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Fully Funded Phd/MastersPrograms

intstudintstud Posts: 151Registered User Junior Member
edited February 2011 in Parents Forum
Hi everyone! This is about my cousin who intends to study for a masters degree or Phd in the US.
I hardly have any clue about how grad schools work, and hence though of seeking help from you guys.
Are there any fully funded programs available? What test scores, etc are required?
Post edited by intstud on

Replies to: Fully Funded Phd/MastersPrograms

  • mattmommattmom Posts: 1,763Registered User Senior Member
    PhD programs are often fully funded in the academic fields; masters programs are not. It isn't about scores primarily. It is more about overall performance and professors' recommendations as well as GRE scores at an acceptable level. Students interested in pursuing graduate work in the US would do better to approach specific schools that offer programs in their fields directly. Looking at Web sites of a specific school and program would be a good start.
  • intstudintstud Posts: 151Registered User Junior Member
    Can you name a few top schools that might offer Phd programs in media/communication or something similar like film or theatre?
  • jonrijonri Posts: 5,184Registered User Senior Member
  • starbrightstarbright Posts: 4,660Registered User Senior Member
    If someone has the appropriate ability, talent, and motivation to get a PhD in a particular field, s/he is not in need of a cousin to find a list of schools on the internet. What research has your cousin been doing in this area to know s/he is cut out for, has abilities in, and most importantly, is passionate about an academic career in this field? With whom is he working? Who is writing the letters of recommendation? Those folks would be in the know about appropriate schools to which to apply. The academic world is a global one. How does he know he has a passion for this particular field of study yet doesn't know the main research, journals and publishing powerhouses? And without a sense of GRE results- which will be a big driver of options- it doesn't really make a lot of sense to be looking at top schools anyway.

    Right now we have a TON of foreign PhD applicants applying for a few spots in our department. Nothing in their educational background, coursework, experience or letters of intent suggests that they have any genuine interest in, insight into, or experience with research in our field. Why on earth would they want to get a PhD and do research with us? It's quite bizarre, and needless to say, no matter how high their GPA or GRE scores or lovely letters, they are in the 'reject pile' very quickly.

    We take lots and lots of international students- we don't care what country someone is from- but regardless of origin, we are looking for ones with experience in research and inner knowledge about what it's all about- so we know they have have the right motivations, a real passion for a field and desire for exploration, so that their letter writers can accurately assess their ability for research, and so that we can be confident that the applicants know what they are getting into. We are not going to waste a spot and a huge financial and time investment on someone who is doing it for fun, as a hobby, or as a means of immigration, or because they don't know what else they want to do, or because their family wants the status, or because they read on the internet that PhD programs are fully funded. If one hasn't shown their real passion, commitment and ability to do research and had immersion in our field, it's not worth the risk.
  • intstudintstud Posts: 151Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks jonri!
    @starbright- Nope, she's hasn't asked me to do the research. I just got to know that she's interested in communications, and hence thought of asking parents at CC. I'm sure she's working on the whole thing with her professors and has a plan in mind. I was just trying to help her (or so I thought) by suggesting a few schools while trying to learn about the entire process myself.
  • katliamomkatliamom Posts: 5,987Registered User Senior Member
    communications is a tough field to get funding in -- it's not like science, where you can do research and/or teach, plus get additional grants. communications classes are often taught by faculties from other departments (english, rhetoric, business,etc.) so it's much tougher to get TA-ships.
  • polarscribepolarscribe Posts: 3,232Registered User Senior Member
    It's not true that master's programs are not fully funded. This is a really pernicious myth around here.

    Many, many master's students are fully funded. It depends on the institution, the field and the degree track. For many non-hard-science Ph.Ds, a master's degree is prerequisite for admission - hence, master's programs are funded, otherwise nobody would go on to those Ph.D programs.

    There might be less funding available for master's students, but less is not zero.

    (I am in the application process to pursue a natural resources/environmental interpretation MS and expect to be funded.)
  • OneGirlsMomOneGirlsMom Posts: 71Registered User Junior Member
    Actually, there are MANY graduate programs in communication and telecommunications with funding options for PhDs (and sometimes MAs). Grads typically teach, but there are also funding options for research (sometimes on grant projects). Only at very small schools are comm courses taught by folks in other disciplines. I've been a comm prof at several large universities over the past several decades, and all the places I've taught have MA/PhD grad programs in the discipline with funded students.
  • katliamomkatliamom Posts: 5,987Registered User Senior Member
    ^^^ hmmmm. I think that may vary a bit then. At our state u (a major research university) many communications classes ARE taught by faculty from english, journalism and rhetoric and business departments. When he was a professor, DH was asked to teach a class in 'international communications' - and he was a french literature prof! (He declined.)
    I suppose this could be partly because our state is usually 48th/49th out of 50 in per student spending on college level. :/
  • barronsbarrons Posts: 23,536Registered User Senior Member
    Virtually all Wisconsin Communications Phd students get a full package. Most faculty are in communications full-time.

    Graduate program funding | UW-Madison Department of Communication Arts

    Graduate program | UW-Madison Department of Communication Arts
  • starbrightstarbright Posts: 4,660Registered User Senior Member
    Asking folks who are not faculty members of a particular field to offer advice on PhD programs in that field does not make a lot of sense. Nor does looking it up in magazine ratings.

    To put it in perspective, I'm a senior professor in a business school, and I have chaired for many years senior appointment committees. While I could easily advise a student on where to apply for a PhD *in my subfield of business* but only IF I know their particular interests and strengths, and I could not do so for other subfields of business that are not my own. For example, finance profs can advise on finance programs, not necessarily operations and logistics, oplog folks can advise on PhDs in oplog but not likely accounting. A school that is fantastic for those that want to do economic modelling in marketing research might be a terrible fit for those with a focus on the behavioral side of marketing. That is how specific this question is you are asking (but understandable you would not know this off hand).
  • OneGirlsMomOneGirlsMom Posts: 71Registered User Junior Member
    And one more comment from a professor in the discipline (long time pet peeve of many in the discipline!). Most academic departments are "Communication" (no "s") or sometimes "Communication Studies" - we study the process of communication. You will see departments of telecommuncations more frequently, however.

    And at a university where there is no department, basic service courses in the area would probably be taught from folks from other disciplines. But if there wasn't a department, there clearly wouldn't be a grad program either.
  • stradmomstradmom Posts: 3,461Registered User Senior Member
    The Naional Communication Association www natcom dot org has a section on education which includes a good listing of graduate programs in Communication (no s). These range from speech communication, to speech therapy, to media studies, to journalism, to new media, to film and television. All are accredited programs taught by PhDs with credentials in the [admittedly broad] field, not by sociologists/psychologists/literaturistas etc.
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