Pursuing your graduate degree is a big decision. Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Newhouse School’s graduate programs here.

General master’s program FAQ

How long are the programs?

Most of our master’s degree programs begin in the summer and take 12 to 13 months to complete, but there are a few exceptions. Because the multimedia, photography and design degree requires a thesis or project, this program takes about one-and-a-half to two years to finish. Public diplomacy and global communications takes 18 months to complete. Media studies begins in the fall and requires a master’s thesis so most students complete it in two years. If you are not in any of these programs, you may graduate in June or August the year after you begin your studies.

Our online master’s in communications can be completed in as little as 18 months and students may begin classes in January, April, July or October. 

How can I pay for my education?

We understand that paying for any education these days is serious business. We want to help you navigate the process and do everything we can to help make Newhouse a reality for you and your future. We encourage you to read more about scholarships and instructional associate positions available through the Newhouse School, and also understand the student loan process facilitated through the University’s Financial Aid Office. A financial aid package is not put together for you at the graduate level, so students are usually funded through a combination of loans, personal resources and potentially merit aid.

What kind of job can I get with my Newhouse degree?

The Newhouse School recognizes that you are here to further your education and enhance your career opportunities. We will do everything we can to help you land the job of your dreams. Please visit the Career Development Center for more information, including a list of some of the companies that have recruited our students and graduates. 

How does Newhouse compare to other programs?

We know you have many choices when it comes to a graduate degree program. No other program gives you such an intense, hands-on and practical education that will prepare you for your desired field. We respect your time and passion. We give you the tools you need to land the job of your dreams. Nobody does that better than Newhouse, and our tremendously successful alumni community—the Newhouse Network—is proof of that. 

Where can I find more information?

Questions? Email nhmasters@syr.edu or call 315-443-4039.

Every fall, you can check this website for information on our master’s open house and the Newhouse School’s graduate school fair schedule. 

How is the online master’s different from on-campus programs?

The Newhouse School offers two online master’s degree programs designed for working professionals:

Our M.S. in Communications features specializations in public relations, journalism innovation, advertising and media management.

Our M.S. in Communications Management continues the Newhouse School’s commitment to experienced communications professionals by blending communications and business courses that prepare them to become leaders in an industry experiencing global disruption from technology.

Taught by the same faculty who teach on campus, these courses feature live online classes, dynamic course content and in-person immersion experiences in cities around the world.

Professional master’s programs FAQ

How many applications do you receive and how many spots are available?

Application numbers vary from year to year, but we generally receive about 700 applications overall. The number of spots available in each program can vary as well. Average numbers for each class, by program:

Advertising: 15
Arts Journalism and Communications: 10
Audio Arts:  12
Broadcast and Digital Journalism: 30
Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism: 25
Media Studies: 12
New Media Management: 22
Multimedia, Photography and Design: 12
Public Diplomacy and Global Communications: 12
Public Relations: 30
Television, Radio and Film: 35
Online Programs: 50

Do you require that applicants have prior work experience?

Previous work experience is not required. Our programs are designed to teach you the skills required in the industry. A clear understanding of the programs is necessary to be admitted and to be successful. Previous experience can be very helpful, particularly when it is time to find an internship and/or job.

Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required?

The general GRE is not required for any of the Newhouse School’s master’s programs.

The GRE is required for the doctoral program. Please use institution code 2823 to report your scores.

Who has to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?

All international applicants from non-English speaking countries must provide a TOEFL or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score unless they attended an accredited American college or university full-time for one year or more. We rarely accept applicants whose TOEFL scores are below 100 (iBT) or whose IELTS scores are below 7.0, as we have found that these students have difficulty completing our writing-intensive, deadline-driven programs. The average TOEFL score of our admitted international students is 102.

Do you accept three-year bachelor’s degrees?

All students must hold, or be in the process of receiving, a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. or its equivalent.

We generally do not consider three-year degrees from India to be equivalent so we would require a WES evaluation stating its equivalency or an additional year of serious study in the form of a post-graduate diploma or similar. This course must be completed above and beyond the three-year degree. Three-year degrees from other countries will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Do you offer conditional admission?

We do not. All required parts of the application must be submitted before we can conduct review. That includes all required test scores. While we encourage participation in the University’s English Language Institute, we cannot accept that in lieu of the TOEFL or IELTS.

Can I apply to more than one program?

Yes, you may apply to more than one program. You must submit an application, write a personal statement and pay application fees for each program. However, you need only submit one transcript and one set of recommendation letters. Please note that if admitted to more than one, you may only accept one offer.

Are interviews required?

Yes. Video interviews are conducted online via Kira Talent. A few days after your application is submitted, we will send you an invitation link. You are asked to create an account on Kira, test your computer’s audio and video and answer some practice questions. Actual interview questions are not available ahead of time so no prior preparation is necessary. You will be asked four interview questions that may require a mixture of video and written responses. Each response does have a time limit.

Informational interviews can also be scheduled with relevant program directors and faculty, at the applicant’s request.

How will I find out if I’m admitted?

We begin application review in January and will make our best effort to notify you approximately two weeks after your application is complete. Notifications are sent via email, so be sure to add nhmasters@syr.edu to your address book to prevent missed messages.

The online master’s programs follow different application deadlines for and admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis.

What types of merit aid do you offer?

Newhouse offers merit aid in the form of scholarships and instructional associate positions. These awards are partial awards in an effort to spread as much aid to as many candidates as possible. Details are available on the tuition and financial aid page.

We do have one full fellowship program.

Students in the online master’s programs are not eligible for merit aid awards at this time.

When will I find out if I’ve been awarded merit-based aid?

You may receive a merit aid offer with your offer of admission. Otherwise you will hear before April 1.

When does the program start? How long is the program?

All professional programs begin in the summer, usually the first week in July. They are designed to be completed in one calendar year.

Media Studies begins every fall and is designed to be completed in 18 to 24 months.

The online master’s programs have four start dates per year and can be completed in as little as 18 months.

More information can be found on the program’s admissions page. 

Am I allowed to defer my admission?

Requests to defer are considered on a case-by-case basis. Submit your request via email to nhmasters@syr.edu, briefly describing your reasons for requesting the deferral. If approved, the one-time deferral will be for one year.

What is needed if I decide to reapply?

Application materials are kept on file for one year. If you apply within the year we just need a new personal statement and résumé. We may also request additional materials. If you apply beyond that timeframe, we would need a new application and all required documents. Official test scores are still retained in our system so you would not need to request those again. Please email us at nhmasters@syr.edu if you plan to reapply.

Do you offer housing for graduate students?

Syracuse University does not have on-campus housing available for graduate students. That said, there are privately managed housing complexes on University property that are specifically for Syracusestudents. There are also a number of available off-campus housing options, many within walking distance. Details are available under housing on our resources section.

Can I take Newhouse graduate courses on a non-matriculated basis?

Usually not. However, it is occasionally possible for a student holding a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution to take a maximum of six credits on a non-matriculated basis. This can only be done on a space-available basis, with the permission of the instructor and with approval in writing by the chair of the department in which the course is offered. Successful performance as a non-matriculated student does not lead to preferential treatment in decisions involving admittance to graduate degree programs.

Academic master’s degree (Media Studies) FAQ

What is your application deadline?

January 15. Applications received after January 15 will be considered on a space-available basis.

What are your required application materials?

In addition to the application itself, we require a personal statement, CV or resume, three letters of recommendation, transcripts from all previous institutions, GRE scores (optional) and TOEFL scores for students whose native language is not English.

What is the required minimum GRE score for admission?

GRE scores are optional, and there is no required score; rather, we consider scores in context of the entire application.

When does the program start?

The media studies program begins in the fall semester.

How long is the program?

The media studies program is typically two years long, including the thesis.

Do you accept new students for the spring semester?

No. Admissions are granted for the fall semester only.

Is funding available?

Yes, media studies students often work as research or teaching assistants. Learn more about our instructional and research assistantships, as well as program, travel and thesis funding, on our funding page.

Where should I send my support materials?

Please send all support materials to: 

Enrollment Management Processing Center
Syracuse University
Graduate Admissions Processing
P.O. Box 35060
Syracuse New York 13235-5060

If you are sending materials using a package delivery company (i.e. FedEx, UPS, DHL), send materials to:

Enrollment Management Processing Center
Syracuse University 
Graduate Admissions Processing 
716 E. Washington St., Suite 200
Syracuse New York 13210-1572

Doctoral Program FAQ

What are the minimum required GRE scores?

We do not require specific scores. Rather, we consider the scores in context of the entire application.

Can I attend the program part-time or take online courses?

No, we do not offer part-time or online options at this time.

Do I need to hold a master’s degree in order to apply to the program?

Although it is not required, we highly recommend that you earn a master’s degree by the time you begin the Ph.D. program.

Can you waive the TOEFL exam requirement for international students?

Yes, for those applicants who have studied at a U.S. institution for at least one year.

Do you accept new students for the spring semester?

No, we accept new students in the fall semester only.

Is funding available?

As a Newhouse doctoral student, you will receive full funding during your three years in the program. Support comes through a University Fellowship, a 20-hour-per-week research assistantship or a teaching assistantship. Some qualified doctoral students also serve as adjunct faculty. Assignments vary depending upon student interests and qualifications; however, all types of support carry a tuition waiver and stipend.

Travel Funding
We encourage students to present at national and international conferences and offer generous financial support, enabling you to take advantage of those opportunities. 

Dissertation Funding
To help offset the cost to our students, we provide funding for students as they research and write their dissertations. 

Summer Funding
Newhouse also offers a generous summer funding program in which students work closely with faculty on their research and creative projects.

Where should I send my support materials?

Please send all support materials to: 

Enrollment Management Processing Center
Syracuse University
Graduate Admissions Processing
P.O. Box 35060
Syracuse New York 13235-5060

If you are sending materials using a package delivery company (i.e. FedEx, UPS, DHL), send materials to:

Enrollment Management Processing Center
Syracuse University 
Graduate Admissions Processing 
716 E. Washington St., Suite 200
Syracuse New York 13210-1572

What is the application deadline?

The deadline for applying to the Ph.D. program is Dec. 1.