Applying to the Doctoral Program at Newhouse
All the information you need to apply to our doctoral program.
The deadline to apply for the Ph.D. in mass communications is December 1.
Applications for the Ph.D. program are only accepted for the fall term which begins in August.
Current Syracuse University students should apply to the program using the Graduate Program Application. As of Fall 2021, there is no longer a separate internal application process.
Our program is currently not available in online or part-time formats.
If you apply to the Newhouse School’s Ph.D., you should be prepared to dedicate at least three years of full-time and on-campus study to concentrate on your program.
Admissions decisions are made by a committee.
Individual faculty do not make admissions decisions and cannot guarantee admission decisions for any applicant. All applicants for the Ph.D. are carefully evaluated on all of their application materials by the Doctoral Committee for their:
- Research interests as they relate to faculty interests
- Academic preparation for research
- Communication skills, both oral and written
- Intellectual ability as reflected in standardized tests and performance in coursework
- Readiness for the Ph.D. reflected through research and personal statements
You must find at least two research faculty members whose research interests align with your own to be seriously considered for the Newhouse School’s Ph.D. program.
We have several online resources that can help you find a research fit at the Newhouse School:
We fund all admitted students.
This puts a premium on providing us evidence of your interests and experiences with research and is also why the entrance to the Newhouse School Ph.D. program is selective.
After the application deadline, the doctoral committee, composed of several faculty members and current students, will go through all applications, conduct interviews (usually via Zoom), and make final decisions.
Once a student is admitted, a faculty advisor will be assigned to the student to guide her, his, or their first year of study in the program.
Statement of Research Interests (1500-word limit)
Your statement of research interests must provide the following information in up to 1500 words:
- Your long term career goals once you obtain your Ph.D. degree
- Your research interest
- Your past research experience or training, if any
- Your reason to study at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. In particular, where you see the fit between your research interests and the expertise of the faculty.
- A list of any faculty members you would like to work with or learn from and why. We expect you to make a connection of your interest(s) to at least two Newhouse School faculty members, and you will be evaluated on the strength of your connection(s).
Three (3) letters of recommendation
All three letters of recommendation should be provided by individuals who can comment on your research skills and preparation.
- GRE General Exam (optional)
- Entry to our program is competitive. GRE scores are optional, though recommended. We understand the difficulties facing many of you in these unsettled times in sitting for the GRE. We welcome your application.
- TOEFL scores (required for international applications)
- If you are not a native English speaker and do not have a degree from a U.S. institution, you are required to take the TOEFL exam.
- Successful applicants typically have a TOEFL score of 105 or above.
- If you have completed an advanced degree taught at an accredited U.S. educational institution, you do not need to provide a TOEFL score. Please also know the doctoral admissions committee welcomes submission of previous TOEFL or IELTS scores to provide additional information.
- International applicants whose native language is English, or who are citizens of English-speaking countries are not required to submit TOEFL scores.
- For more information on TOEFL scores, whether you need to submit your scores, and other common questions for international applicants to Syracuse University, please visit the International Student FAQ.
Your writing sample can be a publication of any kind: working papers, project reports, a chapter of your thesis, even course term papers. The sample should show your conceptualization ability, communication skills, and presentation skills. All writing samples must be solo-authored.
As part of our holistic admissions process, all applicants must answer four video questions via our Kira platform. The process is simple. Each applicant will be given a question as a prompt and they will have 90 seconds up to two minutes to respond. These videos build upon our holistic admissions process.