Program Application

Apply online at the NIU Graduate School Admissions website.

In addition to the application, the following materials need to be submitted to the Graduate School.

  • At least two letters of recommendation (letters from professors are preferred).
  • Transcripts.
  • Statement of Purpose.
  • GRE Scores: Students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher should contact the graduate director to request a GRE waiver.
  • The TOEFL and the Test of Spoken English are required for international students.

View application deadlines. At the time you are admitted to the department, a temporary advisor is assigned. The Graduate Director Bill Cassidy, Ph.D. ( will also answer your questions.

Your temporary advisor does not necessarily become your permanent advisor. You decide during your course of study who you would like to ask to become your committee chair and the two of you will discuss your plan of study.


Assistantships are available on a competitive basis. The review process begins the in middle of February. The department routinely has 28 students on assistantship. Typically, assistantships begin in the fall semester.

Assistantship offers cannot be made until your application to the Graduate School is complete.

The assistantship application is available on the Graduate School website. The completed application should be submitted in person to:

Watson 207, COMS Graduate Office Support Specialist

or mailed to:

Department of Communication
210 Watson
Graduate Office Support Specialist
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115

Graduate Advising

Bill Cassidy, Ph.D.
Graduate Director
Reavis Hall 108