Tips for Preparing Your Application

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for the Admissions FAQ.

Plan ahead and start putting your application together as soon as possible. Applications will not be reviewed until complete. Be sure to allow time for your documents to be processed. You do not have to have all your documents and information ready when you start the application process; you may return to the site and add documents as you have them.

Please read through the following information carefully. If you have additional questions, please contact the Graduate Coordinator via email.

The admissions committee considers the application as a whole; no one item is more important than the other. We regret that because of the volume of applications, we cannot ‘prescreen’ applications or offer advice for improving applications on a personal basis. Nor can we give students specific details for why an application was rejected.

GRE & TOEFL Scores

Plan ahead and take the GRE and TOEFL (or IELTS) early. More information on test scores can be found at . Information on each exam can be found at and (

  • Make sure that each part of your application—including your test scores--represents your best effort. There are various ways to prepare for the GRE. Choose the method that works best for you.
  • Scores must be sent directly from the testing center. The ETS code for The University of Texas at Austin is 6882.
  • Scores generally take at least ten (business) days to be delivered to the institutions you designate. Make sure that your scores will be received by the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) by the deadline of Dec. 1. If you take the GRE after the deadline, we cannot guarantee that those scores will be considered by the admissions committee. Plan ahead and take the GRE early.
  • Do NOT send photocopies of your scores to the Graduate and International Admissions Center. Scores must be sent directly from the testing agency.
  • The GRE cannot be waived.
    • For this year only (Fall 2021 admission), we are suspending the GRE requirement for our admissions processing. 

Resume or Statement of Purpose

Write approximately 500 words about your academic and professional goals and describe why you want to attend the graduate program at the School of Journalism. State how the focus of our program fits your personal objectives. The admissions committee treats the Statement of Purpose seriously.

We try to admit students whose goals are consistent with our strengths. For example, we have a strong professional master’s program in multimedia but not in broadcast. At the doctoral level, we have many faculty whose research involves political communication, but no one researching religion and media. Be sure to familiarize yourself with our faculty’s specialties and our graduate course offerings. We turn down many otherwise qualified students because we do not have the facilities or faculty expertise they are looking for.

For Ph.D. and master’s R&T students, write a statement of purpose about your research interests, how your professional experience ties in with that, and which faculty you would like to study with. Why are you interested in getting a research and theory degree (which is what a Ph.D. is), and what do you intend to do with it.

For professional master’s students write a 500-word minimum statement of your intended career goals. If you know it, please describe the job you would like to attain when you graduate from the UT School of Journalism. Where do you see yourself working? Where do you want to work? Where do you want to be published? Be as specific as possible. Your answer will help us help you achieve your ideal job (Examples: foreign correspondent for Time, international freelance photojournalist for National Geographic, arts writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer, social media director for The Huffington Post, etc.). If you do not have a specific professional goal identified yet, then please describe as specifically as possible the beats or topics or areas of expertise you are planning to concentrate on during your time at school (Examples: Sports journalism with an emphasis on large college programs; human justice journalism with an emphasis on refugees, web design, etc.). Again, be as specific as possible so we can help you and direct you to the best courses and faculty members.

Submit your Statement of Purpose to the Graduate and International Admissions Center through the online application.

Letters of Reference

As part of the online application, you will enter the names and email addresses of three people that you have asked to recommend you. After you submit your application, it will load into the system in 1-2 days, and then the Graduate and International Admissions Center will send an email to each of the three people. The email will contain a distinct URL that will be used to submit the letters. You will be able to see that the letters were submitted and the date they were received by using the online status check at . Do not send letters of recommendation in the mail.


See instructions for submitting transcripts.

Writing Samples

  • Master’s applicants: Writing samples, such as articles and class papers, are not required, but are welcomed for submission with your application. If submitting articles, please upload three to five samples.
  • Doctoral applicants: Doctoral applicants MUST submit portions or chapters of their thesis, or another research paper such as a conference paper or journal article. The Journalism Graduate Admissions Committee will review your thesis for your writing and research methods.


If you have a video portfolio, please provide a link to it on your statement of purpose. 

Dual Degree Applicants

Dual Degree Applicants should submit materials to each program to which they are applying. You may receive individual confirmation letters or e-mails from each program. Remember, programs do not share application materials. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that materials are received by the appropriate offices. You must be accepted by both programs to be admitted to the university. If you are accepted by one program but not the other, you may change your admission request to just the one program which has already accepted you. Then, you may enroll in that program only.

International Applicants

International applicants must submit TOEFL (or IELTS) scores to the Graduate and International Admissions Center. Scores must be sent directly from the testing center. Be aware that all our course assignments require excellent English writing skills.

The Certificate of Eligibility for the F-1 or J-1 visa will not be sent to the applicant until he or she is officially admitted by the Graduate and International Admissions Center. International applicants do NOT need to submit financial information until after they have been officially admitted.