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PhD Admissions and Applications

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Admission Requirements – Doctoral program

Admission to the doctoral program is limited to students of exceptionally high competence and promise.

The following are the general requirements for admission:

  • A minimum of a 3.0 (4.0 system) grade point average (GPA) in undergraduate studies, and in graduate work.
  • A completed master’s degree is required for entry into the doctoral program.
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores: At or above the 50th percentile in verbal, quantitative, and analytical aptitude on the GRE is preferred.
  • Recommendation letters from at least three former instructors, professional supervisors, or similar.
  • A Resumé or C.V. (Curriculum Vita).
  • Research Interest(s): A document describing your research interests.
  • Statement of Purpose: A document stating the applicant’s goals and reasons for pursuing the doctorate.
  • If interested in an assistantship as a Graduate Teaching Associate, a statement explaining why the applicant is applying is needed.
  • Personal interviews with members of the College of Communication & Information’s Graduate Studies 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 Admissions Requirements page for more information.

Application Process

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

If you are applying for an assistantship, the application deadline is January 15 prior to the start of the fall for which you are applying. Even if you are not interested in an assistantship, you should submit application materials by January 15 to have the best chance of being considered for doctoral studies. A limited number of slots open each fall and preference is given to applicants whose materials are submitted by January 15.

All new students begin their graduate classes in the fall semester.

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 Academic Programs
Director of Graduate Studies

Margaret Taylor
Administrative Specialist for the Associate Dean for Academic Programs