Get the answers you need
There are many factors that will influence the graduate program you ultimately choose. As you search for your perfect program, we understand that you will have some specific questions you need answered. To help you immediately get the answers you need, we have outlined the common questions posed about our Master's program below.
Don't see see your question? Email our director of graduate studies, Dr. Jennifer Vardeman, or call our school for information.
I don’t have an undergraduate degree in communication. Can I still apply?
Yes! You can still apply to our program with a degree in a discipline other than communication. Based on what you majored in as an undergraduate student, you may be encouraged to take some prerequisite coursework to help you familiarize yourself with the communication discipline.
What are the prerequisites to apply to this program?
We currently do not require students to enroll in any pre-requisite courses. However, we do strongly recommend students who were not communication majors (or intended public relations graduate majors who did not major in public relations as undergrads) to take undergraduate coursework to familiarize themselves with the principles for that major.
Is this a full-time or part- time program?
You can take between 3 and 9 credit hours per semester. Taking 3 or 6 credit hours qualifies as part-time status, and taking 9 hours qualifies as full-time status. Typically students who are full-time graduate in 2 years, and students who are part-time with 6 hours per semester take about 3 years to complete the degree. All students have a limit of 5 years – or 10 consecutive semesters – to complete the degree.
What is the cost for this program?
Are there any courses or exams that I would have to take prior to applying?
Yes. Your application cannot be evaluated until you submit scores for the GRE General Test. You can sign up to take the test and receive help on studying for the test on the GRE Website.
If you are a current student at the University of Houston or you have graduated in the past three years, you are eligible to have the GRE requirement waived if you earned a GPA of 3.3 or above.
I have my Bachelor’s degree (or I am about to complete it). I want to attend graduate school to become a journalist. Is this the right program for me?
We train students to become journalists by developing writing and reporting skills in our undergraduate program. At the graduate level, students who want to learn more about journalism typically major in mass communication. However, we do not teach graduate students to write or report as journalists do. Instead, our mass communication graduate courses allow students to conduct research around trends in journalism - both nationally and globally.
For students who already have (or will soon complete) a Bachelor’s degree and want to learn the writing and reporting skills to become a journalist, you may consider enrolling at UH as a post-baccalaureate student and taking some of our undergraduate journalism courses.
Learn more about the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences' post-bachelorate option here: http://www.uh.edu/class/students/post-bachelors/
Do you offer Spring admissions?
No, we only admit students for the fall semesters.
Do you have a Ph.D. program?
No, we currently only offer a Master’s of Arts degree.
Do you have an online degree program or offer any grad classes online?
No, we currently do not offer an online degree. The large majority of our classes are face-to-face, but we also offer a small number of hybrid classes. Our hybrid structure offers a combination of face-to-face and online interactions.
Do you offer classes at night? I work a traditional week day job.
Yes! In fact, all our graduate courses are offered on week nights from 5:30-8:30pm.
I am an international student what exams do I need to take?
All international students must take the GRE test and submit an official GRE score with their application. International students must also submit scores for either the TOEFL exam (a score of 79 or higher is required) or the IELTS exam (a score of 6.5 or higher is required).
My country awards Bachelor's degrees after three years of study. Is this acceptable for admission to the MA program at Valenti?
No. Unfortunately, we are required to admit students after four years of undergraduate coursework. In this case, you are encouraged to either earn a second bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree before applying to our program.
I ordered my transcript from my undergraduate institution, but it hasn’t shown up on my graduate application yet. What can I do?
Do I have to take the GRE one month prior to applying?
We suggest taking the GRE at least one month prior to applying so that you can retake the exam if you are unhappy with your original scores. The GRE allows you to take the exam only once per month. If you submit more than one GRE score, we will consider the top scores when evaluating your application.
We also strongly encourage applying at least a month in advance so that your official transcript is delivered to the Graduate School in time for us to evaluate your application. (In other words, if you want a quicker answer, take the GRE sooner rather than later.)
Can you waive the fee for my application?We are currently unable to waive fees for applications.
Do you offer scholarships?
Yes. The Valenti School offers both undergraduate and graduate students scholarships. To apply, students must submit an application and references by the due date selected each year, which normally falls in late-February or early March. Please check our Scholarships page periodically for updates.
Do you offer assistantships?
We do offer graduate assisantships (GA), which involve either teaching or research. There are a limited number of these, so please send in a letter of interest and a CV (to firstname.lastname@example.org) by February 1 for consideration. We will conduct interviews with applicants and hope to have all applications know the status of received an assistantship by early May.
Additional GA positions become available on an as-needed basis. Nearly every semester, faculty receive grants in which they need to hire a GA to help with research. In these cases, we send out an email to graduate students, letting them know how to apply for those ad hoc positions.
Do you offer job placement assistance?
At this time, we do not offer job placement assistance after graduation. However, faculty are very helpful in forwarding job postings employers in the area send to them. Also, please visit our Job and Internships page, which is an active site for communication-related postings managed by our internship coordinator.
Finally, each spring we host a career development event specifically for Valenti students. We invite industry professionals to teach our students about how to craft a great resume, how to interview, and how to search out and secure jobs. For information about upcoming events, periodically visit our News & Events page.
Does the program require internships? Can I do an internship for graduate credit?
We do not require internships, and we do not accept internship time for graduate credit.
Do I need to take any pre-requisite courses?
We do not require pre-requisite courses any longer. However, if you are new to the communication field or to your specific area, we recommend taking some undergraduate courses in that area.
For example, if you have never taken a public relations course but intend to major in it, we strongly recommend taking 3368 Principles of Public Relations, 3369 Public Relations Writing, and one of the capstone courses (either 4384 Strategic Applications in Communication or 4368 Public Relations Campaigns).
Do you have a sample degree plan I can review?
During the first semester of your program, you will fill out with your advisor that details your coursework and graduation requirements.