research goals, alignment with research strengths of the School, motivation and preparation for graduate school, writing ability, and potential for teaching. These should be your points of emphasis when putting together your application.

Additional Questions?

If you have any questions about the program, the application process, or need assistance with a requirement listed above, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies:

Brian Ekdale
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Director of Graduate Studies / Associate Professor
E324 Adler Journalism Building (AJB)