Graduate Program FAQ


What do students with Masters from Maine do with the MA?

Some students go on for another professional degree. A number of our students move on to Ph.D. programs including many of the nation’s top ranked Ph.D. programs in Communication or Mass Communication. Many go into the professional world such as in human resources, community relations, non-profit work, or business communication.

What is an Interdisciplinary PhD?

Our PhD program requires a substantial concentration in another discipline in addition to a major focus in Communication and Mass Communication. We have concentrations in English, Disability Studies, History, Psychology, Women’s Studies and are developing additional concentrations.

How big is the program?

We enroll approximately 25 graduate students including about 20 full-time students and several part-time students. Our teacher-student ratio is about 1:2. Our small size is one of the features past grads commend most about the program.

Does Maine admit many international students?

Yes, we regularly admit international students. We require the TOEFL. We have admitted students from Bulgaria, China, Belarus, Japan, Austria, India, Korea, and Ukraine for example. We have provided assistantships to qualified international students as well.

Do you have funding for Masters students?

Yes, we fund approximately 90% of our Masters students with a combination of teaching and research assistantships.

How long does it take to earn a Masters and how long am I funded for?

Masters students who are full-time are expected to complete the degree in two years. Funding is offered on a one year basis that is renewable up to two years if adequate progress is made toward the degree.

Do you have funding for Interdisciplinary PhD students?

Yes, our full-time PhD students are eligible for funding. We have a few self-funded and part-time PhD students as well.

How long does it take to earn an PhD and how long am I funded for?

PhD students who are full-time are expected to complete the degree in four years. Funding options are more diverse for PhD students, but PhD students are eligible for three years of funding, may petition for a fourth year. All funding is awarded on an annual, renewable basis based on the candidate’s academic progress and job performance.

Is summer funding available for PhD students?

Yes, there are different possibilities for summer funding. There are competitive Summer research fellowships offered by the Graduate School. PhD students may also apply to teach a basic course during the summer.

What does an assistantship include?

Our assistantships include a stipend, full tuition waiver, and health insurance (which can be refused in the case of pre-existing health insurance).

Is there housing on campus?

Yes, graduate student housing on campus is available with more information here. However, we recommend off-campus housing with a roommate as the most economical and productive living arrangement for graduate students.

Do I need to take the GRE?

The GRE is optional.

When is the application deadline?

Masters applicants should have all their materials in by January 15. PhD applicants should have their materials in by January 15 and are encouraged to contact the graduate coordinator as early as possible to help organize their materials.

Do I need to have a bachelor’s in Communication or Mass Communication to be considered?

No, but the student must indicate clearly why she or he is interested in a graduate degree in Communication or Mass Communication and demonstrate they will be able to “catch up.” We have admitted students with backgrounds in business administration, English, and music for example.

Can someone with a Masters in another field earn an PhD in Communication?

Yes, the Masters in another field effectively becomes the concentration. Students will need to take a substantial number of Communication or Mass Communication courses, so this option may take longer than the typical PhD student.

Can I apply to the PhD program straight from my undergrad degree?

No, we only accept applications from students with a Masters degree or who will have completed their Masters degree by the time they start the PhD program.


Contact our Graduate Coordinator if you have more questions about our graduate program:

Dr. Laura Rickard
Department of Communication and Journalism
5724 Dunn Hall, Room 420
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469

E-mail: laura.rickard@maine.edu


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