Frequently Asked Questions

Please see answers to frequently asked questions below. For additional information please contact us.


What are the minimum requirements to apply?

For your application to be considered you must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year institution. For the professional and tourism and entertainment tracks, a minimum  2.75 GPA is required. For the research and theory track, a minimum of a 3.0 GPA is required. International students must provide English proficiency scores and meet the minimum university requirements detailed here: Prerequisites (an undergraduate principles course and a writing course or equivalent experience) are required, but may be completed at CSUF after admission. Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Admissions are competitive based on the evaluation of all submitted admissions materials.

When and where can I apply?

Applications for Fall admissions (Late August Start) open October 1 and close April 1 (March 1 for International students).’

Applications for Spring admissions (Late January Start) open August 1 and close November 1 (October 1 for International students)

Applications are submitted through Cal Apply: Along with your application, official transcripts must be submitted directly from your institutions to Cal State Fullerton 

What do I need to submit with my application?

Submission requirements are detailed on the application website. For your application you will need a resume, statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation (submitted directly by your references to Cal Apply). You will need official transcripts sent from your institutions to Cal State Fullerton Writing and work samples and unofficial transcripts uploaded to Cal Apply are encouraged but not required. (

GRE Exam scores are not required. English proficiency exam requirements for International Students can be found here: 

What if I haven’t met the prerequisites or I’m not sure if I have?

You do not need to complete the prerequisite requirements before applying. You will be able to take those courses after you start the program. You can submit unofficial transcripts along with your application and email a request to the graduate advisor to review them to determine if prerequisites have been met.

How much is tuition, and do you offer any assistance? 

Information regarding tuition, financial aid and work study can be found on the university website. The department does not offer any funding for waivers, fellowships, scholarships or assistantships for graduate students; however, our program remains one of the most affordable in the nation. There are some small scholarships that you can apply for once enrolled, but, of course, there are no guarantees for those.

When and where are classes? Can I take courses online?

Our graduate program is designated as in residence, in person program. Most courses are offered on campus in the evenings from 7-9:45. Some courses are hybrid and only meet in person half the time. There are some electives that can be taken fully online, mostly asynchronously. We are continuing to expand our online options, however, we cannot guarantee that online course options will be available for you.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The program is 30 units or 10 courses (not including prerequisites). You can take 1-3 courses a semester and up to 2 courses (optional) each summer.  You can complete the program in as little as 18 months if attending fulltime (3 courses a semester and at least 1 summer course) or in as little as 2 years part time (2 courses a semester, and at least 1 course each summer). A minimum of 1 course each Fall and Spring semester is required to maintain enrollment. Summer enrollment is optional.  International students are typically required to be enrolled fulltime (9 units) during Fall and Spring semesters.

Which track is right for me and when do I need to choose?

We offer three master’s degree tracks: Our Professional Track is designed for students interested in advancing their career as communications professionals. Our Tourism & Entertainment track is tailored for students particularly interested in furthering their communications career in those industries. Our Research and Theory track is designed for students interested in pursuing a PhD and/or becoming qualified to teach college courses. This track is also appropriate for journalists seeking to advance their research and academic writing skills.  If you are unsure, that’s OK. It is easy to switch between tracks. You can choose one when you apply or just select the general degree program and finalize your choice after your first semester in the program.

What is the difference between a project and a thesis?

During the last one or two semesters of the program, all students must complete an exit option, either a thesis or a professional project.  A thesis is an academic research study that you undertake on a topic of your choice. This option is completed over the course of two semesters. This option is appropriate for all students, but it is particularly appropriate for those interested in teaching or continuing on to get a Ph.D. A thesis is also a good choice if you already have a strong foundation in communications disciplines, and you wish to dive deeper in understanding the principles guiding communication practices and their impacts.  

A professional project is typically applied research, strategic communication outreach or other content creation developed for a real world client that is selected by the student. A project is appropriate if you are looking to build your portfolio as a communications practitioner. It is possible to establish your mastery and leadership in audience analysis or a specific field area via either a thesis or a project. You will have the opportunity to explore both options during your coursework.

How can your program help me advance in my career?

 In our program you will learn how to harness theory, research and best practices to guide communication strategy, analysis and content development Coursework will include assignments to help you sharpen your communication skills and build your academic and professional portfolios. We offer many opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom for you to advance your professional skills, build your portfolio and expand your professional network.