Minimum Requirements for Admission

  • Completion of a bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Letter of application (cover letter) explaining the applicant's career plans and reason for interest in the degree and our department (usually 2-4 pages)
  • Completed Online Application
  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably from university faculty
  • An official transcript from every college or university attended
  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • An academic writing sample; ideally showing the ability to make and defend an argument (usually 15-30 pages). 

  • A score of 153 or above on the verbal component of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or at least 500 for students who took the GRE prior to August 1, 2011, or a score of 150 or above on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Call 1-800-537-3160 or visit for information about the GRE.

  • A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or above 

  • $50 application fee for U.S. citizens, $75 application fee for international students (non-refundable)

  • In addition to GRE scores, international students need EITHER:

    TOEFL scores of 80 with the following standard subscore minimums:

    Reading: 15
    Listening: 15
    Speaking: 18
    Writing: 17

    or IELTS of 6.5 with 6.0 or higher in each subsection. 

To be considered for a Teaching Assistant position you must meet the score requirements above, and have a Speaking subscore of 26 (TOEFL) or 7.0 (IELTS).​

Deadlines for Application

  • February 15: Priority deadline for fall semester start and full consideration for Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA). Applications will be considered until May 1, which is the non-priority deadline for fall semester start and excludes GTA consideration. 
  • October 1 for spring semester start. No Graduate Teaching Assistantships are offered for spring semester start.

Application deadlines are firm. 

All application materials not uploaded through the online application process should be sent to:

Graduate School
University of Colorado Denver
Campus Box 163
1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 1250
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364 

Students are notified by e-mail of the graduate admission committee's decision concerning their admission. 

Readmission of Former Students

Students who were previously admitted to the Communication MA Program but who did not complete their degree can be readmitted to the program at the discretion of the department. Students who have not been registered for more than one (1) year [i.e., three (3) terms] at CU Denver must contact the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication to be considered for readmission.

The Non-Degree Coursework Option

Earning credits before degree admission

Students also have the option of applying to take up to 12 credits of coursework as non-degree students through the Office of Admissions. If you took communication courses as a non-degree student and were later admitted into the program, we would transfer up to 9 credit hours into the program. However, non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid, student loans, most scholarships, or tuition assistance while taking coursework as a non-degree student.

Earning a graduate certificate

Students may complete graduate certificate programs as non-degree students; those who decide to enroll in the MA program following completion of a certificate may transfer up to those 12 hours of credits to their master's degree. Additional non-degree graduate credits earned beyond those explicitly required for a graduate certificate may not be counted toward the MA degree. For students already enrolled in the master's program, the certificates can be completed as part of, or in addition to, the coursework required for the degree. Use the Application for Non-Degree Admission to become eligible to enroll in courses for a certificate program.