Application Deadlines

PhD in Emerging Media Studies

  • The PhD in Emerging Media Studies application for fall 2024 is now closed. The fall 2025 application will reopen in September.

All Master’s Programs

  • Priority deadline: February 1. Apply by this deadline for priority scholarship consideration. Students who apply by this deadline will receive their admission decision in time to attend our Accepted Student Open House in late March (should they be accepted).
  • Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until our final deadline: May 1 or when the desired cohort size is reached for certain programs, which could be prior to May 1 (we will list programs on this page if their cohorts fill before May 1).
  • All admission decisions & notifications will be communicated via email.

Apply To a Graduate Program

Mailed Materials

We strongly encourage applicants to submit materials electronically where possible (i.e. transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation). Application materials can be uploaded directly to your application portal. They may also be emailed to Graduate Affairs at comgrad@bu.edu.

If it is not possible for you to send materials electronically, we ask that you mail them to the following address:

Boston University
Attn: College of Communication, Graduate Affairs
640 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215


Application Requirements

Our programs’ admission committees review applications holistically, which means that they take into account each aspect of your application and consider it in the context of your whole application. Our committees are looking to determine your preparedness for our graduate programs, your accomplishments, your career trajectory and goals, and your fit with what our programs have to offer.

We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic may have had an impact on your ability to complete certain requirements. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Fee

A non-refundable application fee of $95. This is an application processing fee. For more information on application fee waivers and to apply for one, please visit this page.

Transcripts

We require a copy of your transcript(s) 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 unofficial transcript that shows work completed in the first semester of 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, final copy at that time.

Students admitted into a graduate program in the College of Communication should normally have completed a Bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution prior to matriculation into the program (3-year undergraduate degrees from India are sufficient). Our programs do not require a certain undergraduate major or a minimum GPA.

As transcripts are one aspect of our holistic review process, please feel free to provide additional information in other aspects of your application (for example, your personal statement) if there is information you’d like the admission committee to consider that provides more context for grades on your transcript(s).

Letters of Recommendation

We require three letters of recommendation, with guidelines below. It’s important that your recommenders know you well so they can speak to your academic and/or professional backgrounds and provide examples of your strengths and achievements. Letters of recommendation must be submitted online, directly from the recommender, via our application service. If your recommender is having difficulty accessing the portal, the recommender can email it to our office (comgrad@bu.edu) as a PDF, from their email account (i.e. it should not come from the applicant).

  • Helpful/preferred letters include:
    • A professor who can evaluate your academic abilities, the quality of your academic achievements, preparedness for graduate coursework, and your characteristics that will help you to be successful in graduate school.
    • A supervisor, either in a professional or other work capacity such as an internship, volunteer experience, etc., who can address your work performance, service commitment, or other areas of your background that are relevant to your success in a graduate program.
    • MFA in Screenwriting applicants are encouraged to seek recommendations from people who know their creative work.

Unhelpful letters include those from a peer or family member. More advice on letters of recommendation can be found on BU’s Center for Career Development website.

Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV)

A resume or CV helps the admission committee to learn more about you, beyond what might be in other parts of the application. We require the most up-to-date version of your resume or CV. (The admission committees have no preference for whether you use a resume or CV format.) More information on creating a resume can be found on BU’s College of Communication Career Services website, and information on a CV is on BU’s Center for Career Development website.

Online Written and Video Questions through Kira Talent

The Kira Talent platform is an online portal through which you’ll record responses to video questions (we use these similarly to how other programs might use interviews). We also require a response to one written question.

  • The written question is separate from a personal statement and/or writing sample required by your program of interest.
  • The Kira portion of your application is done in an asynchronous format, so you can complete your responses on your own schedule, before the application deadline.
  • It could take anywhere from just under 30 minutes to over 45 minutes, depending on the number of practice questions you choose to do.
  • You’ll find a link to your Kira Talent portal in your application.

The Kira Talent questions help the admission committee to get to know more about you in an informal way, as well as helps us to get a sense of your communication skills — which are, of course, of the utmost importance for a communication graduate program. The Kira Talent platform has you answer questions in an impromptu setting — in other words, we don’t want students to prepare and read from a script; we want to know how you respond to a prompt in a spontaneous way (your response doesn’t have to be perfect!). The platform allows you to practice before you record the video that the admission committee will actually see.

Academic integrity is a critical aspect of Boston University and the College of Communication, including during the application process.

International Applicants

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


Standardized Tests

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Master’s: The GREs are not required for our Master’s programs. However, if you have taken the GRE and would like to submit your scores, our GRE code is 3087. You may take the internet-based GRE up until 10 days before our deadline. Please note, though, that test scores are not part of our holistic admission process for master’s programs.

PhD: All applicants to the Ph.D. program must include GRE scores in their submitted materials.

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 iBT or IELTS. Applicants must receive a minimum score of 100 (TOEFL iBT) or 7.0 (IELTS) for their application to be reviewed. We must receive an official score by our deadline, therefore we recommend taking your TOEFL/IELTS at least 20 days prior to our deadline to assure that we receive the score.

We will also accept the TOEFL Essentials exam for students that receive an overall band score of 10.5 or higher.

To submit your scores, our TOEFL code is 3087.

IELTS Scores can be sent electronically to our e-delivery account, “Boston University Graduate Programs.” 

Duolingo

Boston University has implemented an alternative option to the TOEFL and IELTS exams. For this application cycle, the College of Communication will accept scores from the Duolingo English Test, an online English proficiency test that can be taken on-demand, remotely from your home computer.

  • After taking the exam, select Boston University Graduate & Professional Programs as a score recipient. You will then need to email our admissions office at comgrad@bu.edu with a screenshot of your results and the exact date you have taken the Duolingo test.
  • The cost of the Duolingo Exam is $49 USD.
  • Most questions about the exam can be found on the Duolingo FAQ page.
  • We require a minimum Duolingo score of 130.

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. 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.

BU COM remains committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion – please feel free to incorporate your commitment to these principles in your personal statement where possible.

Academic integrity is a critical aspect of Boston University and the College of Communication, including during the application process.

Personal Statement

Please review and answer both parts one and two of the prompts below in a single response. Part one should be limited to 500 words; part 2 should be limited to 750 words.

Part 1: What drives you to further your studies in advertising? In addition, and if available, please feel free to include a link to your website, blog, etc. that showcases your creativity or management experience.

Part 2: Please choose 1 quote from the 3 below and write an essay that gives your thoughts on the quote. Be sure to begin your essay with your chosen quote. If you choose to use outside sources in addition to using your personal insight and experience, please make sure your sources are correctly cited. Limited to 750 words.

“Obviously ads are reaching millions of eyeballs — those are eyeballs of men, women, people of all genders, children — so I think it’s very important to put out work that is respectful, and that represents all people.”

— Nomin Boutchard

“Building a profitable personal brand online is not a sprint, and something that happens overnight. Don’t aim for perfection early on. Instead allow your brand to evolve naturally over time and focus on providing massive value and over-deliver to your target audience. Then you will get more clear over your message and brand as well.” 

– Navid Moazzez

“There are a lot of great technicians in advertising. And unfortunately, they talk the best game. They know all the rules … but there’s one little rub. They forget that advertising is persuasion, and persuasion is not a science, but an art. Advertising is the art of persuasion.” 

– William Bernbach

Personal Statement

Tell us about yourself and your experiences with emerging media. Why do you think you’ll succeed in Boston University’s Emerging Media Studies program and beyond? How will EMS’ training in theory and research methods be applied in pursuit of your longer-term professional goals? What are your academic research interests, and what faculty members at Boston University have research areas that parallel yours? Your statement should be no longer than 750 words and double-spaced.

Academic 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.

Personal Statement

Tell us about yourself and your experiences with film and television studies. What are your main areas of interest? Who among the Film and Television Studies faculty performs research that aligns with your interests? What would you like to do with your master’s degree? Your statement should be no longer than 750 words. (Note that this program focuses on research and analysis of media, not producing films or TV; please be sure you are applying to the program that best fits your goals.)

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. Essays should show the course numbers and names of the instructors, the dates of submission at the top of the first page and whenever possible should include the grade and feedback received from the instructor. The samples should display your writing and research abilities.

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. Do not submit informal, non-academic samples, such as blog posts, movie reviews, or screenplays. (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, and AI writing is not acceptable.

Personal Statement

Tell us about yourself and your experiences with journalism. 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.

Writing Sample

Please attach a sample of your own original writing. The admission committee is looking to assess your potential writing ability in the journalism field. 

  • The committee recommends that your sample is at least 3 pages long and no longer than 10 pages, double-spaced.
  • The writing sample must be written solely by you (i.e. not a group project).
  • The admission committee will accept a wide range of samples (or a combination of samples), including but not limited to:
    •  stories written for media (for example, a student or other newspaper)
    • academic writing
    • blog
    • creative piece

Boston University’s Master of Science in Media Science: Marketing Communication Research (MCR) prepares you with instruction in advanced research methods to gain consumer insights, predict purchasing behaviors, evaluate the impact of media consumption, and analyze consumer decision-making processes about brands, services, products, and political candidates.

We strongly encourage you to review the program’s link above so that you can incorporate your knowledge of the field of marketing communication research into various aspects of your application – for example, your personal statement (below), Kira Talent assessment, and anywhere else that’s applicable.

Personal Statement

Our concentration in Marketing Communication Research trains students for jobs in the marketing research/consumer insights industry. With the description above in mind, please respond to the three prompts below in one document. Please cite/reference any outside sources utilized while responding to these three prompts. Limited to 750 words.

  1. Why do you want to study marketing communication research? (Please note, marketing communication research is *not* the field of marketing. More information can be found in the link which can help inform your response.)
  2. Discuss a project, class, internship, job, or related experience you’ve had or worked on where you’ve had experience with surveying, SPSS, data analysis, or similar research tools. Tell us more about what you did, how you’ve applied research methods, and what you learned from the experience. If you’re new to the field and have no prior experience in marketing communication research, discuss the type of information that you believe would be important to collect about consumers of specific goods, services, or technologies. Also indicate the types of insights that you believe such information would allow you to have and the usefulness of such insights.
  3. Explain how companies, organizations, government agencies, etc. can benefit from marketing communication research. In the second half of your essay, please provide a real-life or theoretical example of a marketing research project and tell us how knowledge gained through such a project helped or can help a client.

Personal Statement

Broadly defined, the Media Sciences constitute a field of study that encompasses the history, theory, production, content, and public effects of a variety of media, including but not limited to journalism, advertising, photography, radio, film, video, television, design, the internet, digital technologies, and the performing arts. We recognize that studying media requires interdisciplinary training. At BU, the Media Science curriculum provides core, structured learning in media theory, research, and practice, to train students in how to create, distribute, and evaluate media messages in a strategic manner. 

According to this description, explain how you plan to use this interdisciplinary thinking in your future career. Why do you want to study media science? How do you see the field advancing? Please remember to cite any external sources you use to support any portion of your answer. Limited to 750 words.

Personal Statement

Why do you believe the Master’s in Media Ventures is the right graduate program for you? What are your goals for the future and what do you hope to accomplish with this degree? Limited to 750 words.

Case Study

Everyone is familiar with companies such as Apple, Snapchat, Facebook, and Google and recognize the innovations these brands have made in shaping how consumers create, share, and consume content. However, in all parts of the world, other companies and innovators are also creating meaningful innovations in media, technology, and communication, but perhaps are lesser known.

We’d like to hear from you about a company, brand, or individual that you believe is making an impact by bringing together content and technology in ways that are important. Describe what the company is doing and how it is using technology and content to position itself as a leader to better serve its audience and customers or community. How is it innovating and making a difference? How is the company giving itself a competitive advantage within its market segment or, if you’ve chosen a non-profit, how are they creating impact within the community? Limited to 1,000 words.

Personal Statement

Please answer both Part One and Part Two of the prompts below in a single response. Part One should be limited to 500 words; Part Two should be limited to 750 words.

Part 1: Why do you want to study public relations? What drives you to further your studies in this field? How do you see the field advancing? Please remember to cite any external sources you use to support any portion of your answer.

Part 2: Please review and answer either option A or option B. You may only submit one essay. Limited to 750 words.

Option A: “According to the most current annual PRWeek/Boston University Bellwether study conducted by BU faculty Donald Wright, Raymond Kotcher, and Arunima Krishna (https://www.prweek.com/article/1693824/bellwether-survey-2020-amid-era-constant-evolution-agility-will-win;), agile, flexible communications are essential for building and maintaining relationships. Changes such as big data, analytics, AI and macro-challenges (e.g. health, economic, demographic, social and political) will continue to drive change and define a new future for communications and public relations.” — Raymond Kotcher (2021), COM alumnus, COM professor of the practice, and former CEO and Chairman of Ketchum  

Please write an essay that gives your thoughts on the quote above and explains what you think are post-pandemic challenges of keeping PR agile. If you choose to use outside sources in addition to using your personal insight and experience, please make sure your sources are correctly cited.

Option B: “As a communicator, agility is make-or-break… Influencers are acting as newsmakers, reporters are starting their own outlets, and social platforms are revising their rules. If communicators don’t understand the different roles — and keep up with the changes — their ability to execute will suffer.” — John Saunders, president and CEO of FleishmanHillard

Please write an essay that gives your thoughts on the quote above and explains how you see these different roles influencing the field of PR. If you choose to use outside sources in addition to using your personal insight and experience, please make sure your sources are correctly cited.

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 one or two original writing samples, totaling a maximum of 20 pages. They may be a portion of a screenplay, teleplay, short script, or play. On the cover page of each sample, please identify the type of sample you are submitting and include a logline and brief paragraph synopsis (three sentences maximum).

TV Producing/Management Concentration

Personal Statement: Tell us about yourself and your experiences with television production, such as undergraduate courses, extracurricular activities, internships, and jobs. How do you see a MS in Television degree helping you with your career? What area(s) of the TV/film industry interests you as a potential career path? 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: Name three American TV shows, each from a different TV genre, and then tell how those shows reveal interesting trends in American society. In other words, choose a TV comedy, a TV drama, reality program, documentary series, or talk show. Then name the network which carries the program (that network could be a traditional network, cable program, streaming platform/Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.. You choose.). The point is to look at current TV programs so you can write about their connection to what is actually going on in America. 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 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 10 pages of dialogue for a scene in the story you created. You are only required to submit up to 10 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 episode storyline.)

It is also possible that, based upon your writing sample, you may be required to have a Skype/Zoom 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 writing for television, such as undergraduate courses, extracurricular activities, internships and jobs. How do you see a MS in Television degree helping you with your career? 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 10 pages of dialogue for a scene in the story you created. You are only required to submit up to 10 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.)

Writing Sample: Name three American TV shows, each from a different TV genre, and then tell how those shows reveal interesting trends in American society. In other words, choose a TV comedy, a TV drama, reality program, or talk show. Then name the network which carries the program (that network could be a traditional network, cable program, streaming platform/Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.. You choose.). The point is to look at current TV programs so you can write about their connection to what is actually going on in America. Your response should be no longer than 750 words and double-spaced.

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

apply To a Graduate Program