FAQs: Graduate Program

1. What career fields do most of your graduate students enter?

Students enter fields related to internal and external communication, training, public relations, education, organizational development/consulting. Others use the degree to move into leadership and management roles. Students work in an array of settings including profit, nonprofit, medical, educational, and multinational.

2. When is the deadline to apply for admission to our graduate program?

We accept applications until all of our slots are filled with qualified applicants.  Thus, while we prefer to receive applications by April 1 for the Fall and November 15th for the Spring, students may be admitted as late as August for the Fall and January for the Spring.

3. When is the deadline to apply for graduate assistantships?  

March 15th. A limited number of Graduate Assistantships provide tuition waivers and a stipend.  If you are interested in an assistantship you should make contact with the Graduate Coordinator and arrange for an in person and/or phone interview prior to application. There may be opportunities outside of the department with different requirements and deadlines (see GA FAQ below).

4. Do you admit students for the Spring semester?

Yes, students wanting to apply for the spring should contact the graduate coordinator by Nov. 15th if interested in spring admission.

You can apply online at the following website:


Your application is processed online. You will be directed to send your materials to:

University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Graduate School
2801 S. University
Little Rock, AR 72204

The UA Little Rock code for transcript submission is 001101.

5.  What is the cost of this degree? 

For the year 2020-21, the 33 hour program costs for in-state residents is 14,600.00 (tuition+ fees).  The cost of books will vary, estimated between 1000.00-1,500.00.

Non-residents can determine costs from this online calculator https://ualr.edu/bursar/ or contact the graduate coordinator (gwdriskill@ualr.edu)–The approximate 33 hour cost for 2020-21 is 27,970.00

International students can gain additional information at https://ualr.edu/international/cost/

6. What about scholarships?

Beyond the opportunity for graduate assistantships (see #13 below), US citizens and permanent residents can explore financial aid opportunities. International students can explore scholarship opportunities.

7. Is there an office that helps international students?

Please visit the International Student Services Office online.

8. Can an international student living in a country with a major time zone difference join our fully online program?

Yes, however, the student would need to be willing to attend required synchronous classes each semester.  This commitment would likely decide to join our program problematic since the majority of our synchronous classes are on evenings and weekends on US Central time.

9. Will your program accommodate international students in terms of visa requirements for face to face (contact hours) if they move to Little Rock to be in the program?

No. Since our program is fully online with a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous classes, we will are unable to meet visa requirements. In rare circumstances, in part because of some flexibility due to the pandemic, we have been able to adapt to serve international students already on our campus and/or who arrived needing contact hours due to their campus funding situation.

10. What is the Early entry program?   

A  great, risk-free way to see if you’re interested in pursuing an MA in Applied Communication Studies while completing up to 12 hours of approved ACOM 4/5000 level courses–courses that also count toward your undergraduate degree!  Check out this link for guides on qualifications-Early Entry MA Applied Communication Studies

11. If my bachelor’s degree is not in Speech or Applied Communication, what will be required of me?

If your bachelor’s degree is not in Applied/Speech Communication and/or if you do not have at least 18 hours in approved Applied/Speech Communication courses, you have two options. First, you may elect to take a Summer 4 course that occurs in July each year. Second, you may elect and/or the graduate coordinator may suggest that you take leveling work within our department.  To help determine the best options, please send an unofficial transcript to the graduate coordinator. This process will help identify if you need preparatory post-baccalaureate coursework and/or ACOM 7390 after admission, in addition to the 33 hours required for the program

12. Do I need to take the GRE or MAT?

Applied Communication Studies applicants are not required to take an entrance exam. However, the GRE is for students planning to apply to Ph.D. programs after the M.A. or those applying to the Combined program with the UAMS College of Public Health.  Check with UAMS for deadlines since it is only students in the Combined program who are required to take the GRE.

13. How many students are admitted each year?

Up to 20 students are admitted each year. We seek to keep the numbers low in order to maximize classroom interaction.

14. How soon will I hear whether or not I was admitted?

Notification of acceptance or denial are provided by the middle of May for Fall and by early December for the Spring. Graduate assistantship positions are decided by mid-April.

15. What resources are available to students with disabilities?

UALR strives to provide a usable, equitable, inclusive and sustainable environment free from all discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of disability. Students with disabilities should contact the Disability Resource Center by phone at 501-916-3000 or by email at disability@ualr.edu.

16. Graduate Assistantship (GA) FAQs

a.  What is a GA?

Graduate Assistantships provide funding (see #6 for amounts). The position may involve full time (20 hours a week) or part time (10 hours a week) roles that vary from department to department, ranging from teaching and research to providing various services (marketing, web design, event planning, etc.).

b.  How do I know if I would be qualified for a GA role in the Applied Communication Department?

Send your resume and unofficial transcript to the graduate coordinator. In general, you need an academic background focused on interpersonal, intercultural, public speaking and/or organizational communication. to qualify for a GA role in the department.

c.  What funding is provided?

A 2 year (4 semesters) part-time GA (10 hrs. a week)= $12,210

Stipend of 3225.00 per 9 months (2 semesters) x 2 = 6450.00

Tuition discount $1440.00 per semester for 5 or more hours (5760.00 for 4 semesters)

A 2 year (4 semester) full-time GA (20 hrs. a week)= $23,460.00

Stipend of 6450.00 per 9 months (2 semesters) x 2 = 12,900.00

Tuition discount $2640.00 per semester for 9 or more hours (10,560.00 for 4 semesters)

d.  Does the full-time GA scholarship provide enough funding for living experiences for students relocating from another city, state, or country?

No. Typically, master’s level funding provides funding to cover tuition and stipend amounts that will cover fees and books, with a modest amount to help with other expenses. For example, a full-time stipend per 9 months (two semesters) is 6450.00. Estimated fees for 9 months equal approximately 1750.00 and books about 750.00, which leaves 3950.00 for 9 months or about 438.00 per month (not including summers). In Arkansas, the estimated cost of living for a single person is approximately 1,800.00 (c.f. http://livingwage.mit.edu/states/05).

e.  What about summer time GA’s?

It is rare to have the opportunity to serve as a GA in the summer.

f.  What is the work of the GA in your department?

Our graduate assistants serve in the Communication Skill Center (CSC) by: (a) creating a a supportive space for students to learn and connect; (b) providing mentoring and management of undergraduate interns, (c) serving students and clients with constructive feedback on assignments, (d) facilitating communication workshops, and (e) participating in department recruitment events.

g.  Where can I search for GA opportunities outside of the department?

Visit https://ualr.edu/gradschool/faculty-resources/graduate-assistantship/about/ for more options and also contact the Graduate Coordinator in Applied Communication.

17. Who should I contact for more information and/or if I want to visit the campus?

You should contact the faculty graduate coordinator, Dr. Gerald Driskill, via email gwdriskill@ualr.edu or at 501-916-6020 to arrange a campus, phone, or zoom visit.

Our office is located in Ross Hall which faces University Ave. 

Detailed map showing location of department office