Graduate Program Application Process

The Department of Communication Studies accepts applications for fall semester only. Our application deadline for fall of 2018 is March 1, 2018.

To apply to the Master in Arts program, please complete the following steps:

Step 1: Apply to SJSU's Graduate Admissions by March 1, 2018

All applicants to the M.A. in Communication Studies program must meet the requirements for admission to the University as set forth in the University's General Catalogue. You can learn about these requirements and the University’s application deadlines by visiting the SJSU  Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations (GAPE) website. From that site, you can also fill out the online application through Cal State Apply.

To complete the Cal State Apply application  you will need to send your transcripts, your application fee, and other requested materials to the office of GAPE. Send those materials as instructed by the MySJSU to-do list. Please note that you must send sealed, official transcripts to GAPE. (GAPE’s extended zip code is 95192-0017.) 


Step 2: Send the following application materials directly to the Communication Studies Department by March 1, 2018:

1) Two letters of recommendation

Your letters of recommendation can come from professors and/or anyone who has directly supervised your work in a professional capacity. If you ask someone other than a professor to write you a letter, please ask the person to evaluate skills that relate to academic work, such as your oral and written communication skills. All letters should be on professional letterhead and in a sealed envelope, or sent via email by your letter writer. 

Note: If you are also applying to the Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) program, you will need three letters of recommendation. All three letters should speak to both your teaching qualifications and your potential for graduate study. Be sure to carefully read the GTA application requirements before starting this application process. 

2) A personal statement

Please prepare a personal statement of approximately 1000 words that provides:

  1. your reasons for pursuing the M.A. in Communication Studies,
  2. your goals and expectations for graduate study, 
  3. your relevant professional and academic experience, and
  4. your phone number and current email address.

Be sure to talk about your particular interests and aspirations that draw you to graduate study in communication. You may cite sources in either APA or MLA style where appropriate. Be sure, too, to place your name at the top of your statement.

3) A writing sample

Please include a sample of your scholarly or professional writing. The sample could be a paper you wrote previously for an academic or non-academic context.  It should be approximately 3,000 words (not to exceed 4,000 words) and should showcase both your writing and research skills. The topic need not relate directly to the study of communication.

4) Official transcripts

A sealed copy of your official transcripts should be sent directly to our department.  This copy is in addition to the copy you send to the University. Having your transcripts on hand helps us to evaluate your application in a timely manner. If you are a graduate of SJSU, you will need to request that your transcripts be sent to our department. SJSU students can order copies online from the Office of the Registrar.

Send your transcripts, personal statement, writing sample, and letters of recommendation to our Graduate Program Coordinator:

Dr. Matthew Spangler                                                                                              

One Washington Square                                                                              

Department of Communication Studies

San José State University

San José, CA 95192-0112

or email:

Letters of recommendation printed on letterhead can also be sent by your letter writer to: Please ask your letter writer to include your name in the subject line of the email. Be sure to include your name on all your application materials. 

If you have questions about our application process, visit our FAQS page. If you cannot find the answer to your question there, contact Dr. Matthew Spangler at: