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Applying when your background is not communications

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Oh look, a topic for me!

I come from Anthropology (BA and MA) so I'm in the middle of this right now. Something I did was contact the DGS of each school I was interested in (sometimes they have an automated system that I used instead). I would mention my background, intended research project, and ask if my background in anthro would be a hindrance to my application/if they had any advice on ways I could help supplement my knowledge. I've had some good conversations as a result.

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On 10/10/2017 at 5:40 PM, Adelaide9216 said:

What would be your advice to someone from another academic background who wants to apply to a doctoral program in communication?

A LOT of programs are interdisciplinary by nature so coming from a non-Comm background isn't a big deal for a lot of places. I applied last year with degrees in policy and English and am in my first semester now. Of my cohort, I think one out of the half dozen or so of us has a degree directly related to our subfield. 

I contacted professors I was interesting in working with and did what @GreenEyedTrombonist said. Told them about my interests and background and asked if I'd be a good fit. Not one person said my non-Comm degree was an issue. 

Good luck!

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Thanks for your answers. So I've spoken to them and they said that my background would be great for their program even if I've never studied in Coms before. However, since I want to write my thesis in French, it could be an issue since the prof I was aiming to work with speaks only English. She's suggested that I look into the work of two of her colleagues who read and understand French and that they could be in a commitee along with her. How do commitees work in PhD programs?




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This is something that is different based on the personalities of the committee members and your own needs. For my MA, my committee was my advisor, who I workshopped everything with, another in my department who wasn't as involved, and a third outside my department who spent quite a bit of time giving feedback on my report. 

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