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Frequently Asked Questions

PhD, Media, Culture, and Communication

Am I a good fit for this program? Is my proposed research topic suitable for your department?

Our approach to media and culture is interdisciplinary. As a result, we are interested in a wide variety of topics, which you can see by reviewing profiles of our PhD students and faculty. Given the sheer number of applicants, we are unable to comment on any student's admissibility without seeing all materials in the context of the application process. Students do not decide which faculty they will work with until their second or third year in the program. Faculty will not commit to supervising a research project prior to admission.

Can I talk with someone in the Department?

If you have questions about the admissions process or the program, you should start by contacting a graduate advisor via email at mcc.phd.admissions@nyu.edu or via phone at 212-998-5191. 

Our Director of Graduate Studies, Susan Murray, can address questions about the philosophy of the Department and the program's focus. Due to time constraints, it is rare for faculty members to respond to prospective student inquiries. 

If you do contact faculty, please note the following:

  • Students are not expected to have the commitment of a faculty advisor prior to admission. In speaking with prospective students, faculty can answer questions about the program and their own research interests but they will not commit to a project nor to advising/supervision.
  • Please do not send CVs, personal statements, and other documents unless requested. We review these materials during the application process.
  • If you email faculty with questions about the admissions process or general questions about the program, your email will likely be forwarded to our graduate advisor.
  • One of the best opportunities to meet faculty is at departmental events. View our calendar for a list of upcoming events, including our annual Neil Postman Graduate Conference.

I am visiting New York and want to see the campus. Can I do a tour?

NYU offers general tours for prospective students. While we would certainly like to meet you, we are unable to meet with all prospective students interested in our program. The graduate advisor is often available. You should contact the Director of Graduate Studies and other faculty directly if you would like to request a meeting with them. Please understand that faculty are often busy with current students and may not be available when you are in town.

Can I sit in on a class?

Contact mcc.graduate@nyu.edu to schedule a class visit and include the following in your email: the class number and name, the date(s) you would like to visit, and your mailing address. A minimum of two weeks notice is required. Please note that class visits are not possible during the first three weeks and last two weeks of a semester. View the university calendar for term start and end dates. 

Are there any special requirements for international applicants?

See the admissions office's website for Special Instructions for International Applicants.  Applicants whose first language is not English are required to take one of the following English proficiency exams and submit the scores: TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic. See more information on English proficiency testing.

Can I be considered for the MA program if I am not admitted to the PhD program?

Yes. If you are not admitted to the PhD program and want to be considered for the MA, send an email to mcc.phd.admissions@nyu.edu. Please note that the master's program is not funded. All US citizens and permanent residents who wish to be considered for MA scholarship funding must submit a FAFSA by February 1. NYU Steinhardt offers partial tuition scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships that are based on merit and financial need. View a selection of internal and external funding.

Can I be admitted to the PhD program without a master's degree?

We do admit students to the PhD program without an MA, but it is not common. Of the last 20 students we admitted, 17 had master's degrees.

Is my application strong enough for the PhD program?

We are unable to comment on the admissibility of a prospective student without seeing a full application in the context of the application process. Current or past faculty, and others who know your academic work, are best able to comment on your admissibility before you apply. Please note that our PhD program is quite competitive; last year we accepted 6 students from approximately 220 applications. Thus, even if you think that NYU is the best program for you, the chances of being accepted are such that we encourage you to apply widely to as many strong departments as possible.

What is the "MCC Essay" that is required as part of the application?

In lieu of a statement of purpose, you will be asked to upload a brief essay on the research area/topic you expect to pursue, your background preparation for advanced work in that area/topic, and some of the scholars whose work in that area has shaped your thinking. The essay should be 2-3 pages single-spaced or 4-5 pages double-spaced.

How do I learn more about the PhD in Media, Culture, and Communication?

The best way to learn about our program is to read the work of our faculty and review our website to learn about required coursework, information about our current students and sample dissertation abstracts.