Hepner Hall

PAO Program Admissions

***Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the GRE is waived for fall 2022 admissions and beyond in the School of JMS***


Interested in the Public Affairs (PAO) Graduate Program?
All students in the School of Journalism & Media Studies graduate program begin their studies in the fall semester. Admission decisions are made the prior spring.
    Important Dates
    Admissions cycle opens October 1, 2022
    Cal State Apply deadline: February 1, 2023
    School of JMS deadline: March 1, 2023

Graduate Admission Process and Requirements
SDSU Graduate Application Instructions
  1. Apply to San Diego State University through Cal State Apply. You will receive a REDID you will need for step 2.
  2. Access the Interfolio link in the JMS Specific Application section to apply to the School of Journalism and Media Studies directly – using the REDID supplied from the Cal State Apply system.
  3. You will be contacted in late spring as to the status of your application by the School of JMS.

Details about the CSU Application via Cal State Apply

SDSU uses the California State University common admission application for both domestic and international students. The application and fee can be completed online through Cal State Apply. If you cannot apply online, you should contact the Graduate Admissions Office to make special arrangements to apply electronically with campus assistance. International students should apply through Cal State Apply.

It is important to complete the CSU application as soon as possible in order to be issued your RED ID number. After you submit your electronic application, your RED ID number will be assigned and provided to you. This number will allow you to submit your transcripts and test scores, and track your application status online; it also enables the School of Journalism & Media Studies to monitor your application file.

Submit Official Transcripts
All applicants should submit official transcripts (in sealed envelopes) to Graduate Admissions from all post-secondary institutions attended. Transcripts are required for ALL institutions, even if only one class was taken. Students who attended SDSU need only submit transcripts for work completed since their last attendance. Students with international coursework must submit both the official transcript and proof of degree. If documents are in a language other than English, they must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

    Official Transcripts should be mailed to:
    Enrollment Services
    Graduate Admissions Document Processing Unit
    San Diego State University
    5500 Campanile Drive
    San Diego, CA 92182-7416

**Attention Students with international coursework: You will need to have your school send Graduate Admissions one official original-language record of all academic coursework and proof of degree. For each document, a certified literal English translation must also be provided. The translation may come directly from the school itself or from a professional, certified translator. The translation must contain all information shown on the original-language documents. For details on which documents are required, visit the Requirements by Country page.

International Applicants:
All graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants (regardless of citizenship status) applying to SDSU from an international institution where the medium of instruction was not English, must submit one of the following as proof of English proficiency:

TOEFL minimum score of 80 iBT/ 550 PBT: Score must be sent electronically from Educational Testing Service (ETS) using the SDSU institution code: 4682. Test score must be from within the past two years.
IELTS overall score of 6.5 or higher: Score report must be sent directly to the SDSU Graduate Admissions Office. Test score must be from within the past two years.
PTE minimum score of 58 or higher: Score report must be sent directly to the SDSU Graduate Admissions Office. Or score of 105 or higher on the Duolingo English Test. Test score must be from within the past two years.

Official transcripts have been received indicating English as the principle language of instruction.

Required Materials for Application to JMS

IMPORTANT: The School of Journalism and Media Studies (JMS) requires the following items to be submitted through the Interfolio application system:

  • Copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (these do not need to be sent directly from the colleges - photocopies are acceptable)
  • A Statement of Purpose: In 1000 words or less, please tell us about yourself and what motivated you to choose this program. Describe your future career goals in your response.
  • Resume
  • English-language proficiency: Required for applicants who do not possess a bachelor’s degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction. Score report must be sent directly to the SDSU Graduate Admissions Office. Test score must be from within the past two years. Those who do not possess a bachelor’s degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 550 or higher (using the paper version) or 80 or higher (using the Internet version) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Students must obtain a score of 6.5 or better on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or 58 or higher on the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) or score of 105 or higher on the Duolingo English Test. Individual degree programs may require a higher minimum score.
Optional Materials for Application to JMS
  • Letters of recommendation (2 max, can be from academic or professional realm) -these letters are strongly encouraged
  • Portfolio/writing sample (can be academic paper, professional work)

Questions? Contact the Graduate Advisor
Dr. Amy Schmitz Weiss, Graduate Advisor
School of Journalism & Media Studies
College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Dr.
San Diego, CA 92182-4561
email: aschmitz@sdsu.edu