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PhD Admissions and Applications


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Admissions Snapshot – Doctoral program

Admission to the CCI doctoral program is limited to students of exceptionally high competence and promise. A completed master’s degree is required for entry into the doctoral program. Students lacking academic or professional experience in communication and information may be required to take prerequisite courses. All new doctoral students begin their classes in the fall semester.

Submit the following materials with your Graduate Admissions application:

  • A Resumé or C.V. (Curriculum Vita).
  • Official transcripts. A 3.00 (4.00 system) Grade Point Average (GPA) in undergraduate studies, and a 3.50 GPA for graduate studies is typically required for admission.
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are optional, beginning with Fall 2023 admissions.
  • Research Statement, Writing Sample, and Personal Statement.
  • Recommendation letters and/or rating forms from at least 3 former instructors, professional supervisors, or similar.
  • A Statement of Interest in a CCI Graduate Teaching Assistantship position (optional).


  • Personal interviews with the CCI PhD admissions review committee may be required.
  • For students whose native language is not English and who have not earned an earlier degree at an English-language college or university, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), is required. The score must not be older than two years. Please see the Graduate School’s Admissions Requirements section of the Applying to Graduate School page for more information.
  • Graduate School Admissions require that international students submit applications no later than February 1.

Details regarding these and other application requirements are included in the online application.

Admissions Steps

Admission to the PhD Program is a two-step process: 1. Applicants must meet admissions requirements of the Graduate School and of the College. 2. At the College level, applications are examined to determine the likelihood of success in doctoral studies, and the match between student research interests and program offerings.

Application Process

To apply to the doctoral program, go to the University of Tennessee Graduate Admissions Application Online Submission site.

College formal review of applications begins January 10. Applicants who also want to apply for assistantship funding should do so by January 10, as preference is given to applicants whose materials are submitted by that date. A limited number of positions open each fall.

Financial Aid

If you are interested in applying for a Graduate Teaching Associate position (an assistantship), please indicate this in your application, and be prepared to provide a statement explaining why you are applying for the position.

Possible sources of funding and other student position opportunities are listed on the UT Graduate School “Costs and Funding” page.

Contact Information

Virginia Kupritz, PhD
Associate Dean for Graduate Programs

Margaret Taylor
Administrative Specialist for the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs