Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Students

Q: When is the deadline for applications?
A: International applicants must submit materials by December 31 and domestic applicants must submit materials by January 31 to ensure full consideration.

Q: When will the School make decisions regarding applicants to the graduate program?
A: The Graduate Committee meets within two weeks of the application deadline and will continue to meet on a bi-weekly basis to review materials until all decisions have been made.

Q: I am an international student and I have received a degree from an US institution, am I still required to take the TOEFL?

A: No. Any student who has received a degree from an accredited US institution or foreign college or university accredited by a Regional US accrediting organization where English is the medium of instruction is considered exempt.

Q: How recent must my TOEFL score be?
A: TOEFL scores must have been achieved within the last two years in order to be accepted by Ohio University’s Graduate College. Any applicant whose scores are older than two years must retake the test to be considered for admission.

Q: If I am accepted for graduate study in your program but cannot attend Fall Semester, may I begin the program in the Spring Semester?
A: No. Due to the program structure, all graduate students must begin in the Fall Semester.

Q: What is required in my application?
A: A non-refundable application fee of $50 for the online application
Original/official transcripts of previous academic work
Statement of Intent
Curriculum vita or resume
Three letters of recommendation
Official test scores
Financial documentation for international students

Q: What test must I take?
A: U.S. students must submit a score on either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller's Analogies Test (MAT)
International students who are not native English speakers must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Admission requires a minimum score of 80 on the TOEFL (iBT) or 6.5 across all bands on the IELTS; preference for admission and graduate assistantships is given to students with a score of 100 or higher on the TOEFL (and 24 or higher in the Speaking section); or 7.0 or higher across all bands on the IELTS.

Q: How do I apply for financial aid?
A: All applicants who note financial need on their application form are considered for assistantships that provide a stipend and tuition scholarship. There is no separate information required. Assistantships are awarded based on merit, considering previous academic and professional experience. Assistantship information will be mailed to students if accepted. International students and domestic students are both considered for assistantships.

Q: What is the admissions timeline?
A: All applications are due Jan. 31
Applications are reviewed between February 1st -March 15th
Admissions decisions & financial aid information mailed between February 10th and April 1st.
Admission response due by April 15th.
Registration materials mailed by early June

Q: What is the minimum Grade Point Average?
A: Students should have a 3.0 or higher in previous academic work.

Q: If I am accepted, may I defer my enrollment?
A: Yes, students may defer their enrollment. However, graduate admission is only for fall semester of each academic year.

Q: Are interviews required?
A: Interviews are not required. Students interested in the program are encouraged to contact the Associate Director for Graduate Studies to arrange a campus visit if possible.

Q: How many students enter each year?
A: Over the last several years, the number of entering Master’s students has ranged from 8-13, and the number of entering PhD students from 5-7. We typically have 25-30 graduate students in MDIA on campus each year.

Q: How many students apply for admission each year?
A: The number of M.A. and Ph.D. applicants has been fairly consistent for the past several years, approximately 30 and 25 respectively.

Q: What is the ratio of international to domestic students?
A: This varies from year to year; we don’t have a set ratio in mind when reviewing applications. There are also a large number of international students in the Communication and Development program, which is jointly administered with International Studies (but those students are not counted here).
Looking at the most recent three classes—those that entered in the fall of 2009, 2010, and 2011—the overall ratio has been 1:1 for Ph.D. students (50% international) and 1:7 (14% international) for M.A. students. Within those cohorts individually, the percentage of international students has ranged from 40% to 58%. In the past three M.A. cohorts, the percentage of international students has ranged from 0 to 25%.

Q: Where can I find housing in Athens?
A: Please check the University’s student housing web site.

Current Students

Q: How are stipend checks distributed?
A: Stipend checks are distributed as follows:

  • Oct 1, Nov. 1 and Dec 1 – Fall Quarter
  • Jan 1, Feb 1 and March 1 – Winter Quarter
  • April 1, May 1 and June 1 – Spring Quarter
  • Approximately Aug 1 – Summer Quarter

Q: Can I have my stipend check direct deposited into my existing bank account?
A: Yes. The direct deposit form is available in the main office.

Q: At International Student orientation I was told that I would have to take some English tests. I submitted my TOEFL scores with my application materials. Which of these tests am I required to take?
A: Any international student with a Graduate Assistantship that is assigned a teaching role will be required to take the SPEAK test, which is an oral English examination. Students with a score of 24 or above on the speaking portion of the TOEFL may be exempted from the SPEAK test requirement.

Q: How do I get an advisor?

A: You will be assigned a temporary advisor during the School of Media Arts and Studies’ graduate student orientation. Students have the opportunity to select a different (or the same) permanent advisor during the year.

Q: How do I apply for travel funds?
A: Applications may be made to the School's graduate committee for funding to support presentation of research or creative activity at regional, national, or international conferences. Funding is awarded up to $300, subject to availability. Preference is given to competitively selected (peer-reviewed) work, and national or international travel. For more information, contact the Associate Director for Graduate Studies.

Q: How long does it take to earn an M.A.?
A: Our M.A. is designed to be completed in one calendar year. More than 90% of our M.A. students complete their degree in one year.

Q: How long does it take to earn a Ph. D.?
A: Students can complete the degree in three. Our average time to completion has historically been four years.

Q: When should M.A. students select their committee members?
A: M.A. students select committee members and convene a meeting of their program committee by the end of fall quarter (or by the 8th week of the fall semester beginning in 2012-13).

Q: When should Ph.D. degree student choose committee members?
A: Doctoral students should select committee members and convene a meeting of their program committee by the 7th week of spring quarter in their first year (or by the 8th week of spring semester in their first year beginning in 2012-13).

Q: What are the requirements of committee members?
A: For M.A students, the committee must have three members. At least two members must be from the faculty of School of Media Arts and Studies; it is also acceptable for all three members to be from within the School. The chair must hold an earned degree appropriate to supervising a Master’s degree program (Ph.D., MFA, or MA).
For Ph.D. students, the committee must have four members. The chair and one other member must be from the School of Media Arts and Studies; the chair must hold an earned Ph.D. and full graduate faculty status. The third member must be from another school in the College (normally either Journalism or Communication Studies). The fourth member is the Dean’s Representative on the committee, and must come from an academic unit outside the College of Communication.

Q: When are the M.A. comprehensive examination is usually held every year?
A: Comprehensive exams are normally held on the 7th Friday of spring quarter.