Application Process and Deadlines

Apply Now

The application for Fall 2017 is now open. Please email comgrad@bu.edu with questions.

Application Deadlines

  • January 15: PhD Application Deadline (We will continue accepting applications on a space-available basis)
  • February 1: Priority Master’s Deadline (consideration for all scholarships)
  • May 1: Final Master’s Deadline

Application Requirements

Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee of $95. The application fee is an application processing fee, not an application consideration fee.

Transcripts

We require a copy of your transcript to be uploaded within our online application. In addition, we require all transcripts from colleges and/or universities attended that count toward any degree (beyond high school). A college senior should submit an official report of work completed in the first semester of the senior year as soon as it is available. All transcripts must be in English or an official translation. If you are admitted and decide to enroll, we will ask for an official copy at that time.

Letters of Recommendation

We require three letters of recommendation written by people who know you well, and who can speak to your academic and/or professional backgrounds. These letters of recommendation must be sent online via our application service. We do not accept e-mailed, faxed, or mailed letters of recommendation.

International Applicants

International students must fulfill additional requirements to be considered for admission. Please review our International Student admissions requirements before applying.

Resume/CV

We require the most up to date resume or CV for all applicants.

Required Standardized Tests

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The GRE is required for all applicants except:

  • Cinema and Media Production
  • Screenwriting
  • Television
  • Dual degree JD/MS (LSAT is required)
  • Boston University undergraduates applying directly to a COM master’s program immediately following completion of their bachelor’s degree

Applicants to Media Ventures and the Marketing Communication Research concentration of Mass Communication may submit either the GRE or the GMAT.

Our GRE code is 3087. You may take the internet-based GRE up until 10 days before our deadline.

Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)

Applicants to the MS Program in Media Ventures and the Marketing Communication Research concentration of the MS Program in Mass Communication may take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) in place of the GRE.

Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)

Applicants to the JD/MS in the Mass Communication program must take the Law School Admissions Test (test results for all programs are valid for four years).

Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Students who received their undergraduate degree from a non-English speaking institution must also take the TOEFL or IELTS. Applicants must receive a minimum score of 100 (TOEFL) or 7.0 (IELTS) for their application to be reviewed. We must receive an official score by our deadline; we recommend taking your TOEFL/IELTS at least 20 days prior to our deadline to assure that we receive the score.

Our TOEFL code is 3087.

Program Specific Requirements

In most programs, applicants are not required to have experience in communication industries or in the academic areas of the department concerned. Students from the fields of humanities, sciences, communication and social sciences generally are preferred. Please contact COM Graduate Affairs if you have any questions.

The requirements listed below are in addition to all of the application materials listed above.

Personal Statement

Write an essay, in 500-750 words, that answers the following question:
Our graduate students leave our program for successful Advertising careers. They work in roles such as Account Management, Creative, Strategy, Media, Production, or Digital and Social Media. What skills or experience do you have that suggests that you, too, will follow in their footsteps?

Domestic U.S. Citizens and Permanent U.S. Residents: Optional Video

You are invited to submit an optional video as part of your application. This video allows our faculty to get to know you better. This video will also be reviewed for additional consideration for merit scholarship and assistantship positions.
If you prefer not to submit a video, your application will still be reviewed for scholarship. Your application will not be penalized for choosing not to submit a video.

Optional Video Instructions:
  • The video must be in your own words.
  • Please speak directly into the camera, without reading from a script and do not use video editing or sound voiceover software.
  • Please post your video on a video hosting website, Vimeo. We prefer if you do not use a password to protect your video. If you must use a password, please use terrier2017.
  • If you choose not to submit a video, please write “no video” into the question space below.
Answer the following prompt.

In a 1-3 minute video, tell us about a challenge you took on, an original idea you created or a skill you mastered. This video does not have to be about your field of study. Please state your full name at the beginning of the video.

International and Non- U.S. Resident Applicants: Required Video

All international students (non-U.S. citizens) must submit a 1-3 minute video.
Required Video Instructions:

  • The video must be in your own words.
  • Please speak directly into the camera, without reading from a script and do not use video editing or sound voiceover software.
  • Please post your video on a video hosting website, Vimeo. We prefer if you do not use a password to protect your video. If you must use a password, please use terrier2017.
  • Your application cannot be reviewed without this video.
Answer the following prompt.

In a 1-3 minute video, tell us about a challenge you took on, an original idea you created or a skill you mastered. This video does not have to be about your field of study. Please state your full name at the beginning of the video.

Personal Statement

Tell us about yourself and your experiences with emerging media. Why do you think you’ll succeed in the BU Emerging Media Studies program and beyond? What are your academic research interests, and what faculty members at Boston University have research areas that parallel yours?

Writing Sample

Please attach a sample of your writing. Though it may be of any type or length, we recommend that you submit an academic writing sample of no more than 30 pages.

International Students: Video Requirement

All international students (non-U.S. citizens) must submit a one to three -minute video. State your name and your intended degree program.

Answer each of the following questions:

1. How do you plan to advance your community as a result of your study in the field of communication?
2. Discuss a significant person in your life and describe the ways in which you have been influenced (positively/negatively and why).
3. If you were to describe where you grew up to someone who hadn’t visited there before, what would you highlight?

Personal Statement

Tell us about yourself and your experiences with film and television studies. Why do you think you’ll succeed in the BU graduate program and beyond? Your statement should be no longer than 750 words and double-spaced.

Academic Writing Sample

Submit two academic writing samples, each of at least 750 words in length. The samples should be essays actually submitted to recent arts or humanities courses. Ideally, the samples should be originals or clear photocopies of the actual papers that were turned in, showing the course numbers and names of the instructors, the dates of submission, instructors’ comments in the text and margins, and the grades the papers received.

If the originals or clear copies of the papers are not available, newly printed-out copies of the papers are acceptable. Write on the first page the course name, teacher’s name, date, and grade the paper received (if remembered). If neither originals nor photocopies nor new print-outs of papers from the past five years are available, applicants may submit two newly written essays of 750–1,000 word length. In either case, the essays need not be about film or television.

Discussions of any work of art, artistic movement, or issue in literature, drama, painting, sculpture, television or film are equally acceptable. (Note to international applicants: both essays should be submitted in the English language, but the translation, if necessary, should be done by the candidate.) No one else is allowed to assist in the preparation or correction of the writing samples submitted.

International Students: Required Video

All international students (non-U.S. citizens) must submit a one to three-minute video. State your name and your intended degree program.

Answer each of the following questions:

1. How do you plan to advance your community as a result of your study in the field of communication?
2. Discuss a significant person in your life and describe the ways in which you have been influenced (positively/negatively and why).
3. If you were to describe where you grew up to someone who hadn’t visited there before, what would you highlight?

How to add your International Student Video to the application:
  • Please speak directly into the camera, without reading from a script and do not use video editing or sound voiceover software.
  • The video must be in your own words.
  • Please post your video on a video hosting website, Vimeo. We prefer if you do not use a password to protect your video. If you must use a password, please use terrier2017.
  • International students’ applications cannot be reviewed without this video.

The GRE is not required for the Cinema and Media Production program.

Students are admitted to the MFA in Cinema and Media Production into one of three roles: Cinematographer (Director of Photography), Producer, or Director. You must indicate on the online application which role you wish to undertake if admitted; we take only a finite amount of students in each role.

Personal Statement

Tell us about yourself and your experiences with cinema and media production. Why do you think you’ll succeed in the BU graduate program and beyond? Your statement should be no longer than 750 words and double-spaced, please.

Interview Video

In a four to seven minute video please answer the three following questions:
What film, TV series or other media production changed your life and why?
Careers in media are highly competitive. What are some personal qualities that you believe will help you succeed in a media production field? What do you hope to take away from our program in terms of skills, output or personal development? Please do not edit the video in any sense. Do not add music to your interview video.

Portfolio Reel

The portfolio serves as an audition. We are interested in your current skill level and your potential as a filmmaker. Your reel should be four to seven minutes. While it is important that your reel showcases your creativity, craftsmanship and imagination, we are particularly interested in your ability to convey story, mood and character through motion pictures.

Personal Statement

Students in the Master’s Program in Journalism are required to construct, develop and deliver clear, concise stories to a variety of audiences. Therefore, strong writing skills are crucial for admittance into the program.
Please write a story that identifies and describes a moment of truth in your life so far. This does not have to be related to journalism, academics or your career. We are interested in learning about you through a well-written, real-life story about a moment that was important to you.
Limited to 750 words.

International Applicants (non-US citizens): Video Requirement

All international students (non-U.S. citizens) must submit a one to three-minute video. State your name and your intended degree program.

Answer each of the following questions:

1. How do you plan to advance your community as a result of your study in the fields of communication and journalism?
2. Discuss a significant person in your life and describe the ways in which you have been influenced (positively/negatively and why).
3. If you were to describe where you grew up to someone who hadn’t visited there before, what would you highlight?

How to add your International Student Video to the application:
  • Please speak directly into the camera, without reading from a script and do not use video editing or sound voiceover software.
  • The video must be in your own words.
  • Please post your video on a video hosting website, Vimeo. We prefer if you do not use a password to protect your video. If you must use a password, please use terrier2017.
  • International students’ applications cannot be reviewed without this video.

Personal Statement

Limited to 750 words.
Our concentration in Marketing Communication Research trains students for jobs in the marketing communication industry.
Write an essay, in your own words, that explains how companies, organizations, government agencies, etc. can benefit from communication research. In the second half of your essay, please provide a real-life or theoretical example of a market research project and tell us how knowledge gained through such a project helped or can help a client.
Please cite/reference any outside sources utilized while writing this essay.

U.S. Citizens and U.S. Permanent Residents: Optional Video

You are invited to submit an optional video as part of your application. This video allows our faculty to get to know you better. This video will also be reviewed for additional consideration for merit scholarship and assistantship positions.
If you prefer not to submit a video, your application will still be reviewed for scholarship. Your application will not be penalized for choosing not to submit a video.

Optional Video Instructions:
  • The video must be in your own words.
  • Please speak directly into the camera, without reading from a script and do not use video editing or sound voiceover software.
  • Please post your video on a video hosting website, Vimeo. We prefer if you do not use a password to protect your video. If you must use a password, please use terrier2017.
  • You must write this link into the application. If you choose not to submit a video, please write “no video” into the question space below.
Answer the following prompt:

In a 1-3 minute video, tell us about a challenge you took on, an original idea you created or a skill you mastered. This video does not have to be about your field of study. Please state your full name at the beginning of the video.

International and Non-U.S. Resident Applicants: Required Video

All international students (non-U.S. citizens) must submit a 1-3 minute video.

Required Video Instructions:
  • The video must be in your own words.
  • Please speak directly into the camera, without reading from a script and do not use video editing or sound voiceover software.
  • Please post your video on a video hosting website, Vimeo. We prefer if you do not use a password to protect your video. If you must use a password, please use terrier2017.
  • Your application cannot be reviewed without this video.
Answer the following prompt:

In a 1-3 minute video, tell us about a challenge you took on, an original idea you created or a skill you mastered. This video does not have to be about your field of study. Please state your full name at the beginning of the video.

Personal Statement

Limited to 750 words.
New media technologies don’t necessarily replace old ones, but they do tend to alter them in significant ways. Select one traditional communication medium (newspapers, telephone, broadcast television, radio, typewriter, etc.) and write an essay examining how the medium has changed – or needs to change – to adapt to the technological environment.
We recommend that you use outside sources to support your argument.

U.S. Citizens and U.S. Permanent Residents: Optional Video

You are invited to submit an optional video as part of your application. This video allows our faculty to get to know you better. This video will also be reviewed for additional consideration for merit scholarship and assistantship positions.
If you prefer not to submit a video, your application will still be reviewed for scholarship. Your application will not be penalized for choosing not to submit a video.

Optional Video Instructions:
  • The video must be in your own words.
  • Please speak directly into the camera, without reading from a script and do not use video editing or sound voiceover software.
  • Please post your video on a video hosting website, Vimeo. We prefer if you do not use a password to protect your video. If you must use a password, please use terrier2017.
  • You must write this link into the application. If you choose not to submit a video, please write “no video” into the question space below.
Answer the following prompt:

In a 1-3 minute video, tell us about a challenge you took on, an original idea you created or a skill you mastered. This video does not have to be about your field of study. Please state your full name at the beginning of the video.

International and Non-U.S. Resident Applicants: Required Video

All international students (non-U.S. citizens) must submit a 1-3 minute video.

Required Video Instructions:
  • The video must be in your own words.
  • Please speak directly into the camera, without reading from a script and do not use video editing or sound voiceover software.
  • Please post your video on a video hosting website, Vimeo. We prefer if you do not use a password to protect your video. If you must use a password, please use terrier2017.
  • Your application cannot be reviewed without this video.
Answer the following prompt:

In a 1-3 minute video, tell us about a challenge you took on, an original idea you created or a skill you mastered. This video does not have to be about your field of study. Please state your full name at the beginning of the video.

Students considering the dual degree option must apply to both the College of Communication and the Law School. For application instructions for the JD portion of the degree, visit the School of Law.
Personal Statement

Write an essay explaining why you want to study Law and Mass Communication. Include your personal experiences, what you expect to be doing professionally five years from now, what you expect from a career in the field, why you chose the College of Communication and how you expect your studies to help you in achieving your goals. Limited to 750 words.

U.S. Citizens and U.S. Permanent Residents: Optional Video

You are invited to submit an optional video as part of your application. This video allows our faculty to get to know you better. This video will also be reviewed for additional consideration for merit scholarship and assistantship positions.
If you prefer not to submit a video, your application will still be reviewed for scholarship. Your application will not be penalized for choosing not to submit a video.

Optional Video Instructions:
  • The video must be in your own words.
  • Please speak directly into the camera, without reading from a script and do not use video editing or sound voiceover software.
  • Please post your video on a video hosting website, Vimeo. We prefer if you do not use a password to protect your video. If you must use a password, please use terrier2017.
  • You must write this link into the application. If you choose not to submit a video, please write “no video” into the question space below.
Answer the following prompt:

In a 1-3 minute video, tell us about a challenge you took on, an original idea you created or a skill you mastered. This video does not have to be about your field of study. Please state your full name at the beginning of the video.

International and Non-U.S. Resident Applicants: Required Video

All international students (non-U.S. citizens) must submit a 1-3 minute video.

Required Video Instructions:
  • The video must be in your own words.
  • Please speak directly into the camera, without reading from a script and do not use video editing or sound voiceover software.
  • Please post your video on a video hosting website, Vimeo. We prefer if you do not use a password to protect your video. If you must use a password, please use terrier2017.
  • Your application cannot be reviewed without this video.
Answer the following prompt:

In a 1-3 minute video, tell us about a challenge you took on, an original idea you created or a skill you mastered. This video does not have to be about your field of study. Please state your full name at the beginning of the video.

Personal Statement

Tell us about your background and career aspirations. How do you think Media Ventures can help you reach your goal(s)? Limited to 750 words.

Case Study

1,000 word limit
Facebook and Twitter are two of the most influential and popular social media platforms worldwide. When they launched in 2004 and 2006, respectively, their original purposes were to keep friends connected by sharing social updates and photos, and help people expand their social networks. Over time, however, each platform has evolved significantly.

Facebook and Twitter are major influencers in politics, social causes, branding, and video. In 2014 Facebook acquired Oculus VR, and let the world know they were going to lead the virtual reality charge with new products and content. Likewise, in 2015 Twitter acquired the live streaming service Periscope. Clearly, both companies are setting the stage to expand their business models.

We’re interested in hearing your ideas about media innovation. Can you make predictions about how each business will expand in the future? How will they grow their revenue streams? How might they continue to lead how we communicate?

International Applicants (non-US citizens): Video Requirement

All international students (non-U.S. citizens) must submit a one to three-minute video. State your name and your intended degree program.

Answer each of the following questions:

1. How do you plan to advance your community as a result of your study in the fields of communication and new media innovation?
2. Discuss a significant person in your life and describe the ways in which you have been influenced (positively/negatively and why).
3. If you were to describe where you grew up to someone who hadn’t visited there before, what would you highlight?

How to add your International Student Video to the application:
  • Please speak directly into the camera, without reading from a script and do not use video editing or sound voiceover software.
  • The video must be in your own words.
  • Please post your video on a video hosting website, Vimeo. We prefer if you do not use a password to protect your video. If you must use a password, please use terrier2017.
  • International students’ applications cannot be reviewed without this video.

Personal Statement

Please review and answer Option A or B. You may only submit one essay. Limited to 750 words.

The last decade has seen the rise of social media and the decline of traditional news sources. According to Rebekah Iliff, Chief Strategy Officer for AirPR (2014), “the implications of technology and other various drivers (the economic downturn and self-publishing, for example) have affected PR in ways that have yet to fully be discovered.”

Option A: Please read the quote above and write an essay that explains how you see public relations changing in the face of these and other trends and what public relations professionals can do to adapt. We recommend that you use outside sources, as well as personal insight and experience, to support your argument.

Option B: Please read the quote above and identify and describe a public relations campaign or crisis within the corporate or nonprofit sector that attempts to adapt to the new landscape/environment? Please explain how you would have improved the campaign or effectively managed the crisis. We recommend that you use outside sources, as well as personal insight and experience, to support your argument.

U.S. Citizens and U.S. Permanent Residents: Optional Video

You are invited to submit an optional video as part of your application. This video allows our faculty to get to know you better. This video will also be reviewed for additional consideration for merit scholarship and assistantship positions.
If you prefer not to submit a video, your application will still be reviewed for scholarship. Your application will not be penalized for choosing not to submit a video.

Optional Video Instructions:
  • The video must be in your own words.
  • Please speak directly into the camera, without reading from a script and do not use video editing or sound voiceover software.
  • Please post your video on a video hosting website, Vimeo. We prefer if you do not use a password to protect your video. If you must use a password, please use terrier2017.
  • You must write this link into the application. If you choose not to submit a video, please write “no video” into the question space below.
Answer the following prompt:

In a 1-3 minute video, tell us about a challenge you took on, an original idea you created or a skill you mastered. This video does not have to be about your field of study. Please state your full name at the beginning of the video.

International and Non-U.S. Resident Applicants: Required Video

All international students (non-U.S. citizens) must submit a 1-3 minute video.

Required Video Instructions:
  • The video must be in your own words.
  • Please speak directly into the camera, without reading from a script and do not use video editing or sound voiceover software.
  • Please post your video on a video hosting website, Vimeo. We prefer if you do not use a password to protect your video. If you must use a password, please use terrier2017.
  • Your application cannot be reviewed without this video.
Answer the following prompt:

In a 1-3 minute video, tell us about a challenge you took on, an original idea you created or a skill you mastered. This video does not have to be about your field of study. Please state your full name at the beginning of the video.

Personal Statement

Write an essay explaining why you want to study science journalism. Include your personal experiences, what you expect to be doing professionally five years from now, what you expect from a career in the field, why you chose the BU College of Communication and how you expect your studies to help you in achieving your goals. Limited to 750 words.

Periodicals

Discuss any websites, magazines, blogs, newspapers or other periodicals that you read regularly. What do you think of them? What is your favorite book, and who is your favorite author? How has she/he influenced your life and future plans? In a separate section, please include what social media you use (if any), and how you could apply that medium to your future profession.

Communication Experience

Write an appraisal in clear declarative English of your experience in any area of communication (if any). Include what you expect from a career in the field and why you chose to enter it.

International Applicants (non-US citizens): Video Requirement

All international students (non-US citizens) must submit a one to three-minute video. State your name and your intended degree program.

Answer each of the following questions:

1. How do you plan to advance your community as a result of your study in the field of communication?
2. Discuss a significant person in your life and describe the ways in which you have been influenced (positively/negatively and why).
3. If you were to describe where you grew up to someone who hadn’t visited there before, what would you highlight?

How to add your International Student Video to the application?
  • Please speak directly into the camera, without reading from a script and do not use video editing or sound voiceover software.
  • The video must be in your own words.
  • Please post your video on a video hosting website, Vimeo. We prefer if you do not use a password to protect your video. If you must use a password, please use terrier2017.
  • International students’ applications cannot be reviewed without this video.

The GRE is not required for the Screenwriting program.
Personal Statement

Tell us about yourself and your experiences with screenwriting. Why do you think you’ll succeed in the BU graduate program and beyond? Your statement should be no longer than 750 words and double-spaced, please.

Two Fictional Writing Samples

Submit two samples of your fiction writing. They may be a portion of a screenplay, a short story, a play, a poem or a portion of a novel. The combined length of both samples should be no more than 30 pages. (Please do not include more than two samples.)

International Applicants (non-US citizens): Video Requirement

All international students (non-US citizens) must submit a one to three-minute video. State your name and your intended degree program.

Answer each of the following questions:

1. How do you plan to advance your community as a result of your study in the field of communication?
2. Discuss a significant person in your life and describe the ways in which you have been influenced (positively/negatively and why).
3. If you were to describe where you grew up to someone who hadn’t visited there before, what would you highlight?

How to add your International Student Video to the application?
  • Please speak directly into the camera, without reading from a script and do not use video editing or sound voiceover software.
  • The video must be in your own words.
  • Please post your video on a video hosting website, Vimeo. We prefer if you do not use a password to protect your video. If you must use a password, please use terrier2017.
  • International students’ applications cannot be reviewed without this video.

The GRE is not required for the Television program.
TV Producing/Management Concentration

Personal Statement: Tell us about yourself and your experiences with television. Why do you think you’ll succeed in the BU graduate program and beyond? Your statement should be no longer than 750 words and double-spaced.

Writing Sample: Netflix and Amazon have made it a practice to release all new episodes of their original television series at the same time. Discuss the pros and cons of this decision. Is binge-watching a good thing for the television industry, or will it ultimately have a negative impact? Your response should be no longer than 750 words and double-spaced.

Optional Writing Sample: If Producing/Management students wish to take the Television/Writing electives (FT522, FT512, or FT514) they are required to submit a short writing sample. This is not a required component and does not have any impact on your admission status (only on your ability to take to writing electives).

Please select an American situation comedy series or dramatic series that is currently being aired with original episodes. Create an original storyline for this series. Write no more than three pages of dialogue for a scene in the story you created. You are only required to submit the three pages of dialogue for the scene, not the entire story. On the top of your submission, write your name, the title of the series that you are submitting, and a one-sentence logline. (A logline is a one-sentence description of your series storyline.)

It is also possible, based upon your writing sample, that you may be required to have a Skype conversation with a television professor. This will not apply to all applicants.

TV Producing/Writing Concentration

Personal Statement: Tell us about yourself and your experiences with television. Why do you think you’ll succeed in the BU graduate program and beyond? Your statement should be no longer than 750 words and double-spaced.

Writing Sample: Please select an American situation comedy series or dramatic series that is currently being aired with original episodes. Create an original storyline for this series. Write no more than three pages of dialogue for a scene in the story you created. You are only required to submit the three pages of dialogue for this scene, not the entire story.

On the top of your submission, write your name, the title of the series that you are submitting, and a one-sentence logline. (A logline is a one-sentence description of your series episode storyline.)

It is also possible that based upon your writing sample you will be required to have a Skype conversation with a television professor.

International Applicants (non-US citizens): Video Requirement

All international students (non-US citizens) must submit a one to three-minute video. State your name and your intended degree program.

Answer each of the following questions:

1. How do you plan to advance your community as a result of your study in the field of communication?
2. Discuss a significant person in your life and describe the ways in which you have been influenced (positively/negatively and why).
3. If you were to describe where you grew up to someone who hadn’t visited there before, what would you highlight?

How to add your International Student Video to the application?
  • Please speak directly into the camera, without reading from a script and do not use video editing or sound voiceover software.
  • The video must be in your own words.
  • Please post your video on a video hosting website, Vimeo. We prefer if you do not use a password to protect your video. If you must use a password, please use terrier2017.
  • International students’ applications cannot be reviewed without this video.