Graduate Program FAQs

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. What if my undergraduate degree is not in communication? Do I need to take additional undergraduate courses?
    The graduate coordinator decides if you need to take additional courses, based on your undergraduate degree and previous coursework.  In general, if your degree was in the social sciences, or the arts or humanities, you will not be asked to take additional coursework. 
    Ultimately, though, this determination is made on a case by case basis.
  4. Do you require the GRE?
  5. Do you offer any teaching assistantships? How can I apply?
    Yes. We have a graduate teaching associate program (GTA program) and teaching associates are selected competitively. Students selected for the GTA program receive a 6 unit tuition/fee waiver and a monetary stipend per semester of teaching. Contact Dr. Fassett,, for more information. The application deadline is March 14, 2015.
  6. 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.
  7. For other questions, please contact the graduate coordinator, Dr. Matthew Spangler at