FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
- What criteria are used to evaluate graduate applications?
- Do I have to take the GRE? What is the average GRE score?
- What kind of financial assistance is available?
- Do I have to have a master's degree to apply for the doctoral program?
- If I am accepted, can I transfer credit hours from another school to Purdue?
- What is the deadline for applying to the program?
- If I apply to the graduate program in the spring and am not admitted, do I have to pay the application fee again to apply for the following fall?
- What standardized tests are international students required to submit from the Education Testing Service (ETS)?
- If I am getting a degree from another school in the United States, do I have to submit TOEFL, TWE, TSE, or GRE scores to Purdue?
- As an international applicant, is the requirement for the TOEFL automatically waived if I received a degree in the U.S. or other English-speaking country?
- How old can my TOEFL be?
- Can international students apply for teaching assistantships?
Our school evaluates each application to the graduate program using multiple criteria, including undergraduate/M.A. grades, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, fit with our faculty, and prior work/life experience. We do not have required minimum for grades or standardized test scores; rather, an applicant's relative strength in all of these areas is considered. Return to top.
The GRE General Test is required for admission into our graduate program. The report of GRE scores is valid only if received directly from ETS. Have scores sent to Institution Code 1631; Department Code 4599. A complete list of materials needed for application can be found at here.
GRE score averages for students admitted to our M.A. and Ph.D. programs in: Keep in mind that these are averages. We do admit students with lower GRE scores when they have built strong records in other areas.
- Fall 2004: 540 (verbal), 630 (quantitative)
- Fall 2005: 540 (verbal), 625 (quantitative)
- Fall 2006: 551 (verbal), 660 (quantitative)
- Fall 2007: 576 (verbal), 545 (quantitative)
- Fall 2008: 560 (verbal), 545 (quantiative)
- Fall 2009: 554 (verbal), 638 (quantitative)
Students rarely can afford to attend graduate school without financial assistance. We offer every student whom we admit to our graduate program a teaching assistantship, provided oral English proficiency has been demonstrated. The teaching assistantship waives tuition as well as most student fees and pays a monthly stipend. We also nominate especially talented students for school and university fellowships. For more information about teaching assistantships and fellowship opportunities, look here. Return to top.
A master's degree in Communication or related field is required for admission into our Ph.D. program. Some schools admit students with only an undergraduate degree into their Ph.D. program. These students, however, often must overcome additional hurdles that end up slowing their degree completion. Students admitted in our doctoral program at Purdue can complete their coursework, preliminary exams, and dissertation research in four years. Students admitted straight into other doctoral programs that do not require an M.A. degree often take at least five to six years to complete their Ph.D. degree.
Students can transfer up to six hours from another school towards their M.A. or Ph.D. degree, but only if these hours were not used to obtain an earlier degree.
If I start out in non-degree seeking status, can I transfer the hours earned in that status to a regular degree-seeking program?
Twelve credit hours with a grade of B or better may transfer towards their M.A. or Ph.D. degree, presuming that they are admitted into our program and that the courses fit coherently into their eventual plan of study. Return to top.
We begin considering applications for each fall on December 1st of the previous year. Applications will not be considered until they are complete. Those applications completed on or before December 1 will be considered in the initial group of admissions decisions. Applicants are encouraged to submit application materials before December 1.
NOTE: We occasionally admit graduate students to start spring semester. Students who seek teaching assistantships, however, usually begin in the fall and complete the school's teacher training program during their first semester. Only students with substantial prior teaching experience would be admitted with a teaching assistantship in the spring. Return to top.
Yes, the application fee is only good for one academic year. The academic year runs fall, spring, and summer. Return to top.
TOEFL, TWE, TSE, as well as the GRE. To be considered for admission into the graduate program, non-native, English-speaking applicants must achieve a TOEFL score of 600 or higher on the paper-based examination or 250 or higher on the computer-based examination. The score must be documented by an official report from ETS and must be no more than two years old at the time the application credentials are reviewed in the Graduate School. Non-native, English-speaking applicants also must take the Test of Written English (TWE) to be considered for admission. Non-native, English-speaking applicants who have been admitted in the past usually have scored 5.0 or higher on the TWE.
In ordered to be considered for financial support as a teaching assistant, non-native, English-speaking applicants must also achieve a score of 50 or higher on the Test of Spoken English (TSE). The score must be documented by an official report from ETS and must be no more than two years old at the time application credentials are reviewed in the Graduate School. Because TOEFL and TWE do not test for oral proficiency, they cannot be used for the oral English proficiency certification of potential teaching assistants. The new TOEFL iBT with a score of 27 or higher as well as the IELTS with a score of 8 or higher will be accepted by the school. Only official TOEFL scores received directly from ETS are acceptable.
All TOEFL/TWE/TSE scores should be sent to us from ETS as follows: Institution Code 1631, Department Code 83. Return to top.
Yes, yes, yes, and yes! Our faculty will review your application ONLY if you can document what your TOEFL/TWE/TSE scores were when you initially came to the United States through the school where you are now a student. If our school is interested in your application, we will ask the Graduate School for a waiver. However, this waiver is NOT automatic and documentation must be submitted to the Graduate School. Therefore, whatever credible evidence (not just photocopies) you provide will help us both. Return to top.
No. The Graduate School at Purdue will consider a request from our school for waiver of the TOEFL if a non-native, English-speaking applicant received another degree in the U.S. or another English-speaking country. Our school will only make such a request after reviewing all of the applicant's materials. Thus, it is important that the applicant provides the school with ample evidence of English proficiency. We will not waive the GRE requirement under any circumstance. Return to top.
No more than two years old. The Purdue Graduate School policy regarding the TOEFL is as follows: The score must be documented by an official report from ETS and must be no more than two years old at the time that application credentials are reviewed in the Graduate School. Report of TOEFL/TWE scores is valid only if received directly from ETS. Have scores sent to Institution Code 1631; Department Code 83.
If the TOEFL score is more than two years old, the Graduate School may require that you retake the TOEFL. Return to top.
Yes. However, in order to be considered for financial support as a teaching assistant, non-native, English-speaking applicants must also achieve a score of 50 or higher on the Test of Spoken English (TSE), 27 (TOEFL iBT) or 8 (IELTS). The score must be documented by an official report from ETS and must be no more than two years old at the time application credentials are reviewed in the Graduate School. Because TOEFL and TWE do not test for oral proficiency, they cannot be used for the oral English proficiency certification of potential teaching assistants.