Is a graduate degree in Communication Studies the same as a degree in Mass Communication
or Public Relations? No. If you are interested in mass communication or PR, please visit the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (408-924-3240).
Who handles the admission? How do I find out if I'm admitted to the program? The graduate coordinator processes your admission when your materials arrive from
Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations. Please be vigilant about reviewing your application status in CSUMentor and contact
the graduate coordinator immediately with any questions. If admitted to the M.A. program,
you will receive notification via CSUMentor as well as by letter. Usually this occurs
in early/mid April.
I heard that if my undergraduate degree is NOT from this department, I need to take
additional undergraduate courses. Is this true? It depends. If your bachelor's work included at least one course in (1) the process
of communication, (2) rhetoric (classical or modern), and (3) communication research
methods (or statistics or other such courses), you may not need to take any additional
undergraduate courses. The letter of notification of your admission will spell out
what course(s) you need to take.
What if my undergraduate degree is not in communication? Do I need to take additional
undergraduate courses? Yes. The graduate program coordinator will help you identify the course(s) you need
to take to be fully prepared for graduate seminars. You may be conditionally admitted
in such a situation until you fulfill the requirement.
Do you require a minimum GRE score? Will a low score on the GRE automatically disqualify
my application? We require a score of 4 or higher on the Analytic section of the GRE. We evaluate
Verbal and Quantitative scores in combination with other application materials. We
read each application as a whole and look for signs that an applicant will succeed
in a graduate-level program of study. Your GRE score is one indicator of future academic success.
What exactly is the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)? How is it scored? The best source of accurate and up-to-date information on the GRE can be found at
the official GRE website. The GRE is designed to measure verbal, quantitative, and writing and argumentation
skills. The GRE general test does not test specific knowledge in any subject. The
Verbal and Quantitative sections of the exam consist of multiple-choice questions.
In its current form, the Verbal section tests reading comprehension and analogical
reasoning skills. In its current form, the Quantitative section tests basic arithmetic,
algebra, geometry and data analysis. In its current form, the Analytic section consists
of two short essay questions. Sample questions for all three areas are available at
the GRE website.
What is the best way to prepare for the GRE? Should I take a class? We do not recommend that you take a GRE prep-class. To prepare for the exam, we recommend
that you purchase a practice book. Taking practice exams will give you a feel for
the unique structure of the GRE and prepare you to think under the time constraints
imposed by the exam. Browse through reviews on any bookseller’s website to find a
good test-prep book.
Do you offer any teaching assistantships? How can I apply? Yes. We have a teaching associate program and teaching associates are selected competitively. Contact Dr. Fassett, Deanna.Fassett@sjsu.edu, for more information. The application deadline is in March.
Do you require TOEFL scores? SJSU requires an English-language proficiency exam of all applicants who graduated
from a higher education institution in a country in which the primary language is
not English. For more information about that requirement, visit the GAPE website and direct any questions about TOEFL scores to that office.