Applying to the Graduate Program

  • Do I need to complete the GRE?
  • Can I start my program in any semester of the academic year?
    No. You must start your program in the Fall.
  • If I do not have an undergraduate degree in communication, am I eligible to apply to the graduate program in Communication?
    Yes. However, you may be required to take additional courses to prepare yourself for the graduate program.
  • Do I have to be a full-time student?
  • How many credit hours do I need to complete the graduate program in communication?
    30 credit hours including the capstone experience.
  • Will course credits from another program of study or from another university count towards a degree from the department?
    Yes. Some of them do. Check with the graduate director.
  • Do I need to write a thesis?
    A thesis is one of the capstone options. You may choose another capstone experience, such as comprehensive exams or a professional project.
  • What kind of financial support is available for graduate students?
    There are a limited number of teaching assistantships and research assistantships available each year.

Graduate Advising

  • Who should I meet with when I start my graduate program?
    You should meet with the Graduate Director (office: 315 Sprau. Phone: (269) 387-2901 who will help you with your first steps as a graduate student.
  • Do I have to meet with the Graduate Director whenever I need guidance?
    In your first semester, the Graduate Director will assign you a temporary faculty advisor. You should arrange to meet with this professor and discuss your academic goals and program objectives with him/her. This faculty member will be available to guide you until you select your permanent advisor.
  • When should I select my permanent advisor?
    You should plan on selecting your permanent advisor before you complete 12 credit hours in your program. If you are a full-time student, this means that you should select your permanent advisor in the second semester of your program.
  • Can I select my temporary advisor as my permanent advisor?
  • What are the guidelines for selecting a permanent advisor?
    Your permanent advisor should be someone who has the expertise in the area in which you are planning to specialize. You should also have the confidence that you can work well with this person and be comfortable with a mentoring relationship with him/her. Your permanent advisor plays a very important role in shaping your graduate program as well as your capstone experience, so choose wisely.

Accelerated MA

  • What is the Accelerated MA (also known as Accelerated Degree Program - ADP)?
    This is a graduate program designed for those undergraduate seniors who would like to pursue a master's degree after their bachelor's program. This program allows them to start their graduate program during their senior year. They can take up to 12 credit hours of graduate (5000- and 6000-level) courses that will be counted towards their undergraduate degree as well as their graduate degree.
  • Do I have to pay graduate tuition for taking graduate courses?
    You will pay undergraduate tuition for the graduate level courses that you take as a participant in this program. After you complete the undergraduate program, you will pay graduate tuition for remaining courses just like any other graduate student.
  • How do know if I am eligible to apply to this program?
    Answer the following five questions: (1) Do you have senior standing? (2) Do you have a GPA of 3.5 or above? (3) Are you a declared major in the School of Communication? (4) Have you taken at least 30 credit hours at WMU? (5) Of these 30 credit hours, are at least 20 credit hours in your major in the School of Communication? If your answer to the above questions is YES, then you are eligible to apply.
  • How do I apply?
    When you are in your junior year, meet with the Graduate Director to discuss your interest in the ADP. Next, apply to the Office of Admissions just as any applicant to the graduate program would do (see Admission Requirements).

Permanent Program and Course Enrollment

  • What exactly is the permanent program?
    When you enrolled in our graduate program, you considered what you wanted to accomplish from this program and thought through your professional and personal goals. You reflected on your strengths and the things you are passionate about. As you begin your graduate studies, you will discuss these plans and goals with your faculty advisor who will help you build a program of study that will help you reach your goals. The customized program of study that you develop with guidance from your permanent advisor is your permanent program.
  • Can I choose any graduate course offered by the School of Communication?
    Technically yes. However, there are several factors that might limit your options: 1. Not all the courses are offered in every semester 2. You may not be able to enroll because the class is already full. Sometimes you may have to make adjustments to the permanent program if you want to finish your degree on schedule.
  • Does this mean that the permanent program can be changed?
    Yes; however, there is a form (FORM 4) that needs to be filled out and submitted.
  • When do I enroll in courses for the next semester?
    The date when registration for the next semester opens can be found on the Registrar's calendar. Registration dates for 2013-2014 are below:
    Semester Registration Opens on:
    Spring 2014 October 14, 2013
    Summer I & II 2014 February 10, 2014
    Fall 2014 March 10, 2014


School of Communication
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5318 USA
(269) 387-3130 | (269) 387-3990 Fax