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Admission to the Graduate Program

Application to the Master of Arts Program in the Department of Communication Studies is made through the Office of Graduate Studies and Sponsored Research. An admission application packet should be obtained online directly from that office and returned to the same office upon completion. Please go to http://www.wcupa.edu/_ADMISSIONS/SCH_DGR/ and select "Apply Now" to obtain the packet. Candidates should take care to respect all relevant deadlines. Once all relevant documents are received, the Office of Graduate Studies and Sponsored Research will forward the applicant's file to the Department of Communication Studies. This will take place only if the applicant has clearly designated an intent to enroll in the Department of Communication Studies in the appropriate place on the admission form. The Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education is responsible for sending the applicant formal notification of admission.

Admission Requirements

The Graduate Coordinator of Communication Studies with the help of the Department Graduate Committee will review applications for admission into the program. No single requirement will preclude a student from gaining admission. A considered analysis of all the materials submitted as outlined below would form the basis for decisions on admission. If the student is accepted into the program, the Graduate Coordinator will forward all relevant forms to the Office of Graduate Studies and Sponsored Research.

Considerations for admissions are as follows:

The undergraduate cumulative GPA should be at least 3.0. Exceptions are possible. One example might be when a student has earned a 3.0 or higher in his/her communication studies major but has a slightly lower overall GPA, s/he still may wish to apply.

Undergraduate major preparation. Students in majors other than Communication or its related areas would be advised as to possible Communication Studies remedial undergraduate coursework. All candidates must have had courses or experience that indicate skill in: public speaking, communication theory, and communication (or related) research.

Standardized GRE general test scores in two of the three tested areas in at least the 50th percentile. We do not administer this exam through our department or university. Go to http://www.takethegre.com/ for more information on the GRE, including examination dates.

Students with an undergraduate GPA of a 3.5 or higher are exempt from taking the GRE test.

Writing sample of previous work such as an excerpt of an undergraduate academic paper, job-related writing sample (i.e., press releases, newsletter, etc.), or creative writing. Writing samples either can be attached to the on-line application and submitted with the application OR applicants can email their sample as an attachment to Mary Albee (malbee@wcupa.edu)in the WCU Graduate Office who will scan it and add it to the applicant's file.

Two letters of recommendation:
An applicant to a graduate program must ask two (2) recommenders to support the application with an electronic letter of recommendation. A link to the electronic recommendation form will be sent to each recommender after the applicant has entered the name and e-mail address of each recommender into the applicant’s on-line application form. If you have questions about this process, please contact the Office of Graduate Studies at GradStudies@wcupa.edu or at 610-436-2943.

One official transcript.

A goals statement written on the topic "How Does Communication Knowledge Bridge My Past Experience with My Future Plans?"

Three additional items may be used to support an application for admission:
Work experience that indicates communication skill.
Extra or co-curricular activities.
Interview with the Department Graduate Coordinator and/or Graduate Committee.

Tuition and Fee Information
For information on graduate tuition and fees, please visit http://www.wcupa.edu/_information/afa/fiscal/bursar/tuition.asp

Graduate Assistantships and Financial Aid

The Department does not offer direct financial aid. It does, however, receive authorization for a limited number of assistantships each year through the Office of Graduate Studies and Sponsored Research. The Department makes every effort to direct deserving students toward financial support.

The applicant to the Master of Arts program wishing to be considered for an assistantship should submit the appropriate forms included with the application for admission to the University, to the Office of Graduate Studies and Sponsored Research. A copy of these forms can be obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies and Sponsored Research.

A student who has already completed some course work and who wishes to be considered for a graduate assistantship must submit a request in writing to the Office of Graduate Studies and Sponsored Research. A copy of this request should be sent to the Department's Coordinator of Graduate Studies. If approved by the department, the student's name will be forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies and Sponsored Research. Assistantships cannot be awarded until the university-wide budget-approval process for the upcoming semester or academic year is complete.

There are a number of departmental and university-wide duties graduate students perform. Departmental duties include:

Forensics: Students are expected to be qualified to coach and judge competitive speaking events and debate and travel to tournaments.

Special Projects: Faculty members often require assistance with research or other departmental activities. A graduate assistant might be assigned to such tasks. Such duties may include library or field research, or similar activities.

Instructional Aid: The University prohibits graduate students from teaching courses. Nonetheless, assistants are permitted to participate in certain instructional activities such as substitute-teaching for a department member or assisting with grading papers. Some assistantships also require that the student come to an assigned professor's class and help with everyday tasks such as taking attendance, lecturing, etc. All activities are carried out under the supervision of a faculty member.

Other Sources of Graduate Assistant Positions and Aid: Alternatively, a student might be assigned to help with certain university-wide projects, ranging from administrative work with programs to tutoring in the Center for Academic Excellence.

1. University-wide competitive grants for graduate education. Some of these are outlined in the Graduate Catalog available from the Office of Graduate Studies and Sponsored Research.

2. The Office of Residence Life often offers several types of Graduate Assistant positions, some of which are live-in positions but other types of positions also are available at http://www.wcupa.edu/_services/stu.lif/gaopen.asp

3. West Chester University's Writing Center often needs writing consultants and may have GA positions available at http://www.wcupa.edu/_academics/writingcenter/about_the_tutors.asp

4. The Learning Assistance and Resource Center (LARC) offers employment opportunities for tutors at http://www.wcupa.edu/ussss/larc/employ.asp

5. The student is also advised to consult with that office about the possibility of other competitive grants, loans, student employment opportunities, and scholarships at http://www.wcupa.edu/financialresources/