Applying for a Master of Arts Degree
The Master of Arts degree in Media and Strategic Communication offers students the opportunity to study strategic political communication applied to domestic and international issues. This program is designed for students who are interested in the intersection between media, communication and politics. Students will develop expertise in the study and practice of political persuasion, new media and politics, media and public opinion, and political networks and movements. For more information, visit our M.A. program page.
Admission to the M.A. in Media and Strategic Communication is organized by the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS), of which the School of Media and Public Affairs is a unit. All application materials need to be sent directly to the Columbian College as do all questions about your application. You can reach Columbian College admissions here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Basic admissions requirements are addressed in GW's Graduate Program Finder. For the fall 2014 application season, the average GRE scores for accepted students were: Verbal: 80%, Quantitative: 53%, and Analytical Writing: 74%. The average GPA is 3.48.
Admission is highly selective. Approximately fifteen to twenty students enroll each year, most in the fall semester. We generally admit two or three students for the spring semester. Currently, there are 45 students in the program. Over 80 applications were received for the fall 2014 class, and on average we receive five to ten in the spring.
The M.A. program at SMPA offers a limited number of merit-based financial aid packages, including tuition remission and a stipend. To be considered, applications must be received no later than February 1th.
The admissions committee will decide on applications between three and five weeks after each application deadline. The file is not forwarded to SMPA unless it is complete and all the documents have been received. A quick response can be given only if the applicant has submitted all the necessary documents before the deadline. Admission decisions are not processed on a rolling basis - all applications received before each deadline are reviewed at the same time.
Some students join the program right after completing their undergraduate degree; other students start three to five years after college graduation. Most students have experience through internships and jobs in politics and media.
To be considered for fellowships: February 1, 2016
International students requiring a student visa: March 15, 2016
International students requiring a student visa: September 15, 2015
Regular admission: October 1, 2015
The School of Media and Public Affairs also offers, jointly with the Elliott School of International Affairs, a Master of Arts degree in Global Communication. The curriculum blends a rigorous academic education in communication theory and international affairs with advanced professional training. This program is designed for students whose primary interest is in international relations.
The Documentary Center at SMPA offers a Certificate in Documentary Filmmaking, a six month intensive exploration in the theory and practice of documentary filmmaking.
Please visit their websites for specific details about the admissions process for both programs.
SMPA students may elect to combine an undergraduate degree with a either a M.A. in Media and Strategic Communication offered by SMPA or a M.A. in Professional Studies from the Graduate School of Political Management. By applying during the junior year, SMPA undergraduate students would graduate with both a B.A. and a M.A., saving time and tuition costs.
Upcoming Information Sessions
Digital Politics Beyond Elections
Monday, October 19
Marvin Center, Room 309
There's an awful lot of politics that isn't geared toward the next election. This panel will feature speakers from three of the important digital organizations -- Change.org, MoveOn.org, and Brigade.com -- that are engaging Americans around everyday politics. The speakers will share insights and lessons about what online politics is like when the bright lights of the presidential race aren't shining on everyone. Following the panel there will be reception where you can chat with the panelists and an information session about the MA in Media and Strategic Communication.
Webinar: MA in Media and Strategic Communication
Tuesday, November 10
In this 30-minute online information sessions, Professor Dave Karpf will give a detailed overview of the M.A. program requirements, discuss faculty research and student life, and answer your questions about the admissions and the program.