Frequently Asked Questions

What is the entering class size and how many people are in the program?

Approximately 15-20 students enter the program in the fall and a smaller number in the spring. There is a total of about 40 students in the program.

May I enroll in classes before being formally admitted to the program?

Yes, if space is available you may enroll in graduate courses as an extramural, or non-degree, student. Enrollment in graduate courses as an extramural student requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four year college and permission of the graduate chair. Registration is through the Office of Extended Studies.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, there are two types of financial aid available: loans and assistantships. Please see The Office of Financial Aid for more information, or click here to apply for a graduate assistantship in the Communications Graduate program.

What are the graduation requirements?

In order to graduate with a degree in communications, you must complete a 36 credit hour program including a capstone Seminar in which you complete a client-based project and present the results to a graduate faculty panel.  In addition, you will have the option of completing a thesis which allows you to further explore and contribute to the world of communication.

Will this program provide me with practical skills to apply what I am learning?

Yes. Our program will provide you with many opportunities to interact with real-world applications.  Our students have worked with many local for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. For examples of projects, please see our student projects page.

Most students also complete an internship for 1-6 credits, either during a fall or spring semester or summer. Contact the graduate program chair for more information and for the appropriate procedures and forms.

My undergraduate degree was not in the field of communications. Will that affect my success in this program?

We welcome people with a variety of backgrounds and life experience.  We have many students who have undergraduate degrees in a variety of fields other than communications, and faculty and students alike feel that these students’ experiences contribute to the strength and diversity of the program. The following are just a few examples of ways to apply your undergraduate degrees in a Park School Master's degree in communications:                 

  • Business - Marketing Communications, Public Relations, Corporate Training and Development
  • Computer Science - Website Development, E-Learning, Organizational Technology Management
  • Political Science - Government Relations, Campaign Design and Development
  • Music and the Arts - Fundraising and Development, Event Management and Media Production
  • Education - Corporate Training, E-Learning, Educational Technology
  • Health Science - Health and Wellness Campaigns, Patient Education
  • Psychology - Organizational Development, Recruiting and Human Resources

I work full-time and have occasional evening obligations. Will this program fit into my schedule?

The program was designed specifically with the needs of working professionals in mind. All classes meet once a week for approximately two and a half hours in the late afternoon or evening. Note, however, that there is group project work in some courses which may require meeting time outside of class sessions.

If I am admitted to the program, how long will it take me to complete it?

While it is possible to complete the program in 12 months by taking summer courses, most students take three semesters, for example fall, spring, and the following fall. Some students do the program in two years, particularly if they do a thesis. Still others take their time and complete the program by taking just one or two courses per term. At any given time, about 1/4 of the students are attending the program part-time.

Is an interview required for admission?

Although an interview is not required for admission, we encourage you to come and tour the campus, and meet with our outstanding faculty members. If possible, you can also arrange for an interview over Skype, Viber, or FaceTime.

Where can I learn more about Ithaca and the surrounding the area?

Ithaca is a wonderful college town and a vibrant creative community nestled in the beautiful finger lakes region of upstate New York. For information on housing, shopping, transportation and medical services in the Ithaca area, please visit the Office of Admission for local information.

Does Ithaca College offer on-campus housing for its graduate students?

No, but the Office of Residential Life provides listings of available rooms, apartments, houses, real estate agencies, and so forth. See the Office of Residential Life website for more information. Also, the Graduate Admissions Office may help you with housing. 

I still have some questions that have not yet been answered. What should I do?

Please contact Dr. Cory Young, the Graduate Program chair, at youngc@ithaca.edu or 607-274-3698 to ask any remaining questions.