1. Submit online application form and pay the $55.00 non-refundable application fee
The graduate application to SOC is available online and can be saved and completed at your convenience. We strongly encourage you to submit the application form as early as possible and to allow time for your supplemental documents to be received by the application deadline.
The application fee for SOC graduate programs is $55. Fee waiver discount codes are provided within the application form. For more information about application fee waivers visit the Application section of FAQ’s.
2. Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions
For admissions review purposes, SOC allows applicants to upload unofficial transcripts from most US-based colleges and universities; however, applicants who attended institutions outside of the US are required to submit official evaluated transcripts from an NACES approved organization.
All applicants to PhD in Communication graduate program must possess a bachelor's degree and a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution by the date of anticipated enrollment to SOC. Applicants are required to submit transcripts from all institutions attended.
Prior to enrolling, all admitted students are required to submit official transcripts.
Visit the FAQ for more information on Transcripts.
Your resume/CV allows the review committee to assess your background and previous experiences and will serve as the detailed source of information about your employment. We encourage applicants to be detailed and thorough in preparing their resumes, and to include internships and volunteer experiences in addition to traditional full-time work experiences.
4. Please address the following prompts and questions as you write your admissions essay.
In about 500-1,000 words, we ask that you describe your motivation for seeking admission to the PhD in Communication. The essay is an opportunity for the committee to get to know you, therefore discussions of your relevant qualifications and experiences are encouraged. Please also address the following questions:
- Your Research Interest: What do you believe are the most interesting and important questions in the field of media and communications today? Are there aspects of your own personal history or identity inform your research interests? How would you like to address those questions through media research methods or theory?
- SOC PhD Program and Faculty: What makes American University SOC the right place for you? Who are the scholars that most inspire you, and what interests you most about the way they do their work?
- Your Career Goals: Why is pursuing a PhD important for you at this time? Why is having a PhD important to your career goals? What would you like to achieve with a doctorate in Communication?
5. Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is optional for the PhD in Communication program. Scores should be sent, if desired, to AU SOC’s CEEB code number: 5007.
Test scores may not be more than five years old.
6. A copy of your Master’s thesis or another example of substantial research or submitted paper to a journal or publication.
Final candidates will be invited to an interview in early spring. Interviews can be done in person or via Skype.
8. Two letters of recommendation:
Letters should be from academic or professional persons who can attest to your ability to successfully perform in a graduate program or qualify for the work you have performed. We strongly recommend that at least one of the letters be from a faculty member who knows your work well.
Visit the FAQ section Supplemental Items for more information about Letters of Recommendation.
9. English-language proficiency
Proof of English Proficiency is required from all applicants whose native language is not English and who do not hold a bachelor's or master's degree from a U.S. accredited college/institution. Visit the International applicants section, #3 English Language Requirement, for more information.