Application & Admission

In addition to dedicated professors recognized as leaders in the field and an impressive well-accomplished alumni community, there are several incentives to apply:

  • No GRE required
  • Evening classes to accommodate work schedules
  • Special consideration granted for relevant professional experience
  • Undergraduate degrees in related fields are acceptable preparation
  • Completion options adaptable to your goals
  • Small class sizes, a supportive community, more contact with professors and classmates
  • Flexible time to completion
  • For graduates of our own BA in Communication program, a streamlined application process

Application to the M.A. program in Communication must be fully completed and submitted on CalStateApply before it can be reviewed.

Complete and submit your application online through Cal State Apply.

  • NOTE: There is a $70 application fee
  • There are currently no application fee waivers for graduate programs at CSUEB.

You must request official final transcripts from all colleges and universities attended before and after your bachelor’s degree.

  • Electronic transcripts must be sent from the institution directly to CSUEB for them to be considered official.
  • Electronic transcripts that originate from the applicant's personal email address will not be accepted, those are unofficial.
  • Institutions may send electronic transcripts to
  • Hard copy official transcripts, test scores, and admission documents in their original sealed, unopened envelopes, should be mailed to:
Office of Admissions
Cal State East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.
Hayward, CA 94542
  • Any transcripts received in an open or tampered envelope will be considered unofficial. 
  • All transcripts must be submitted to complete the application for review.
**Please note: There are really two levels of review: Our program review is done by our own committee, and we can use unofficial transcripts for that purpose. However, there is also a higher-level university review that confirms your eligibility for graduate study, and they need official documents sent directly to them for that purpose. You can move forward and submit your application with unofficial documents so long as the official ones have been requested where indicated in the application, and they will be added on our end as they are received.
We know this may seemsredundant, but it allows us to move forward with our program-level evaluation while awaiting for your official documents.

Minimum requirements for admission to graduate studies per university regulations and Title 5, Chapter 1, Subchapter 3 of the California Code of Regulations specify a student at the time of enrollment must:

  1. Have completed a four-year college course of study and hold an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association or have completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by appropriate campus authorities.
  2. Be in good academic standing at the last college or university attended.
  3. Have attained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 in an acceptable earned baccalaureate degree, or a grade point average of at least 3.0 in the last 60 semester units (90 quarter units) attempted, or hold an acceptable post-baccalaureate degree earned at a regionally accredited institution.


Program-specific Application Attachments and Requirements

In addition to the standard application requirements on CalStateApply, applications to the MA in Communication program must also include:

1. A 750-word essay-style Statement of Purpose that includes:

  • Your reasons for pursuing graduate study in communication.
  • Your area of subject interest and any faculty members whose interests align with yours
  • Your career goals
  • What draws you to our program
  • Any additional relevant information concerning your academic and/or professional work

Your Statement of Purpose will be considered an example of your writing skills by the application review committee. It should be impeccably written and properly formatted.

There are many helpful resources online to ensure you have written the best statement possible, such as:


2. Your resume or Curriculum Vita.

3. A 10 to 20 page scholarly writing sample.

  • Undergraduate term papers are appropriate writing. Your writing sample should demonstrate that you are capable of writing a good scholarly essay. Revising and polishing your writing sample is advised, even if it received a high grade in the course you wrote it for.
  • Applicants with media-related experience may send clippings or samples in addition to––not in place of––a scholarly writing sample.
  • Contact the department M.A. program coordinator if providing an academic writing sample is not possible due to mitigating circumstances, such as time or a catastrophic event. An acceptable alternative might be possible.

4. Letters of recommendation.

  • A recommendation request and form will be automatically sent by us to the email addresses you provide.
  • Regular applicants require three letters of recommendation from people familiar with your academic preparedness and ability to succeed in a graduate program (usually former professors).
  • Applicants with a BA in Communication from CSUEB only need one letter from a faculty member you took classes with during your undergraduate program.
  • Letters of recommendation must be received before an application will be considered complete and ready for review.

5. Regardless of citizenship, those who do not possess a bachelor's degree from an institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), 213 on the computer-based TOEFL, or 80 on the internet (TOEFL iBT) version. Alternatively, you may submit an overall test score on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam of 6.5 or above.


Our International Admissions Office works with international applicants for evaluation of degree and class equivalencies, and to acquire the authorizations for study and residency in the USA.

For further international application assistance:

For US Military Veterans and family members:

  • We are committed to offering admission opportunities to current and former members of the military.
  • Veterans, the dependent child, spouse, or unmarried surviving spouses of a service-connected disabled or deceased veteran may be entitled to tuition and Cal Vet Fee Waiver benefits at any campus of the California State University system.
  • The Cal State East Bay Veteran Student Services office is dedicated to providing services to veterans interested in pursuing educational goals and applying for benefits. Services include (1) one-on-one academic counseling, and (2) processing educational benefits and benefits coaching/guidance on the effective use of VA benefits and/or other resources.
  • For more information visit

New students are admitted in Fall and Spring semesters.

Application deadlines are:

Starting Semester

Application Submission Period

Notification of Decision


Early review, Oct. 1 to Feb. 25

March 25


Regular review, Feb. 26 to May 1

June 1


Aug. 1 to Nov. 1 (no early review)

December 1

Please note any application started but not finished in the Fall admission Early review period will simply roll over into the Regular review application period.

Missed the deadline? Not sure if it's the right program for you? You can still take a class through Open University enrollment. Just attend the first class and you can be added with the instructor's permission for the semester without having to submit a formal application. Credit for the class can transferred towards your degree upon successful application and admission to the program.

More information here

Applications are reviewed by a three-person Graduate Application Review Committee comprised of full-time graduate faculty members from the Department of Communication. The Committee takes each element of the application into consideration when deciding on candidates. Each application is evaluated as a whole; no single indicator is used to determine admission.

The Graduate Committee will only review complete applications.

Upon successful review of your application, you may be admitted under one of the following:

“Classified Graduate” Standing

For admission with “Classified Graduate” standing to the M.A. program in Communication, students must:

  • Submit an application to pursue a specific program of graduate study and be accepted by the department and the university;
  • Have completed a baccalaureate major in Communication from an accredited institution, or appropriate preparatory coursework approved by the faculty;
  • Have maintained an overall grade point average of at least 3.00, and
  • Satisfied the University Writing Skills Requirement.

“Conditionally Classified Graduate” Standing

If a student’s degree is in another field, or if the University Writing Skills Requirement (UWSR) has not been satisfied, it may be possible to be admitted with “Conditionally Classified Graduate” standing. In this case, students are admitted graduate students but may have additional course work to satisfy. Student status will remain conditional until the work is completed with a minimum of “B” or better average and the student has passed the University Writing Skills Requirement.

**NOTE: The UWSR has been suspended for the Fall semester of 2021 due to policies enacted to contend with Covid-19.

Test your knowledge of Communication: