Apply to the Graduate Programs
This section answers most questions that occur to prospective and current applicants regarding the M.A. in Media, Culture and Technology or the PhD in Media Studies. Please read the information below carefully. If you have questions not addressed here, you may contact the Director of Graduate Studies at [email protected].
Applying to the MA in Media, Culture & Technology
The MA is a degree with broad professional and academic applications. Students develop skills in media research and valuable background knowledge regarding media technologies and industries, which they can take with them to work in a variety of fields including government, marketing, journalism, advocacy, and media research or production. Some students also choose to pursue further academic study following the MA.
Applicants for the MA in Media, Culture & Technology must have completed an undergraduate degree in an accredited college or university. Admission depends not only on the achievement and promise of the applicant as attested through transcripts, writing sample, and two letters of recommendation but also on the clarity of the applicant's personal statement and research interests and on the compatibility of the applicant's interests with the resources of the department.
Applications open on October 1 (see the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences web page for details). The deadline is May 1, with priority given to applications received by January 15, for the following fall.
Applying to the PhD in Media Studies
The PhD is primarily intended for students who seek to pursue academic careers in research and/or university-level teaching. Through intensive coursework and close professional training with experts in the field, students develop proficiency in the field and prepare to make original contributions to knowledge.
Applicants for the PhD in Media Studies must have completed an undergraduate degree in an accredited college or university. Applicants who have already completed an MA degree are also welcome and may have an expedited time to degree and appropriately adjusted funding package.
Admission to the PhD depends not only on the achievement and promise of the applicant as attested through transcripts, writing sample, and two letters of recommendation but also on the clarity of the applicant's personal statement and research interests and on the compatibility of the applicant's interests with the resources of the department.
Applications open in on October 1 (see the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences web page for details) and close on December 15th.
Description of Application Materials & Process
1. PERSONAL STATEMENT
This statement should be two to three pages long. Its main task is to outline your intellectual background and interests, and why graduate study is best pursued in Media Studies at the University of Virginia. The personal statement is also an appropriate place to discuss any anomalies, challenges, or work history that is relevant to your academic path.
2. WRITING SAMPLE(S)
The writing sample should be approximately 20 pages of academic writing; this may be one long essay, or two shorter pieces. Your chosen writing sample should be academic in nature, showcasing your research and/or analytic skills. While it may reflect the precise academic interests for which you are pursuing graduate education, it is more important that it be an example of your strongest academic work.
3. OPTIONAL MEDIA SAMPLE
The media sample is an optional element of the application intended primarily for students considering graduate school after some time in the workforce. If you have a background in media production, you may wish to submit 1-3 examples of your professional or creative media work. This could include: journalistic writing; short films; video essays; digital media such as games, apps, or websites; photography; or audio media.
If you choose not to submit media samples, click on the “Your Portfolio” tab to continue to the next phase of the application. When you review the application, you will receive a warning that this section of the application has not been filled out. You can ignore this warning and submit your application.
4. GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINIATION & OTHER TEST SCORES
The GRE is not required to apply to this program. Please consult UVA GSAS requirements regarding other standardized tests that may be needed, such as the TOEFL.
5. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
The application requires at least two letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to your academic work and/or aptitude for graduate study. Most commonly, you should request letters of recommendation from faculty who have known you in an academic setting.
6. FACULTY OF INTEREST
Please take the time to acquaint yourself with our faculty and their areas of expertise, using our website, reading their work, or reaching out via email. Consider who could best support your intellectual interests.
Generally speaking, Professors of Practice and members of the General Faculty are not available to advise PhD students. They may serve on MA committees or co-advise MA students.
7. APPLICATION PROCEDURE
Create your account and submit your application through the Graduate School’s application management system. All graduate applications to the University of Virginia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences are handled by the Admissions Office of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
*Fee waivers are available in some circumstances, through the office of Graduate & Postdoctoral DIversity Programs. Those who do not qualify for a fee waiver through these programs may contact the Director of Graduate Studies for further consideration of their needs.*