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Hooman08

Getting into communication Ph.D programs

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I've heard it's harder to get into communication Ph.D  programs compared to those of in engineering fields. Are the acceptance rates of communication Ph.D programs really much lower than engineering programs? Are comm Ph.D students are usually fully-funded(tuition waiver+stipend)? 

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On 5/29/2020 at 12:11 PM, Hooman08 said:

I've heard it's harder to get into communication Ph.D  programs compared to those of in engineering fields. Are the acceptance rates of communication Ph.D programs really much lower than engineering programs? Are comm Ph.D students are usually fully-funded(tuition waiver+stipend)? 

I have no idea about the difference in acceptance rates between the two types of doctoral programs, but as for your second question, my answer would be typically yes. I applied to six comm doctoral programs (and considered many more) with one of my base criteria being that it had to be fully funded (and include a stipend for teaching/research). My advice would be to not even consider a comm doctoral program if they aren't waiving your tuition and providing you with a stipend unless you have a super compelling reason to choose that program/school. With so many great options out there that fund, it just makes sense to choose one of them to reduce the likelihood of going into debt with student loans. 

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We all know it's nonsense if you compare social science/humanities fields with STEM. 😅 It's always harder to get into STEM fields than communication. Don't know if communication has lower acceptance rates, but if that's the case then probably it's a function of funding: engineering departments have more funding for students, so they can have higher acceptance rates. If that makes sense.

Also, some communication departments may not give you guaranteed funding, but you can still get funding outside the department but still within the university. This is a more difficult route, of course. For example, you can get an RA or TA position in, say, Anthropology or Sociology, or a project assistantship in non-academic institutes that would waive for your tuition, provide stipend, insurance, etc. So there are actually a lot of choices within the university, and the department that admitted you but didn't give you funding is likely to help you access outside resources. Again, this is a hard route, but fairly doable for those who really want to get into that department for "super compelling" reasons (i.e., you only got accepted to THAT department, so you don't have "so many great options").

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