Communication Studies

Apply to the program


M.A. Application Guidelines

M.A. Application Guidelines (.pdf) • M.A. Application Checklist (.pdf)

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have earned an undergraduate degree and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0. Although the minimum requirement for graduate admission to the University is a 2.5 GPA, the Department will typically have higher Applicants must have earned an undergraduate degree and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0. Although the minimum requirement for graduate admission to the University is a 2.5 GPA, the Department will typically have higher entrance requirements and select applicants competitively. Applicants with limited background in the communication disciplines are strongly advised (though not required) to complete nine units of preparatory undergraduate coursework, determined in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator. Evaluation and selection of applicants are the responsibility of the Department's Graduate Studies Committee.

Application Process

Application to the MA program is a two-tiered process that involves a University application and a Department application. In addition to the application to the University (available at, applicants are required to submit materials directly to the Department. These items include:


Submit the attached Graduate Application Checklist (.pdf).


You must submit two sets of transcripts with your application. First, submit official transcripts (certified and unopened transcripts that are sent directly from the records department of the schools you attended) from all junior colleges and/or four-year institutions with your University application. Official transcripts must be mailed directly to the CSUN Office of Admissions and Records.

Second, submit a copy of your transcripts (an unofficial copy is sufficient) to the Department with your application.  Please do not send official transcripts to the Department or send unofficial transcripts to Admissions and Records. Also note that failure to submit official transcripts to CSUN Admissions and Records may result in a delayed decision on your application.


The Communication Studies department does not require GRE scores for admission to the MA program. 


Please provide a detailed statement of purpose (2-3 double spaced pages) discussing why our graduate program is right for you. This should not simply be a biographical essay that highlights previous and current academic work, or why you enjoy university education. Instead, the statement should indicate the following: the professional, intellectual, and/or career goals that would be served by obtaining a master’s degree generally; your interests in graduate work in Communication Studies in particular; and how the program at CSU Northridge would specifically help you further your interests and achieve your stated goals.

Applicants to our Teaching Associate program should submit a second, separate statement of approximately 250 words or one page. This statement should not speak generally to the importance of education or teaching broadly. Instead, a teaching statement for this position should articulate a vision for teaching that provides insight into why you would like to be a TA in our department, including a discussion of how you view your role as an instructor and what philosophy of instruction you would bring to the classroom.


Include a printout (or PDF) of your University application with your Department application materials. Instructions for printing a copy of your University application can be found at The original application form should be submitted electronically to the CSUN Office of Admissions and Records.


Submit two letters of recommendation that address your academic skills and promise as a graduate student. Your recommenders should send the letters directly to the Department. There is no letter of recommendation form. If you are applying for a Teaching Associateship, please ask your recommenders to also address your potential for success as an instructor of our basic public  speaking course.


We are currently accepting applications for Fall 2020 admission to the graduate program as well as for positions as a teaching associate. There are two application deadlines - March 15 and May 1.

Initial review of applications will begin on March 15. Those interested in being a Teaching Associate need to apply by this deadline. Students who apply by about March 15th will be notified by about April 3rd and must indicate their acceptance by April 15th.

A secondary review of applications will begin on May 1st for remaining spots in the MA program.  
All application materials should arrive no later than May 1st, 2020 for Fall 2020 admission. A review of applications will begin on May 1st and applicants will be notified as soon as possible. 

Please submit all applications to the Graduate Coordinator (address below). If you submit by electronic mail, please attach only PDF files.

John M. Kephart III, Ph.D., Graduate Coordinator
Department of Communication Studies
California State University, Northridge
Manzanita Hall, Room 220
Northridge, California 91330-8257

Voice: (818) 677-3043